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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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awgv001

Historical TBI eval (not a C&P!)

Question

I thought this might interest you, for those of you familiar with my history of posts and claims questions.

Short note - this was the TBI eval I had done a few years ago - before I was denied in part for not having a "conclusive diagnosis" for TBI. --- Might this be why I never had a C&P ordered for me? Certain portions have been redacted for privacy, and to remove some "No" answers to shorten the read or when information doesn't contribute to the claim.

Thoughts???


4 How many serious OEF/OIF deployment related injuries have occurred?
One
6 Did you lose consciousness immediately after any of these experiences?
Yes, one episode
6-A If yes, estimate the duration of longest period of loss of consciousness.
Less than 6 hours
7 Did you have a period of disorientation or confusion immediately following the incident?
Yes, one episode
7-A If yes, estimate the duration of longest period of disorientation or
confusion.
Up to 1 month
8 Did you experience a period of memory loss immediately before or after the
incident?
Yes, one episode
8-A If yes, estimate the duration of longest period of memory loss (Post
Traumatic Amnesia (PTA)).
More than 3 months

10 Were you wearing a helmet at the time of most serious injury?
No
11 Were you evacuated from theatre?
No
12 Prior to this evaluation, had you received any professional treatment
(including medications) for your deployment related TBI symptoms?
No (Work in progress to correct this)
13 Since the time of your deployment related injury/injuries, has anyone told
you that you were acting differently?
Yes


Symptoms
16. Please rate the following symptoms with regard to how they have
affected
you over the last 30 days. Use the following scale (Neurobehavioral Symptom
Inventory):
None 0 - Rarely if ever present not a problem at all.
Mild 1 - Occasionally present but it does not disrupt activities, I can
usually
continue what I am doing; does not really concern me.
Moderate 2 - Often present, occasionally disrupts my activities; I can
usually
continue what I am doing with some effort; I am somewhat concerned.

Severe 3 - Frequently present and disrupts activities; I can only do
things
that are fairly simple or take little effort; I feel like I need help.
Very Severe 4 - Almost always present and I have been unable to perform
at
work, school, or home due to this problem; I probably cannot function without
help.
16-A Feeling dizzy: None
16-B Loss of balance: None
16-C Poor coordination, clumsy: None
16-D Headaches: Very Severe
16-E Nausea: Mild
16-F Vision problems, blurring, trouble seeing: Very Severe
16-G Sensitivity to light: Severe
16-H Hearing difficulty: Severe
16-I Sensitivity to noise: Mild
16-J Numbness or tingling in parts of my body: Severe
16-K Change in ability to taste and/or smell: None
16-L Loss of appetite or increase appetite: None
16-M Poor concentration, can't pay attention: Very Severe
16-N Forgetfulness, can't remember things: Very Severe
16-O Difficulty making decisions: Moderate
16-P Slowed thinking, difficulty getting organized, can't finish things:
Severe
16-Q Fatigue, loss of energy, getting tired easily: Moderate
16-R Difficulty falling or staying asleep: Very Severe
16-S Feeling anxious or tense: Very Severe
16-T Feeling depressed or sad: Severe
16-U Irritability, easily annoyed: Very Severe
16-V Poor frustration tolerance, feeling easily overwhelmed by things:

Very
Severe
17 Overall, in the last 30 days how much did these difficulties (symptoms)
interfere with your life?
Extremely
17-A In what areas of your life are you having difficulties because of these
symptoms?
work relationships, difficulty remembering tasks and many daily events
18 In the last 30 days, have you had any problems with pain?
Yes
18-A Location of pain: (Check all that apply)
Head/headaches
18-B In the last 30 days, how much did pain interfere with your life?
Extremely
18-C In what areas of your life are you having difficulties because of pain?
headaches that are incapacitating twice per week
19 Since the time of your deployment related injury/injuries, are your overall
symptoms:
Worse
20 Additional history of present illness, social history, functional history,
patient goals, and other relevant information.
---REDACTED---Notes that the back pain and headaches cause him difficulty at work. Has to stop and rest that
causes him trouble at work.
21 Current medications:
---REDACTED--- Total of 5
22 Physical Examination:
---REDACTED--- Straight leg raise positive
on the right with radiation ot the knee, and positive for pain in the left
without radiation. Negative SI maneuvers on the left but positive on the right.
Notes pins and needles in the feet bilaterally.
23 Psychiatric Symptoms:
Yes

23-A If yes or suspected/probable, symptoms of which disorders?
Depression
PTSD
Anxiety disorder (other than PTSD)
24 SCI: (Is this "Spinal Cord Injury"?)
No
25 Amputation:
None
26 Other significant medical conditions/problems:
Yes
27 Based on the history of the injury and the course of clinical symptoms, did
the Veteran sustain a TBI during OEF/OIF deployment?
Yes
28 In your clinical judgment the current clinical symptom presentation is most
consistent with:
A combination of OEF/OIF deployment related TBI and Behavioral Health
condition(s)

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@Berta @broncovet @Vync @El Train @CavScout19DRecon @blahsaysme2u @Richard1954 @Buck52

I'll try to keep these in order, have a few things I wanted to share to shed more light on my journey. The first two pictures are of the RAMP decision I got in 2019, and the 3rd image is the SOC (dated 2018?) Note - the claim is in docket at the BVA now. Also attached are the Nexus statements. Another note - (The one from Emory is the Nexus that was IN VA POSSESSION at the time of this RAMP decision, but not the 2 new ones.

As always, thank you guys for your time, patience, and consideration. Let me know if there's something more I can substantiate for my claim.

Biggest Note - I had lengthy complaints of the secondaries to TBI while in service, and had no issues getting SC'd for those (except the sciatic/back issues) and an initial low-ball rating on migraines.

Let me know your thoughts!

 

Ramp Decision Jan 2019 ~~~

 

RampDecision2019.jpg

In the fourth paragraph below they state I didn't complain of TBI - That's true, I didn't, but I didn't recognize at the time that the symptoms I faced were linked to it. 😑

RampDecision2019(2).jpg

 

The page below this line is the SOC I received, dated Apr 2018.

 

SOC2018.jpg

 

NEXUS/IMO'S LISTED BELOW

Now, I'm not sure why in this particular nexus that the Dr. used the Emory letterhead and not the VA one, as there was a reference in the "reasons" citing about my "private IMO" (This Dr. works at BOTH VA and Emory on alternate days.)

Nexus1.jpg

 

These two were not in VA possession at the time of the RAMP decision.

 

Nexus2.jpg

Nexus3.jpg

Edited by awgv001

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Alright folks! I secured a new appt with Neuro THIS WEEK! I got a copy of a DBQ in hand, and I'm prepared to ask a lot of questions, hopefully I don't overload this guy with too much info. I'm surprised that they don't offer a TBI DQB specifically on the DBQ page of the VA - so I'm planning on getting "Review Evaluation of Residuals of TBI (R-TBI) DBQ" which has a lengthy host of questions and further investigation found on NCBI - link provided below as well. Aside from whatever the "normal" workups are for this...What else should/could I do/ask during these appt's?

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK542603/

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I read through this a lot before applying.  Hopefully it helps, if you haven't already found this.

http://www.militarydisabilitymadeeasy.com/tbi.html

Also, my three C&P examinations for TBI seemed to cover this outline pretty closely.

https://benefits.va.gov/PREDISCHARGE/DOCS/disexm58.pdf

There are DBQ's for it.  Sounds like you have one.  

Here is one I had done from an outside MD.  This is what got the ball rolling.  See files.tbi redacted E0021.pdf

tbi redacted E0022.pdf

  • Thanks 1

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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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