The law provides that a person who submits a claim for VA benefits must submit evidence sufficent to justify a belief that the claim is well grounded. A well grounded claim is plausible claim, one which has merit on its own or is capable of substantiation. Such a claim need not be conclusive, but it must be accompanied by evidence which shows that claimed condition exist and is possibly related to service.
Compensation is payable for a disease or injury which causes a disabling physical or mental limitation. The evidence regarding neck and back pains fails to show a disability for which compensation be be established. It is therefore not a well grounded claim which can be resolved. In order to establish a well grounded claim, it is necessary to provide evidence which demonstrates an actually disabling condition. (this is the part that makes me wonder whose records were they looking at) Services records contain no evidence of an injury to the neck or back and no indication of a chronic disease process relative to neck or back. Xrays of the cervical and lumbusacral spine on Va examination were normal.
Now they did not assist me in addressing my symptons. Today they have changed their tune about my back (lower) and of course I lost the initial dates. I just accepted it. Back then I really didn't know much about claims or the Va and would have have believed if they told me the sky was purple. The thing is through out the years since the initial claim I kept complaining and seeking answers about my cervical neck pain and finally about 2006 they started doing MRI's and other tools to look at it. That's when I started pulling my records and finding all the results of the MRI and progression of my back and neck injury. I didnt even think to pull records until another veteran taught me the process. I just didn't know. I always played by the rules and I thought they did. I am still suffering today. I finally after my doctor told me blantantly that this injury to my neck was a direct result of the accident because of how young I am and how the MRI's look. Today I do recieved treatment for my neck but it was never service connected no matter what my doctor told me. I had to make a decision and so not really understanding about CUE's I thought it may be best to just reopen my claim from 1998 for my neck pain (cervical) and file for all the newly diagnose cervical results from my doc and MRI. After reading so much on Hadit and another Vet site I am wondering If I really did the right thing. Did I just let them off the hook. I have read multiple post on this site about what makes a claim, Browskoski test etc., and I am wondering I made the right move. It appears that I didn't I keep asking should I have Cued or Not. They were well aware of my accident during the first claim and had the accident report so it was well grounded. Sure it may not have been conclusive because there was no official diagnoses made but I was seeking medical answers and care based on my symptoms to which I kept being told maybe I pulled a muscle in my neck. They had the after action report from my commander which showed evidence, they had my medical out paperwork where I checked the box for back and neck pain. Sure the pain then wasn't as bad as it is now but it did cause me pain and spasm that I expressed to them in my claim as neck and back pain. I didn't know then how to write it up any different than that and they didnt bother to C & P all they did was an xray which they claim was normal. Funny thing is couple of years later I continue to complain and the next set of xrays shows spurs and other things in the same area. Obviously, the pain that I was feeling then in my neck and back during the presumptive period was the injury that I am still suffering from and proven by recent MRI's today. I would like to hear various takes on this. Cue or not to Cue?
Edited by Michellee, 23 March 2011 - 09:21 PM.