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Secondary SC Question

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randylan2

Question

Anyone know if I might be able to claim secondary service connection for

pain disorder  from my primary recurrent low back sprain with lumbar arthritis and lumbar spondylitis.

denied sc for secondary depression caused by my sc back sprain with chronic pain in 2004. The VA C@P exam mental health, diagnosed veteran to having pain disorder with phycological symptoms of anxiety and depression with low back chronic pain. Denied secondary depression in 2004

Question is with the VA diagnoses from 2004 would I likely be able to claim secondary  chronic low back pain disorder that was caused by veterans in service low back sprain that is currently rated since 2002?  New VA rules pain as disability veteran is still being treated and medicated for chronic low back pain

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You probably should have appealed the decision in 2004, as you are correct DeLuca says that pain must be considered.  

You can apply for an increase, and, if awarded, dispute the effective date if its incorrect.  

Cue is possible, but that cant be determined with the information you posted so far.  

Did you send in "new and relevant evidence" within a year of 2004?  If so, your claim should have been reopened, and it sounds like it wasnt.  

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You probably should have appealed the decision in 2004, as you are correct DeLuca says that pain must be considered.  

You can apply for an increase, and, if awarded, dispute the effective date if its incorrect.  

Cue is possible, but that cant be determined with the information you posted so far.  

Did you send in "new and relevant evidence" within a year of 2004?  If so, your claim should have been reopened, and it sounds like it wasnt.  

Generally pain is included with the rating.  I have not seen a rating on a disablity 

"pain disorder", but I havent seen everything either.  

Yes, pain could cause a mental health disorder; its got to be depressing to be in pain all the time.  Of course, a doc would have to state your mental health disorder is at least as likely as not related to (pain) from a sc conditon, for secondary connection to a mental health disorder.  

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1. Make sure the paperwork shows the service connected issue is still problematic.

2. Get a doctor to state there is a secondary issue (naming issue associated with pain would help tremendously) related to service connected issue.

3. Nexus (see aforementioned #2)

4. Treatment notes, DBQ (shows level of incapacitation), etc.

 

GOOD LUCK.

NEVER GIVE UP...............

 

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In addition to the great advice above, there are a couple of routes where pain can be a factor:

38 CFR 4.40 and 4.45 reference DeLuca
For musculoskeletal disabilities involving joints, the VA is supposed to note where painful motion begins and also maximum ROM. Painful motion is considered limited motion and they should take the ROM where painful motion was observed, not the maximum ROM.
  I recently filed a CUE claim for this exact issue. In 2000, the VA used the max ROM to determine my rating percentage, but totally ignored the ROM measurement where the doc noted pain beginning. The max ROM was 2 degrees outside of the 10% criteria, so the VA used 4.59 to grant a minimum of 10%. In reality, pain began in the 20% range and they should have granted that. That's why it is always important to double-check your C&P exam against the rating criteria and the rating decision to see if they screwed up. Just keep in mind CUE is not simple, must be very specific, must be for a claim that has been finalized (cannot be appealed), and be based on the laws/regs at the time the decision was made.

Pain which causes economic hardship
This was afforded from a recent court ruling where a veteran had a lot of difficulty working because of SC disabilities. The VA tried to say pain was not a disability, but the court overturned their decision. I'm not fully versed in what has happened since, but I believe it has to severely impact your earnings ability to get granted.

Pain causing MH issues, like depression/anxiety
If you have treatment records attributing depression/anxiety to your SC back issue, they can help lay the foundation for this claim, especially if you went to counseling. If the VA denied MH as secondary to your SC pain, check the rating decision's reasons and bases section to see exactly why. If you want to post the details here for others to offer an opinion, just be sure to redact/omit your personal info.
  Check the C&P MH exam and rating decision's reasons and bases section thoroughly to see why the VA denied MH as secondary. You can post that for others to review, but just redact/omit any personal info.

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