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    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

Question

Just found out today that Huntington WV RO has my Remand.  This is good news.  I was hoping to avoid having my Remand going back to Philly.  Anyway, Huntington has already requested a C&P Exam.  I'm going Dec 13th.  Pretty quick.  Huntington did my hearing loss and tinnitus claim.  Claim filed Jul 2019 and Granted Oct 2019.  They seem to be quite efficient.  Now let's get to the exam; they want another PFT (pulmonary function test) and then a medical exam.  Here's the weird part; the medical exam may not be a Doc.  They told me his first name.  So, my Lawyer wants me to load up my paperwork and bring it with me.

Every time that I read and reread the Remand Order, it clearly sets a very high bar for the VBA.  For my case, it is a minor victory because the Judge ordered that the previous denial be reversed and the claim reopened.  The most important part about this whole process is the amount of research that I had done.  The Judge cited in his Order an article that I had sent to the Board about injuries that occur when a chest tube is inserted.  Also, the Medical articles that I had sent in about Dyspnea and not being able to take a deep breath.  It is so crucial that we get a copy of our C-File and educate ourselves about the process and what we are claiming.

The idea that I had sought out a Medical Opinion on my own, on my dime with my own Pulmonologist, may get me to the finish line with a full Grant.  Even if you have a Lawyer like me or a VSO; leave no stone unturned.  Do your own research and leg work.  I have all of the Federal Codes and all of Ratings criteria.  Never stop.  Never give up.  I will let you all know the outcome of my Remand.

Ray

 

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Congratulations is in order.  Im rarely suprised when Vets who do great research win their claims.  Its the old 5 P's...Proper Preperation Prevents Poor Performance.  Based on your post, I would say you got the 5 p's mastered, so its a matter of time until you win.  

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Our C-file is always the best to check for evidence we don't have   the VA Never lets a Veteran know to request his/her C-file  because 90% of the time it holds our evidence we need to help substantiate  our claim/claims.

(jmo)

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That is good news @Indy_CV62_OS, I remember that you were trying for disability for a collapsed lung and injuries related to a chest tube.  A treated collapsed lung is not a disability.  There are always secondary's to consider and request.

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It sounds like you are on the right track. Hoping you get some good news eventually.

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6 hours ago, broncovet said:

Congratulations is in order.  Im rarely suprised when Vets who do great research win their claims.  Its the old 5 P's...Proper Preperation Prevents Poor Performance.  Based on your post, I would say you got the 5 p's mastered, so its a matter of time until you win.  

Thanks Bronco!!  I will try saying the 5 P's real fast under the influence of something

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      This is my latest C&P what am I looking at? Can anyone break this down?
      Neck (Cervical Spine) Conditions
                              Disability Benefits Questionnaire
          
          Is this DBQ being completed in conjunction with a VA 21-2507, C&P
      Examination
          Request?
          [X] Yes   [ ] No
         
        
          Evidence Comments:
            BOARD REMAND
          
          1. Diagnosis
          ------------
          Does the Veteran now have or has he/she ever been diagnosed with a cervical
          spine (neck) condition?
          [X] Yes   [ ] No
          Cervical Spine Common Diagnoses:
            No diagnosis provided.
             Diagnosis #1:  CERVICO-OCCIPITAL NEURALGIA
             ICD code:  ==
             Date of diagnosis:  9/28/2015
             Diagnosis #2:  CERVICAL RADICULOPATHY WITH BULGING DISC
             ICD code:  ==
             Date of diagnosis:  2016
             Diagnosis #3:  MECHANICAL CERVICAL PAIN SYNDROME
             ICD code:  ==
             Date of diagnosis:  4/29/2015
             If there are additional diagnoses that pertain to cervical spine (neck)
             conditions, list using above format:
               CERVICAL VERTEBRAE(NECK MUSCLE SPASM), DATE OF DIAGNOSIS, 6/25/1996.
               CERVICAL HERNIATED AND BULGING DISC, MUSCLE SPASM, AND CORD CONTUSION
               WITH COMPRESSION MYELOMALACIA, 8/14/12
               CERVICAL SPONDYLOSIS AND DEGENERATIVE DISC DISEASE, 9/25/2014.
              
