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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.
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    • 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

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    • 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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Question About Cfs

19 posts in this topic

Posted

I just filed for disability compensation and they are in the process of getting my medical records. I know for a fact that I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I was medically, honorably discharged in 1996 and was in the Persian gulf. I was told that I would not quality for VA assistance so haven't persued it until recently. I was approved and put into Priority Group 3 as service-connected. I haven't been given a rating yet as I just filed for disability compensation. I have had chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms since the end of my tour. The last 4 years have been the worse with chronic headaches and joint/muscle pain. I had Kaiser and haven't been able to afford to keep it because I haven't been able to work in over 4 years.

I have 9 of the 10 symptoms of CFS and it is all documented in my medical records which I have right in front of me and will be sending to the regional office in support of my claim. I did not claim disability compensation due to CFS because I only recently heard about it and learned that I have it because I have had all of those symptoms for 15 years. I have been diagnosed as having chronic headaches and joint problems, GERD, concentration/memory issues, throat problems, etc... all of which are documented in my medical records.

My question is: What do I do now? I already filed for disability compensation due to the 4+ years of chronic headaches and also for bipolar which is what I was diagnosed with in the military. Should I get the CFS diagnosis somehow? And, if so, how do I go about getting the diagnosis? Can I simply add on to the disability compensation claim that I just turned in and add CFS to it or should I do something else? I learned that if I was diagnoses with CFS and have been unable to work for 4+ years that I would get a 100% disability rating which I should have in my opinion because it's impossible for me to work. Or, should I file for unemployabiltiy. I just don't know which direction to go and what order to do it in and I need asistance asap. What do you all suggest?

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Posted

Welcome to hadit.com

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Posted

Thank you, Carly, it's a pleasure to be aboard.

One of the major things I need to know about my situation is if it's too late to add Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to the list of medical reasons for file for disability compensation? Or if I have to get diagnosed first or go through some kind of required exam or something? Should I get one of those free lawyers to help me so I don't have to file again and waste a lot of time? I need assistance right away so I really need to know the fastest way for me to get compensation. I have my medical records from the last 4 years that chronicle my chronic headaches and bipolar. I did not have medical insurance until 4 years ago, but I was diagnoses with bipolar in the military and was having fatigue and sleeping problems that they also will see in the records. More than likely the records have been destroyed because it was 1996 when I was discharge. Am I correct in assuming that? I just read about a similar case and she won her claim on appeal and her medical records were also destroyed and they approved her on "presumptive service-connection" see below...

For her part, the Veteran has reported a history of

headaches, and back, neck and wrist pain dating back to

service. She is competent to report experiencing these

symptoms in service, and to also report a continuity of

similar symptomatology since service as symptoms of headaches

and joint pain are all capable of lay observation. Her

testimony in this regard may serve to satisfy the requirement

for a nexus between an in-service event and a current

disability. Barr v. Nicholson, 21 Vet. App. 303 (2007).

The Board is aware that there are no medical records that

show treatment or complaint of the claimed disorders within

the first few years after the Veteran's discharge from

service in 1991. Incurrence of a disorder or disease during

service may be rebutted by absence of medical treatment for,

or related complaints about, the claimed condition for a

prolonged period after service. See Maxson v. West, 12 Vet.

App. 453 (1999), aff'd, 230 F.3d 1330 (Fed. Cir. 2000).

Thus, the absence of treatment for several years after

service weighs against her current testimony of continuity of

symptomatology.

Nonetheless, the VA examiner's opinion can be read as placing

the evidence in equipoise on the question of whether the

current headaches, back, neck, and wrist disorders are

related to service. Destruction of service medical records

creates a heightened duty on the part of VA to consider the

applicability of the benefit of the doubt, to assist the

claimant in developing the claim, and to explain its

decision. Cromer, 19 Vet App 215 (2005); Russo v. Brown, 9

Vet. App. 46, 51 (1996). With these considerations in mind,

and resolving all doubt in favor of the Veteran, entitlement

to service connection for headaches, recurrent lumbosacral

strain, cervical spondylosis, and bilateral wrist tendonitis

is therefore granted. 38 U.S.C.A. § 5107(b).

ORDER

Service connection for a disorder manifested by fatigue, as

an undiagnosed illness, is granted.

Service connection for a disorder manifested by bilateral

knee pain, diagnosed as fibromyalgia, is granted.

