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      How to get your questions answered. A few observations, and requests of all members. All folks who come here are volunteers who do this on their own time and their own dime.To avoid burning out our best contributors please follow these guidelinesf you are reading a post and it reminds you of a question you want to ask, start a new topic, if you place your question in someone thread it will be difficult to distinguish your question from the original poster, you will get better results posting a new topic with your question. 1. Before Posting please do a search and see if your question has already been answered. If you find the answer print it out and put it in a file to use as a reference file, I find this helpful myself. 2. If you can not find the answer and you do post a question, please print out those answers and refer to them to avoid duplicate questions. 3. Refer to the Frequently Asked Questions4. Duplicate questions will come up from time to time but the keeping them to the minimum will lighten the load on the regular volunteers.5. Respect folks privacy do not request their personal phone numbers for claims help, it is inappropriate and not why they are here.6. Keep the topics focused on veterans issues, in closing Search first Search ... Ask second.it may save a lot of time or at the very least enlighten you.
    • Listen Live Every Wed 5:30 PM CST to SVR Radio, Veterans Issues are discussed with various guests.

      Listen Live Every Wed 5:30 PM CST to SVR Radio, Veterans Issues are discussed with various guests. Please check the little home I am carving out for our SVR partners. http://www.hadit.com/svr.html
    • A bit about Tbird and HadIt.com for those who've asked...

      The following is on my About page, but some have been asking how this all happened. So here is my little story. Tbird US Navy 1983 – 1990 E-6 HadIt.com the website domain registered Jan 20, 1997 the domain is registered and paid for through Jan 21, 2023 at which time I plan to register it for another 15 years Lord willing and the creek don't rise. I guess the best place to start is Jan 1991; I had gotten out of the navy Dec 1990. At my separation seminar, there was a DAV rep Jim Milton he told us to bring our medical records in and he would look through them for us and let us know if we should file a claim with the VA. Well, bless his heart, he opened my medical file, reads the first insert, looks me straight in the eye, and says you will be 50% for the rest of your life and he would file the claim for me. 50% was for surgery I had in the service. True to his word he met with me and talked with me for a long time filled out my paper work and urged me to file for PTSD. I would not file the PTSD claim, nor even discuss it. By Feb 1991 I had moved to the San Francisco bay area and was staying at a friends apartment and pretty much I was just a puddle. In desperation one night I called suicide hot line, I had no job, no idea about going to the VA. They talked with me for a long time and explained to me that I could go to the local VA hospital even if I did not have insurance. Now, I know what you are thinking if I was 50% why didn't I just go to the VA in the first place, two reasons 1, this was Feb 1991 and the 50% didn't come till May and 2, even if it had come through it is unlikely that I would have had the mental acuity at the time to put the two together. I relate this here because it is where so many of our brothers and sisters are coming from, perhaps where you started. Fuzzy and unsure, in pain and sometimes homeless they come to the VA hospital for help. And that is where I ended up. Up to the pysch ward I went, blah, blah, blah, a few days later I was released with a promise of a call from the out patient program, which I would soon be entering. Blah, blah, blah, after many missed communications, and no call backs I was at the Day Hospital everyday M-F. And this brothers and sisters is where I began to learn and formulate my plan for HadIt.com. Veterans, veterans everywhere…I spent a year in the day hospital and about another year at a sheltered workshop before I got back on my feet. So I just talked to veterans everyday waiting for appointments, waiting for prescriptions, waiting for a vet rep and I started to learn the system. While in the navy I was data analyst and had to learn a 5 volume manual and just about anything you were suppose to do was in that manual. So I figured there must be a manual on how to do a VA claim or at the very least regulations. So I found out about the Code of Federal Regulations, United States Code, Veterans Affairs Manuals and so on and so forth. Of course this was 1991/1992 I was living in a tiny studio apartment in a particularly bad neighborhood, working in a sheltered workshop making a nickel per envelope I stuffed throw in PTSD and you will see that it was a difficult task for me to get somewhere where they had copies of these, let alone that they would let me look at. And there was so much knowledge around me, it was like the gold rush in those days, I could just sit on a bench a veteran would sit down next to me a little conversation later I had another nugget, I made copious notes. Phone numbers to call, ask for this guy or that guy he'll give you the straight scoop and they'd slip me a piece of paper with a number on it. You want to read this regulation or that one and another slip of paper into my hand. I spent a lot of time on those benches watching the squirrels they gathered their nuts and I gathered mine :) So I'm thinking I could put a little handbook together print it out and hand it out at the VA. Or perhaps fliers. Still formulating, time goes by, 1994/1995 I am being treated for PTSD regularly and doing and feeling much better and I go to work for a company as a marketing systems analyst and I discover the internet. Well let me tell you that was perhaps one of the most significant life changing events I have ever experienced. And I might add finally a positive one :) It seemed only natural to me that surely there must be a website that contained all the knowledge I wanted, well as it turned out not so much, lots of stuff but I wanted to get straight to the claims information and there was a lot of stuff to wade through to get to it. So taking my lesson from the squirrels earlier I started to gather, gather, gather…and learn HTML and work as a marketing systems analyst and work my claim. 1996/1997 major PTSD cork blows and unemployed. Working my claim, working the website. 20 Jan 1997 register HadIt.com domain name right after getting off the phone with the VA and saying I've had it with this. As fate would have it the old DAV board goes down just as mine opens up and folks start to wander in. So HadIt.com has two main components the website which supports the discussion board with links, articles, research resources etc. The website starts to grow, I can't tell you how many times I had to switch servers for space and features. I continue on a downward trend and in 1998 ended up back home in St Louis living in my sisters basement in therapy and working it, I swear I would have swung a dead chicken around my head at midnight naked if I thought it would have helped. The website continued to do great during this time, I just stayed in the basement bought new software, new books, and learned how to make things work and I continued to use this knowledge to make HadIt.com better. My 100% finally came through from the VA and I had a friend who is an advocate who helped me thru my SSDI claim, he was literally at my side thru the entire process and that came through for me. My therapist and sister continued to try and get me to leave the basement, but to no avail. At some point in 1998 or 1999 I put a counter on the website and was shocked to discover how many visitors we were getting. Time goes by my sister gets married and I move from the basement to the upstairs, there is much celebration that Aunt T is living in the light again. More time goes by and I settle into my life in St Louis and spend more time on the site trying new things, finding more information. 2003 I buy my own home VA loan. For years now I have just considered HadIt.com my job and I get up every morning go to the office and work for several hours, take an afternoon break and see where the rest of day takes me. I have a place in the office to use the computer and a comfortable to place to read journals and articles and take notes. Blah, blah, blah so that is my story and HadIt.com's intertwined.
    • HadIt.com Pass It On Cards