               On today's C&P examination, 11/21/17, Veteran reports several incidents
      in
             1992-1995 of blunt trauma including carrying 50 caliber machine gun
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          b. Dominant hand:
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       d. Does the Veteran report having any functional loss or functional
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          3. Range of motion (ROM) and functional limitations
          ---------------------------------------------------
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             [ ] All Normal
             [X] Abnormal or outside of normal range
             [ ] Unable to test (please explain)
             [ ] Not indicated (please explain)
            
                 Forward Flexion (0-45):           0 to 46 degrees
                 Extension (0-45):                 0 to 15 degrees
                 Right Lateral Flexion (0-45):     0 to 23 degrees
                 Left Lateral Flexion (0-45):      0 to 14 degrees
                 Right Lateral Rotation (0-80):    0 to 48 degrees
                 Left Lateral Rotation (0-80):     0 to 44 degrees
                 If abnormal, does the range of motion itself contribute to a
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                    If yes, please explain:
                    Limited bending.
                   
             Description of pain (select best response):
               Pain noted on examination and causes functional loss
              
               If noted on examination, which ROM exhibited pain (select all that
               apply)?
                 Forward flexion, Extension, Right lateral flexion, Left lateral
                 flexion, Right lateral rotation, Left lateral rotation
                
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             Is there objective evidence of localized tenderness or pain on palpation
             of the joint or associated soft tissue of the cervical spine (neck)?
             [X] Yes   [ ] No
            
                If yes, describe including location, severity and relationship to
                condition(s):
                Tenderness on palpation of the cervical spine.
               
          b. Observed repetitive use
         
             Is the Veteran able to perform repetitive use testing with at least three
             repetitions? [ ] Yes   [X] No
            
                If no, please provide reason:
                Unable to perform due to severe pain.
               
          c. Repeated use over time
         
             Is the Veteran being examined immediately after repetitive use over time?
             [ ] Yes   [X] No
            
                 If the examination is not being conducted immediately after
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                     statements describing functional loss with repetitive use over
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                 [ ] The examination is medically inconsistent with the Veteran?s
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                 [X] The examination is neither medically consistent nor inconsistent
                     with the Veteran?s statements describing functional loss with
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             Does pain, weakness, fatigability or incoordination significantly limit
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                 If unable to say w/o mere speculation, please explain:
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      to
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                 is also not feasible to give degrees of additional ROM loss due to
                 "pain on use or during flare-ups" without speculation.
                
                
          d. Flare-ups
             Not applicable
            
          e. Guarding and muscle spasm
         
             Does the Veteran have guarding, or muscle spasm of the cervical spine?
             [X] Yes   [ ] No
            
             Muscle spasm
                [X] None
                [ ] Resulting in abnormal gait or abnormal spinal contour
                [ ] Not resulting in abnormal gait or abnormal spinal contour
                [ ] Unable to evaluate, describe below:
             Guarding
                [ ] None
                [ ] Resulting in abnormal gait or abnormal spinal contour
                [X] Not resulting in abnormal gait or abnormal spinal contour
                [ ] Unable to evaluate, describe below:
          f. Additional factors contributing to disability
         
             In addition to those addressed above, are there additional contributing
             factors of disability?  Please select all that apply and describe:
               Less movement than normal due to ankylosis, adhesions, etc.
              
             Please describe:
             Decreased ROM.
            
