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Discussion Starter #1
I got my denial letter last week. They told me I was never injured while in the Army. That is total BS. I am going Monday to appeal it. I have all my paper work. This just puts me at the back of the line.
 

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I recommend getting the books "The Veteran's Survival Guide" and "Claim Denied! How to Appeal a VA Denial of Benefits", both written by John D. Roche.

These will spell out exactly what your options are and how to pursue a solution. I was denied a service connected injury that was diagnosed and treated while I was on active duty. After 8 years of appeals and arguments it took only a few weeks to get my problem resolved using the author's recommendations.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have the injury report signed by the ER Dr. at Wright Paterson AF base. It states clearly my injury, when it happened, and were. The Air Force did my first surgery and they charged me $4.80 for the use of the bed that day of the surgery. I have that bill. I also have my pay records from that time period. I was in the Army but the Air Force base was the closest military base with a hospital.
 

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Just remember that there are three basic requirements in order to qualify for a disability.

1. The injury had to be caused by or exacerbated by your service.

2. You must prove continuity (there can't be any reasonable assumption that the injury was caused or worsened by your activities after your service).

3. The injury actually has to impact your daily life.

If you can't prove all three of these then your claim will be denied. The biggest reason for a denial is a person will make a claim years after their service and the VA can then claim that it's impossible to prove that your service was the cause of the problem, it could have been any of your activities sine your service. If you waited more than a year after your service to make your claim then you probably fall within this group. If this is your situation then you have a big problem, your only hope is to find a doctor that will write a statement that says that your problems can only have been caused by your service connected injury. You might also help your case by finding anybody that will swear or attest to knowing that your problems continued since your service injury, a wife or relative is a qualified lay person. They would have to submit a sworn statement explaining the who, what, what, where, and when and you would have to submit it to the VA.
 

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While in Iraq I contracted latent TB. For nine months I had to take a medication where I couldn't drink alcohol ROOL1. Was told that it will never develop because of the medication and that I will always test positive because I have the protein. I cannot donate blood and probably other things but that issue is not service connected. I was told early on that I will have to have chest xrays periodically throughout my life and my VA provider says that is not true. Looks like I need to dig more following current events.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I had a inguinal hernia at age 19. They put a large piece of mesh in me to hold my guts in. I then had the same hernia repair fail. The civilian doctor had to redo the hernia repair with a even larger piece of mesh. The problem has been since the second surgery, I have had bad side affects from the repair. The old mesh that was in me was part of me and they had to cut it out. This caused me to have testicle pain and low energy. My T level was checked. At 40 years old I had the average level of a 75 year old man. I was totally fine up until the hernia redo. I can no longer do my old job as a auto mechanic. I now have to get a testosterone shot once a week for the rest of my life. The VA code is 7338 for my hernia disability.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yes get a VA rep to help the appeal. I did not now I am screwed been waiting 2 yrs still in first stage of appeal
I have the KY state rep helping me. The VA denial letter states that it was not in my record or did not happen. This is just not true. I have the scar and paperwork to prove it. Shame on them.
 

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I would use one of these guys, DAV, American Legion, VFW instead of the KY state rep.

Here is my theory on the VA claim process, DDD Delay, Deny & hope that vet Dies.

The VA pulled the same crap on me, they went as far as telling me that I was not even on active when I got injured.
 

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In my case I had a chronic issue that was diagnosed and treated while active duty but on my discharge physical a corpsman wrote that my issue was "successfully resolved with medication" and the Veteran's Service Representative (VSR) that reviewed my claim assumed that that meant that I was cured (which was incorrect, the problem is chronic and medication simply makes it possible for me to function similar to how a healthy person would function).

So after the first idiot fouled his job up through his own ignorance (thank you public school system) the next guy continued to foul things up because rather than actually reviewing my appeal paperwork he top-sheeted my record and offhandedly denied my appeal.

It wasn't until I demanded a De Novo review and supplied them with a military style brief (complete with pictures, graphs, timelines, copies of the law, and their own regulations) before they finally realized that I deserved my disability compensation. The De Novo review forced them to assign a single person to my case and that person actually pulled the documents and read them. My brief included a summary on the very first page which made a simple, clear statement about what I wanted and why. Between those two steps I got what I deserved in a few weeks time, after 8 years of frustration, anxiety, and anger.
 

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Bigblock, was either of your surgeries done while you were in the service? Did you claim the hernia surgery on your medical records when you joined or re-enlisted? Were you active duty or reserve?
 

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Bigblock, I can truly feel for you with the testosterone part of your issues. Because I take narcotics every day my body stopped producing testosterone and I didn't know what was going on except I had zero energy (I could sleep for 14 hours, wake up and be dead tired) and that I was getting terrible hot flashes...in other words I was going through man-o-pause at 39. I pretty much demanded a t-level check with my Tricare doctor (I was medically retired) and it came back under 100. I then saw a specialist at the VA (that appointment took over 3 months to get) who did it again and my level came back at 26. Unfortunately the testosterone treatment has given me terrible BPH in that it can take me up to 30 minutes to take a piss so I can't get the injections and have to rely on the patches...but I can only use them 5 out of 7 days a week to control the BPH.