      Hi I've updated our HadIt.com Pass It On Cards. They are in a PDF format you can print them out cut them there are 12 to a page. If you have found HadIt.com helpful and would like to pass it on to other veterans this is an easy way to do it.I hope you find them helpful, feel free to leave a few anywhere veterans gather, veterans centers, veterans hospitals, public libraries, be creative. Please make sure though, that if you want to leave some at any business you ask permission first.Here you go http://www.hadit.com...it_on_cards.pdf
    • VA Training and Fast Letter Forum Index

      VA Training and Fast Letter Forum Index The following is the index with links to the various Training and Fast Letters plus a few miscellaneous. These letters are not necessarily in the original formatting. I have tried to present them in an easy-to-read form instead of some forms as originally presented. Some of the paragraphs were WAAAAYYY too long. lol - HadIt.com Member fanaticbooks Something to be aware.... Some of these letters may be rescinded, outdated, or otherwise no longer viable. I have still included them because sometimes they provide additional insight or just plain more information than the newest version. Use them wisely. The oldest letters will display at the bottom with the latest letters displayed at the top, all in sequential numbers. Coding of the letters... FL = Fast Letter TL = Training Letter First two numbers = last two digits of year of origin Training Letter http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40694-va-tl-00-07/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40693-va-tl-00-06/ Fast Letter Number Title http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/44262-va-fl-11-15/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/44260-va-fl-11-13/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/44261-va-fl-11-11/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/44310-va-fl-11-09/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/42151-va-fl-11-03/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40957-va-fl-10-49/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40958-va-fl-10-46/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40959-va-fl-10-45/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40960-va-fl-10-42/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40961-va-fl-10-39/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40962-va-fl-10-35/ 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Abestos Exposure Claim

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I file a VA claim back in 2002 for residuals of asbestos exposure,also claimed as asbestosis and pulmonary fibrosis. The claim was denied because the VA examiner reported that his findings for the lung studies including spirometry, lung volume,and diffusion with negative chest x-ray were normal. I don't believe that the x-ray was interpreted by a B certified x-ray reader. When I did the lung studies the examiner had me perform the tests to the point of complete exhaustion. I felt that he was making sure that I passed those tests no matter how they affected me.

