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      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 Some of these letters may be rescinded, outdated, or otherwise no longer viable.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... 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  • 0

Service Connected Osteoarthritis And Degenerative Joint Disease

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The VA just determined the following conditions are related to my military service, so connection has been granted:

Degenerative joint disease cervical spine, assigned 10%.

Degenerative joint disease, lumbar spine, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Left Shoulder, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Right Shoulder, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Left Hip, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Right Hip, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Left Wrist, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Right Wrist, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Left knee, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Right knee, assigned 10%.

TOTAL 10%

Can this possibly be correct? I am crippled, and have continuous pain, even lying down. I cannot stand, walk or take stairs. The VA knows all this.

My hunch is they are waiting on attrition!

Someone please explain this decision to me or advise.

Thank You.

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26 answers to this question

Posted · Report post

The bright side of this is that the various conditions are now service connected. So, you can ask for higher ratings and TDIU due to the multiple SC conditions. The VA often "low balls" original compensation claims. A notice of disagreement (NOD) is one way, and perhaps the first of several steps. You should, if eligible, also file for SSDI. An SSDI approval for SC connected conditions is extremely useful, and will help substantiate your claim.

As for a detailed description of how and why the VA assigned the various 10% ratings, a look at the VA's disability/compensation schedule will provide some idea. You should ask the VA for an "SOC" and the details concerning the way they assigned the 10% ratings. (If they have not already given you that information.) You will need to conduct most of the research and so forth personally. This helps provide a rationale for the NOD.

The VA just determined the following conditions are related to my military service, so connection has been granted:

Degenerative joint disease cervical spine, assigned 10%.

Degenerative joint disease, lumbar spine, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Left Shoulder, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Right Shoulder, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Left Hip, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Right Hip, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Left Wrist, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Right Wrist, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Left knee, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Right knee, assigned 10%.

TOTAL 10%

Can this possibly be correct? I am crippled, and have continuous pain, even lying down. I cannot stand, walk or take stairs. The VA knows all this.

My hunch is they are waiting on attrition!

Someone please explain this decision to me or advise.

Thank You.

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Posted · Report post

Are you saying they totalled all this and gave you 10% ?????

also did any consider the bilateral factor?

if you are not working did you formally apply for TDIU?

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Posted · Report post

Let's see:

10 X 10 = 10

People keep asking me, "Why is the VA so SCREWED UP?"

The above is a perfectly good example, I would think.

I'd be willing to bet that they can't do much better with adding or subtracting, either. :lol:

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Posted · Report post

Chuck75 and Berta,

Thanks for the replies. You are exactly right all those add up to 10%. I did get a Statement Of Claim, but do not know about a bilateral factor. I could get 20% if a group of joints were affected. You are right I got low-balled. I have deformity and have lost 2" of height. Also wearing VA issue braces on the legs. Two VA doctors knew my condition was SC and made the notes. They gave the civilian doctors statements credibility. My employer has given me Special Accomodation so I'm thankful for that.

Regards "Old 5311"

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Posted · Report post

•The decision was a disappointing surprise. I am living with a service connected disabling handicap with continuous pain. I cannot stand, walk or take steps. This condition increases my PTSD symptoms. Their decision is for only 10%. Do you have any thoughts or advice on this? Page no. 7 says a 20% evaluation is not warranted unless X-ray evidence shows involvement of two or more major joint groups with incapacitating exacerbations of flexion limited to 30 degrees; or evidence of limitation of abduction lost beyond 10 degrees. This disability is very hard to live with, the limitations are endless. I would think it should be 40-60%.

R/"Old 5311"

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Posted · Report post

I sure would check the diagnostic codes too as well as the rating schedule-

and I would think the braces would put you into a higher rating for some of this-

Bizarre-

I guess if ten vets showed up -with one claim each -and each claim was just like one of yours then VA would pay 10 vets 10% each.????

maybe that doesnt make sense what I just said but sometimes the VA's Rationale is utterly weird to me.

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Posted · Report post

I don't know whats going on I am new to the game but I have arthritis degenerative in the neck wrist and foot/ankle

I get 20% for the neck

10% for the wrist (pain)

10% for the foot (pain)

40% but fuzzy math makes it less.