          4. Muscle strength testing
          --------------------------
          a. Rate strength according to the following scale:
         
             0/5 No muscle movement
             1/5 Palpable or visible muscle contraction, but no joint movement
             2/5 Active movement with gravity eliminated
             3/5 Active movement against gravity
             4/5 Active movement against some resistance
             5/5 Normal strength
            
             Elbow flexion:
               Right: [X] 5/5   [ ] 4/5   [ ] 3/5   [ ] 2/5   [ ] 1/5   [ ] 0/5
               Left:  [X] 5/5   [ ] 4/5   [ ] 3/5   [ ] 2/5   [ ] 1/5   [ ] 0/5
             Elbow extension
               Right: [X] 5/5   [ ] 4/5   [ ] 3/5   [ ] 2/5   [ ] 1/5   [ ] 0/5
               Left:  [X] 5/5   [ ] 4/5   [ ] 3/5   [ ] 2/5   [ ] 1/5   [ ] 0/5
             Wrist flexion:
               Right: [ ] 5/5   [X] 4/5   [ ] 3/5   [ ] 2/5   [ ] 1/5   [ ] 0/5
               Left:  [ ] 5/5   [X] 4/5   [ ] 3/5   [ ] 2/5   [ ] 1/5   [ ] 0/5
             Wrist extension:
               Right: [ ] 5/5   [X] 4/5   [ ] 3/5   [ ] 2/5   [ ] 1/5   [ ] 0/5
               Left:  [ ] 5/5   [X] 4/5   [ ] 3/5   [ ] 2/5   [ ] 1/5   [ ] 0/5
             Finger Flexion:
               Right: [ ] 5/5   [X] 4/5   [ ] 3/5   [ ] 2/5   [ ] 1/5   [ ] 0/5
               Left:  [ ] 5/5   [X] 4/5   [ ] 3/5   [ ] 2/5   [ ] 1/5   [ ] 0/5
             Finger Abduction
               Right: [ ] 5/5   [X] 4/5   [ ] 3/5   [ ] 2/5   [ ] 1/5   [ ] 0/5
               Left:  [ ] 5/5   [X] 4/5   [ ] 3/5   [ ] 2/5   [ ] 1/5   [ ] 0/5
          b. Does the Veteran have muscle atrophy?
             [X] Yes   [ ] No
            
             If muscle atrophy is present, indicate location: Upper Arm
            
             Provide measurements in centimeters of normal side and atrophied side,
             measured at maximum muscle bulk:
            
             Normal side: 37.5 cm.
            
             Atrophied side:  36 cm.
            
          5. Reflex exam
          --------------
          Rate deep tendon reflexes (DTRs) according to the following scale:
         
             0  Absent
             1+ Hypoactive
             2+ Normal
             3+ Hyperactive without clonus
             4+ Hyperactive with clonus
            
             Biceps:
               Right: [ ] 0   [ ] 1+   [X] 2+   [ ] 3+   [ ] 4+
               Left:  [ ] 0   [ ] 1+   [X] 2+   [ ] 3+   [ ] 4+
             Triceps:
               Right: [ ] 0   [ ] 1+   [X] 2+   [ ] 3+   [ ] 4+
               Left:  [ ] 0   [ ] 1+   [X] 2+   [ ] 3+   [ ] 4+
             Brachioradialis:

               Right: [ ] 0   [ ] 1+   [X] 2+   [ ] 3+   [ ] 4+
               Left:  [ ] 0   [ ] 1+   [X] 2+   [ ] 3+   [ ] 4+
          6. Sensory exam
          ---------------
          Provide results for sensation to light touch (dermatomes) testing:
         
             Shoulder area (C5):
               Right: [ ] Normal   [X] Decreased   [ ] Absent
               Left:  [ ] Normal   [X] Decreased   [ ] Absent
             Inner/outer forearm (C6/T1):
               Right: [ ] Normal   [X] Decreased   [ ] Absent
               Left:  [ ] Normal   [X] Decreased   [ ] Absent
             Hand/fingers (C6-8):
               Right: [ ] Normal   [X] Decreased   [ ] Absent
               Left:  [ ] Normal   [X] Decreased   [ ] Absent
          7. Radiculopathy
          -----------------
          Does the Veteran have radicular pain or any other signs or symptoms due to
          radiculopathy?
          [X] Yes   [ ] No
         
