VA Claims – The Importance Of Understanding Exactly What Are The Issues

Issues, just what does the VBA consider to be Issues and why are the different type’s of Issues so important.
Issues, in most cases are comprised of, the disabling conditions, the evaluations granted for percentage levels of compensation and the effective date/s assigned and factored into each individual part or portion of your pie, so to speak.
Everyday we come here to discuss and post information and or ask questions regarding our claims.
Many times when reading through the forums, I will notice posts such as the example below.
I just filed a claim with VA for an injury to my left ankle, right shoulder, headaches,my back pain with limitations and stomach problems, that I feel are related to my time on active duty.
These medical problems prevent / hinder me from doing many of the things a normal person does in their everyday life.
Some things that I can’t do, people might see as minor things, but for me they have a major impact.
When my back pain lets off a little I can get in the pool with my little girl, but I can’t be like most dads and toss her up and catch her as she starts to land in the water.
If I even tried to do this or something like playing catch with my son, the results could be just completely unbearable for me. Physical actions such as this can easily lay me up in bed with excruciating pains for days, sometimes even weeks as I basically crawl to even the bathroom, the pain is so bad there is just no way I can stand up.
I don’t know how my wife even manages to continue putting up with me, as I am no longer the man she married. Seems like I do quite a bit of laying on the couch and can’t seem to get my life going back on track. When this happens I either just shut down completely or about snap her head off for no real reason whatsoever.
I’ve even begun to notice the kids staying away from me more, almost like they don’t know if I’m going to hug them or tell them to go away as they walk towards me.
Heck, one crummy place I was working for even fired me because I had to call off too many times, or go home early shaking, scared and having cold sweats.
With each box I lifted to load in the those trucks at work, I just kept thinking, the next lift’s going to send me into one of the horrific pains and I won’t even be able to limp out of the damned place.
I take the pain meds VA prescribes but then my stomach gets upset and I surely can’t drive or function at work when needing to take these meds.
At another job, I had taken my pain meds and drove the fork lift right off the dock, yep . . got fired from that one too.
I spoke with my doctor at the VAMC about getting fired from the jobs, problems with my family and he said he would refer me for some more help, but nothing more happened until last year.
Yep I finally got to meet with a professional at the VA and he RX’d me some medication to help keep me in a better mood and not so depressed and angry, also said something about a pain clinic they have, perhaps I will get an appointment before too long.
All of these medical difficulties are in my records, in fact I remember now that when I first separated from service and needed medical care for some of my problems, I talked with a man at the VA hospital. This was right after I got fired due to having taken my pain meds and driving the fork lift off of the dock.
This man said he worked with a group that helps veterans with VA claims. He had me sign some paper work and about a year later the VA sent me a letter saying something about, they decided these things, medical problems were not related to my active duty but said that I could still continue to use their clinics for medical care with only a small co-pay for treatment and RX medications.
I still have all of the medical problems, seems like even more so now and life just keeps getting worse. I feel the VA should be helping to taking care of these conditions and compensating me for all these problems I continued to have.
Thanks.
Now, for the fruit in each portion of your pie:
What exactly are the Issues for consideration and how does each type of Issue hold so much importance to your claim ?
To help you understand, let’s stick with the hypothetical example above.
ISSUE:
Formally claimed conditions:
Left ankle, is service connection is granted . . .
Right shoulder, is service connection is granted . . .
Headaches,is service connection is granted . . .
Back pain and limitation, is service connection is granted . . .
Stomach problems, is service connection is granted. . .
ALWAYS keep in ming that getting service connection granted (SC) is the first step in a successful claim, it’s the main ingredient. Many times service connection may be granted at zero percent, which is counted
as a winning Issue.
ISSUE:
Evaluation granted for percentage level of compensation for each service connected condition.
The Evaluation’s are derived from comparing the criteria listed for the service connected condition, under the Diagnostic Code (DC), to the medical evidence of record at the time the decision is made,to 38 CFR – Part 4, Schedule Of Rating Disabilities..
ISSUE:
Effective Date Assigned to each Evaluation granted for percentage level of compensation, to each service connected condition. In the majority of cases this Issue falls under38 CFR – Part 3 – General
The Issues I have listed above seem to cover just about everything, yet there is a cherry or two remaining that could end up being on the top of your pie.
In other words there are more Issues in the example – that VBA should acknowledge and take appropriate action on as either Informal or Inferred Issues for service connection.
These Issues would be a secondary condition for a mental health condition and a claim for a total disability rating on the basis ofindividual unemployability (TDIU).
Issues as they are commonly referred to by the VBA, are so very important to claimants in receiving the full benefits to which they have earned in providing military service.
Anytime an Issue is not either presented, correctly advanced, addressed and adjudicated . . . a veteran or their family, misses out.
Guidance for now is to stay on top of and be aware of all the Issues, involved in a claim.
Enjoy your pie as I hope this helps a VBA claimant understand a bit more about the importance of VBA’s understanding, of your Issues.