My xrays so the radiologist says doesn't show arthritis, but I can see it on my films.

I will NOD this I think my pain should be rated higher and the xrays they used were 18 months old.

If you have wrist and fingers involved that 2 joints, if you have both hands its bilateral. Check the rating codes it is explained there.

Re file a new claim for pain and limited motion.

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Posted · Report post

Veteran Forum Friends, Thanks for your thoughts. I Faxed my DAV VSO and will wait for that reply. For the record, I waited nine years for this decision, with the condition worsening continuously. I really expected a >40% rating. Every claim I have submitted has been denied by the same person at St. Pete. You must understand, they are understaffed and have huge case loads. So the easiest thing to do is deny, deny and deny. Then you wait and wait. ATRITION is the main objective! Definitionof atrition: we are gone! I think these VA employees are in low pay grades, although I understand the majority are veterans who must comply with their boss's orders. Annual evals are important and now under NSPS it is a new ball game. Only the good ole boys will see promotions and bonuses. The managers are largely non-vets who avoided the draft somehow. They are promoted, rewarded and recognized for keeping costs low and below budget.

I guess I'm just too young to be this darn old!

39 nholdin, not bitter.

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Posted · Report post

I plugged these numbers into my spreadsheet calculator, and assuming none is rated as 'bilateral', 10 tens crunches down to 67% - or 70% in comp terms. I would venture a guess there was an error somewhere on your letter or in your process. Did you submit a form for IU? Good luck,

--Jim

The VA just determined the following conditions are related to my military service, so connection has been granted:

Degenerative joint disease cervical spine, assigned 10%.

Degenerative joint disease, lumbar spine, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Left Shoulder, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Right Shoulder, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Left Hip, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Right Hip, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Left Wrist, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Right Wrist, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Left knee, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Right knee, assigned 10%.

TOTAL 10%

Can this possibly be correct? I am crippled, and have continuous pain, even lying down. I cannot stand, walk or take stairs. The VA knows all this.

My hunch is they are waiting on attrition!

Someone please explain this decision to me or advise.

Thank You.

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Posted · Report post

Thanks Jim,

No I have not filed IU. Still working under special accomodation status. I'm Warm, Dry, and comfortable. Thank God! Still bewildered by this rating.

Jim

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Posted · Report post

"Still working under special accomodation status"

Make sure you tell VA that and supply any documentation of this if you can-

that decision you got is outrageous.

In Voc Rehab my husband needed accomodations to his PTSD which the college gave him-and they documented this.

the VA never considered this as part of his evidence but there was plenty more evidence they had anyhow- still this shows to VA that

you are more disabed than they think.

And a picture of the braces might be worth a thousand words (or more comp)

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Posted · Report post

Berta,

Since you slept on this, you really came up with excellent thoughts. I never considered these factors. The NOD, Pictures w/braces and w-o/braces, and employer's Special Accomodation document should make a good point. My VSO can carry it to the RO and place it in his hands. We'll do it! P.S. I did file for clothing allowance due to the wear and tear the braces have on my trousers.

Thanks for your message,

Jim

NEW WORLD DICITIONARY. Second College Edition.

"Outrageous"

1. having the nature of, involving, or doing great injury or wrong.

2. exceeding all bounds of decency or reasonableness; very offensive or shocking.

3. violent in action or disposition; unrestrained.

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Today I sent a NOD for the 10% OA Appeal. Also sent employer's comments regarding accommodations and many pictures. I sent it via my new DAV VSO at St. Pete. Kelly Sunday. This VSO is a real go-getter. I wish I knew the gender but what ever, the e-mailed NOD was forwarded to the Appeals Board. I had to ask the question about how long it would take to get a response. Typically 2-3 years!! The best thing the VA has going for them is ATTRITION!

Last week I sent a Notice of Omission. ED was part 2 of the appeal which was not addressed. ED is a result of years of PTSD meds, trial meds, cocktail meds, and routine anxiety/depression/insomnia meds. Word of advice, check the side effects of your meds, do your refills on time and be careful. The side effects may be causing your symptoms! ED is a real slam to the morale. Feb. 18, 2008 we will celebrate our 41st anniversary. She is a wonderful, faithful wife who honors the Oaths we took before God and witnesses. She is one in a million.

