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  • Trouble Remembering? This helped me.

    I have memory problems and as some of you may know I highly recommend Evernote and have for years. Though I've found that writing helps me remember more. I ran across Tom's videos on youtube, I'm a bit geeky and I also use an IPad so if you take notes on your IPad or you are thinking of going paperless check it out. I'm really happy with it, I use it with a program called Noteshelf 2.

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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims

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    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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    • So, my lawyer sent an IME w/ IMO and filed a supplemental claim solely for IU on March 20.

      It was closed on March 25, and va.gov just states claim closed and nothing more.

      Hopefully, I get good news.
    • Thanks for the responses. I am filing a new claim but will continue pushing the NOD. My new question is it stated in law or statute that if during the claims process the VA finds conditions that could possibly rate service connection that was not originally filed for, the VA will “invite” the veteran to file the claim on the claims form. Reason I ask is that my private DBQs, NEXUS letter, and even the VA nurse examiner's DBQs lists bilateral upper radiculopathy as present. If it is written in statute or official guidance it might qualify as a CUE. Just looking at all angles. 
    • Everyone needs to read our stories so they can try to avoid these screws by the va...
      Thank you, everyone contributes, good or bad, all of our stories will help others, and yes, they have been stated by others for ages, over and over, but we just get depressed, and the time turns into years as they screw us..

      Welcome to the department of Veterans Affairs!  I can honestly say, "been there, done that".  

      Even after winning my tdiu in 2017, it was back to the drawing board as VA hornswaggeld my effective date.  (but of course).  

      I finally won my tdiu effective date in Feb. 2020, 18 years after I first applied!!!  

      Here is how they managed to drag mine out 18 years:

      1.  They never adjuticated my decison until 2009, where they called it "moot".  

      2.  I appealed, said it was not moot because it could result in an earlier effective date and SMC S under Bradley vs Peake.  The judge agreed with me, and ordered VARO consider me for extra schedular TDIU, under 4.16 b.  

      3.  The VARO piddles with  the remand for 3 years, and hoped I wouldnt notice.  I noticed and raised cane until they adjuticated it.  (denied of course).  

      4.  Finally, after the baord denied again, I hired a lawyer, in 2014, and appealed to CAVC.   

      5.  The lawyer won a remand, got an IMO and I won tdiu in 2017.  But at the wrong effective date, even after 15 years.  

      6.  I hired another lawyer, Chris Attig, and appealed the effective date, and he won a remand for effective date.  Trip 2 to CAVC.  

      7.  Mr. Attig won a remand, and advised me to get another IMO.  

      8.  The board awarded my earlier effective date in Feb. 2020.  

           So, I do have advice fighting VA for TDIU, they fought and fought and I hung in there and won it all.  

      ADVICE:  Dont count on VA, they could easily throw your fax in the trash.  Follow up!  
    • "Keep in mind that due to the nature of the digestive system, VA would most likely combined your conditions and pay you at the higher rate to avoid pyramiding".    That is one of my main gripes.  They are only listing the GERD with hiatal hernia and ignoring the rest of my gastric issues such as the gastritis which I also had in service.  I included it in my 2007 request for increase and again in 2019.  The info from the civilian dr that stated I had the gastritis with H pylori was not even provided to the examiner in 2007, nor did he have my VA health records. The 2019 request was based on an EGD I had AT THE VA in Jan 2019.   I filed for an increase 6 Mar and they did an ACE on 27 Mar and downgraded to noncompensable on that date.  The only reason I was thinking CUE:  38 CFR § 3.326 - Under Examinations  it states (c) Provided that it is otherwise adequate for rating purposes, a statement from a private physician may be accepted for rating a claim without further examination".  
    • Enough has been said on this topic. This forum is not the proper forum for an attorney and former client to hash out their problems. Please take this offline
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flow1972

How To Know What Injury Or Event Connects Current Issues

Question

Some of you know, I'm new to all of this.  I feel like I'm trying to build a 5,000 piece puzzle with no picture or instructions to look at.  I currently have 10% SC for Tinnitus.  I have a C&P scheduled for the 18th of November for my PTSD caused by MST Claim.  I have a ton of things in my SMR's as well as CMR's that I have no idea how to connect the dots on.  Is there some "place" or "person" that assists with this stuff???  I feel lost, and I'm a Data person.