Service connection for a headache disorder, variously

diagnosed, is granted.

Service connection for a disorder manifested by back pain,

diagnosed as lumbosacral strain, is granted.

Service connection for a disorder manifested by neck pain,

diagnoses as spondylosis, is granted.

Service connection for a disorder manifested by bilateral

wrist pain, diagnosed as tendonitis, is granted.

______________________________________________

Mark D. Hindin

Veterans Law Judge, Board of Veterans' Appeals

END

...my case is almost exactly like hers, except I have more documented symptoms that were "medically unexplained" that are recorded in my medical records from the last 4 years. How could I get an approval on my claim without having to go through the appeals process like the above had to do? How could I use her case to benefit mine? I personally think I should hire a lawyer from this point on, but am completely open to suggestions and advice so please share your knowledge and experience.

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Posted

what symptoms do you have? I would suggest that you do all the research you can do on the difference between FM(Fibromyalgia) AND cfs/cfids(chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome).

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Posted

what symptoms do you have? I would suggest that you do all the research you can do on the difference between FM(Fibromyalgia) AND cfs/cfids(chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome).

Thanks Senior Chief. I have done the research and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is the one. I was aware that FM was similar, but found that CFS shared most of my symptoms. Symptoms include the following:

Severe painful headaches

Muscle Aches

Fatigue

Joint Pain

Inability to Focus

Cannot Concentrate

Memory Failure

Sleeping Problems

Cannot Work

Bedridden Most of the time

Sore Throat

Minor Fevers

Neck becomes tender

Energy problems

IMO Diagnosis over the last 4 years (only time that I've had medical insurance):

Chronic Daily Headache

Bipolar

Chronic Depression

Pain Medication Management Plan

GERD

Chronic Rhinitis

Skin Cysts (developed during the end of tour and had surgery right after to remove some. Many still exist)

Exophoria (Eyes deviate outwards)

Leg Pain

Sciatica - Nerve Pain

Lower Back Pain

Joint Pain

Muscle Aches

Fatigue

Allergic Rhinosinusitis

Upper Facial Weakness

"ABNL Finding on EKG"

END

I was in the Persian Gulf in 1996. The fatigue and headaches and the GERD are the most dominant symptoms still to date. Can I add Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as another reason for filing for disability compensation even though I filed the "formal" form about two weeks ago? Right now I just received the first letter stating that they are requesting my service medical records and they asked me to sign a release form so they can get my Kaiser records from the last 4 years. I contacted Kaiser and have those records printed that I plan on sending them that proves everything. More than likely my MSR's were destroyed because I was discharged in 1996. Agree on that assumption? How should I proceed senior chief?

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Posted

You will need a current diagnosis of all your conditions, I would say within the last six months to a year of being treated. Some times the VA C & P(Compensation and Pension) Exams go against the veteran, so having your own medical opinion within that time frame will greatly help your claims. You can also apply for SSDI/SSI(Social Security Disability Insurance/Supplemental Security Income) if you are not working. Make sure you request and get a personal copy of your SMRs and your Kaiser medical records. Also you need to try to get a PCP (Primary Care Provider) at the VAMC (VA Hospital) and try to get some treatment. If I missed something others will chime in.

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Posted

You will need a current diagnosis of all your conditions, I would say within the last six months to a year of being treated. Some times the VA C & P(Compensation and Pension) Exams go against the veteran, so having your own medical opinion within that time frame will greatly help your claims. You can also apply for SSDI/SSI(Social Security Disability Insurance/Supplemental Security Income) if you are not working. Make sure you request and get a personal copy of your SMRs and your Kaiser medical records. Also you need to try to get a PCP (Primary Care Provider) at the VAMC (VA Hospital) and try to get some treatment. If I missed something others will chime in.

Yes, all those diagnoses that I mentioned below were diagnosed by Kaiser doctors over the last 4 years and most of those items are also listed as chronic like the headaches, muscle pain, gerd, and fatigue. So now that I have that sitting right here in my hands, can I just contact the regional office and have them add unexplained chronic illnesses or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I need to figure out how to proceed because they are waiting for me to respond to the letter they just sent me and I really need this to go through right away as I really need that "compensation". Thanks for your help.

