I tired to research this here but I did not find this question so here goes. I retired in 2011, i was diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis in 2019. GW and burn pits 2006 and 2008. On the Burn Pit registry. I’ll file a disability claim but will they just boot it since i’m filing almost 10 years after retirement? . I’ve read a lot of material, some on VA.gov websites, and I’m not clear if RA/autoimmune diseases have an established presumptive cause with GW service/burn put exposure. One article would make it sound like it was in the works, another like it was a done deal. I can think back and recall joint pain over and above as far back as 2007 (my 50th birthday) but I chalked up to aging, wear and tear and an active lifestyle. it started as occasional pain and stiffness in my hands, then progressed to my feet, continued to progress to shoulders, knees and hips and the episodes of pain became more severe, lasted longer and happened more often. By 2019 I complained to my civilian doctor saying this is not normal, referred t a Rheumatologist and diagnosed late 2019. Unfortunately blew a lumbar disk, fusion in April 2020, so i just got back to the rheumatologist, I’ve also read about the correlation of RA with PTSD and I’ve got a 70% rating for PTSD.
Do i file for RA as a new claim with the nexus as burn pit exposure or as RA secondary to PTS. Multiple joints are affected but hands and feet without a doubt the worst. I can’t write a sentence longhand that someone could read and I can’t pull the tabbed metal lid off a can of soup or walk down the stairs without two handrails because the achilles area of my heels are so tight. IT loosens up with activity , but sit in a chair for 20 minutes and get up and its like i never loosened up.
by the way, i mentioned to the Doc that I might be asking for a letter and shared that an important statement from a doctor might be something like it as more likely than not likely that my RA was caused buy my service/burn pit exposure and she was like, sure, no problem.
Sorry for running on,