I have currently diagnosed conditions:

1. Carpal Tunnel

2. Raynaud's

3. IBS/Spastic Colon

4.  Current Gastritis 

5.  Just had my Tonsils out at 46 (yep...tonsil lesion after decades of recurrent pharyngitis/Strep/Tonsilitus)

6.  Lower back disk degeneration (been on my Xrays for years)

7.  Arthritis in hands (not RH)

8.  Cold Sores

9.  Asthma/Allergies

10.  Right Hip (Injections a few months ago)

11.  Vertigo (I believe it's Motorist Vestibular Disorientation, but the one time I asked my PCP about it, they thought it may be my allergies causing it)

I left service back in 1996.  I had just had my first child and was still recovering from the affects of Pre-Eclampsia.  ( All over my SMR's.)  No physical at Separation. I have things in my SMR's where I had Asthma as a child but no issues since early childhood (on my Entrance paperwork).  I also have an entry where they state there was a review of my Medical Records (Security Review for Above Top Secret) and "No Chronic Illnesses" or something to that affect.  I literally had 9 cases of URI/Bronchitis/Phneumonia or a related lung issue in my 5 years of service logged in my SMR's. 

There was 12 cases of Strep/Pharyngitis/Tonsillitis along with a visit for some stomach issues that went on for several weeks (pretty sure this is when my IBS started showing up), a broken 9th rib (got kicked by a horse in Germany), Left Ankle Overuse Syndrome (I don't know why it says this because I'm pretty sure that's when I got sever shin-splints in both legs), Right ankle sprain, left knee strain, left hand and wrist injury, left thigh myalgia 2nd degree strain..then I started having to be given meds for allergies/Asthma episodes again the last few years in service.  I had a ganglian cyst removed from my right hand just a little over a year after I left service...I've read there isn't a "known" true cause but arthritis can be a possible cause...

I'm just overwhelmed with what relates to what and so forth.  My Carpal Tunnel...you know they'll try to say that's 100% due to my work as a Data Analyst when the "know" hand/wrist injuries as well as job duties that require repetition also contribute...I even have a note in my SMR's about my fingers being numb while I was pregnant, but I guarantee they'll attribute that to the Edema from the Pre-E.  So.....how do you work through it all in the best way NOT to screw yourself????

Edited by flow1972

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Flow1972 Do you have a VSO? You have so much on your plate that you can easily be overwhelmed. Take it one step at a time.  Read up on here about C&P exams especially as they pertain to PTSD. Be truthful, but talk remembering how your worse days are, not your best days. You have to be open and honest with the examiner. To have a successful claim you need to have a Caluza Triangle; a disability that originated in the service (service connected, or s-c); a current diagnosis, and, a connection, or nexus, between the two.The way you prove you had a s-c issue is from str's, or more accurately, from your c-file. If you don't have a copy from the VA, order it. Hadit can guide you. There are notations in there that will be of tremendous value in supporting documentation or evidence. You need a current diagnosis. Hopefully, your doc has diagnosed you adequately; if not, your in big trouble. The connection would be that your s-c event caused x, y. and z for your current symptoms. Now, you have to do this for EVERY claimed disability to win. Sometimes, you need to get a medical opinion, IMO, that makes the connection. That can cost you out of the pocket costs, but if there is no clear connection, the VA isn't about admitting your medical opinion is better than theirs, because you aren't a doc. I am assuming your disability claim is only for the PTSD; so you will have to map out a plan on attacking all your diagnosed disabilities that are potential s-c.  You might want to go after a couple at a time. Every disability is rated 10%, 50%, 0%, etc. based on a diagnostic code.Go to https://militarydisabilitymadeeasy.com/search.php That will provide what the codes are and based on your symptoms, what they might be rated at. You also need to know how your symptoms will be evaluated during your C&P. So google VA dbq for---------------  That might be enough to get you started. Small bites on this, one step at a time. Certainly, all your diagnosed problems will not be s-c, or at least the VA won't think so. If it is in your c-file and str's, you got a chance. If denied, you appeal. Remember "never give up." Most of your questions are on here. Read. Good hunting.

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5 hours ago, flow1972 said:

 I feel like I'm trying to build a 5,000 piece puzzle with no picture or instructions to look at. 