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Also, I will be filing for SSI as I am not eligable for SSDI. Should I wait until a decision has been made on the disability compensation claim or do you think I'm good to just move forward with the SSI application now? Did I read an accurate statement online that the Wounded Warriers Org. can put a "Expedite" label on the SSI application so it could get approved in about 2 months? Sorry for all the questions. Noob.

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You need to send VA a copy of everything you have and send it certified return receipt and make sure someone signs for your records because records do get lost at the VA. I am not sure what type if symptoms you have noted in your SMRs, so you may want to cover your bases by requesting directly related to your service or by undiagnosed/unexplained chronic Illness. You should also request for the maximum rating allowed for your conditions. If you can not work due to your military conditions you should file for TDIU(Total disability Based on Individual Unemployability).

http://www.vba.va.go...21-8940-ARE.pdf

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Also, I will be filing for SSI as I am not eligable for SSDI. Should I wait until a decision has been made on the disability compensation claim or do you think I'm good to just move forward with the SSI application now? Did I read an accurate statement online that the Wounded Warriers Org. can put a "Expedite" label on the SSI application so it could get approved in about 2 months? Sorry for all the questions. Noob.

File as soon as you can do not wait for VA because it could take up to a year for your decision. I am not sure about expediting SSI claim but you can ask social security when you call them or go to them.

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We are here to try to help, ask all the questions you need and someone will try to answer them.

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You need to send VA a copy of everything you have and send it certified return receipt and make sure someone signs for your records because records do get lost at the VA. I am not sure what type if symptoms you have noted in your SMRs, so you may want to cover your bases by requesting directly related to your service or by undiagnosed/unexplained chronic Illness. You should also request for the maximum rating allowed for your conditions. If you can not work due to your military conditions you should file for TDIU(Total disability Based on Individual Unemployability).

http://www.vba.va.go...21-8940-ARE.pdf

Can I file for TDIU even though I just filed for disability compensation and haven't even been given a disability rating yet? How long will it take to at least get the disability rating? Or is that also given right when the make and inform me of the decision? Because I have the skin disease with the cysts and all the other CFS symptoms, I don't have to have anything diagnosed while I was in, correct? Because they know that I was in the persian gulf and they know that those symptoms are common from gulf war vets? I did have the bipolar, fatigue and sleeping problems diagnosed in my SMR's. Will that be enough in my case to justify service-connected. Plus these diagnosed illnesses that were diagnosed by a Private doctor within the last 4 years:

Chronic Daily Headache

Bipolar

Chronic Depression

Pain Medication Management Plan

GERD

Chronic Rhinitis

Skin Cysts (developed during the end of tour and had surgery right after to remove some. Many still exist)

Exophoria (Eyes deviate outwards)

Leg Pain

Sciatica - Nerve Pain

Lower Back Pain

Joint Pain

Muscle Aches

Fatigue

Allergic Rhinosinusitis

Upper Facial Weakness

"ABNL Finding on EKG"

But I did and still do have more of the CFS symptoms that was not diagnosed by the IMO during the last 4 years that include:

Severe painful headaches

Muscle Aches

Fatigue

Joint Pain

Inability to Focus

Cannot Concentrate

Memory Failure

Sleeping Problems

Cannot Work

Bedridden Most of the time

Sore Throat

Minor Fevers

Neck becomes tender

Energy problems

Once again, do I have to tell the Regional VA Office who now have my disability compensation claim that I want them to "add" unexplained illnesses or CFS or all the other diagnosed illnesses listed above? I just thought that they would see those diagnoses from my private doctor from the medical records so didn't list them all. That was probably a mistake, but can that be corrected yet. They haven't even got my signature yet to even order my private medical records and only a week or so ago requested the SMR's. Or do I simply send them my private medical records the method you described and everything else should be good to go? I just want to make sure that this goes fast and without having to appeal? So if I need to do something to make that happen, then please let me know because I need to take action now as I'm sure you realize. I made the stupid mistake of just going in the VA office and filing for disability compensation without doing the research first. I didn't even know about chronic fatigue syndrome until after I submitted the application.

And, finally, does the VA tend to make a decision on a claim faster if they know that a lawyer is representing you? Once again, all your help is greatly appreciated!!!

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Should I get one of those free lawyers to help me so I don't have to file again and waste a lot of time? I need assistance right away so I really need to know the fastest way for me to get compensation.

tdun - you can't use a lawyer until you get your first denial.

