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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims


    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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  • Most Common VA Disabilities Claimed for Compensation:   


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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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Sciatic Nerve


I am currently rated at 20% for 



I also have polyneuropathy in my feet, when I look at the nerve matrix for the VA it says for these five nerves "Common Peroneal", "Superficial Peroneal", "Deep Peroneal", "Tibial", and "Posterior Tibial" - "Seperate Evaluation is Prohibited, part of the Sciatic Branch"

My feet are numb, they have the burning, tingling, and stabbing sensations all the time. My feet bother me all the time, especially when I try to sleep.

So my question is, is it possible to to have my percentage raised from 20% to 40% or higher?

I know when I do apply I will also ask for for an SMC K for my feet - this might be a long shot but I will try.

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As you know anything is possible as far as getting it hiked up.. as to the K award  , if you have a total dropfoot its automatic at least in my case it was and I was also awarded the auto grant and adaptive equipment for life..which is a really great benefit because I can get a new ramp van every two years and when I trade in the old one, the new one only cost me on average 10K.... the va pays over 30K for the ramp system  every time I get a new van so for me its a great benefit.

When I was rated for my back injury in 1999,   I was rated at 60% but the VA said the dropfoot &  sciatic nerve damage was part and parcel of the back injury so they did not give me separate ratings just the K award. Now I was rated under the old rules for my back,  and under the new rules there is no way that I would get a 60% rating...because its is so rare to get bed rest from any doctor for a back injury now,  so I don't even think about trying to get it raised or separate ratings...

I wish you the best of luck, and I hope you can get the K rating because its the benefits for loss of use of a foot that really add up... 

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I would always think that there is a possibility.  I am currently awaiting an NOD where they added a request for increase of my neuropathies.  I do not know why they did this because I was requesting an EED.  I understand from the CFR's though that they cannot reduce a disability on an NOD.  I am at 20% also but I have burning and pain in my thighs also.

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Paul, I don't see any reason why you shouldn't put in for the increase. You are now rate 1oo% P&T, correct, not TDIU? So you aren't going to trigger another complete eval on all your disabilities again. 

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9 hours ago, Richard1954 said:

60% rating...because its is so rare to get bed rest from any doctor for a back injury now

Richard you are correct, I had over 9 weeks of being out of work for my back issues. But as you said doctors do not put you on bed rest anymore, they actually do not want you to be on bed rest as it is worse for the back.


9 hours ago, vetquest said:

I am at 20% also but I have burning and pain in my thighs also.

I currently receive the following:

left lower extremity radiculopathy affecting the femoral nerve                                                                                  20%
right lower extremity radiculopathy affecting the femoral nerve                                                                                20%
previously rated as right lower extremity radiculopathy of the sciatic and external popliteal nerves                  20%                    
left lower extremity radiculopathy of the sciatic and external popliteal nerves                                                       20%

I am not sure if me feet are already tied into the above, so I will definitely file for polyneuropathy for my feet.  I am already rated for flat feet at 10%.

1 hour ago, GBArmy said:

You are now rate 1oo% P&T, correct,

GB I am 100% but not P&T, that is because one of my disabilities is for depression (they say it could get better).

I am filing for everything I can to try and get to P&T, I need 20% more to get there. I have a CUE for my hand which could get me another 10% and if I can get the VA to agree with my BP readings I would pick up 20% (I had three readings where my diastolic was over 110). I wrote in the VA letter that if they disagree with my BP readings to schedule me for new BP readings (I hope I don't regret that, you never know what they will read and write down).


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As many of us have said,  we wish you luck on the quest; got to keep on trucking. I think that since you were just recently granted 100%, they will not go after every disability C&P, especially for depression, but you are aware that they can re-look at everything. The theory is that they want to evaluate the whole  body system as it relates to your new worse conditions/symptoms. I just want people reading to be aware there is risk involved we we ask for an increase. We want them to be aware the VA is unpredictable when it comes to benefits.

Edited by GBArmy

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    • Yes 

      After a PTSD/Unspecific MDD Diagnose From the VA Dr's

      The gold standard for diagnosing PTSD is a structured clinical interview such as the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS-5). When necessary, the PCL-5 can be scored to provide a provisional PTSD DSM 5 diagnosis.