Welcome to Hadit. It's because you didn't pay for the strategy guide and only comes with a tiny booklet of a few 4 inch square pages.

In the 80s, Japan's video game designers knew, made way, and showed us how the real world works. NES came out can changed the world over. How does the game Zelda come into this. If you played it, the game shows you exactly how to deal with the VA, you have to go through it like everyone else. 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 is how we all assume. But the end is not a straight line number wise.

Right now I am on my way to level 8 and that isn't the end, level 9 aka death mountain is.

In the over world map you will see things like the graveyard, not see things the hidden tricks or places that will await you when you get there, and then you have to decipher "grumble grumble."

Now that you're here you have the strategy guide and not being in the dark in the dark room anymore. 

 

 

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16 hours ago, flow1972 said:

.  I have a C&P scheduled for the 18th of November for my PTSD caused by MST Claim.  I have a ton of things in my SMR's as well as CMR's that I have no idea how to connect the dots on.  Is there some "place" or "person" that assists with this stuff???  I feel lost, and I'm a Data person.

I have currently diagnosed conditions:

1. Carpal Tunnel

2. Raynaud's

3. IBS/Spastic Colon

4.  Current Gastritis 

5.  Just had my Tonsils out at 46 (yep...tonsil lesion after decades of recurrent pharyngitis/Strep/Tonsilitus)

6.  Lower back disk degeneration (been on my Xrays for years)

7.  Arthritis in hands (not RH)

8.  Cold Sores

9.  Asthma/Allergies

10.  Right Hip (Injections a few months ago)

11.  Vertigo (I believe it's Motorist Vestibular Disorientation, but the one time I asked my PCP about it, they thought it may be my allergies causing it)

A good start would be ordering your medical records from your time in service and comb through any reported symptoms that can be connected to your current diagnoses. Certain conditions can be considered “presumptive.” For example, I believe IBS is considered a presumptive condition for Gulf War veterans. Others you need to do more leg work on. Listen to GBArmy in regards to the PTSD. He knows his stuff! 

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14 hours ago, GBArmy said:

 

Thank you for the reply.  I have submitted the OSI Investigation Report of the MST event.  I have also submitted a DBQ filled out by my private Dr. for that case.  The RO MST Coordinator has contacted me and scheduled me for a C&P on November 18th.  She asked me to sign a release for them to gain access to my CMR's (which I've declined to do).  I will be providing the notes from my Dr. related to the PTSD specific to the MST event.  I do not feel comfortable giving full access for whatever they want to an adversarial company.  She also mentioned that my OSI Investigation Report did not include the Action Report.  I told her that when I submitted the FOIA request for the report all they sent me was the Investigation Report.  The status shows Closed.  Recommended for action.  I then explained that the only information on the action taken I was ever given was a phone call from some person at JAG that let me know my case had been closed and the subject was being processed out of the AF.  I'm not sure why they need the action report.  They have the OSI Investigation report with the summary of statements and their recommendation for action.  At any rate, I've submitted a second FOIA request to obtain the Action Report specifically in case that becomes an issue.  It is apparently "housed" with the OSI Investigation Report but "Owned" by a different agency that must approve the release separately.  (eye roll) I am making the notes I need to properly convey my symptoms on my "worst day" as recommended.  The RO MST Coordinator explained that I did not have to switch my Dr to a VA Dr and that I could continue seeing my private Dr. for treatment if I wanted.  I could use the VA as well or both.  I was worried about that since so many people were saying you "have to have a diagnosis from a VA Dr".  What I'm taking from that is that whomever administers the C&P will be the "VA Dr" whose opinion they will use for diagnosis.

Yes, I have a VSO...but to be honest...I have no confidence in her.  She has submitted both the claims I've done with incorrect information (wrong Birth Date, wrong phone number for me, wrong previous last names, etc...).  It took her 9 months to submit my husbands bilateral hearing loss/tinnitus claim.  I had to contact her several times to remind her.  She never told me the things I've learned from this site.  The local MST Treatment Coordinator was never contacted by her or the VA Hosp when I tried to make my initial appointment.  I didn't even know there was such a person until I read it on my own.  The VSO also seems very indifferent with regard to certain conditions, so I've decided to just do the research on my own...and try to understand what she should be telling me anyway.

