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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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Effective Dates for SC Secondary Conditions


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This post is in reference to an effective date for Migraine Headaches secondary to a Service-Connected condition. 1. I filed migraine headache claim 2015 or 2016, claim denied. 2. Filed a NOD went to BVA, BVA remanded back to VBA to (Take necessary action to implement the grant of service connection for headaches). 3. VBA assigns 0% rating. 4. I then filed for an increase obtained with an IMO report and DBQ (Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Dr. Valette!). 5. VA increased Migraine Headaches to 50%, effective date 02/27/2020.

My question is, are secondary conditions and their effective dates and appealability, any different than a Service-Connected condition? I'm confused because the BVA made their decision in 2018, the VBA origionally assigned a 0% rating effective 03/11/2014. I do not understand the 02/27/2020 effective date, it seems to be ambiguous and I can't find anything stating why the VBA choose that date... Thanks in advance friends...

VA Decision Migraines.pdf

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Your initial clam was rated, NOD'd, appealed, etc, and closed with the 0% rating date. The increase request is a wholly separate thing with its own effective date- should be the date of claim, unless you claimed within it that it should be effective earlier, or had evidence to show that it increased in severity earlier than the date of claim. That depends on what the doctor wrote, though- they can only opinion on what they observe and whatever clinical evidence they have in front of them. As for appealability, no, they aren't any different and you can appeal those just like a regular claim. 

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4 minutes ago, brokensoldier244th said:

Your initial clam was rated, NOD'd, appealed, etc, and closed with the 0% rating date. The increase request is a wholly separate thing with its own effective date- should be the date of claim, unless you claimed within it that it should be effective earlier, or had evidence to show that it increased in severity earlier than the date of claim. That depends on what the doctor wrote, though- they can only opinion on what they observe and whatever clinical evidence they have in front of them. As for appealability, no, they aren't any different and you can appeal those just like a regular claim. 

Thanks brokensoldier244th,

I NOD'd/appealed the initial 0% rating. Part of my confusion is, if they are going off the date of the claim for increase, that would 06/19/2020. But they choose effective date of 02/2020. And because I NOD'd the 0% rating, I'd think that would preserve my original 2016 migraine headache claim filing date?

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Jameszam, please review your evidence. 

This is where VA got your Effective date: "VA Form 21-0966, Intent To File A Claim For Compensation and/or Pension, or Survivors Pension and/or DIC, received February 27, 2020".  It appears the you stated an intent to file a claim in 2/2020 and completed it in 6/2020.

The evaluation of migraine headaches is increased to 50 percent disabling effective February 27, 2020. An increase evaluation has been established within 1 year of receipt of the intent to file a claim, VA will consider the complete claim filed as of the date the intent to file a claim was received, if more than a year after discharge from active duty, in accordance with (38 CFR 3.155, 38 CFR 3.400, 38 CFR 4.124a).

Edited by pacmanx1
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1 hour ago, Jamezam said:

This post is in reference to an effective date for Migraine Headaches secondary to a Service-Connected condition. 1. I filed migraine headache claim 2015 or 2016, claim denied. 2. Filed a NOD went to BVA, BVA remanded back to VBA to (Take necessary action to implement the grant of service connection for headaches). 3. VBA assigns 0% rating. 4. I then filed for an increase obtained with an IMO report and DBQ (Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Dr. Valette!). 5. VA increased Migraine Headaches to 50%, effective date 02/27/2020.

My question is, are secondary conditions and their effective dates and appealability, any different than a Service-Connected condition? I'm confused because the BVA made their decision in 2018, the VBA origionally assigned a 0% rating effective 03/11/2014. I do not understand the 02/27/2020 effective date, it seems to be ambiguous and I can't find anything stating why the VBA choose that date... Thanks in advance friends...

VA Decision Migraines.pdf 272.28 kB · 4 downloads

It could be that the earliest date that you qualified for an increase to 50% was on 2/27/2020 instead of the date that you actually submitted the claim for an increase.  If you filed for your increase within a year of being notified of you 0% rating, you can file an appeal to have them correct the effective date back to 2015 or 2016.

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Pacmanx1: That's just it, there is absolutely no VA Form 21-0966 on my Mac or in any of my documents on eBenefits and there is no prior claim for an increase in migraine headache rating. BVA remanded to VBA in 12/2018, VBA finally made a decision in 12/2019. I appealed said decision 01/2020. Point being I would not file a 21-0966 when I am appealing a previous decision.

deedub75: No where can I find an initial rating decision from the VA, after the BVA remanded my migraine headache claim back to VBA in 12/2018. I have a VA decision letter from 12/2019 stating "Evaluation of migraine headaches (also claimed as visual color changes, ocular migraines), which is currently 0 percent disabling, is continued." However, they never sent me an initial rating decision prior to 12/2019, otherwise, I would have appealed it earlier.

Timeline: BVA remand to VBA 12/2018. VBA decision letter 12/2019 (0% rating migraine headaches). ⬅️ NOD 01/2020. New and material evidence submitted 06/19/2020, new 50% migraine headache rating 06/29/2020. Decision letter received 07/06/2020.

The VA had me as 0% service-connected for migraine headaches 3.2014, prior to my most recent increase. So, my belief is, since I appealed the 0% migraine headache rating in 1.2020, I must be able to appeal for an earlier effective date. Can't hurt to try, and at least I finally have a legitimate rating, while I'm waiting for the effective date saga to play out...

Thanks everyone...

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