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Military Disability from Disease

Discussion in 'Military and Veterans' started by PatO, Apr 7, 2016.

  1. DaveD

    DaveD DI Senior Member Showcase Reviewer Veteran Navy

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    That's all nice on paper in a perfect world, but unfortunately it rarely works that way in real life. My total claim time with disapproval's and re-filings and more medical evidence until final dispensation took over 6 years in total from start to finish. The gubmint's wheels turn very slowly when money is due!
     
  2. DaveD

    DaveD DI Senior Member Showcase Reviewer Veteran Navy

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    If a pre-existing injury was exasperated by military service it still qualifies for USDVA disability. Don't know about other countries JP. For USDVA you need to prove that with military medical records! Easier said than done but the VA is "supposed" to err in favor of the veteran by law. In reality not so much, unless there is verifiable proof!
     
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  3. Jack Peterson

    Jack Peterson DI Forum Luminary Highly Rated Poster SC Connoisseur Veteran Air Force

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    Thank you Dave for the answer but a little Devils Advocate here Please. What if the Situation only got worse say 15/20 years after discharge. :wideyed:
     
  4. DaveD

    DaveD DI Senior Member Showcase Reviewer Veteran Navy

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    You would need to show that the injury was exasperated by military service. Did the person ever visit the infirmary for treatment while on active duty? Was the individual ever treated at all while in military even in field conditions by a medic or ever hospitalized for same or of a connected/associated injury?

    Also the USDVA is supposed to defer to the military individual in all cases that are not cut and dry obvious although this is a case by case basis from what I have experienced.

    I can only pass on what I have learned or know through personal experience. I am by no means an expert and do NOT claim to be on USDVA disability claims, but I do know people who are and can assist in pointing veterans in the right direction and put them in touch with people who are experts and can help them free of charge. I can only assist in a limited way myself due to lack of knowledge personally. But I do care and will try in the above mentioned limited way that I am able.
     
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  5. AlwaysRt

    AlwaysRt DI Forum Patron Highly Rated Poster Blood Donor Veteran Air Force Marines

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    There is also a category called "Presumed", meaning the question of if it happened or got worse during service is irrelevant. Two examples I know personally are a female having a hysterectomy (while on active duty), and another having MS (multiple sclerosis). Neither have any evidence whatsoever of being military service related but as "presumed" they are automatically awarded disability based on amount removed and severity.
     
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  6. Rye83

    Rye83 with pastrami Admin Secured Account Highly Rated Poster SC Connoisseur Veteran Army

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    Some people might get it quickly, others might not. It probably depends on several factors like a) what branch of service you were in b) how long it's been since you got out c) what storage facility your documents are placed at d) if the person who archived your documents placed them in the right place e) have your documents been moved to start to move them over to an electronic copy/database f) if the VA rep that is handling your case knows wtf they are doing......etc. I'm sure there are lots of reasons why some people can get their benefits in a timely manner and others have to spend years fighting the system.

    As for my experience with them: When I got out they were in the process of moving over to a medical digital record system (the hospitals on base had local digital records but the databases were not connected to a military wide system...some were already on the military-wide system, such as the hospitals/clinics in Iraq, but most were not).

    When I initially filed, which I did while still in the military, I had to take my paper medical records to the VA rep in the out-processing building. After the VA rep did all the paperwork it took about 1 week for the VA to send me a letter saying I had to go to the VA hospital for a medical/physical/appointment. Luckily, I only lived 2 blocks from the VA hospital in Temple, TX (even living that close they reimbursed me for travel lol which came up to around $5 plus some change). I was approved for my disability rating a month or two later. However, after I moved all my stuff to my parents house in Indiana after ETSing (because I was getting ready to go to Afghanistan for a contract and didn't want to rent a storage facility) I received a letter saying I had to come in for another check-up to get (or continue to get?) my benefits. So I drove Louisville to do the check-up again. Did the exact same check-up I did in Texas and was reimbursed for travel ($40, I think, for a round trip 3+ hours of driving this time :meh:). It took about 5-6 months before I finally get a check from the VA, including back-pay.

