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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims


    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


Good evening,

My VSO believes I should apply for IU. I had to quit my job a year ago due to the pain and the inability to remain seated, to remain standing of any consistent length of time. Anyway, I was granted in 2015 for "Undiagnosed Illness" in the upper and lower back, legs, and knees at 10% each (along with other ratings) for a combined rating of 80%; effective to 2008. My VSO is concerned however, that my diagnoses of arthritis in the spine, along with Rheumatoid Arthritis could upset these grants, due to the fact that there is now a diagnoses. I was diagnosed in 2017(?) with these conditions. She is concerned the VA will drop my ratings to 0% (the ten  year rule would prevent severing the SC, but not from the VA dropping the ratings to 0%--lovely). Has anyone ran into this? Since these issues began in service, would not the VA "transfer" (I know, not the right wording here) the undiagnosed illness rating to maybe the RA and osteoarthritis? I fought for my ratings for 8 years, and now that I'm no longer able to work, I'm suddenly in jeopardy of losing my entire ratings? This makes no sense. 

I'm thinking maybe I drop the IU claim altogether.


Sgt. Wilky

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It doesn’t really matter what the diagnosis is, the rating is based on symptoms and their effect. Lots of veterans’ symptoms end up with diagnosis after being claimed as “x,y, z condition” and then ar

That means that they haven't really markedly changed in the last 5 yrs, so, yeah, actually, unless they are getting worse. My P&T status didnt happen until a few years after my back and radiculopa

All of my arthritic disabilities are static.  From what I see and read, static means there is no foreseeable improvement going to happen.  However, you still can ask for more if the issue becomes wors

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Posted (edited)

It doesn’t really matter what the diagnosis is, the rating is based on symptoms and their effect. Lots of veterans’ symptoms end up with diagnosis after being claimed as “x,y, z condition” and then are dismissed at some point later, it their diagnosis changes. That doesn’t change your rating, the symptoms are what they are whether you have daytime drowsiness from insomnia due to ptsd or just ac random MH rating doesn’t change the symptomatic effect on you. They look at the symptoms, the system affected, and the rating code that most closely approximates those, and take most advantageous result. 

it sounds more like your vso wants you to be happy with what you have, rather than working towards getting you what you think you need. The “ dont rock The boat” argument I see a lot. If I’d gone with that I wouldn’t  be rated where I am. I didn’t have a vso except for my first claim- my back, at 40. The only rating that hasn’t changed over 18 years, mostly because I’m really not as bad as a higher rating, thankfully. What I have is bad enough! LOL. 

Edited by brokensoldier244th
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I was hoping you would respond, and thank you for doing so. My current Undiagnosed Illness ratings are based on symptoms that I had and currently do have. My VSO is all for rocking the boat, although one of the VSOs I was talking to (in another county in CO) used that very phrase, "Don't rock the boat." I thought to myself, "Sheesh, I AM rocking the boat, cuz' I got problems!". However, my current VSO is concerned that if I go to the VA and asking for IU because of the Undiagnosed Illnesses getting worse, and now that they will have my current diagnoses in hand of osteoarthritis and RA, that the VA will say "O, he has a diagnoses now, we should remove these ratings".

IU will be another very fun, opened front and I'm just now starting my research into that. 

Semper Fi,

Sgt. Wilky

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Posted (edited)

At worst unless you’ve improved they would rate the new diagnosis based off  the current symptoms you already have. Changing from undiagnosed illness to diagnosed with the same symptoms doesn’t change the symptoms or their effect on you. You can’t really have a better type of cancer ( okay, that’s stretching the metaphor a bit, but you see where I’m going, right?).

Edited by brokensoldier244th
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Sgt. Wilky Semper Fi, Brother first how old are you over 55, are your disability static if so the VA will have a harder time reducing your disability if they try. Like brokensoldier244 said they will based new diagnosis off your current symptoms, when you file for TDIU it means you want and increase in the disability you are asking for in TDIU make sure your symptoms rate a high rating them you have. (Good luck and Semper Fi)

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