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      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.
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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... 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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60 Second Exam, Rude Doctor, Total Denial Despite 20+ Years Of Civilian Doctor Visits

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This past August I filed a VA claim. The issues were on items that I occurred while I was in the Air Force back in the early 1980s. These are not just things that were in my military records – the items I claimed were for chronic issues that I have spent thousands and thousands of dollars on medical bills over the past 30 years on. I never knew about being able to get the VA to take care of problems that arose while I was on active duty until recently or else I would have filed a long time ago.

I received a head trauma back in ’83 and have been seeing doctors and neurologists for constant headaches, memory loss and insomnia since the injury occurred. While I was in the service I was seen for chronic headaches after the trauma and the military records also reflect this. I also had pneumonia and developed a chronic cough. These are items that I have seen doctor after doctor about. The problem is that, even though I have over 100 pages of medical visits, they could never nail down a clear diagnosis… one doc said chronic sinusitis, another said it was chronic bronchitis, etc etc.

So, last summer I filed a compensation claim on these issues, along with a few others that were in my records that I have had to see civilian doctors on.

I truly had the CP doctor sent from Satan himself. At the beginning of the visit, Dr. Ngwa introduced himself and we shook hands. He sat down and started reading that I am being seen for chronic cough, chronic headaches, chronic bronchitis, etc., and the more he read the mode upset he became. I then received a five minute lecture on how this was a legal procedure and how dare I file something like this.

I had also sent in a copy of my civilian records as well as authorizations for the VA to retrieve any medical records directly. Dr. Ngwa said these did not exist (despite the fact that I did send them in over a month prior) and refused to acknowledge any existence of civilian records. He got even angrier when, after he accused me of hiring someone to fill out the claim form (of which I did NOT), I told him the phrases I had used, such as “chronic lung condition” and “bilateral knee pain” was straight out of my civilian records. He spoke with a heavy accent and I had to have him repeat things so I could understand, this also made him more hostile as we spoke.

The next 20 minutes were spent with me just sitting there while he typed away on the computer. From what I saw he was actually typing up the denial while I was sitting there and before he actually did any exams or any test results came in.

Eventually, he finally did get around to an actual physical exam – spending less than 60 seconds to exam my feet, legs, hands, and everything else.

A few months ago I asked the VA for what Ngwa reported. It turns out he shot down everything saying there were no issues. He answered questions on the report that he never asked me, such as items regarding my headaches, and on other incidents he did not actually report what I told him. I mentioned that I was on antibiotics 5 or 6 times for bouts of bronchitis and pneumonia in 2011 – he stated that I said I was sick twice last year.

So, everything was denied with the reason of “The evidence does not show a current diagnosed disability” with the exception of the chronic sinusitis, which stated there was no event in service. I had been in sick call at least 5 times for cough/fever/sinus problems.

I did not argue back during the exam and I kept my cool. He was insulting, even congratulated me on creating a whole new disease called chronic left leg syndrome (he was being sarcastic) and when we walked out to the receptionist to set up a breathing test I thanked him for his time and put out my hand. He looked down at it and turned his back and walked away. The receptionist and I just looked at each other in disbelief.

So, how does one appeal a mess such as this? A total “hands on” exam of less than 60 seconds? After getting a denial letter I went to the DAV, who told me that I needed to get letters from my doctors before they could do anything. You know how hard it is to get a NEXUS letter? Cripes, it was hard enough in the past to get them to do FMLA paperwork for my civilian job.

I did talk to the VA Patient Advocate and I stated that I wanted to file a complaint with the IG on the issue, but other people told me that if I did so I would be screwed for years on the claim.

How should one repeal something like this crap?? Should I just ask for a whole new CP exam? Should I get a lawyer?

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10 answers to this question

Posted · Report post

First welcome to Hadit and thank you for serving. A bad C&P can be overcome. You will need to appeal the decision and if it was me ask for a hearing. Take the decision and go through the reasons you were denied.A current diagnosis is required. It should be a medical opinion that you have for the diagnosis and hopefully the Doc will link it to your service.

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Posted · Report post

What Pete says and you need an indpendent medical opionion of your own to rebutt what this witch doctor has said about you.

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Posted · Report post

If at all possible, you need to post the Reason for Decision in order for us to look at the whole picture.

