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I'm getting ready to file some claims in January and one of them is asthma under the pact act. I have a PFT from a year ago and use a rescue inhaler along with a daily steroid inhaler.

My question is:

1. Will the VA accept a private DBQ using my PFT results from a year ago or will they likely require an updated PFT?


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The term VA uses is "current diagnosis".  It does not mean you had a diagnosis "in military service", it means you currently have such a diagnosis.  

The call on whether or not your year old PFT is sufficient is likely to be made by your doctor.  He is the expert on PFT's, not a rating specialist with no medical training, and certainly, not a moderator at hadit, like me!   

HOwever, again, from a practical standpoint, it may be good for your to have a new PFT, if the doctor so decides for at least 2 reasons:

1.  A second PFT a year later with consistent numbers helps to confirm that there were not mistakes made on the first PFT.  

Perhaps more importantly, however is number 2:

2.  If your PFT numbers are worse in the most recent PFT, it could result in a higher rating and additional compensation, suggesting that your condition worsened in the past year.  

     My advice is not to shy away from a new PFT.  I have had them before, and they are not exactly fun, but, trust me, I have had plenty of medical tests and procedures that are far worse than PFT's.  If your doctor wants a new PFT, then attend same, if he is okay with the old one, go with that.  

    Your medical professional will make the call if you need a new PFT or not.  If its the same doc, he may have a good idea just from observing you whether or not your numbers will likely be the same or not.  

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The rating criteria for asthma is under 38 CFR 4.97: https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/38/4.97


6602 Asthma, bronchial:    
FEV–1 less than 40-percent predicted, or; FEV–1/FVC less than 40 percent, or; more than one attack per week with episodes of respiratory failure, or; requires daily use of systemic (oral or parenteral) high dose corticosteroids or immuno-suppressive medications    100
FEV–1 of 40- to 55-percent predicted, or; FEV–1/FVC of 40 to 55 percent, or; at least monthly visits to a physician for required care of exacerbations, or; intermittent (at least three per year) courses of systemic (oral or parenteral) corticosteroids    60
FEV–1 of 56- to 70-percent predicted, or; FEV–1/FVC of 56 to 70 percent, or; daily inhalational or oral bronchodilator therapy, or; inhalational anti-inflammatory medication    30
FEV–1 of 71- to 80-percent predicted, or; FEV–1/FVC of 71 to 80 percent, or; intermittent inhalational or oral bronchodilator therapy    10
Note: In the absence of clinical findings of asthma at time of examination, a verified history of asthmatic attacks must be of record.    

Taking the PACT Act approach, as long as you meet those qualifications and have a current asthma diagnosis, you should likely get SC presumptively for asthma.

As far as ratings go, I made the 30% criteria bold for emphasis. The presence of the word "or" means you can qualify for 30% if you meet any of those criteria, not all or multiple. Hypothetically, use of inhaled steroids alone would equate to a 30% rating. 

Be sure to read the higher percentage criteria for 60% or 100%. Your PFT results could qualify you for either of those. Again, keep an eye on the presence of the word "or" for other possible ways to get a higher rating. Regarding steroids, the term "systemic" means  administered by swallowing, injecting, or via IV. For the "intermittent (at least three per year) courses of systemic (oral or parenteral) corticosteroids", if you get to that point the VA may grant the higher rating, but only as a temporary rating to be reviewed later because they expect you to improve.

Good luck!



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In 2017 I filed a claim for Nam Agent Orange Heart disease and the VARO gave me 30% but nothing higher as they said my 2014 Bruce Treadmill Stress test METS results were not current for a higher rating and of course the biased VA C&P examiner also ignored my Stress test results that showed I was qualified for a 60% rating.

On later appeal to the Board (BVA) the judge accepted those 2014 test results and granted me a 60% rating.


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