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IBS/ Fibromyalgia

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grayling12

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In 2016 I was awarded 40% for Fibromyalgia and 0% for IBS. I want to ask for an increase on my IBS since it's way worse now. I went through my old records and saw that the VA included IBS symptoms with the Fibro award. I never claimed IBS symptoms as connected to my Fibro, I believe when my Neurologist was filing out my DBQ, he saw that I was diagnosed with IBS in the medical records that I provided to him, so he just threw it in as a symptom.

I'm going to file for an increase in my IBS this year but I think this will be a problem if they notice it. My IBS is already a problem because they awarded it as a Gulf War Presumptive at 0%, they found the mistake a month latter and decided to let it stand as is. I think when I file for the increase, they may decide to pull it completely because it was an error to begin with, or drop it because it's covered in the Fibro rating. 

Questions:

1. If they drop it because of a previous error in granting it, can I simply reapply for it as a Gulf War Presumptive?  

A. Would I have to file as a supplemental as a Gulf War Presumptive?

B. If they drop it since it's included as a symptom of Fibromyalgia, can I request to have it separated from my Fibro award and reapply for it separately?

C. I want to file for fecal incontinence as a secondary to the IBS, can I still do this if the IBS is kept as a part of the Fibro award? 

 

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1. Yes, likely, under PACT, if you fit the criteria, though depending on  how long you have had the rating it would be really difficult to drop it or eliminate it. 

2. Yes, PACT claims can come in as "New" (526) or Supplemental (0995/0996). Since you would be appealing a prior decision it would be a supplemental

3. Depends. Likely your neurologist DIDN"T just "lump it in there". There is overlap of IBS and FM in some 60+% of cases, and 70% that have FM  have one or more symptoms of IBS but maybe not full on. You didn't have to "claim it that way"- the rater looked at whatever you had for medical and they would know about the overlap of FM and IBS, also. 

4. It would be another secondary condition if it were claimed/awarded that way.

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As far as I know fibromyalgia is a catch all disorder that can be broken down and rated separately without pyramiding. Depending on the veteran’s severity disability picture of symptoms can be rated separately to show a clearer picture of the veteran’s severity. Keep in mind that there would have to be a link and connection (nexus) statement with a good medical rationale, but it is possible without pyramiding.

5025 Fibromyalgia (fibrositis, primary fibromyalgia syndrome) With widespread musculoskeletal pain and tender points, with or without associated fatigue, sleep disturbance, stiffness, paresthesia, headaches, irritable bowel symptoms, depression, anxiety, or Raynaud’s-like symptoms: That are constant, or nearly so, and refractory to therapy ........................................... 40%.

That are episodic, with exacerbations often precipitated by environmental or emotional stress or by overexertion, but that are present more than one-third of the time ............................................................ 20%.

That require continuous medication for control ..................................................... 10%. 

Scenario 1. Veteran diagnosed with Fibromyalgia with no other symptoms could/would be rated as 40% max for Fibro symptoms.

Scenario 2. Veteran diagnosed with Fibromyalgia with severe IBS symptoms could/would be rated as 40% max for Fibro and 30% max for IBS symptoms.

Scenario 3. Veteran diagnosed with Fibromyalgia with severe IBS symptoms and severe depression could/would be rated as 40% max for Fibro and 30% max for IBS and 10%-100% for depression symptoms.

If you are already service connected for IBS, all you have to do is file for an increase in symptoms or severity of symptoms.

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I have the same rating as you (Fibro 40%, IBS 0%, gulf war stuff).  The 0% is an error since it has to be at least 10% to be granted.  Mine should be higher than the 0%.  I'd fight it but I'm 100% P&T, SMC-S.  If you're less than 100% I'd file for an increase.  You can have both Fibro and IBS rated.  Now CFS is a different story.  Got denied due to Fibro and PTSD.

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20 hours ago, brokensoldier244th said:

I know, I have 0% for hearing.  But for GW presumptive, I'm certain it has to be at least 10% disabling or more to get it granted.  Another rater on the other site stated this as well.  An error.

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