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Davo68 - New Member With Questions


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#1 Davo68

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 12:22 PM

I'm new to this site, very helpful and informative reading.  I filed a claim in early January 2013 and have been going through the process.  My claim is for hearing loss and had an audioligy exam by the VA at their hospital in Bonham Texas and at one point my claim was at the Reviewing Evidence stage, it was then sent back to the Gathering Evidence phase and turned over to VES.  I was contacted by VES and underwent another audioigy exam.  A few questions:

1)  Since I was sent for another hearing exam after the evidence was being reviewed stage can I assume that the SC aspect was not an issue?

2)  My claim was for Hearing Loss, but the VES examiner also checked out my tinnitus and asked asked a lot of question with regard to the tinnitus.  Do i need to file a seperate claim for the tinnitus?

3)  If I file for tinnitus will it slow my current claim decision?

4)  I am not using a VSO for this claim, should I get VSO support at this stage?



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#2 carlie

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 01:11 PM

Welcome.

I moved for post.



#3 harleyman

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 03:00 PM

1) Since I was sent for another hearing exam after the evidence was being reviewed stage can I assume that the SC aspect was not an issue?

 

Do not assume service connection is not an issue.  Exams are ordered for specific reasons: to evaluate if the Veteran has a current diagnosis of the claimed condition, to determine if the Veteran's current condition is caused by or due to his/her military service, and to get a nexus linking the Veterans current condition to their military service. 

 

you may have had to go to another exam for a variety of reasons.- the first examiner may not have reviewed your cfile, they may not have addressed tinnitus like they were suppose to, they may have never released the exam and the RO could not get the report and it had to be re-done, the examiner may have been on leave or no longer is employed by VA and never released your exam-  there may have been conflicting report of findings that needed clarification, she may have stated her opinion would be speculative - on and on there are so many reasons to be reexamined. Apparently, the VSR or rater needed something to help decide your claim.

 

2) My claim was for Hearing Loss, but the VES examiner also checked out my tinnitus and asked asked a lot of question with regard to the tinnitus. Do i need to file a seperate claim for the tinnitus?

 

The DBQ Audio examination which is mandatory for the examiner to complete, also includes a section for tiniitus.  Tinnitus is automatically addressed whether or not it is claimed by the Veteran.  If at the time of the exam you tell the examiner you suffer from tinnitus, the examiner will provide his opinion whether or not your current tinnitus is related to your military service, and provide the usual, is less likely than not related to military service, or as likely as not related to military service.  If you tell the examiner you do not have tinnitus, the examiner will note on the DBQ exam you have no complaints of tinnitus.

 

The raters will look at the DBQ.  If the examiner says less likely than not related to military service, tinnitus will not be addressed in the decision.  If the examiner says you have tinnitus and it is more likely than not related to your service, you will be service connected for tinnitus without ever filing a claim.

 

 

3) If I file for tinnitus will it slow my current claim decision?

 

You do not need to file a claim for this now.  It was addressed at the time of your examination.  If you file a claim, the VSRs have to send you new due process letters of acknowledgement, and yes it will slow your claim down.

 

4) I am not using a VSO for this claim, should I get VSO support at this stage?

 

Personally, I am not in favor of VSO representation however, there are some good ones and some not so good.  I find HADIT to be very good at providing advise over the years and there is more knowledge on this board than you will ever get from a 15 minute visit with a VSO. Per advise from HADIT I asked my original VSO to send in my claim for IU, with my original claim for compensation.  She did not do it, as a matter of fact- she lied to me and said she did.  When my rating was completed, IU was not addressed even though I was 60% for one condition and eligible for IU.  I submitted the IU paperwork on my own, and within six months I had IU, but my effective date has been on appeal since 2010.  So I do not trust VSOs to do what you ask them to do, they seem to think they know more than we do, which is not always the case. I have always used this website for my own VA compensation claims.- jmho


Edited by harleyman, 20 July 2013 - 03:25 PM.


#4 Davo68

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 04:28 PM

1) Since I was sent for another hearing exam after the evidence was being reviewed stage can I assume that the SC aspect was not an issue?

 

Do not assume service connection is not an issue.  Exams are ordered for specific reasons: to evaluate if the Veteran has a current diagnosis of the claimed condition, to determine if the Veteran's current condition is caused by or due to his/her military service, and to get a nexus linking the Veterans current condition to their military service. 

 

you may have had to go to another exam for a variety of reasons.- the first examiner may not have reviewed your cfile, they may not have addressed tinnitus like they were suppose to, they may have never released the exam and the RO could not get the report and it had to be re-done, the examiner may have been on leave or no longer is employed by VA and never released your exam-  there may have been conflicting report of findings that needed clarification, she may have stated her opinion would be speculative - on and on there are so many reasons to be reexamined. Apparently, the VSR or rater needed something to help decide your claim.