The denial letter stated that private records from my doctor had not been received. It also stated there was an outstanding request for a CT scan of the chest, which was done in 1998. The denial letter also mentioned that the current exam done by the VA was sufficient evidence to determine that there were no diagnosed conditions and there was no need for additional information. The denial letter also mentioned that should the missing evidence be received, it would be reviewed to determine if any other action would be necessary.

The VA did receive a copy of the CT scan of the chest after the denial was made. However the VA never used the information to complete a review to determine if any other action would be necessary.

The CT scan of the chest report that was made by a private radiology office stated that I had a small linear area of increased density in the left lung base that probably represented pulmonary fibrosis. Their impression was that the small linear area of increased density seen in the left lung base more likely represented pulmonary fibrosis.

I was stationed on a WWII era destroyer that was built with asbestos in all areas of the ship. I worked with asbestos in the boileroom and engineroom with no protective equipment. The VA acknowledges that I provided references to support my report of asbestos exposure in service. I had no occupational exposure to asbestos before or after my military service.

Does any one have any idea whether it would be worthwhile to file a claim again being that I now have 10% bilateral tinnitus? I don't believe that the missing evidence was ever used by the VA and that makes me think that I should refiled the asbestos VA claim again.Thanks.

68mustang

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9 answers to this question

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Did you receive a VCAA letter that specifically told you what the VA needed as evidence?

How long ago was the denial letter?

Your MOS certainly put you into probable exposure-

sometimes that has to be clearly spelled out to VA-

Under the search at the top you should be able to find the VA PIES Occcupational exposure list regarding asbestoes claims. Yet it appears the VA has conceded asbestos exposure in your case-

I sent the whole list in with an asbestos vets claim I worked on- his DD 214 said one thing but his inservice shipboard MOSs (he had 2) put him into the actual PIES criteria.Asbestos vets should make sure they explain their shipboard MOS to the VA carefully.

WHat I do see as a problem is what you stated as to the independent medical opinion-

"The CT scan of the chest report that was made by a private radiology office stated that I had a small linear area of increased density in the left lung base that probably represented pulmonary fibrosis. Their impression was that the small linear area of increased density seen in the left lung base more likely represented pulmonary fibrosis."

Did they actually state "more than likely" as 'probably' will not do it-

I have posted "Getting an IMO" here available under search feature- it shows the bases that an IMO must cover and conform to-otherwise VA will not consider it as having merit.

It is not too late to get the opinion worded in a stronger way-

For a local vet I also googled his ship and found it had been dumped off the coast of Iran as it contained so much asbestos.

As evidence we sent the actual VA asbestos training letter also here under a search and considerable other info.

The veteran was going to obtain an IMO also.

Have you filed the NOD yet?

This decision is deficient as they did not consider any of your private records at all.

Why would you re-file the claim- Has the one year NOD time passed?

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Posted · Report post

Did you receive a VCAA letter that specifically told you what the VA needed as evidence?

How long ago was the denial letter?

Your MOS certainly put you into probable exposure-

sometimes that has to be clearly spelled out to VA-

Under the search at the top you should be able to find the VA PIES Occcupational exposure list regarding asbestoes claims. Yet it appears the VA has conceded asbestos exposure in your case-

I sent the whole list in with an asbestos vets claim I worked on- his DD 214 said one thing but his inservice shipboard MOSs (he had 2) put him into the actual PIES criteria.Asbestos vets should make sure they explain their shipboard MOS to the VA carefully.

WHat I do see as a problem is what you stated as to the independent medical opinion-

"The CT scan of the chest report that was made by a private radiology office stated that I had a small linear area of increased density in the left lung base that probably represented pulmonary fibrosis. Their impression was that the small linear area of increased density seen in the left lung base more likely represented pulmonary fibrosis."

Did they actually state "more than likely" as 'probably' will not do it-

I have posted "Getting an IMO" here available under search feature- it shows the bases that an IMO must cover and conform to-otherwise VA will not consider it as having merit.

It is not too late to get the opinion worded in a stronger way-

For a local vet I also googled his ship and found it had been dumped off the coast of Iran as it contained so much asbestos.

As evidence we sent the actual VA asbestos training letter also here under a search and considerable other info.

The veteran was going to obtain an IMO also.

Have you filed the NOD yet?

This decision is deficient as they did not consider any of your private records at all.

Why would you re-file the claim- Has the one year NOD time passed?

Thanks for replying Berta.