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Posted · Report post

Your mistake was not obtaining a independant medical opinion.... claims for service connection are often very hard to prove... in your case your service was 30 years ago and that itself makes the claim harder to prove.

No veteran should ever go to a C/P exam or submit a claim without already having a nexus from their own doctor. When a veteran fails to provide an opinion they are leaving it up to a va hired examiner to decide their status. Now you would not expect a va lawyer to fight for you.. so why would you trust a va examiner to take your side.

Another problem that is very common and you pointed out was dealing with a foreign born doctor who spoke English so poorly or with such a thick accent that you had to ask him to repeat what he was saying over and over again. Couple the language barrier with only having a 5 or 10 minute exam and no medical records to review ... well the outcome was predictable.....

You can overcome this by filing a request for a decison review officer.... indicate that the exam was inadaquate and request a new exam, also indicate that the doctor did not have the medical records to review. And more inportant than anything else get a independant medical opinion that clealy shows the conditions you claims begain on active duty. Unless you get a opinion you are just wasting your time. Remember not only do you now have to prove service connection, but you have to overcome the denial based on the inadquate exam and the only way to overcome the examiners opinion is to create doubt by providing a statement that indicates otherwise.

Keep in mind the statement must state that the doctor reviewed your active duty medical records, and that you are now receiving treatment for the conditions claimed. It must state that it is at least as likey as not that the

conditions you have now are related to problems you had on active duty. Also the medical opinion must be justified by the medical record.

Welcome to hadit, and the best of luck...

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Posted · Report post

You got good advise here but it would help to see the actual Reasons and Bases as well as the evidence list.

(Cover any personal stuff)as you have a lot of private medical evidence that VA might have acknowledged they got, but did not use in the decision.

"After getting a denial letter I went to the DAV, who told me that I needed to get letters from my doctors before they could do anything."

Yes and that is the general consensus here too.

"You know how hard it is to get a NEXUS letter?" IMOs doctors do that all the time with the veteran's SMRs and enough in the SMRs to warrant the "at least as likely or not "statement.

One of your private docs, with the IMO criteria that is here in the IMO forum , and a cover letter explaining to them what type of IMO you are seeking, might be willing for a small fee to prepare a letter for you since they treated you in the past. I know vets who even got freeby IMOs from their private docs and I go a freeby IMO from a former VA doc who treated my husband. It was only 2-3 sentences but the VA gave it as much weight as the 4 thousand worth of additional IMOs I had.

"I did talk to the VA Patient Advocate and I stated that I wanted to file a complaint with the IG on the issue, but other people told me that if I did so I would be screwed for years on the claim."

I have filed many complaints with the IG but as far as my claims went, VA managed to screw them up prior to and regardless of my IG complaints.

"How should one repeal something like this crap?? Should I just ask for a whole new CP exam? Should I get a lawyer? "

As others said, a strong IMO will help you.

A lawyer would probably suggest getting one too.You can sure push for a new C & P exam but the results of that one might not help you either. Hard to say.....

There are many private docs willing to prepare an IMO but don't have a clue on what the VA really needs.

If your private docs are unwilling to consider the IMO criteria the VA needs followed, in the IMO forum here, best to google for a good IMO doctor who is familiar with the VA.

My IMOs in addition to the freeby ,came from Dr. Craig C Bash,who used to work for the VA.

Although his field of expertise is NeuroRadiology, and not diabetes (Endocrinology)-the basis of that claim- he opined with a complete medical rationale on my husband's undiagnosed and untreated DMII from AO and overcame a VA Endocrinologist's opinion. I knocked down a subsequent PA opinion from VA .

The award was due in part to Dr Bash's statement to VA that he had seen similar multiple brain trauma as revealed in my husband's MRIs as in "thousands" of diabetics ,whose X Rays and MRIs he had studied and then supported that further with references to my husband's MRI and autopsy results.

Are you claiming TBI as brain trauma from closed head injury?

Do your SMRs reveal not only the cause of the injury but subsequent treatment for it?

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Posted · Report post

My thanks for everyone here for all the information and guidance.

I didn’t claim TBI specifically, I wrote down chronic headaches because that’s what I have been seeing civilian doctors for. There is also mention of short-term memory loss, also known as altered memory. I only used lingo that was spelled out in my civilian records. The problem that I have run into over and over with civilian doctors is, while they acknowledge that I have a constant cough and develop annual sinus infections to pneumonia, none of them can say why for sure… just that it has been present for decades.