If anyone has a success story regarding ED please let me know.

Warm FL Regards, Jim

Old 5311

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Yesterday a fairly large direct deposit from the VA was discovered in my CU account. Nice surprise, but I don't know what it was for. I've akked my VSO and waiting for a reply. Do you think a letter will come soon explaining it? It could be an error.

Thanks.

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OLD5311: I think the Department of Veterans Affairs realized there Mistake and corrected it.....Hopefully....Good Luck. :)

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WOW!!!! all you can do is sit tight- this happened to me and I called VA many times as to what the heck one check was for-a biggy and no letter until a few days later-

Then again you got one of the most BIZARRE award letters for the 10% that I had ever seen!

I hope they acted on your TDIU and maybe that is what the $$$ is for-

you could play around with the VA Comp schedule and the date of month you filed the claim- use date of next month-

and see if something fits in to the amount (add your dependents too- OR just sit back and say WHEW and take the family out for a special dinner and wait for the letter -which is SOOOOOOO hard to do when one gets a big VA check)

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I am at 40% and in a similar boat with the arthritis but have not worked since 2004. I just yesterday got a SSOC and it stated continued denial of TDIU but made a point of mentioning the record of "severe debilitating arthritis." My ankles, knees hips and back are a mess with neuoropathy too.

I am connected for ankle injury and flat feet so I think they're telling me that if I can convince them my arthritis is service connected, I'll get it. I could then claim the side effects of the heavy meds (methadone for pain) I'm on too.

Can I ask how you got connected for arthritis???

I have scrounged a couple medical studies referring to it but I'm thin on the ground there. My sole provider is the VA and my Dr. there is good to me and conscientious as far as patient care goes, but he won't stretch far enough to flat say my arthritis is caused by my service connected conditions.

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JQ, if you have a "record of severe debillitating arthritis", to what do they attribute that?

Have they said?

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JQ, if you have a "record of severe debillitating arthritis", to what do they attribute that?

Have they said?

Yeah, I'd be interested to know the answer to this question also.

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JQ, if you have a "record of severe debillitating arthritis", to what do they attribute that?

Have they said?

No. No comment as to cause at all.

I see my Dr. next week and am going to try and get him to put it in his progress notes.

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Chuck75 and Berta,

Thanks for the replies. You are exactly right all those add up to 10%. I did get a Statement Of Claim, but do not know about a bilateral factor. I could get 20% if a group of joints were affected. You are right I got low-balled. I have deformity and have lost 2" of height. Also wearing VA issue braces on the legs. Two VA doctors knew my condition was SC and made the notes. They gave the civilian doctors statements credibility. My employer has given me Special Accomodation so I'm thankful for that.

Regards "Old 5311"

Hey Old 5311,

You might want to ask some of these guys about VA math. Don't quote me because I am not an expert, but I think using VA math you might be rated 70% schedular. Also, as they said earlier, you might get TDIU, or even SMC at some rate since you said you have major mobility issues. Berta and Pete probably know the most about that. OH,,,there's always Tincanman, Cantamont, Rick or well, you get the point. Good luck.

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You need MS spread sheet but you do the math list disabilties High % to lowest %

VA_Calculator.xls

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71.75%sc=70%sc

Lookslike some one type in 10%. made a one to a seven.

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71.75%sc=70%sc

Looks like some one type in 10%. made a seven to a one mistake.

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The VA just determined the following conditions are related to my military service, so connection has been granted:

Degenerative joint disease cervical spine, assigned 10%.

Degenerative joint disease, lumbar spine, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Left Shoulder, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Right Shoulder, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Left Hip, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Right Hip, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Left Wrist, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Right Wrist, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Left knee, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Right knee, assigned 10%.

TOTAL 10%

Can this possibly be correct? I am crippled, and have continuous pain, even lying down. I cannot stand, walk or take stairs. The VA knows all this.

My hunch is they are waiting on attrition!

Someone please explain this decision to me or advise.

Thank You.

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