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Lost my 10% VA Claim for Hypertension. Now what?

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Wico1337

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I know this will sound very bizarre. I just want to be honest and upfront about the situation as I want the honest answer about what I can do to fight this.

I had a VA Claim appointment with a VES Doctor about 4 months ago. I had like 7 conditions I was claiming. The Doctor's information was sent to me, he has 0 years of experience working with VA and 1 year as a doctor. My VES appointment for all 7 conditions lasted about 20 minutes. This is how it went.

- 4 he outright threw out.

- Sinusitis - He service connected me with a 30% rating. 

- Headaches - Gave me the bogus rating of 0%. But at least service connected me. Already filed supplemental claim.

- Hypertension... - decreased from 10% to 0%. But still service connected. - This is where it gets interesting. Let me give full details. I was service connection for hypertension in 2018. I was given a 10% then. My blood pressure Diastolic has had many times been above 110. So I figured I would file the claim for a raise. During this examination, he hooked my arm up to a blood pressure reader and took my blood pressure 3 times back to back. He then insisted to ask me if I took my blood pressure medicine the night before, saying that "some people" dont take their blood pressure medicine and think that making their blood pressure higher for the examination would give them a higher rating, and it wont. I knew this, this is pretty obvious. But the way he was asking me and telling me about it was him acting like I had faked it or some crap. I was pretty xxxxxxx nervous because ive heard horror stories of stuff like this happening where these assholes drop ratings for no reason. 

Anyway, I then tried to hand him a paper saying that I wanted to turn in 3 recent blood pressure readings that show I have consistent high blood pressure. Ironically, all of these 3 readings were from recent VA Visitations. He refused the documents saying that the Evaluation has nothing to do with recent blood pressure readings. He stated that 3 individual readings does not indicate anything about how the VA rated blood pressure. That the VA only cares about the entire last years trend of your blood pressure readings. He then cherry picked times that my diastolic went below 100. He then proceeds to blatantly outright tell me that "I have done thousands of these claims, and the VA simply does not rate anyone above 10% unless they are months away from dying." Yes, you heard that right. He has experienced thousands of results from BP claims while hes been doing this less than a year. He said that the only way that someone can have a 110 consistent diastolic to meet the requirements for the VA rating is if they are on the brink of death and the doctor has given them months to live. This whole thing is so crazy to me, because I have seen everywhere that the blood pressure evaluation is based on 3 seperate readings. I merely was using 3 VA readings, not that he knew, he didnt care who did the readings or what they even were. Its like he had something out for me?

In the VA Decision Letter, he treated the entire thing as if he was denying my claim outright and trying to Un-service connect me for Hypertension. his reasining for the rating decision was to type out a huge thing summarizing the following.

"Veteran had blood pressure of 156/74 and 150/85 the year before entering service (at MEPS)." He did not reveal the 3rd reading. I got a nurse to take tests outside of MEPS because I was freaking nervous there. They accepted me saying that I had white coat syndrome which increased BP.

Continue to list readings during military service of my BP being 150/85. Sometimes it spiked higher, but the military would have me "retake" until it dropped from Hypertension to Prehypertension.

I seperate in 2014. My blood pressure is was still Prehypertension.

Skip to 2017, I am on many more meds, VES evaluator puts "The BP 2017 showed 149/113. This appears to be a nature progression of the vets BP was aggrivated beyond its natural progression by the military service during service. Therefore, it is my medical opinion that the vet's current diagnosis of HTN is less likely than not (Less than 50 percent probability) aggravated beyond its natural progression by an in-service ilness event or injury".

So he is saying that in 3 years, it is normal progression for my Diastolic to rise from 85 to 113.

The rest of the Decision letter reads that I am still service connected, but just now at 0%. I checked benefits.va.gov and it shows I am service connected at 0%.

