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Supplemental Claim - Spine

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Foxhound6

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Hello brothers and sisters! I am new here but have been browsing the pages and I feel this is a great resource for Vets trying to benefits!

I already have 30% from the VA for my left knee from when I got out. Over the last several years, I have been having major back problems. I went to the VA and they essentially (at that time) told me my pain was due to my abnormal gait from my knee injury and no imaging was done.

Fast forward a couple more years, around 2014. The pain had now increased to a point where I knew something was not right. I went back to the VA to which thee finally did X-rays and discovered I had degenerative discs and spondylosis in my lumbar and thoracic areas and evidence of a stress fracture around my T-11 and T-12. In addition, I had some bone spurs. VA told me due to the fracture, they could not give me injections and offered PT, which I did and it did not help. They then gave me a TENS unit, which also did not help. They then offered acupuncture, to which I just denied out of frustration. It was then I stopped going to the VA. 

Fast forward a little more, last year or two. I now have more issues that go up my back and my neck. I have been sing a NON-VA provider, CORE Institute, as well as a therapeutic massage provider. The new spine doctors did more imaging and found the same findings as the VA except they also found my neck also has signs of spondylosis as well as a bulging disc.

I filed a claim, knowing it would most likely be denied, but had favorable findings. It was denied mostly based on service-connection and I wasn't sure what to do as I felt I screwed myself.

It was when the doctor at the non-VA provider asked me "how do you think this might have happened" that I had remembered an event in Active duty that may have been the cause of it all. In a nutshell, I was leaned over, loading my gear into the racks of a M2 Bradley IFV, when one of my NCO's popped the spring-loaded armored hatch and pushed it open quickly. It struck me square on top of my head, with enormous pressure and force, knocking me unconscious. My squad mates ended up pulling me down to ender aid. We were in the middle of a 36-hour, installation wide training exercise, so I did not go to CTAS or hospital, only had some neck stiffness and headache at time.

Since that, I went out and was able to get Supplement to Claim statements from the NCO who popped the hatch, one of my team members who helped me down, my father who I lived with after active duty, and my current wife who is a Licensed Practical Nurse with over 10 years of long term, skilled geriatric care. I also filled out a statement of my own, detailing what happened, where, when, who, how its affected me (muscle spasms, back and neck lock-ups, inability to play with kids, the works), etc. My NCO and team member wrote about the incident itself as they only know that much. However, my wife's statement was very good, much better than I could have described my issues.

I gathered it all up, signed (and notarized the ones done from MS Word), filled out the 20-0995 Supplement Claim form and sent it along with all of the "New and Relevant" evidence (The Buddy and Lay statements) overnight to the Intake Center in Janesville, WI on OCT 15. 

I am just wondering if this was the correct avenue and if anyone might have an idea if this seems like a strong claim? Any insight really, just hoping it works out. Thanks! If I left out important info just ask, Its been a long long process lol.

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Me thinks maybe you used the wrong form.  However, dont take my word for it, I could easily be wrong.  

Since you know much more about your issues than I do, read this and you tell me:

https://asknod.org/2019/08/21/vas-ama-i-think-im-turning-japanese-at-least-i-think-so/

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1 hour ago, broncovet said:

Me thinks maybe you used the wrong form.  However, dont take my word for it, I could easily be wrong.  

Since you know much more about your issues than I do, read this and you tell me:

https://asknod.org/2019/08/21/vas-ama-i-think-im-turning-japanese-at-least-i-think-so/

Broncovet, thanks for your response! I took a look and it appears I filed it correctly.

Conversely, if you have ever filed for a “condition” in the past and been denied, you must absolutely use the VAF 20-0995 Supplemental Claim form to “reopen” it.

This was a new claim submitted thru the site. I got a denial based on SC. I sent over the 20-0995 along with the new and relevant evidence as the instructions said. So based on the site you sent, it seems like I did it correctly. 

In terms of its success, I have no clue. I suppose its in the VA's hands at this point. Ill just have to keep a watch on VA.gov and the snail mail box?

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Save money instead of paying Bill Gates forever, use Open Source software. Libra office, feel good.

Anyways looks promising. Now the rater is probably not going to read it since they can't read, low ball you and make you file a NOD to have it go to the BVA. 

In the mean time learn some 38 CFR as you wait for the envelope in the mail. I personally no longer check ebenefits/va.gov because I'm so over the VA circus--that my lawyer handles that now. 

 

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2 hours ago, Oceanbound said:

Save money instead of paying Bill Gates forever, use Open Source software. Libra office, feel good.

Anyways looks promising. Now the rater is probably not going to read it since they can't read, low ball you and make you file a NOD to have it go to the BVA. 

In the mean time learn some 38 CFR as you wait for the envelope in the mail. I personally no longer check ebenefits/va.gov because I'm so over the VA circus--that my lawyer handles that now. 

 

Oceanbound, my subscription is not active, no worries. I just use manual formatting. I haven't bought an office product for quite some time lol.

Id bet the rater may not. I am hoping with the supplement process, the evidence I sent over will be documented without being lost. If it does, I have copies. I would assume a C&P would be next if they are accepted and filed properly in the c-file. Ill also bring copies with me if I am scheduled. I will watch for what comes next and read up in the mean time.

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I would claim "abnormal gate" secondary to my knee.  Send in all the medical records along with it.

Let the VA sort it out.

Then if you get something (anything) secondary'd for arthritis (stay here with me), then you progress from there.

I went 30 (plantar faciitis, shoulder tendinopothy), then 40%, then 60%, then 70%, then 80% and finally (up to now) 90%.

All over ten years.  You can go to the whole enchilada, with appeals, etc., etc,,  over 10 years, or take what little they give you and work it.

Not sure how long you were in, but go through you med records page by page.  Everything matters.

I found "thoracic degenerative arthritis" mentioned in a old x-ray they took of my chest for my high blood pressure when I was in the service.  I used it to it to get it service connected secondary to my cervical DDD, DJD.

Keep plugin,

Hamslice

 

 

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3 hours ago, Hamslice said:

I would claim "abnormal gate" secondary to my knee.  Send in all the medical records along with it.

Let the VA sort it out.

Then if you get something (anything) secondary'd for arthritis (stay here with me), then you progress from there.

I went 30 (plantar faciitis, shoulder tendinopothy), then 40%, then 60%, then 70%, then 80% and finally (up to now) 90%.

All over ten years.  You can go to the whole enchilada, with appeals, etc., etc,,  over 10 years, or take what little they give you and work it.

Not sure how long you were in, but go through you med records page by page.  Everything matters.

I found "thoracic degenerative arthritis" mentioned in a old x-ray they took of my chest for my high blood pressure when I was in the service.  I used it to it to get it service connected secondary to my cervical DDD, DJD.

Keep plugin,

Hamslice

 

 

Hamslice

You took my thoughts! I figured I could claim something like this, just hadn't started thinking about it until now. In addition, my presumption is I'll get a low rate for my back and I'll just have to plug away with secondaries on my knee and back (if it gets SC'd). It's a start! Thanks for the feedback, that was good to hear.

 

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