             If yes, complete the following section:
            
             a. Indicate location and severity of symptoms (check all that apply):
                Constant pain (may be excruciating at times)
                 Right upper extremity: [ ] None   [ ] Mild   [X] Moderate   [ ]
      Severe
                 Left upper extremity:  [ ] None   [ ] Mild   [X] Moderate   [ ]
      Severe
                Intermittent pain (usually dull)
                 Right upper extremity: [X] None   [ ] Mild   [ ] Moderate   [ ]
      Severe
                 Left upper extremity:  [X] None   [ ] Mild   [ ] Moderate   [ ]
      Severe
                Paresthesias and/or dysesthesias
                 Right upper extremity: [ ] None   [ ] Mild   [X] Moderate   [ ]
      Severe
                 Left upper extremity:  [ ] None   [ ] Mild   [X] Moderate   [ ]
      Severe
                Numbness
                 Right upper extremity: [ ] None   [ ] Mild   [X] Moderate   [ ]
      Severe
                 Left upper extremity:  [ ] None   [ ] Mild   [X] Moderate   [ ]
      Severe
             b. Does the Veteran have any other signs or symptoms of radiculopathy?
                [ ] Yes   [X] No
               
             c. Indicate nerve roots involved: (check all that apply)
                [X] Involvement of C8/T1 nerve roots (lower radicular group)
                    If checked, indicate:  [ ] Right   [ ] Left   [X] Both
                   
             d. Indicate severity of radiculopathy and side affected:
                Right: [ ] Not affected   [ ] Mild   [X] Moderate   [ ] Severe
                Left:  [ ] Not affected   [ ] Mild   [X] Moderate   [ ] Severe
          8. Ankylosis
          ------------
          Is there ankylosis of the spine? [ ] Yes   [X] No
          9. Other neurologic abnormalities
          ---------------------------------
          Does the Veteran have any other neurologic abnormalities related to a
          cervical spine (neck) condition (such as bowel or bladder problems due to
          cervical myelopathy)?
          [ ] Yes   [X] No
         
          10. Intervertebral disc syndrome (IVDS) and episodes requiring bed rest
          -----------------------------------------------------------------------
          a. Does the Veteran have IVDS of the cervical spine?
             [X] Yes   [ ] No
            
          b. If yes to question 10a above, has the Veteran had any episodes of acute
             signs and symptoms due to IVDS that required bed rest prescribed by a
             physician and treatment by a physician in the past 12 months?
             [ ] Yes   [X] No
            
          11. Assistive devices
          ---------------------
          a. Does the Veteran use any assistive device(s) as a normal mode of
             locomotion, although occasional locomotion by other methods may be
             possible?
             [ ] Yes   [X] No
            
          b. If the Veteran uses any assistive devices, specify the condition and
             identify the assistive device used for each condition:
             No response provided.
            
          12. Remaining effective function of the extremities
          ----------------------------------------------------
          Due to a cervical spine (neck) condition, is there functional impairment of
          an extremity such that no effective function remains other than that which
          would be equally well served by an amputation with prosthesis? (Functions of
          the upper extremity include grasping, manipulation, etc.; functions of the
          lower extremity include balance and propulsion, etc.)
          [ ] Yes, functioning is so diminished that amputation with prosthesis would
              equally serve the Veteran.
          [X] No
         
          13. Other pertinent physical findings, complications, conditions, signs,
              symptoms and scars
          -----------------------------------------------------------------------
          a. Does the Veteran have any other pertinent physical findings,
             complications, conditions, signs or symptoms related to any conditions
             listed in the Diagnosis Section above?
             [ ] Yes   [X] No
            
          b. Does the Veteran have any scars (surgical or otherwise) related to any
             conditions or to the treatment of any conditions listed in the Diagnosis
             Section above?
             [ ] Yes   [X] No
            
          c. Comments, if any:
             No response provided.
            
