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Old 07-31-2012, 04:33 PM   #1
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Questions concerning Veterans Affairs

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I had a similar thread like this but I didn't want to bump it. I didn't think it would get much attention being an older thread. I'm going to go into more details. I was deployed to Balad and Baghdad Iraq from 2006-2007 with the 1-131 AVN BN (Air Assault), 36th CAB. While over there I developed a rash that comes and goes. I have seen my dermo numerous times about it and he keeps giving me a cream, the cream works for a while but then the damn thing comes right back. It shows up on my face, arms and legs. Also, my hearing is really bad because some dumb private laid down on a 50 cal before I could put my hearing pro in and my ears have been ringing and jacked ever since. I did have an LOD on the ears but no one can find it. The idiot medic obviously didn't do it properly and I was never given a copy. That was the only thing I had an LOD on. My knees are in bad shape and pop all the time and hurt really bad, sometimes worse than others. I first hurt them when I was climbing out of tower guard in Balad and I had on my full battle rattle. I missed a step and slid down the ladder and landed on my knees, they haven't been the same since. My back hurts sometimes just due to the heavy lifting and constant working I did in the army. I landed on my wrist when I fell off the back of a HEMTT and landed on my wrist and now it hurts a little but not much, but it's always popping and can be a bit of an annoyance. I also suffer from panic and anxiety attacks. I had one today that was pretty severe...the worst I have had. I started sweating really bad, shaking, my heart was pounding really fast, I was dizzy, hard of breath, confused. I thought I was gonna pass out. I had to be helped back to my office so I could try and chill out and relax. I have panic attacks but nothing as bad as today. Also, I can have pretty bad mood swings...the smallest things can set me off...and thats the worst because I end up hurting the people I care about the most with the things I say and the way I act. All of this with the exception of the knees, back, wrist and rash started after I came back home. Also...I have difficulty falling asleep and I get terrible nightmares sometimes. I didn't go to the Medic with any of these issues while in Iraq. I guess I just wanted to be a good soldier and keep soldiering on. I see a dermatologist for the rash and he has no idea what it is and I see a psychiatrist and was put on medications but I don't like how they make me feel. I have been to the va once and I never went back because the whole thing scares me a bit honestly. My question is....since I have no LOD's, what can I do to get my claim? I do have witnesses of these events. Thanks in advance guys!

-James USA Veteran OIF 06-08
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Old 07-31-2012, 04:41 PM   #2
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You don't need any LODs to start a claim. They help as "evidence" but aren't totally necessary. Start gathering all the documentation you can that shows your health before and after the deployment. Basically anything that shows xyz was fine before the deployment, but afterwards xyz was all messed up from a specific event, or after a period of time something developed but can be reasonably linked to the deployment. You will submit tons of paperwork, eventually they will probably have you come in to examined, and they'll go from there.

One thing: be very patient, don't expect anything to happen quickly. Good luck, hope they take care of you. Feel free to PM me if you have more questions.
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Old 07-31-2012, 04:42 PM   #3
bridgcat [OP] bridgcat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeMH View Post
You don't need any LODs to start a claim. They help as "evidence" but aren't totally necessary. Start gathering all the documentation you can that shows your health before and after the deployment. Basically anything that shows xyz was fine before the deployment, but afterwards xyz was all messed up from a specific event, or after a period of time something developed but can be reasonably linked to the deployment. You will submit tons of paperwork, eventually they will probably have you come in to examined, and they'll go from there.

One thing: be very patient, don't expect anything to happen quickly. Good luck, hope they take care of you. Feel free to PM me if you have more questions.
Thanks for the advice Mike!
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Old 07-31-2012, 04:46 PM   #4
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definitely keep on the VA and don't let them try and brush you off. things can show up months, if not years, after a deployment.
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Old 08-01-2012, 04:36 PM   #7
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.
FWIW .. all you need to start any VA aka DVA claim (Federal VA not state VA) is to write your problem on a piece of paper and mail it to DVA regional office . . . . . And I would mail it Certified Mail.

That will protect your EED (Earliest Effective Date) ... and after you send that letter ... that is when the real work starts and you will need to appoint a POA (Power Of Attorney) for your claim.

Pick a good POA (try to pick the person and not the organization) and not a lazy one ... that POA can make or break your azz.

A good place to get a POA (POAs are free) would be the ... "Alabama Department of Veteran Affairs" --> http://www.va.state.al.us/ ....
And they will deal with the DVA (Department of Veteran Affairs) on your behalf.

You will have a lot of time to get your records together (from the date of your original claim letter) before the DVA rates your disability it.

Main thing is ... sending that first "claim letter" (tonight or tomorrow) to DVA to protect your EED (all retro compensation will go back to EED). . . . Even pencil on a napkin is legal and no POA is needed to send this first claim letter.

PS ... Do NOT get in a hurry with the DVA ... your claim will take from 6 to 18 months. be prepared for a "long ground war of paperwork & exams" with the DVA.

Be tenacious ... keep good records ... stay cool ... don't get rattled ... be very patient ... and you will probably eventually win your case.
.
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Old 08-01-2012, 05:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SOSHeloPilot View Post
.
FWIW .. all you need to start any VA aka DVA claim (Federal VA not state VA) is to write your problem on a piece of paper and mail it to DVA regional office . . . . . And I would mail it Certified Mail.

That will protect your EED (Earliest Effective Date) ... and after you send that letter ... that is when the real work starts and you will need to appoint a POA (Power Of Attorney) for your claim.

Pick a good POA (try to pick the person and not the organization) and not a lazy one ... that POA can make or break your azz.

A good place to get a POA (POAs are free) would be the ... "Alabama Department of Veteran Affairs" --> http://www.va.state.al.us/ ....
And they will deal with the DVA (Department of Veteran Affairs) on your behalf.

You will have a lot of time to get your records together (from the date of your original claim letter) before the DVA rates your disability it.

Main thing is ... sending that first "claim letter" (tonight or tomorrow) to DVA to protect your EED (all retro compensation will go back to EED). . . . Even pencil on a napkin is legal and no POA is needed to send this first claim letter.

PS ... Do NOT get in a hurry with the DVA ... your claim will take from 6 to 18 months. be prepared for a "long ground war of paperwork & exams" with the DVA.

Be tenacious ... keep good records ... stay cool ... don't get rattled ... be very patient ... and you will probably eventually win your case.
.
definitely be patient...took my wife almost a year and she didn't even deploy during her time in...
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Old 08-01-2012, 06:01 PM   #9
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The Va has changed how they process claims. Back years ago it was really hard for soldiers to make claims and get them to stick. Now the process stream lined and much easier. The problem is the Va has a Shit ton more soldiers filing than they ever expected. That is making the process slow and cumbersome.

The Va is overworked, and soldiers who need help are having a hard time, but it is worth it in the end.

You served your country and now you have valid claims. Go to the Va file a claim and stick with them. I have heard of soldiers having to wait over a year for their stuff to go through, but if you don't start now you will never get it.
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