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How to read Colon/Rectal Disability Rating Issues?

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Jonny Bravo


Rated at 90% and setting sights on 100%.   For those battling colon/rectal issues seeking some guidance on a path forward.  Entire colon removed in 2014 due to UC; retired in 2020.  Formal term, Total Colectomy with Ileostomy Anastomosis (J-pouch created with small intestine); all was manageable with lifestyle changes; however, past two years has been brutal with onset of a complex fistula involving 13 trips to the Operating Room and counting during this timeframe.  I was increased to 100% temporarily for about 1 to 2 months for recovery times post surgeries, however, I do not meet the symptom requirement for an increase to 60% at this time.  I read a few threads on this subject earlier today and signed up for access to this wealth of knowledge that resides here.  I am anticipating another surgery within the next month which will require, at the moment, diversion ileostomy w/colostomy bag.  Also, I enjoyed post service employment, however, I am no longer employed due to this situation.  It appears that fistula are not in a category of their own, however, lumped in with about 2 other's and ratings for this condition can vary differently.  If I look into my crystal ball, I'm seeing myself with a permanent ostomy/stoma/colostomy bag etc. at the rate this is going.  

Thanks in advance for any feedback. 

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If your goal is 100 percent, then it sounds like TDIU is at least one route to go, since you indicated you could no longer work because of your SC disabilitie(s).  

Im not sure how recent this decision was, but it sound like an appeal may well be in order.  To begin that, file a NOD, and likely consider going right to the BVA, dont mess with HLR or SCL.  

If there are additional issues, also, consider applying for those, also.  

If you are carrying around an ostomy bag, I can imagine anything less than 100 percent.  Ive never had one, but it sounds very depressing to have to do that, and, you could well consider apply for secondary depression, if, indeed, you have same.  

Lastly, Housebound (SMC S) is a real possibility.  I mean, gee, are you supposed to drag an ostomy bag and be welcomed into a restaurant, or grocery store?  

I frankly, can imagine what they were thinking low balling you at 90 percent for that.  Of course, I have no idea if this is permanent or not, but, if your colon was removed, I cant see any other choice.  Of course, my opinion is unsubstantiated..I have never had an ostomy.  

And, another thing..and its a big deal..did you get the effective date you deserved, or, like many others did VA also try to lowball that, too?  Your benefits should have begun the day after military service, if I read your post correctly.  

You fought for our country, now you will have to fight VA for your benefits.  This is par for the course, unfortunately.  

Dont even think of "settling" for 90 percent..go get the benefits you deserve.  

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