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Connected for something not claimed?

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bigoc

Question

I know this will seem a bit crazy, but I figured anything is possible when the VA is involved.

Has anyone been service connected for a joint disability even if they did not claim that specific joint?

I am connected and rated for psoriatic arthritis in multiple joints.  Right hand, left wrist, both feet.  This question is due to a strange C&P experience from my recent application for an increase on my current ratings.  I called to check on my status and the woman from the VA gave me an update that rating office had received the evaluation report from the C&P exam.  This is where it gets strange.  She said my shoulders were included in the evaluation report from the exam.  The exam was from a request my me to increase my current hand, wrist and feet only.  I have not claimed my shoulders ever.  Even though I stupidly should have years ago. 

I recently found a page in my C-file that I over looked the past few years.  I was seen by a VA contracted rheumatologist in October of 2015.  The result of that exam showed that I had joint involvement and pain in my knees and shoulders.  I did not claim these for no other reason than just over looked it because I had many other complex claims(TBI for one) at the time.  The VA included a statement in the December 2015 decision that I will include below:

VSR: Tell the Veteran, "VA contract examination dated October 10, 2015 shows multiple joint involvement attributable to your arthritis condition. If you wish to claim service connection for any additional affected joints, please let us know."

This statement with the recent update on the C&P exam is what is making me wonder if the VA possibly connected me for my shoulder.  I'll find out soon enough but just wondering if anyone has had the unusual experience of the VA connecting you without claiming a condition.

I will definitely be putting in a new claim for my shoulders and knees since I just found the above statement in my 1500 page C-file.

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I have seen veterans get rated for conditions that they didn't request. It happens when a C/P  examiner  is paying attention to the veteran and that same examiner actually reviews the veterans medical records. It happened to me, when I was award service connection for surgical cars when I request a reevaluation on my service connected knee condition. 

It also happened to me when I was  reevaluated in 1999 for a requested increase of my back disability,  not only did I get an increase, but I was rated for loss of use of my left foot as a secondary condition due to  my back injury.  This resulted in my being awarded a K award,  the auto grant, and auto adaptive equipment. (And later, this helped me get the adaptive housing grant.)  Which when it comes to adaptive equipment is a substantial amount of money, as every time I get a new adaptive van, the adaptive equipment is over $30,000 in addition to the cost of the van. I  can get a new van twice in a four year period... so it adds up.  

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Thanks for the reply.  It seems that it would be strange for the VA to give a vet service connection for something that they did not claim.  I say this because I know all the vets(myself included) that struggle with conditions that the tirelessly work to get approved.  Seems someone, either the examiner or the rater added my shoulder to my recent claim.  I will know soon enough.  

I will suggest that people with large c-files look for clues that may have been added to decisions.  As my knowledge increased I learned to look back for things I might not have understood at the time of decision.  I suppose there are good intended people in the rating office trying to give benefits deserved even if not claimed.  They not all trying to deny claims.  They are probably a minority though. 

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4 hours ago, bigoc said:

 

I will definitely be putting in a new claim for my shoulders and knees since I just found the above statement in my 1500 page C-file.

Which is why is very important to order your c-file, go through it, and take notes to put into a Free Libra Office spreadsheet categorizing it later for you/physicians. So that it saves time

page 1 - this is your c-fle

page 77 - labs results, normal

page 404 - page not found (internet website error joke) 

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I do not know if the VA will award you for a disability that you did not claim but they are supposed to fully and sympathetically develop your claim.  I filed for an EED on a DRO review and they added a request for increase.  I do not know why they did this but the VA works in strange and unpredictable ways.  

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