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Scoliosis

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Kerry Brumbaugh

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Welcome to hadit.  

You may be able to do that!  Apply and find out.  Of course, I dont know your details, but VA compensation is also paid

"when there is aggravation" from military service. But, if you think the miiitary was aggravating, try the VA!  They are worse.  

Seriously, "aggravation" of a condition occurs when you are diagnosed with a condition going into the military, but military service made it worse.  

If, like most of the rest of us, you were denied, you should appeal it, especially if your denial letter was within the past year.  Its SOP for VA to pretty much deny everyone at least once..most are denied way more than once, like me.  I lost count how many times I was denied, but I persisted and appealed until I won my benefits.  Never give up. 

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It's can be a little bit confusing when you had a preexisting condition. The VA will usually deny it the first time. You will have to, 1. Prove you had it before your service. 2. Show via your induction into the military or via your military treatment records that it showed up in service. (This would be nice but not necessary I'll explain later) 3. have your current doctor write you a statement say that your current scoliosis predated your service.

If there is no military treatment records I would go into the VA doctor/NP and say. "Doctor X I have been having trouble with my scoliosis that I had prior to going into the service." I would than say. "It gave me problems during the whole time I was in but because we were not encouraged to go on sick call I did not report it." Or I reported on XX date at sick call"

If you follow the above the doctor should be creating a record for the VA regardless if there is anything in your military records.

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To add, it is very important to understand how they rate pre-existing conditions. They are handled differently than other things. They first have to check your entrance exam to see if it was reported and confirmed by the entrance examiner. Just because you report it, doesn't mean it would be diagnosed. If it is not diagnosed at entry, then the VA is supposed to consider that you were in sound condition when you joined.

If you get SC granted:

Additionally, if the VA grants SC for pre-existing conditions, they must first determine the level of disability percentage when you joined. In many cases for musculoskeletal issues, ROM percentages would need to have been documented. If they are -not- documented, the VA is supposed to consider your level of pre-service disability as 0%. In the rating criteria, scoliosis tends to be rated at 20% or higher depending on if ankylosis is present. Once they have the pre-service percentage figured out, they are supposed to subtract it from the current level of disability. For example, pre-service is 10%, post service is 20%, then that is 20% - 10% = 10% which would be the level of aggravation.

I had the VA grant SC for sinusitis/allergic rhinitis at 30%, but the examiner noted that I had likely always had it. The VA reduced it by 10% because of what the examiner. I checked the VA regs and it said that the deductions must be "in terms of the rating schedule". I could not find "always had it" in the rating criteria at the time I filed my claim. I filed a CUE and had it granted under a supplemental claim back to when I initially filed. I just wanted to share that in case you win SC and they try to reduce you. Double-check the regs on aggravated ratings/pre-existing conditions to ensure they don't screw up.

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Is it annotated on your entrance exam? Or was this prior treatment before service from a private dr? When was your first treatment for it?

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