ALL CLAIMANT'S want "the fastest way to get compensation".

I have my medical records from the last 4 years that chronicle my chronic headaches and bipolar. I did not have medical insurance until 4 years ago, but I was diagnoses with bipolar in the military and was having fatigue and sleeping problems that they also will see in the records.

Did you ever file a claim for bipolar ? If yes, what was the decision ?

How could I get an approval on my claim without having to go through the appeals process like the above had to do? How could I use her case to benefit mine? I personally think I should hire a lawyer from this point on, but am completely open to suggestions and advice so please share your knowledge and experience.

See the above regarding a "lawyer".

IMO - you have a bit to travel before you will have any resolve.

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More than likely my MSR's were destroyed because I was discharged in 1996. Agree on that assumption?

I disagree, SMR/STR's are not to be destroyed like private medical records.

They become part of the complete C-file.

JMHO

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Also, I will be filing for SSI as I am not eligable for SSDI. Should I wait until a decision has been made on the disability compensation claim or do you think I'm good to just move forward with the SSI application now? Did I read an accurate statement online that the Wounded Warriers Org. can put a "Expedite" label on the SSI application so it could get approved in about 2 months? Sorry for all the questions. Noob.

tdun,

IMO - since you were discharged in 1996 I do not feel you would be eligible for

anything related to Wounded Warrior.

I sure could be wrong on this but I do not think so.

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Can I file for TDIU even though I just filed for disability compensation and haven't even been given a disability rating yet?

You also asked this question here:

Try to ask the same question in only one place.

How long will it take to at least get the disability rating? Or is that also given right when the make and inform me of the decision?

It takes as long as it takes - they don't have a time frame they must meet. Could be 12 - 24 - 36 months.

Because I have the skin disease with the cysts and all the other CFS symptoms, I don't have to have anything diagnosed while I was in, correct? Because they know that I was in the persian gulf and they know that those symptoms are common from gulf war vets? I did have the bipolar, fatigue and sleeping problems diagnosed in my SMR's. Will that be enough in my case to justify service-connected.

There is no way to tell.

Plus these diagnosed illnesses that were diagnosed by a Private doctor within the last 4 years:

Chronic Daily Headache

Bipolar

Chronic Depression

Pain Medication Management Plan

GERD

Chronic Rhinitis

Skin Cysts (developed during the end of tour and had surgery right after to remove some. Many still exist)

Exophoria (Eyes deviate outwards)

Leg Pain

Sciatica - Nerve Pain

Lower Back Pain

Joint Pain

Muscle Aches

Fatigue

Allergic Rhinosinusitis

Upper Facial Weakness

"ABNL Finding on EKG"

But I did and still do have more of the CFS symptoms that was not diagnosed by the IMO during the last 4 years that include:

Severe painful headaches

Muscle Aches

Fatigue

Joint Pain

Inability to Focus

Cannot Concentrate

Memory Failure

Sleeping Problems

Cannot Work

Bedridden Most of the time

Sore Throat

Minor Fevers

Neck becomes tender

Energy problems

Just because a claimant has symptoms and/or a diagnosis does not ensure SC.

To get SC granted you must have:

1) an in-service injury, illness, disease, event. <br style="min-width: 0px; ">2) a current disability. <br style="min-width: 0px; ">3) a nexus (medical connection linking the two above)

And, finally, does the VA tend to make a decision on a claim faster if they know that a lawyer is representing you?

No, having a lawyer on record will not in any way help your claim issues to be adjudicated any faster.

You might want to read the full link posted below.

http://www.hadit.com/veterans_self_help_guide.html'>http://www.hadit.com/veterans_self_help_guide.html

Also - check out the information on Hadit's homepage.

http://www.hadit.com/

JMHO

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Can I file for TDIU even though I just filed for disability compensation and haven't even been given a disability rating yet?

You also asked this question here:

Try to ask the same question in only one place.

How long will it take to at least get the disability rating? Or is that also given right when the make and inform me of the decision?

It takes as long as it takes - they don't have a time frame they must meet. Could be 12 - 24 - 36 months.

Because I have the skin disease with the cysts and all the other CFS symptoms, I don't have to have anything diagnosed while I was in, correct? Because they know that I was in the persian gulf and they know that those symptoms are common from gulf war vets? I did have the bipolar, fatigue and sleeping problems diagnosed in my SMR's. Will that be enough in my case to justify service-connected.