The denial letter was sent June 2002. I also received the VCAA letter. I sent the VA the Navy's Enlisted Career Guide listing for Boiler Technician and Engineman. Those listings detailed the duties of each occupation and where those duties were performed. I also sent the six month performance reports for each occupation with each report stating that I worked in the boileroom and engineroom.

I tried finding the VA PIES Occupational listing that you mentioned, but could not find it. The independent medical opinion actually states under impression "Small linear area of increased density is seen in the left lung base more likely representing pulmonary fibrosis". I plan to get another IMO because I would like to have my lungs checked out due to the latency period of asbestos exposure. I did not file a NOD because the time limit has passed. I want to refile because the VA relied only on their medical exams and never used my IMO. Plus this time I will send a buddy letter from a fellow shipmate who confirms that we worked with asbestos without protective equipment. If you have any other info I would appreciate it. Thanks.

68mustang

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Posted · Report post

You sure could have challenged their denial-

but with better IMO and a buddy statement (although they probably conceded exposure) you could re-open-

the date of any potential award however will be the date of the -re-opened claim and not the older claim.

I am concerned as to why the VA did not acknowledge the CT and the IMO.

Were you sent an I-9 and full appeal rights?Did you file the I-9? Did they make any attempt to transfer your claim to the Board?

It seems to me that this claim 'might' even still be open-

I wonder what would happen if you sent VA copy of the RO letter that says:

"The denial letter also mentioned that should the missing evidence be received, it would be reviewed to determine if any other action would be necessary."

and asked them what the "review" determined as to that evidence.

It is best to focus on reopening the claim- but still-it would not hurt to ask them what the result of the review of the subsequent evidence was and send them a copy of this with the request:

"b. Review of Evidence. Concisely cite and evaluate all evidence that is relevant and necessary to the determination. Rating decisions must evaluate all the evidence, including oral testimony given under oath and certified statements submitted by claimants, and must clearly explain why that evidence is

found to be persuasive or unpersuasive. Decisions must address all pertinent evidence and all of the claimant's contentions. Do not quote at length from letters, affidavits, hospital reports, etc. " M21-1 Part 6 Change 113, March 19, 2004

from:http://64.233.169.104/custom?q=cache:WFD_US_kZxcJ:www.warms.vba.va.gov/admin21/m21_1/part6/chg113.doc+M21-1+consider+all+evidence&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us&lr=lang_en|lang_es&ie=UTF-8&client=pub-7326217334650925

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Posted · Report post

You sure could have challenged their denial-

but with better IMO and a buddy statement (although they probably conceded exposure) you could re-open-

the date of any potential award however will be the date of the -re-opened claim and not the older claim.

I am concerned as to why the VA did not acknowledge the CT and the IMO.

Were you sent an I-9 and full appeal rights?Did you file the I-9? Did they make any attempt to transfer your claim to the Board?

It seems to me that this claim 'might' even still be open-

I wonder what would happen if you sent VA copy of the RO letter that says:

"The denial letter also mentioned that should the missing evidence be received, it would be reviewed to determine if any other action would be necessary."

and asked them what the "review" determined as to that evidence.

It is best to focus on reopening the claim- but still-it would not hurt to ask them what the result of the review of the subsequent evidence was and send them a copy of this with the request:

"b. Review of Evidence. Concisely cite and evaluate all evidence that is relevant and necessary to the determination. Rating decisions must evaluate all the evidence, including oral testimony given under oath and certified statements submitted by claimants, and must clearly explain why that evidence is

found to be persuasive or unpersuasive. Decisions must address all pertinent evidence and all of the claimant's contentions. Do not quote at length from letters, affidavits, hospital reports, etc. " M21-1 Part 6 Change 113, March 19, 2004

from:http://64.233.169.104/custom?q=cache:WFD_US_kZxcJ:www.warms.vba.va.gov/admin21/m21_1/part6/chg113.doc+M21-1+consider+all+evidence&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us&lr=lang_en|lang_es&ie=UTF-8&client=pub-7326217334650925

Thanks again for responding.

I can't find an I-9 form but I do have a VA Form 4107 May 2001. I did not appeal it because this was the second claim that had been denied and I was fustrated. But now that I have looked again at my paperwork I realized that that the VA never got back to me on the missing evidence. The VA never acknowledged whether they reviewed it or if they reviewed what the outcome of the review was. I am going to do what you have stated and that is get another better IMO and see if I can get another buddy statement. I will ask that the claim be reopen and that the issues that you mentioned be addressed. Thanks.

68mustang

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You sure could have challenged their denial-

but with better IMO and a buddy statement (although they probably conceded exposure) you could re-open-

the date of any potential award however will be the date of the -re-opened claim and not the older claim.