The VA decision letter end says "A Higher valuation of 10 percent is not warranted for hypertensive vascular disease unless the evidence shows: 

* A history of diastolic pressure predominantly 100% or more and there is a requirement for continuous medication for control: or,

* Diastolic pressure predominantly 100 or more; or,

* Systolic pressure predominantly 160 or more. (38 CFR 4.104)

 

Maybe I am taking this all in wrong? I am hoping that you guys can decipher where I went wrong here. I feel like I just have had so much bad luck with evaluators man. What do I do in this situation from here? Thank you all for all you do on giving us novices advice on this complicated stuff.

 

Edited by Wico1337
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Wico1337.      If you was on continuous medication and you had a 10% rating for hypertension it should have stayed the same. Do a HLR and if you want a high rating next time do Telehealth program with Va for hypertension and you have to check your blood pressure every day and it is send to a nurse that monitor your pressure and see if you qualify for a 20% rating them put in a claim. Listen 10% or 20% makes know different you’re looking for uncontrolled hypertension that the real killer.

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52 minutes ago, Marine Corp 69/70 said:

"If you was on continuous medication and you had a 10% rating for hypertension it should have stayed the same."

Hmm, does it work like that? I have for sure been on medication since 2017. Nothing has changed other than higher blood pressure readings this past year.

 

Do a HLR and if you want a high rating next time do Telehealth program with Va for hypertension and you have to check your blood pressure every day and it is send to a nurse that monitor your pressure and see if you qualify for a 20% rating them put in a claim.

Good point, I may do that. Thank you.

 

Listen 10% or 20% makes know different you’re looking for uncontrolled hypertension that the real killer.

Is there a different rating if its uncontrolled? From my understanding, as long as diastolic is above 100, its uncontrolled, correct?

 

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Wiso1337  know uncontrolled hypertension is when you are on more than two blood pressure medications and it not control buy your medication, hypertension is as bad as diabetes if not control it can kill you (strokes,dementia,heart disease,kidney failure,etc) why do you think VA took 50 years to make hypertension agent orange disease???? All about money.

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3 hours ago, Marine Corp 69/70 said:

Wico1337.      If you was on continuous medication and you had a 10% rating for hypertension it should have stayed the same. Do a HLR and if you want a high rating next time do Telehealth program with Va for hypertension and you have to check your blood pressure every day and it is send to a nurse that monitor your pressure and see if you qualify for a 20% rating them put in a claim. Listen 10% or 20% makes know different you’re looking for uncontrolled hypertension that the real killer.

Why do an HLR? Why not challenge the C&P examiner? If you do a supplemental claim to challenging the qualification of the examiner may result in a new c&p exam which could be favorable. Study your decision letter carefully.

HLR's are a waste. You can not submit new evidence. 

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7 minutes ago, Whodat said:

Why do an HLR? Why not challenge the C&P examiner? If you do a supplemental claim to challenging the qualification of the examiner may result in a new c&p exam which could be favorable. Study your decision letter carefully.

HLR's are a waste. You can not submit new evidence. 

 

Honestly I figured theres gotta be some way to do this. This examiner was really bogus. He made so many dumbfounded statements that did not seem to fall in like with how C&P should operate. I almost think hes scamming the system.

 

What would you suggest? Should I just open a Supplemental claim and describe how the examiner did not follow any of the standard procedures for rating etc? Or is there some way to like outright just challenge the examiners credentials?

 

On another note, to tie more suspicion to all of this. I had my evaluation around 4 months ago. Well, 2 months ago the VA sent me a letter that VES scheduled another exam with me and was going to send me the info. That info never came from Mail, email or phone. Which is how the 1st one was scheduled. VES never reached out for a second exam. Its almost like they charged the VA for a second seperate exam and nothing happened except them collecting more money from the VA.

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Wico, I am sorry for your bad experience with your exam. We all have been there.

I am not a VSO or an attorney but I do suggest searching on HADIT and Google on how to challenge a c&p exam.

It would also help to study your decision letter, why were you denied? What evidence was used for the decision. 

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