    How would they know you had a pre-existing condition? The only way they would really know such a thing would be if you volunteered that information when you first joined and went through all the paperwork/physicals.......this was something my recruiters specifically told me not to do.....and specifically for the reason you are speaking of here. The only people who volunteered medical information to the military were the ones that really didn't want to join and were looking for a way out of it....or the ones that were intimidated by the threats from the military that if they found out they would send you to prison for not telling them (which my recruiters also told me they would try doing but was complete BS.....unless you had a serious medical condition that would keep you from serving, but even then they would likely just kick you out without pressing any charges). :wink:
     
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  7. nwlivewire

    nwlivewire DI Senior Member Showcase Reviewer Blood Donor Veteran Army Navy

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    Yes. The only reason they would have knowledge of a pre-existing condition is if that recruit/Servicemember claimed it as pre-exiting on the MEPS physical and it was so noted on the MEPS physical forms.

    OR, if the recruit did not claim a pre-existing condition and had been insured at any time prior to accession into active military service under TRICARE (they data share these days).

    (Yep. Saw that happen once to a guy who didn't claim asthma during MEPS physical, so it wasn't noted. Got sworn in and during basic training, went to hospital for "breathing issues". While in hospital bed, Docs came in and confronted him, saying his medical records from his TRICARE years showed episodes of "asthma", a diagnosis of "asthma", and him being prescribed Rx inhalers. He was discharged from military service withn a week or two after leaving hospital, and did not complete basic training). He was the child of a friend of mine. Had this kid claimed "asthma" on his MEPS physical, he would have never been accessed into service to begin with.

    Now, IF that recruit with a noted MEPS pre-existing condition is found to still be acceptable for active duty military service, and, if that Servicemember completes EIGHT, FULL active duty years in military service, THEN that issue can be potentially claimed by the Servicemember as now having an injury/illnes that has been *aggravated* from those EIGHT years of active duty military service (with proper medical evidence). At that point, this injury can potentially become a compensable injury/disease for military disability retirement purposes.

    The military branch that took you in knew full well you had this issue, the military branch determined (IAW their guidelines/Regulations) that you still fell within their "healthy" parameters of initial accession into military service, and, that your military service used you up for at least eight years of active duty military service, so the burden is now on that branch of service (providing that injury/disease was *agrravated* and the Servicemember has the medical "Proof" to back up his/her claim for partial or full military retirement).

    Now, many times the branch of service will simply discharge you with no benefits at all (if under 20 years of service). But by law, the Servicemember is to be given a full pre-discharge physical, and by law, the branch of service is mandated to retain the Servicemember on Active Duty until a full military medical proceeding is completed - if that issue(s) is/are determined to have occured or been aggravated while on military service. The soon-to-be-ETSing Servicemember can waive this medical proceeding, but the Servicemember stands to lose more than gain more by doing so.


    It's WAY more complicated than this as I just went through this nut roll of a military disability thing for actual war-time related injuries (not pre-existing), and had my 20 in already. But that's the gist of it for this specific situation.

    The VA has it's own rules on this. The military has their rules, the VA has their rules, and Social Security has their own rules - and all are a bit different - and none of them will add up together in a straight line.

    And each agency has lawyers out there who specialize in these areas of law.

    **********

    If you want to know the specifics on rules of law and regulations that govern the VA, you can read 38 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations). If you get that far, let me know and I can put you in touch with a law school as you'll be ready for it by the time you digest all that. You'll make a damned good lawyer for us Vets out there when you graduate, too.

    V/R,
    nwlivewire
     
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  8. DaveD

    DaveD DI Senior Member Showcase Reviewer Veteran Navy

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    When I got forced out basically back in '80's they didn't even notify me or anyone else the VA was an option. Just here's your papers and travel expense back to where you joined and p!ss off! Things sure have changed!
     
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  9. DaveD

    DaveD DI Senior Member Showcase Reviewer Veteran Navy

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    Basically what they did to me except it was not an existing condition. I was injured on active duty and had to be operated on twice at Bethesda and they still drummed me out unceremoniously with no benefits whats so ever. Many, many years later I ran into someone who understood the system and got me started with VA. The Navy sure as He!! didn't give a d*mn and just 86'd me. That was 30+ years ago...
     
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  10. nwlivewire

    nwlivewire DI Senior Member Showcase Reviewer Blood Donor Veteran Army Navy

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    Yep. And it was Vets - thousands of Vets - who finally caught the attention of the lobbying arms of VFW, IAVA, American Legion, SWAN, etc. - and FINALLY the OIF/OEF injured and wounded, their Moms and Dads, their spouses and those who cared for them for FREE (many giving up wage-earned income) - this FINALLY started coming to a head. Congress could no longer sweep some of these LONG OVERDUE corrective issues under the rug. The DoD could no longer easily toss the wounded and injured Servicemember to the curb like this. (They still can, but not so easily).

    nwlivewire
     
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