          14. Diagnostic testing
          ----------------------
          a. Have imaging studies of the cervical spine been performed and are the
             results available?
             [X] Yes   [ ] No
            
                 If yes, is arthritis (degenerative joint disease) documented?
                 [X] Yes   [ ] No
                
          b. Does the Veteran have a vertebral fracture with loss of 50 percent or
      more
             of height?
             [ ] Yes   [X] No
            
          c. Are there any other significant diagnostic test findings and/or results?
             [X] Yes   [ ] No
            
                 If yes, provide type of test or procedure, date and results (brief
                 summary):
                    9/25/2014,MRI Cervical spine:Visibility of the central canal of
      the
                    cord at the C5 level with diameter of 2mm, not considered to
                    reflect significant syringohydromyelia and not associated with
      mass
                    or abnormal enhancement.  Spondylosis and degenerative disc
      disease
                    of the cervical spine.  Right-sided predominant disc osteophyte
                    complex at C6-7 causes mild right central canal and moderate right
                    neural foraminal stenosis at this level.  No other central canal
                    stenosis with milder areas of neural foraminal encroachment
                    detailed above.  C2-3:Focal shallow central to right paracentral
                    disc protrusion.  No central canal or neural foraminal stenosis.
                    C3-4:Mild generalized disc bulge.  Mild right than left neural
                    foraminal stenosis with central canal patent.  C6-7:Mild
                    generalized disc bulge with more focal disc osteophyte complex in
                    the right paracentral, right subarticular, and right lateral
                    stations.  C7-T1:Negative for disc herniation.
                    8/14/2012, MRI Cervical spine:Herniated disk C3/4, C5/6, and C6/7
                    levels.  Bulging disk C2/3 and C4/5 levels.  Diffuse spondylitic
                    changes.  Straightened alignment suggesting muscle spasm.  Focal
                    area of cord contusion or compression myelomalacia at C5 level.
                   
                   
          15. Functional impact
          ----------------------
          Does the Veteran's cervical spine (neck) condition impact on his or her
          ability to work?
          [X] Yes   [ ] No
         
              If yes, describe the impact of each of the Veteran's cervical spine
              (neck) conditions, providing one or more examples:
                Veteran is capable of limited lifting, carrying, and bending.
               
               
          16. Remarks, if any:
          --------------------
              NOTE:Veteran performed neck flexion repeition which reduced ROM to
      32deg.
               Unable to perform any further repetition for other ROM maneuvers.
             
      *************************************************************************
              Additional exam request information:
       
              For any joint condition, examiners should test the contralateral joint,
              unless medically contraindicated, and the examiner should address pain on
              both passive and active motion, and on both weightbearing and non-
              weightbearing.
              In addition to the questions on the DBQ, please respond to
              the following questions:
              1.      Is there evidence of pain on passive range of motion testing?
              YES
              2.      Is there evidence of pain when the joint is used in non-weight
              bearing? YES
             
             

      ****************************************************************************

                                       Medical Opinion
                              Disability Benefits Questionnaire
          Name of patient/Veteran: 
          ACE and Evidence Review
          -----------------------
          Indicate method used to obtain medical information to complete this
      document:
         
          [X] In-person examination
         
          Evidence Review
          ---------------
          Evidence reviewed (check all that apply):
         
          [X] VA e-folder (VBMS or Virtual VA)
          [X] CPRS
          Evidence Comments:
            BOARD REMAND
           
          MEDICAL OPINION SUMMARY
          -----------------------
          RESTATEMENT OF REQUESTED OPINION:
          a. Opinion from general remarks: (a)  Please state all diagnoses as to the
          Veteran's cervical spine, and
          address all diagnoses already of record: herniated disk and bulging disk
          of the cervical spine and spondylitic changes, muscle spasm and
          contusion/compression, spondylosis and degenerative disc disease of the
          cervical spine, mechanical cervical pain syndrome and radiculopathy. 
          (b)  Please provide an opinion as to whether it is at least as likely as
          not (a 50 percent or greater probability) that any diagnosed cervical
          spine disability was caused by or etiologically related to active duty. 
          Please specifically address the back injuries and complaints of back pain
          noted in the STRs.
          (c)  Please specifically address the Veteran's lay statements that he has
          suffered cervical spine pain since service, and that in service he
          suffered injury to his neck while carrying heavy equipment and continuous
          wear of duty gear.
          (d)  Please address the conflicting evidence of record and offer a
          clarifying opinion, notably the February 2013 VA examination positing a
          negative nexus, and the April 2016 private opinion positing a positive
          nexus.