      Any clinical clinician such as MD ,Psychiatrist even a L.C.S.W. (Certified)can perform the Diagnostics Evaluation Employed by the the VA

      ...They just need to figure out your symptoms and put together a list of your symptom's that you possess or show from the evaluation...I am not 100% Sure just how they do this ?

      being I am not a Dr or clinical clinician 

      Once a Diagnoses of PTSD is given they try to set you up with a Therapist to help with your New dx And how to adjust or cope with the Anxiety and Depression the PTSD can cause.

        you learn the tools to cope with and depending how severe your symptoms are ? 

       They test /screen you with phychoeducational type therapy treatment usually at first.

       Warning  some of this therapy can be very rough on a Veteran  from holding on to guilt  from the trauma its self or you maybe in a  ''stuck point''from memories and guilt or from the stressor's or anything that reminds you of the trauma you endured.

      The therapy works  even if we think it don't,  I recommend Therapy for all PTSD Veterans  it could very well save your life once the correct therapy is in place and the Veteran makes all his Clinical Appointments.

      I still have Combat PTSD it probably will never be cured completely but we can learn the tools it takes to cope with this horrible diseases 

      even learning breathing techniques  Helps tremendously during a panic attact.

      I have guilt from the war in Vietnam  ( I ask my self what could I have done to make a better outcome/difference?..and also I am in what the therapist calls stuck points. working on that at present once a week for 90 minutes.  I am very fortunate to have the help the VA gives me and I am lucky I have not turned to alcohol or drugs to mask my problem.

      But I have put my family through a living hell with my angers of burst.and they all stood by me the whole time years and years of my family life was disrupted because of me and my children &spouse  never deserved it one bit.

      That's all I want to say about that.

      At least I am still around. and plan to be tell my old age dying day.
    • No timeframe gotta love that answer it’s even better when you ask 1800 people or call the board directly they’ll say you’ll know sooner then later. I had mine advanced and it was about 2 months later until I had the decision in my hand which seems forever but in the present system in 2016 lightning fast...
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    • I am serviced connected for ankylosing spondylitis back in 1985. I had a C&P exam on 7-7-19 since I am asking for an increase in my cervical, thoracic, and lumbosacral ratings. After speaking with the DAV to find out progress and info on my exam, the Rep. noted sort of what I expected. Radiculopathy was noted and ROM was 0-15 for cervical, and 0-25 for back. I am currently rated as Cervical 30%, Thoracic 10%, and Lumbosacral 40%. The main question that I have is relating to the thoracic 10% and lumbosacral 40%. I am confused on these two. Is Lumbosacral separate from the thoracic/others ? Since my back ROM is at 0-25, does this mean that my thoracic might increase from the 10% to a higher rating ? I am confused how they break down my ratings from cervical at 30%, Thoracic at 10%, and Lumbosacral at 40%. Also, with the radiculopathy, is this something that they will rate also ? I am currently at 90% total combined for all my disabilities. I hope this helps for someone to give me advice/answers.
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    • Thank you @GeekySquid for your reply. 


      I have redacted personal information for my documents listed below. 

      I look forward to your reply. 

      HEADACHE STR 2006 copy_Redacted.pdf


      Pages from Original Denial-Grant Reasons_Redacted.pdf
    • Hello Defenders of freedom!

      I have a question pertaining to this denial for headaches. The decision letter is quoted below. 


      3. Service connection for headaches.

      "We may grant service connection for a disability which began in military service or was caused by some event or experience in service.

      Your STRs are negative for any treatment of or diagnosis of headaches. On your post-deployment exam in 2005 you denied any headaches. On separation, you denied any headaches. VA treatment records are negative for any treatment of or diagnosis of headaches. On VA exam, the examiner stated there was no evidence of any residuals of a traumatic brain injury.

      We have denied service connection for headaches because the evidence of record fails to show this disability was incurred in or caused by military service."

      From my understanding these 3 points must be overturned to successfully win a CUE case:

       (1) either the correct facts, as they were known at the time, were not before the adjudicator or the statutory or regulatory provisions in existence at that time were incorrectly applied; 

      (2) the error must be undebatable and of the sort which, had it not been made, would have manifestly changed the outcome at the time of the prior determination

      and (3) a determination that there was CUE must be based on the record and law that existed at the time of the prior adjudication in question.  

      @Berta, or veterans out here who have knowledge/experience, tell me what facts you think would be needed to prove this denial for headaches was an error? 
      • 14 replies
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