Edited by flow1972
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1 hour ago, Lagin02 said:

A good start would be ordering your medical records from your time in service and comb through any reported symptoms that can be connected to your current diagnoses. Certain conditions can be considered “presumptive.” For example, I believe IBS is considered a presumptive condition for Gulf War veterans. Others you need to do more leg work on. Listen to GBArmy in regards to the PTSD. He knows his stuff! 

Thank you.  I do have all of my SMR's.  I kept them when I got out.  I even got a copy of the records from when I was hospitalized for Pre-Eclampsia while stationed at Ft Hood.  I'm pretty organized...I'm a data person..so... LOL  Also, for the record...I'm a "Gulf War Era" Vet but did not serve "in" the Southwest Asia Region.  I was in Germany and Texas for the duration of my service.  So, I don't believe those "presumptive" conditions apply to me.

Edited by flow1972

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  • Our picks

    • So, my lawyer sent an IME w/ IMO and filed a supplemental claim solely for IU on March 20.

      It was closed on March 25, and va.gov just states claim closed and nothing more.

      Hopefully, I get good news.
    • Thanks for the responses. I am filing a new claim but will continue pushing the NOD. My new question is it stated in law or statute that if during the claims process the VA finds conditions that could possibly rate service connection that was not originally filed for, the VA will “invite” the veteran to file the claim on the claims form. Reason I ask is that my private DBQs, NEXUS letter, and even the VA nurse examiner's DBQs lists bilateral upper radiculopathy as present. If it is written in statute or official guidance it might qualify as a CUE. Just looking at all angles. 
    • Everyone needs to read our stories so they can try to avoid these screws by the va...
      Thank you, everyone contributes, good or bad, all of our stories will help others, and yes, they have been stated by others for ages, over and over, but we just get depressed, and the time turns into years as they screw us..

      Welcome to the department of Veterans Affairs!  I can honestly say, "been there, done that".  

      Even after winning my tdiu in 2017, it was back to the drawing board as VA hornswaggeld my effective date.  (but of course).  

      I finally won my tdiu effective date in Feb. 2020, 18 years after I first applied!!!  

      Here is how they managed to drag mine out 18 years:

      1.  They never adjuticated my decison until 2009, where they called it "moot".  

      2.  I appealed, said it was not moot because it could result in an earlier effective date and SMC S under Bradley vs Peake.  The judge agreed with me, and ordered VARO consider me for extra schedular TDIU, under 4.16 b.  

      3.  The VARO piddles with  the remand for 3 years, and hoped I wouldnt notice.  I noticed and raised cane until they adjuticated it.  (denied of course).  

      4.  Finally, after the baord denied again, I hired a lawyer, in 2014, and appealed to CAVC.   

      5.  The lawyer won a remand, got an IMO and I won tdiu in 2017.  But at the wrong effective date, even after 15 years.  

      6.  I hired another lawyer, Chris Attig, and appealed the effective date, and he won a remand for effective date.  Trip 2 to CAVC.  

      7.  Mr. Attig won a remand, and advised me to get another IMO.  

      8.  The board awarded my earlier effective date in Feb. 2020.  

           So, I do have advice fighting VA for TDIU, they fought and fought and I hung in there and won it all.  

      ADVICE:  Dont count on VA, they could easily throw your fax in the trash.  Follow up!  
    • "Keep in mind that due to the nature of the digestive system, VA would most likely combined your conditions and pay you at the higher rate to avoid pyramiding".    That is one of my main gripes.  They are only listing the GERD with hiatal hernia and ignoring the rest of my gastric issues such as the gastritis which I also had in service.  I included it in my 2007 request for increase and again in 2019.  The info from the civilian dr that stated I had the gastritis with H pylori was not even provided to the examiner in 2007, nor did he have my VA health records. The 2019 request was based on an EGD I had AT THE VA in Jan 2019.   I filed for an increase 6 Mar and they did an ACE on 27 Mar and downgraded to noncompensable on that date.  The only reason I was thinking CUE:  38 CFR § 3.326 - Under Examinations  it states (c) Provided that it is otherwise adequate for rating purposes, a statement from a private physician may be accepted for rating a claim without further examination".  
    • Enough has been said on this topic. This forum is not the proper forum for an attorney and former client to hash out their problems. Please take this offline
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