As far as the head injury and chronic headaches: I never even put two and two together until I had asked for copies of all of my medical records going all the way back to the military. It flat out mentions in there that I started going to sick call for constant headaches a month or who after head trauma. I’m seeing a neurologist now and have updated him on what I found out about my medical history.

So my Service Medical Records do show the incident where I was hit in the back of the head and also shows a couple of visits to sick call.

17 Sep 83 – SMO states incident where I was struck on back of the head and was knocked out.

15 Nov 83 – SMO shows me complaining of 3-4 weeks of headaches. Lights and noises make it worse. Fiorinal (used to relieve tension headaches) was prescribed.

30 Nov 83 – SMO says follow-up on headaches. “Better but still has occasional dull headaches”. Looks like I had a CT and it was normal. Odd how I still don't remember any of that.

Unfortunately, I could not get any of my civilian records prior to the early 1990s, but I do have a long history of seeing many doctors for the headaches (and cough). Unfortunately, none of them could nail down just why I was having the constant problem. Which is why it’s been so difficulty to provide a civilian diagnosis. I have tons of paperwork showing I’ve been complaining of these issues – it’s just that no one has been able to nail down exactly why they are happening.

The bottom line appears to be getting an IMO, of which I have requested from one doctor so far and will be asking the neurologist as well as I see him next week. Seeing the VA is so backlogged on claims, should I submit the appeal now or wait a few months once I get an IMO? Also, it better to appeal everything en masse or separately? I.e – file an appeal just on the headache issue and another on the lung/sinus?

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If at all possible, you need to post the Reason for Decision in order for us to look at the whole picture.

Ditto -

Without knowing the VBA's exact wording - anything is just a guess.

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Ditto -

Without knowing the VBA's exact wording - anything is just a guess.

Pretty much all of the denials shows the denial reasons of "The evidence does not show a current diagnosed disability". This was in the letter I received. I also obtained the blue sheets signed by the ratings rep., this is what the DAV received. The blue sheets are all marked NODX - not service connected, no diagnosed.

I just noticed all of those - not service connected? That's not what my service records show.

There's a line in the evidence which says "Your service treatment records are incomplete for review". This falls back to a letter I got last fall from the VA which said that my service medical records were missing but they had them during the CP exam and I had sent them an additional copy as well. This is turning into a real paperwork snafu.

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Pretty much all of the denials shows the denial reasons of "The evidence does not show a current diagnosed disability". This was in the letter I received. I also obtained the blue sheets signed by the ratings rep., this is what the DAV received. The blue sheets are all marked NODX - not service connected, no diagnosed.

I just noticed all of those - not service connected? That's not what my service records show.

There's a line in the evidence which says "Your service treatment records are incomplete for review". This falls back to a letter I got last fall from the VA which said that my service medical records were missing but they had them during the CP exam and I had sent them an additional copy as well. This is turning into a real paperwork snafu.

Well, there does have to be a currently diagnosed disability to get it SC'd.

What conditions did you file a claim for SC ?

If these conditions are SC'd at a later date due to newly found/discovered SMR's,

then you can get an earlier effective date per 38 CFR 3.156c.

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So my Service Medical Records do show the incident where I was hit in the back of the head and also shows a couple of visits to sick call.

17 Sep 83 – SMO states incident where I was struck on back of the head and was knocked out.

15 Nov 83 – SMO shows me complaining of 3-4 weeks of headaches. Lights and noises make it worse. Fiorinal (used to relieve tension headaches) was prescribed.

30 Nov 83 – SMO says follow-up on headaches. “Better but still has occasional dull headaches”. Looks like I had a CT and it was normal. Odd how I still don't remember any of that.

Unfortunately, I could not get any of my civilian records prior to the early 1990s, but I do have a long history of seeing many doctors for the headaches (and cough). Unfortunately, none of them could nail down just why I was having the constant problem. Which is why it’s been so difficulty to provide a civilian diagnosis. I have tons of paperwork showing I’ve been complaining of these issues – it’s just that no one has been able to nail down exactly why they are happening.

The bottom line appears to be getting an IMO, of which I have requested from one doctor so far and will be asking the neurologist as well as I see him next week.

The doc that does your IMO needs to be able to review these SMR's and support their link

of their the current diagnosis (with full medical rationale) to what is in your SMR's.

JMHO

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