There is no way to tell.

Plus these diagnosed illnesses that were diagnosed by a Private doctor within the last 4 years:

Chronic Daily Headache

Bipolar

Chronic Depression

Pain Medication Management Plan

GERD

Chronic Rhinitis

Skin Cysts (developed during the end of tour and had surgery right after to remove some. Many still exist)

Exophoria (Eyes deviate outwards)

Leg Pain

Sciatica - Nerve Pain

Lower Back Pain

Joint Pain

Muscle Aches

Fatigue

Allergic Rhinosinusitis

Upper Facial Weakness

"ABNL Finding on EKG"

But I did and still do have more of the CFS symptoms that was not diagnosed by the IMO during the last 4 years that include:

Severe painful headaches

Muscle Aches

Fatigue

Joint Pain

Inability to Focus

Cannot Concentrate

Memory Failure

Sleeping Problems

Cannot Work

Bedridden Most of the time

Sore Throat

Minor Fevers

Neck becomes tender

Energy problems

Just because a claimant has symptoms and/or a diagnosis does not ensure SC.

To get SC granted you must have:

1) an in-service injury, illness, disease, event. <br style="min-width: 0px; ">2) a current disability. <br style="min-width: 0px; ">3) a nexus (medical connection linking the two above)

And, finally, does the VA tend to make a decision on a claim faster if they know that a lawyer is representing you?

No, having a lawyer on record will not in any way help your claim issues to be adjudicated any faster.

You might want to read the full link posted below.

http://www.hadit.com/veterans_self_help_guide.html'>http://www.hadit.com/veterans_self_help_guide.html

Also - check out the information on Hadit's homepage.

http://www.hadit.com/

JMHO

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tdunford:

What you probably will need is a Doctor's opinion that diagnoses you with CFS that links it to your service. You may win your claim with what you have already submitted and the medical records available to Military. I served 1968-70 and all my medical records except my basic and AIT training were in the records.

If you lose at the first level you probably will need to get a complete copy of your C file. Right now asking for it could slow them down not that the VA needs an excuse. If you can go to the VARO you can request an opportunity to review your C File and with an appointment you can go through it fairly quickly. Most of the VA Councellors are helpful and may even make a few copies of important info for you.

If you win your claim you should also request a ful and complete copy of your C file you never know when you will need it.

Other records that are important to request are the records the VA Hospital you go to especially the progress notes.

Good Luck on your claim

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If you have the symptoms then you file for the symptoms, List each one out out like this. " joint pain, muscle pains, chronic fatigue ----- due to may service in the gulf as per to CFR 38 section 3.317 / possible chronic fatigue syndrome."

There is a very good site on this at

http://vets.yuku.com/topic/3746/Comp-for-Disabilities-associated-with-Gulf-War-Service

I just filed for disability compensation and they are in the process of getting my medical records. I know for a fact that I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I was medically, honorably discharged in 1996 and was in the Persian gulf. I was told that I would not quality for VA assistance so haven't persued it until recently. I was approved and put into Priority Group 3 as service-connected. I haven't been given a rating yet as I just filed for disability compensation. I have had chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms since the end of my tour. The last 4 years have been the worse with chronic headaches and joint/muscle pain. I had Kaiser and haven't been able to afford to keep it because I haven't been able to work in over 4 years.

I have 9 of the 10 symptoms of CFS and it is all documented in my medical records which I have right in front of me and will be sending to the regional office in support of my claim. I did not claim disability compensation due to CFS because I only recently heard about it and learned that I have it because I have had all of those symptoms for 15 years. I have been diagnosed as having chronic headaches and joint problems, GERD, concentration/memory issues, throat problems, etc... all of which are documented in my medical records.

My question is: What do I do now? I already filed for disability compensation due to the 4+ years of chronic headaches and also for bipolar which is what I was diagnosed with in the military. Should I get the CFS diagnosis somehow? And, if so, how do I go about getting the diagnosis? Can I simply add on to the disability compensation claim that I just turned in and add CFS to it or should I do something else? I learned that if I was diagnoses with CFS and have been unable to work for 4+ years that I would get a 100% disability rating which I should have in my opinion because it's impossible for me to work. Or, should I file for unemployabiltiy. I just don't know which direction to go and what order to do it in and I need asistance asap. What do you all suggest?

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