 

2) My claim was for Hearing Loss, but the VES examiner also checked out my tinnitus and asked asked a lot of question with regard to the tinnitus. Do i need to file a seperate claim for the tinnitus?

 

The DBQ Audio examination which is mandatory for the examiner to complete, also includes a section for tiniitus.  Tinnitus is automatically addressed whether or not it is claimed by the Veteran.  If at the time of the exam you tell the examiner you suffer from tinnitus, the examiner will provide his opinion whether or not your current tinnitus is related to your military service, and provide the usual, is less likely than not related to military service, or as likely as not related to military service.  If you tell the examiner you do not have tinnitus, the examiner will note on the DBQ exam you have no complaints of tinnitus.

 

The raters will look at the DBQ.  If the examiner says less likely than not related to military service, tinnitus will not be addressed in the decision.  If the examiner says you have tinnitus and it is more likely than not related to your service, you will be service connected for tinnitus without ever filing a claim.

 

 

3) If I file for tinnitus will it slow my current claim decision?

 

You do not need to file a claim for this now.  It was addressed at the time of your examination.  If you file a claim, the VSRs have to send you new due process letters of acknowledgement, and yes it will slow your claim down.

 

4) I am not using a VSO for this claim, should I get VSO support at this stage?

 

Personally, I am not in favor of VSO representation however, there are some good ones and some not so good.  I find HADIT to be very good at providing advise over the years and there is more knowledge on this board than you will ever get from a 15 minute visit with a VSO. Per advise from HADIT I asked my original VSO to send in my claim for IU, with my original claim for compensation.  She did not do it, as a matter of fact- she lied to me and said she did.  When my rating was completed, IU was not addressed even though I was 60% for one condition and eligible for IU.  I submitted the IU paperwork on my own, and within six months I had IU, but my effective date has been on appeal since 2010.  So I do not trust VSOs to do what you ask them to do, they seem to think they know more than we do, which is not always the case. I have always used this website for my own VA compensation claims.- jmho

 

Harleyman, thanks so much for your reply post, what a fantastic site!  Just hope I can help someone through my post.  Thanks again!



#5 sambo808

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 03:03 AM

I'm new to this site, very helpful and informative reading.  I filed a claim in early January 2013 and have been going through the process.  My claim is for hearing loss and had an audioligy exam by the VA at their hospital in Bonham Texas and at one point my claim was at the Reviewing Evidence stage, it was then sent back to the Gathering Evidence phase and turned over to VES.  I was contacted by VES and underwent another audioigy exam.  A few questions:

1)  Since I was sent for another hearing exam after the evidence was being reviewed stage can I assume that the SC aspect was not an issue?

2)  My claim was for Hearing Loss, but the VES examiner also checked out my tinnitus and asked asked a lot of question with regard to the tinnitus.  Do i need to file a seperate claim for the tinnitus?

3)  If I file for tinnitus will it slow my current claim decision?

4)  I am not using a VSO for this claim, should I get VSO support at this stage?

1) it is likely that the first exam was insufficient or they are seeking a medical opinion

2) When they examine a Veteran for hearing loss they also examine for tinnitus both conditions are on the same DBQ because they are interwined.  

3) You do not need to file a claim for tinnitus as I said in number 2, they are intertwined if you have hearing loss audiologist is also required to determine whether your tinnitus is a symptom associated with hearing loss and/or whether your tinnitus has the same etiology as the hearing loss (i.e. due to military noise exposure or acoustic trauma)

4.  Having a VSO is good to have because they have easier access to VA than you do.  They can initiate the review of your decision and determine whether there is error in the decision before the decision gets to you. If you have VSO VA sends them a copy of the rating decision and reviews the decision. They have a couple of days to look through the decision and if they agree then VA goes ahead and sends you the decision.  Another reason that it is good to have a VSO is that VSOs are trained with the same laws and regulations that VA adjudicators have been trained on so they know exactly what to look for in the decisions.


Edited by sambo808, 21 July 2013 - 03:05 AM.


#6 Davo68

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 09:27 AM

Thanks Sambo808, good information.  Sounds like the VSO can be beneficial depending on the VSO.  I appreciate the input.  I did speak to one VSO and the input I've received from this site was much more informative than the input I received from them.  The two replys I have received from this site both stated that the tinnitus would be automatically considered due to the hearing lost claim and the examiner's input concerning tinnitus.  The VSO I spoke to said I should submit a tinnitus claim even though I have a Hearing Loss claim in.