Back to somewhat the topic, when I was medically retired the Air Force initially rated me 60% on 3 items but the VA rated me at 40% for everything. It took me 2 years to appeal to bring it up to 70% and then another year for 100% for IU but during that time I fought and lost against the VA where they took 12,580.00 from me with no recourse. I requested an audit but that was a joke. Anyway, make sure you have your ducks in a row and always make at least 2 copies of your medical records because more than likely they'll lose a copy. Get up with a veteran's organization, I had the DAV do my claim and they tracked & followed up on it periodically to make sure it wasn't getting lost or sat on. Good luck as dealing with the VA is nothing short of a nightmare and you never know what will get as they are very unpredictable.
 

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on your letter of appeal, make sure to name people, your CO,XO,military doctors, etc anybody who may have memory of what happened to you. also make sure to get your civilian surgeon that did the repair afterwards to write you a very concise letter explaining what was done, and why. then have your parents,sibling's,wife, etc anyone that knew you then, and now, and have them write up letters explaining how they see your injuries affecting you. dont get carried away or passionate when you write your letter in support of claim, just make it neat , concise, and as well written as you can. remember it is college educated pencil pushers who are evaluating your claim.
 

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Between 1998 and 2001, I went back to school and received my BS under the VA's Vocational Rehab program. To help with bills, I entered their Work Study program (work according to your schedule, minimum wage, no taxes) and worked at the Montgomery, AL Regional Office doing basic "Gopher " stuff. Those three years opened my eyes as to how truly FUBARed the VA is.

To start, when you file a claim it goes to whomever is assigned your SSN block. This person is allowed only a few minutes to research your medical records, see if your illness/injury occurred in service, in "line of duty", determine if it's a disability under their rules and then approve (and rate) or deny disability. Here's the kicker: the VA DOES NOT CARE if it was done correctly or not, only if that rating officer met his/her quota! If your claim and supporting information doesn't lay it out in plain view and basically hits them over the head saying, "Hey, dumb a$$! Here it is!", you get denied because they don't have the time to do the search required to approve your claim. By denying it, they have cleared it off their quota regardless if it was done correctly. Only after you appeal does it go to somebody who has the time to research the claim fully to see if you are due any disability. Unfortunately, most appeal officers, unless confronted with irrefutable proof, will sign off on the denial in support of the original RO. Its a vicious circle with everyone covering each other's back, even when they know the original decision was wrong.
I strongly suggest that any and all, considering filing a claim with the VA, first go to a Veteran's Association (DAV, AL, VFW, AMVETS, etc.) and get a Veteran's Service Officer (VSO) assigned to your case. The VSO will ensure that all pertinent information is conspicuously highlighted, in order and that your claim is worded in accordance with the VA's "Claims For Dummies" so the RO understands what you're claiming. Harsh words, but the VA hires off the street, just out of school non-veterans that have no idea what we've gone through or what we've done. I had one question me why I claimed hearing loss because all I did was work on helicopter weapon systems, so where did the loud noise come from!
GET A VSO!!! Let them walk you through the claims process. Get a copy of your medical records. If you can, get a civilian specialist to state that in his/her learned opinion, you have a disability caused/aggravated by military service (highly favorable) . I'd suggest the DAV, PVA, AL in that order to assist in your claims as they have the most experience and training to help you through the VA claim maze.
 

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While in Iraq I contracted latent TB. For nine months I had to take a medication where I couldn't drink alcohol ROOL1. Was told that it will never develop because of the medication and that I will always test positive because I have the protein. I cannot donate blood and probably other things but that issue is not service connected. I was told early on that I will have to have chest xrays periodically throughout my life and my VA provider says that is not true. Looks like I need to dig more following current events.
dang, I didn't know that I could claim my Latent TB. I did the meds and everything, while I was on Motrin (go figure) for my jacked up knees. I had to get a liver function check every month.

I had my last appointment on thurs, from my research it looks like I can expect a decision relatively soon. I filed 6 Oct.
 

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It took me 11 years to get my disability, 9 years continuous jump status you tend to "suffer" an injury or 2. The army rebuilt my ankle, but kept denying my claim. They said it wasntbad enough. The VFW, advocate helped alot.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Bigblock, was either of your surgeries done while you were in the service? Did you claim the hernia surgery on your medical records when you joined or re-enlisted? Were you active duty or reserve?
The first surgery was done while I was in the Army reserve at age 19. The surgery was done by the Air Force at Wright Paterson AF Base because it was the closest military base with a hospital. I was injured moving a large generator. This happened on Dec 14,1991. I was operated on Dec 18, 1991. The second surgery was done 20 years later at age 39 as a civilian. The hernia repair failed from the the first surgery.
 

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dang, I didn't know that I could claim my Latent TB. I did the meds and everything, while I was on Motrin (go figure) for my jacked up knees. I had to get a liver function check every month.

I had my last appointment on thurs, from my research it looks like I can expect a decision relatively soon. I filed 6 Oct.
you can but from my experience they wont connect you.
 

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The first surgery was done while I was in the Army reserve at age 19. The surgery was done by the Air Force at Wright Paterson AF Base because it was the closest military base with a hospital. I was injured moving a large generator. This happened on Dec 14,1991. I was operated on Dec 18, 1991. The second surgery was done 20 years later at age 39 as a civilian. The hernia repair failed from the the first surgery.
Were you on active duty for training or were you activated for and on active duty?
 
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