I am concerned as to why the VA did not acknowledge the CT and the IMO.

Were you sent an I-9 and full appeal rights?Did you file the I-9? Did they make any attempt to transfer your claim to the Board?

It seems to me that this claim 'might' even still be open-

I wonder what would happen if you sent VA copy of the RO letter that says:

"The denial letter also mentioned that should the missing evidence be received, it would be reviewed to determine if any other action would be necessary."

and asked them what the "review" determined as to that evidence.

It is best to focus on reopening the claim- but still-it would not hurt to ask them what the result of the review of the subsequent evidence was and send them a copy of this with the request:

"b. Review of Evidence. Concisely cite and evaluate all evidence that is relevant and necessary to the determination. Rating decisions must evaluate all the evidence, including oral testimony given under oath and certified statements submitted by claimants, and must clearly explain why that evidence is

found to be persuasive or unpersuasive. Decisions must address all pertinent evidence and all of the claimant's contentions. Do not quote at length from letters, affidavits, hospital reports, etc. " M21-1 Part 6 Change 113, March 19, 2004

from:http://64.233.169.104/custom?q=cache:WFD_US_kZxcJ:www.warms.vba.va.gov/admin21/m21_1/part6/chg113.doc+M21-1+consider+all+evidence&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us&lr=lang_en|lang_es&ie=UTF-8&client=pub-7326217334650925

Berta do you know why the message keeps going to right and how it can be corrected to show as regular page? Thanks.

68mustang

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68mustang,

About a year ago, I worked with a veteran who won an asbestos exposure case, and his MOS was not as solid as yours in proving pulmonary fibrosis caused by asbestos exposure. Dr. Bash reviewed his imaging films and diagnosed the disease. He is a neuroradiologist and is very good at reviewing cases of asbestos exposure. It's good to remember that a radiologist is "a doctor's doctor," in other words, when doctors can't assess fully what's going on, they order diagnostic imaging and strongly consider (if not rely on) the radiologist's opinion about the imaging results. Pulmonary fibrosis has numerous causes; one is asbestos exposure which shows up distinctively on diagnostic images.

Sometimes a diagnosis in plain English is all you need to win your claim. (I say sometimes because some at the VA can't read well.) Considering your MOS and a correct diagnosis, this should reach the level of "at least as likely as not" and should be ruled in your favor.

Don't give up.

On a side note, since your exposure to asbestos is irrefutible (based on accepted medical studies), keep careful watch over any bladder problems. The veteran I mentioned also got bladder cancer while in the claims process and it also was linked to his military asbestos exposure. The latent factor of asbestos injury can be 30-40 years.

Also, in the case for DIC benefits, it's important to fight for rating any condition that might be determined as primary cause of death.

Don't give up.

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68mustang,

About a year ago, I worked with a veteran who won an asbestos exposure case, and his MOS was not as solid as yours in proving pulmonary fibrosis caused by asbestos exposure. Dr. Bash reviewed his imaging films and diagnosed the disease. He is a neuroradiologist and is very good at reviewing cases of asbestos exposure. It's good to remember that a radiologist is "a doctor's doctor," in other words, when doctors can't assess fully what's going on, they order diagnostic imaging and strongly consider (if not rely on) the radiologist's opinion about the imaging results. Pulmonary fibrosis has numerous causes; one is asbestos exposure which shows up distinctively on diagnostic images.

Sometimes a diagnosis in plain English is all you need to win your claim. (I say sometimes because some at the VA can't read well.) Considering your MOS and a correct diagnosis, this should reach the level of "at least as likely as not" and should be ruled in your favor.

Don't give up.

On a side note, since your exposure to asbestos is irrefutible (based on accepted medical studies), keep careful watch over any bladder problems. The veteran I mentioned also got bladder cancer while in the claims process and it also was linked to his military asbestos exposure. The latent factor of asbestos injury can be 30-40 years.

Also, in the case for DIC benefits, it's important to fight for rating any condition that might be determined as primary cause of death.

Don't give up.

Thanks for the info you all have been a great help.

68mustang

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Mustang, The Va has been denying my asbestos claim for years. (1994) I was actually an asbestos worker.( insulator

Dont give up.

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Mustang, The Va has been denying my asbestos claim for years. (1994) I was actually an asbestos worker.( insulator

Dont give up.

Thanks for the info. Where was it that you were an asbestos insulator? I got exposed working in the boileroom during the time that the ship I was stationed on was in shipyard for an overhaul. 68mustang

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