          b. Indicate type of exam for which opinion has been requested: NECK
          TYPE OF MEDICAL OPINION PROVIDED: [ MEDICAL OPINION FOR DIRECT SERVICE
          CONNECTION ]
          a. The condition claimed was at least as likely as not (50% or greater
          probability) incurred in or caused by the claimed in-service injury, event
      or
          illness.  
          c. Rationale: Upon review of all available medical evidence, including
      eVBMS,
          virtual VA, and Board Remand, the following pertinent information is
      obtained
          and reported in 'Evidence Comments': Prior VA Examination, 6/25/96, reports
          Mr. served in the Marine Corps.  he was inducted in 1990 and
          received separation with an honorable discharge in 1996.    Medical History-In 1992, he
          had onset of pain in the neck area diagnosed at Quantico.  Xrays were
          negative.  Impression was muscle spasm and stress. Enlistment RME/RMH for
          national guard, 4/13/98, reported no neck problems and normal exam of the
          spine.  Miami VAMC, Outpatient clinic, 5/6/2005:Assessment is chronic neck
          and low back pain-Will get plain films and MRI, does not want any meds.
          2/28/2013, VA examination opines "Unable to find SMR evidence of significant
          neck injury or complaint in service.  No evidence to support chronicity of
          problem for over 10 years post-discharge."  THIS OPINION IS GIVEN LOW WEIGHT
          BECAUSE IT IS NEITHER SUPPORTED NOR CONSISTENT WITH THE RECORDS IN FILE THAT
          SHOW COMPLAINTS OF NECK PAIN INDICATING A CHRONIC CONDITION.  4/29/15, DBQ
          neck was completed providing a diagnosis of mechanical cervical pain
      syndrome
          and radiculopathy. As received 4/8/16, VA physician, ,
          states that the Veteran suffers from cervico-occipital neuralgia and
      cervical
          radiculopathy with bulging disc "are as likely as not a direct result of
          blunt trauma received during the patient's military career.  His conditions
          are a severe occupational impairment to the veteran and has been exacerbated
          by many years of continuous wear of duty gear related to his profession." 
      On
          today's C&P examination, 11/21/17, Veteran is a credible historian and
          reports several incidents in 1992-1995 of blunt trauma, involving ground
          defensive tactic also known as "Bull in the Ring" in which the marine is in
          full gear and is potentially tackled by several marines.  Following this ,

          Veteran incurred concussion-1992 or 1993).  Veteran also reported chronic
          neck pain during service was due to carrying 50 caliber machine gun barrels
          and ammunition.  He also went to Bethesda for back school(approx. week). 
          In summary, the Veteran has been under chronic medical care for neck pain
          first reported during service(6/25/96) and the condition has progressed from
          cervical muscle spasm to mechanical cervical pain syndrome and
      radiculopathy,
          cervical herniated and bulging disc with muscle spasm, cord
          contusion/compression myelomalacia, cervical spondylosis and degenerative
          disc disease, cervico-occipital neuralgia, and cervical radiculopathy with
          bulging disc. A nexus has been established.  Therefore, it is at least as
          likely as not that the claimed condition has direct service connection. 
    • By 4mydad
      Hi Everyone,
      My dad was awarded 100% in April 2016 and I submitted a NOD in August 2016 to appeal the effective date.  According to the VA website, the RAMP program will "invite" those who are currently in the appeals process.    Has anyone on here been asked to participate?  
      Thanks,
      Beth
    • By JFizzle
      Question about the rating and decision process on remands, and my apologies for any inconvenience trying to understand the remand process.
      When the remand is sent from the BVA to the RO with specific instructions, can the RO make a favorable decision and give a rating on a previously denied claim (remand) if they see fit upon review of the case and file?
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