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Just starting Disability claim from first denial response


BadWolfe

Question

I am new here and new to both requesting a disability rating as well as receiving a denial letter from the VA.  Any help and advice is needed and appreciated.  The VA letter agreed that the issues with my back were documented during my service (Army 1978-1981) and that I can now show severe damage to two locations of my spine.  I've had no injuries or accidents since leaving the Military and employment was office related type work.  The reason stated for denial was that the examining Physician "opined" that he did not see evidence of "continuity" of injury.  In other words, I don't have documentation of my visits to Chiropractors, Physical Therapists, Massage Therapists, Physicians starting in 1981, after discharge, although I did all of those and more (tried acupuncture at one point). 

Any advice on how I should proceed?  I've already tried to reach back through insurance company records, but those companies tell me they can only go back as far as 2011, so that is not my solution for proof.  Also, I did not have consistent a consistent Doctor or service providers during those years to have any records provided from them.

Training during the timeframe of 1978 through 1981 was not the most ergonomic.  Is there any source documentation concerning the changes of toward more ergonomic Military equipment? 

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Welcome,

Do you have or can you retrieve your denial letter from back then. It may help. 

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BadWolf Welcome to Hadit. Two things: first, most important; you need a nexus letter from a doc or med specialist that you have a current back condition disability, which is a diagnosis, and then , need a nexus or connection that what happened in the service is the cause of your current disability. The second thing, to address continuity, besides your doctor's nexus, is to submit buddy letters from someone that can attest that after your accident you no longer could do those "athletic" things that you could before the service connected incident. If you have been prescribed meds for you back, that would help in the continuity battle. 

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3 hours ago, Whodat said:

Welcome,

Do you have or can you retrieve your denial letter from back then. It may help. 

I do have it.  Here is the relevant part of the denial:

Service connection for lumbosacral strain with degenerative disc disease of the

thoracolumbar spine (claimed as back condition).

Service connection may be granted for a disability which began in military service or was caused

by some event or experience in service. Service connection for lumbosacral strain with

degenerative disc disease of the thoracolumbar spine is denied since this condition neither

occurred in nor was caused by service. Separation examination dated March 1981 sirowed you

reported a history of recurrent back pain. While your seruice treatment records retlect

complaints, treatment, or a diagnosis similar to that clairned, the medical evidence supports the

conclusion that a persistent disability was not present in service. 'Ihere was no continuity of

symptoms from service to the present. We did not find a link between your medical condition

and military service. The examirrer opined your current conditicln was less likely than not related

to the back.pain reported at the time of separation in 1981. (38 CIIR 3.303, 38 CFR 3.304)

Favorable Findings identified in this decision:

The evidence shows that a qualifuing event, rnjrry, or disease had its onset during your service.

Separation examination dated March 1981 showed you reported a history of recurrent back pain.

You have been diagnosed with a disability. Back examination from QTC dated January 27,2A22,

thg*t a diagnosis of lumbosacral strain with degenerative disc disease of the thoracolumbar

spme.

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2 hours ago, GBArmy said:

BadWolf Welcome to Hadit. Two things: first, most important; you need a nexus letter from a doc or med specialist that you have a current back condition disability, which is a diagnosis, and then , need a nexus or connection that what happened in the service is the cause of your current disability. The second thing, to address continuity, besides your doctor's nexus, is to submit buddy letters from someone that can attest that after your accident you no longer could do those "athletic" things that you could before the service connected incident. If you have been prescribed meds for you back, that would help in the continuity battle. 

Thank you for this.  I do have that just in my wife alone.  I met her as soon as I was discharged, so she can attest to it as well as the decline.  There is no question it was identified while still in service and the two severe locations now.  With no accidents or injuries after my service, anyone can tell it was a progression.  It didn't just show up today.

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Refer to my response. You need a nexus that your current disability is connected you your service connected injury. And, you have to answer the continuity question. Ex. I self medicated, etc. took acupuncture, yoga, PT, etc. , etc. Here are the doctor/treatment bills, .... You have some of the evidence you need, get the rest.

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