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snake doctor



Please let me know which doctor i should try to contact in reference to getting an IMO or IME for the following areas: 

-Thyroid Cancer with residual hypothyroidism

-Bilateral Restless leg Syndrome

-Bilateral Hearing loss

-Bilateral Dry eyes





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For at least ONE of these (hearing loss), you dont need a doctor, you need an audiologist, who may have a Phd or may have a Masters degree, or even Bachelors degree.  

As far as "dry eyes" 

The criteria for eye conditions are here:https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-38/chapter-I/part-4/subpart-B/subject-group-ECFRaef02c2cebadb31/section-4.79

Before you run out and Buy an IMO/Ime, you should consider the level, if any, of compensation you could get for dry eyes.  

The criteria for RLS are here:


As far as thyroid cancer, you may also not need an IMO/IME, especially if you qualify for service under one of the presumptives such as AO.  


When you have a presumptive condition, its assumed you got it from service if you meet the criteria, meaning you served at the right time and place.  

Dont get me wrong..IMO/IME's are often needed, but you may not need them because:

1.  Hearing loss nexus is often (at least in my VAMC) provided by the audiology dept at VAMC, if the audiologist thinks your hearing loss is related to service. 

2.  Look at the criteria for dry eyes, to see if you meet the compsable criteria.  (I have no idea the severity of your condition.)

3.  Thyroid cancer is on the presumptive list for AO, you may not need an IMO.  (You should not need one).  

4.  As far as RLS, again read the criteria to see if your level reaches the higher levels or if it non compensable.  

    An IMO may help you on the above, but we dont know what your doc said.  

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I used Dr. Ellis in OKC.  He does require an in person examination which only leads to more credibility.  I had him do 8 claimed conditions.  He does not do DBQ's.  His reports are thorough and hits all the VA lingo.  I got 5 out of 8 approved which put me at 100% P&T, SMC-S.  I could've fought and won the 3 denials, but for what?  None of the denials will be the cause of my death.  I'm good.

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There is long time experienced surgeon in AZ whose medical opinions are accepted now for many years by the BVA.  Here is what he has successfully done for me at a very modest fee.  You can pm me for his name and AZ address.

On at least two occasions in past several years the Board of veterans appeals has granted/approved my two major appeals for OSA Sleep Apnea at 50% and IHD/CAD heart disease increase to 60%.

In both appeals in their written decisions the BVA judge gave great credit to the two paid private IMOs opinions provide by highly experience heart surgeon in Tuscon AZ known to me and the board as Dr. D.A. 

For a total cost of $1500.00 (not thousands) for both IMOs I received big increases in my disability ratings plus well over $20,000.00 in back pay for SMC-S.  I would not have won these appeals without the good fee doctor and he is well known to the BVA for many years now.  Not all private fee doctors are rip off artist.

Additionally, I was recently rated by VARO at 60% for GERD and 10% for Tinnitus (no appeal) plus long-standing PTSD rating of 70% since 1998. All is good, life is good.

My comment is not legal advice as I am not a lawyer, paralegal or VSO.


Edited by Dustoff1970
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Again, great work, dustoff.  Many times, a Veterans benefits, or lack thereof, "turns on a great IMO".  If you have one, you have great evidence and great benefits.  If you lack one, you have not so good evidence and not so good benefits.  

The key to my most recent "win" (2020) was a good IMO recommended by my attorney.  I paid $500 (as I recall, it could have been $700 or $800).  The IMO was a "voc rehab" IMO, which detailed my ability, or lack therof, of substantial gainful employment.  

    With TDIU, it may not be enough for VA for your doctor to say you are unable to work.  Why?  Because its possible you could be retrained in another field, for example.  In other words, if you injured your back and your doc says, "no lifting over 10 pounds", well that pretty much eliminates your past warehouse job, where you moved heavy boxes.  

    But, my IMO explained I was not a good candidate because of my training or experience for retraining.  At sixty some years old, its unlikely I could be retrained as a computer programmer, for example.  That train has left the station long ago.  The VA insisted on knowing "not only could I not do my present job" , but also, I could not do ANY job.  The doctor is not qualified to say whether or not Im a good candidate for retraining, that is the job of the voc rehab specialist.  

    The catch:  I did not figure this out, for a very long time.  I had to appeal, get denied, appeal to the CAVC, and get a remand, and enlist an attorney to advise me, to figure that out.  

     I hope others can be saved the years of doing without and even losing my home, because, I did not know that soon enough.  It took me decades to figure it out.  

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Well said Broncovet and I might add I read many years that the CAVC or Fed Circuit appeals court ruled that if a vet is turned down by VA VOCHAB as not a good candidate for job training or retraining then this is another solid piece of evidence for the vet to use in his application for TDIU or increase in a rating as he is considered unemployable by VA.

My comment is not legal advice as I am not a lawyer, paralegal or VSO.

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