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Secondary to a secondary?

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Hello all,

Seems as this COVID stuff has made my VSO disappear so I'm looking for some help. I was recently diagnosed with Planovalgus Foot (left foot only) with a deformity by the VA Ortho doc. I had flat feet documented on my boot physical but no problems until a few years ago. The deformity is relatively new. My left knee is service connected and my left ankle is service connected, secondary to the left knee. My question is how do I file for the Planovalgus Foot with deformity? Secondary to the left knee or to the left ankle (or both)? I don't know if you can have a secondary to a secondary!

Thanks in advance and stay safe!

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It would be secondary to the original condition.  I have a 10% with a 30% secondary with an additional 30% secondary to that 30% secondary.  When you look at your disabilities on ebenefits, you will see the service connected condition with drop down and over arrows pointing to service connected (secondary) issue related to your service connected disability.

They don't call them secondary on your disability flow chart on ebenefits.  Just what service connected condition they originated from (fall under).

When you claim the condition, just say it was caused by your current service connected disability, even if it is a secondary, just ignore the word secondary.  That's what I did and do.

I have 5 or 6 secondaries.  All were claimed by what caused the condition without regard to original or secondary.  In other words, I claimed my Achilles tendinitiss was cause by my service connected arthritic ankle.  Even though my ankle was secondary to my plantar faciitis, etc.  And I won.




Edited by Hamslice
cause I can
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Perfect explanation by Hamslice. You don't want to break it down too much for the VA, because you are narrowing the choices the VA can make. Secondary to your left knee; if you didn't have the knee problem, you wouldn't have the other stuff service connected.

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Yes, good answer by hamslice.  When you apply for benefits, you dont have to specify "primary", "secondary", "presumptive" etc.  The assumption here is that VA will do their job, and rate you for conditions on which the evidence supports a rating.  

For example, if your doctor had stated that your "planovalgus foot" is a result of your SC knee issues, then the Va should understand and make it secondary.  You are not advised to sort that out for them, some people object to us going in and doing their job for them.  "One" of their tasks is to decide if this is a presumptive, secondary, primary, 1151, or not sc at all.  Its okay for you to understand these differences, but I dont recommend trying to "call" the umpire's call.  SOMETIMES, the umpire could call it "even more" favorable than you did.  There are some "highly Veteran favorable" decision makers in VA, and you dont know if you will get one of those.  There are also strict decision makers who wouldnt award benefits to his own brother if he had 3 purple hearts.  

Sometimes, its the Veteran who hornswaggles his own claim.  Its actually fairly easy to do that.  My son in law "refuses" to apply for PTSD "even tho" he has symptoms, as well as a stressor.  (He took shrapnel in the head and feet from a bomb).  He rufuses PTSD because he (incorrectly) assumes the government will not allow him to buy a weapon.  The doctor decides if you are "at risk to harming others"...not all PTSD Vets are at risk to harming others.  

He makes an incorrect assumption..that a PTSD label means your guns will be taken away.  No.  A violent attitude, or behaviour gets your guns taken away, not a PTSD label.  It reminds me of a GSW.   Ok.  Some GSW's are fatal, so if you get a gsw you will die, right?  Not necessarily.  My father was shot in his 20's and died a very old man of natural causes.    In a similar way, a PTSD diagnosis does not necessarily mean your guns will be taken away in a similar way that just because you have a gsw means that you will die from being shot.  

Back to your case.  Your decision maker will be evaluating your claim.  Maybe YOU think its secondary to a secondary, and he thinks its presumptive.  He is the umpire, and he just gave you your next "base hit".    I suggest you proceed to the next base, and dont concern yourself with his call.   Thank the umpire for his gift, and dont look that gift horse in the mouth.  

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All veterans need to educate them self on seconday condition claims.

These claims all add up and can get you to the 100% pretty fast  if you have enough to claim.

Remember there is no limits on the #  of claims we can file this included all secondary claims.

USUALLY A VSO will not inform us for this.

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Thanks for all the replies! All good advice and greatly appreciated. I have two "new" claims going in and some new evidence on previously denied supplemental claims in the form of Nexus letters. Back to "hurry up and wait" for awhile.

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