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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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  • 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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Gulf War Burn Pit Rheumatoid Arthritis


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I tired to research this here but I did not find this question so here goes.  I retired in 2011, i was diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis in 2019.  GW and burn pits 2006 and 2008.  On the Burn Pit registry.    I'll file a disability claim but will they just boot it since i'm filing almost 10 years after retirement? .  I've read a lot of material, some on VA.gov websites, and I'm not clear if RA/autoimmune diseases have an established presumptive cause with GW service/burn put exposure.  One article would make it sound like it was in the works, another like it was a done deal.  I can think back and recall joint pain over and above as far back as 2007 (my 50th birthday) but I chalked up to aging, wear and tear and an active lifestyle.  it started as occasional pain and stiffness in my hands, then progressed to my feet,  continued to progress to shoulders, knees and hips and the episodes of pain became more severe, lasted longer and happened more often.  By 2019 I complained to my civilian doctor saying this is not normal, referred t a Rheumatologist and diagnosed late 2019.  Unfortunately blew a lumbar disk, fusion in April 2020, so i just got back to the rheumatologist,  I've also read about the correlation of RA with PTSD and I've got a 70% rating for PTSD.

Do i file for RA as a new claim with the nexus as burn pit exposure or as RA secondary to PTS.  Multiple joints are affected but hands and feet without a doubt the worst.  I can't write a sentence longhand that someone could read and I can't pull the tabbed metal lid off a can of soup or walk down the stairs without two handrails because the achilles area of my heels are so tight.  IT loosens up with activity , but sit in a chair for 20 minutes and get up and its like i never loosened up. 

by the way, i mentioned to the Doc that I might be asking for a letter and shared that an important statement from a doctor might be something like it as more likely than not likely that my RA was caused buy my service/burn pit exposure and she was like, sure, no problem.  

 

Sorry for running on, 

 

grilla

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Broken soldier shared a link about "presumptive".  But, that is just one of at least 4 ways to get sc.  The other's are: 1.  Direct.  You need a diagnosis, nexus, and in service event.   2. 

Absolutely. It literally breaks my heart when I get a claim across my screen and the claimant tried to claim specifically the most recent diagnosis only, or tried to "Web MD" it- shutting the door on

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https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/38/3.317

 

Dont get super specific and try to be a doctor, trying to link X with Y. LIke, if you have sleep problems and you claim OSA but your sleep issues are tied to MH? You'll probably get denied because OSA is a specific diagnosis. KISS.

You were in SW asia, you were there during a presumed period, and its before DEC31, 2021 (unless the time line gets extended). Just claiming that you have rheumatoid and you were in SW Asia is enough. Its a presumed SC, already. 

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Broken soldier shared a link about "presumptive".  But, that is just one of at least 4 ways to get sc.  The other's are:

1.  Direct.  You need a diagnosis, nexus, and in service event.  

2.  Presumptive.  Link above.

3.  Secondary to another SC condition.  This means you need a diagnosis and a doc opinion that your arthritis is at least as likely as not related to (a SC condition).  

4.  1151 claim 

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True, but 1151 is an allegation of maltreatment from VA care

Direct- ok, but irrelevant. His RA is already covered under 3.317

Secondary- secondary to what? If he doesn't have another condition that can cause rheumatoid arthritis it isn't secondary. 

Presumed is the hardest but easiest way to get it claimed. Hardest because presumed involves things like being in combat in places, having certain awards, being stationed only in certain places like Camp Lejeune, or, in his case, SW Asia during the GW. So, the easiest path for him is presumed since that means it doesn't really matter all that much what his STRs might or might not say- its irrelevant. Congress already said "hey, if you were there, guess what Pvt Snuffy? You probably done messed up". 

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thanks soldier

 

besides the 10 year gap between retirement and the claim I'm about to make, this is the part that threw me - right off a VA.gov site

 

Eligibility requirements related to time of diagnosis

If your illness or condition was diagnosed while you were on active duty or before December 31, 2021 

You can get benefits for your illness or condition if both of these descriptions are true for you and you have one of the presumptive diseases listed below.

Both of these must be true. Your illness or condition:

  • Caused you to be ill for at least 6 months, and
  • Resulted in a disability rating of 10% or more  

 

Its that last bullet that seems backward to me.  I dont already HAVE a 10% or more disability rating for RA, that's what I'm trying to claim?  So how can I meet the requirements for both those two conditions to be true.  I'm probably overthinking it.

As for the other point, I  will KIS.  In the 8 year break between active duty and ANG  i became an RN.  I stayed in civil engineering in the guard but i'm a nurse.  my wife's a nurse.  Her sister is a nurse and my sister is a physical therapist.  My default is to talk "Medical" .  I have to leave that all at the door,

 

You've given me what I need to know and its much appreciated.  My overall disability rating is 90% (91) now, i part because of HADIT.COM, and i plan on asking for re-eval for my back (arthritis 10%) since i had the lumbar fusion in April along with this RA claim.  Who knows, this may be my last claim.  thanks again

 

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