#7 Davo68

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 01:00 PM

Received some very good information but would like to take this a step further.  Trying to figure out if there would be compensation involved based on my hearing results, seemd like most Vets get denied.  Not sure how to interpet the audioligy report so will pride some data and see if anyone can determine what my numbers would represent with regard to compensation per centage.

 

Right ear

500   1000   2000   3000   4000   6000

10       60       65       80       95       95

 

Left Ear

500   1000   2000   3000   4000   6000

 15      50       85       90       105+   95

 

The more confusing part

Right Speech Recognition

PBMAX  84

Level     75

ML         40

 

Left Speech Recognition

PBMAX  72

Level     75

ML         40

 

Any help here would be greatly appreciated.



#8 harleyman

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 01:12 PM

Are these the results from your C&P exam? Or are these results from someone else? If they are the exam have you received your decision? If it's just the C&P report what does the opinion statement say?

The higher the number on the ear decible the worse the hearing.  The rater puts these numbers in the evaluation builder and it will tell him the level of the disability.  Raters used to use charts, they still have the charts, but the eval builder is much easier. The eval builder also spits out all the verbage that goes into the decision letter so the rater doesn't even have to type anything, just some data entry.

The question I have is, did you get service connection for the hearing loss and tinnitus? Based on these number you should have been hooked up for hearing loss if you have a nexus from the examiner.
 
There should be an answer to the 50/50 question.  Is the Veteran's hearing loss at least as likely as not related to his military service? Also, the opinion statement for the tinnitus.

Edited by harleyman, 26 July 2013 - 01:13 PM.


#9 Davo68

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 01:26 PM

Are these the results from your C&P exam? Or are these results from someone else? If they are the exam have you received your decision? If it's just the C&P report what does the opinion statement say?

The higher the number on the ear decible the worse the hearing.  The rater puts these numbers in the evaluation builder and it will tell him the level of the disability.  Raters used to use charts, they still have the charts, but the eval builder is much easier. The eval builder also spits out all the verbage that goes into the decision letter so the rater doesn't even have to type anything, just some data entry.

The question I have is, did you get service connection for the hearing loss and tinnitus? Based on these number you should have been hooked up for hearing loss if you have a nexus from the examiner.
 
There should be an answer to the 50/50 question.  Is the Veteran's hearing loss at least as likely as not related to his military service? Also, the opinion statement for the tinnitus.

Harleyman, thanks for the quick reply.  The numbers came from an exam by the VA, and they did provide hearing aids, which don't help alot.  I had an exam through the VES for my claim a month ago but have not received a copy of the exam/report yet.  My claim is at the gathering information stage after being kicked back from the reviewing evidence stage.  I'm assuming the VES exam is the same as the C&P exam.  With the above numbers, do you have an idea of the per cent determination? 



#10 harleyman

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 01:33 PM

I am at home and I don't have that information available to check it out. I am sure someone here on Hadit has the charts or maybe there is someone who can access their evaluation builder and check it out. I really don't even want to guess on it, but some of your numbers are really high, and your speach recognition also is taken into the consideration on this.

Hang in there is won't be that much longer. I am much more worried that they provided the nexus to service connect the hearing loss to your militaray service resultng in a grant of benefits.

Edited by harleyman, 26 July 2013 - 01:35 PM.


#11 meghp0405

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 02:37 PM

I wouldn't submit anything else. wait for your rating decision. What I believe you should be concerned about is the minimal  loss in the 500 block of each ear. The regulation states that you need at least a 40 in those blocks. You may have enough with the huge loss in your ears at the other levels.

Good luck!



#12 Davo68

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 10:57 AM

Have requested a copy of my C&P report (several weeks ago) but have not received it, did get an acknowledgement of my request.



#13 Davo68

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 12:04 PM

Have requested a copy of my C&P report (several weeks ago) but have not received it, did get an acknowledgement of my request.

Thanks to all, received by new SC rating, received 50% for hearing loss and 10% for tinnitus, this added to previous SC of 20%, more than satisfied, wishing everyone success.



#14 Berta

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 12:07 PM

WOW Congrats Dave!

 

Great news!



#15 Davo68

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 12:26 PM

WOW Congrats Dave!

 

Great news!

Thanks Berta and keep up the good work, I read a lot of your post and get a lot from them, Thanks again.



#16 Pete53

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 01:30 PM

Welcome to Hadit. Glad that you are satisfied with your rating.



#17 harleyman

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 12:21 PM

Congrats Davo68!  That is good news, I thought the exam results were high but 50% for heaing loss means a substantial los in hearing.  This can be difficult to deal with especially when dealing with spouses and family. Take care of your self, I hope hearng aids help with your loss.  I am happy you are satisfied with your rating decision.- Harleyman






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