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Disability claim - TBI specific

Discussion in 'Military' started by Kwikvette, Jun 15, 2019.

  1. Jun 15, 2019 at 9:25 PM
    #1
    Kwikvette

    Kwikvette [OP] LOLWUT

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    For those of you who are combat veterans, how many of you claimed TBI?

    Of those that claimed it, how many were awarded for TBI? What were the extent of your symptoms (at time of evaluation) and what percentage were you awarded?

    I won't go into any specifics (USMC OIF veteran here, 0341 primary MOS) but when I went to Palo Alto for my TBI evaluation, I felt that I was just brushed off considering how detailed I was at explaining my past experiences, past, and current symptoms.

    I'm claiming TBI after having experienced a few concussions throughout my multiple tours to Iraq. There was even an incident where an IED hit our vehicle, flipped it over, and my buddy fell out of the gunner position and shattered his pelvis.
     
  2. Jun 15, 2019 at 9:42 PM
    #2
    o0_henry

    o0_henry Active Member

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    If I remember right, and it’s been 5 years since I was evaluated. But the TBI exam is piss poor. The government standard for testing is decades behind private practice. When I did the exam I described my past and current problems. And they did a 1-2 page little standard form. Remember these numbers, now draw a clock at this time, what were the three numbers again etc.. I managed to milk my insurance to get a private examination for it and submitted it as supplemental information with the claim. But that exam was an hour a day for like a week.
     
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  3. Jun 15, 2019 at 10:03 PM
    #3
    Kwikvette

    Kwikvette [OP] LOLWUT

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    My evaluation began with going in, introducing myself, and explaining in as much detail as I could recall, situations where I suffered any injuries that could lead to me having TBI.

    It later went into symptoms, both past (before, during, and after the military) and current ones.

    It's when I explained my symptoms that I was told "this" or "that" was normal, followed by the half-assed "remember these 3 things". She then asked that I talk about a memory and shortly after, to repeat the words she had asked me to remember earlier. There was also a short evaluation which involved tapping a couple of joints/etc. and testing my reflexes?

    I was told to follow up and schedule an MRI to be safe but it'll be a bit considering my work schedule, and the 6hr round-trip to Palo Alto.
     
  4. Jun 16, 2019 at 5:51 AM
    #4
    o0_henry

    o0_henry Active Member

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    They may or may not do an MRI. I never got one and my entire rating was based on the exams findings. Though they shouldn’t also be requiring you to travel more then 2 hours for an appointment before they refer you to a local physician , X-ray/mri place. How the claim more or less works is the VA contracts it’s evaluations to a 3rd party, they do the exam based on the VAs standards, and that doctor is required to file a report within so many days with the symptoms, problems, whether they believe it to be service connected, and in their medical opinion how detrimental it is to your everyday life. And then some office monkey, most likely with no medical training, comes up with a rating percentage based on some standard table the VA has. Then you have the goofy VA math if you have multiple things claimed, but that’s a whole different mess. But if the doctor wants a follow up mri your probably set in the evaluation part. But I wasn’t aware the VA payed for them as part of evaluations for a claim.
     
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  5. Jun 16, 2019 at 8:39 AM
    #5
    Kwikvette

    Kwikvette [OP] LOLWUT

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    You're right with the whole 3rd party thing; I had to do that for my tinnitus, hearing loss, and PTSD.

    I drove as much as an hour at most (each way), attended my appointments, and was later called by the VA for my next evaluation. I guess for a TBI evaluation, they can only do it at the actual VA hospital which is Palo Alto. The new one that opened up near me is only for 'currently enrolled disabled veterans' and they don't deal with claims and/or evaluation. o_O

    As for the MRI itself, the neurologist wanted to ensure that everything was "ok" at this point which is why she authorized it. There was no talk about who's paying, which has been a question on my mind and why I have yet to schedule it. Enrollment/eligibility at the VA hospital has yet to call me after leaving them several messages, and the MRI/CTI scheduling department strictly handles scheduling, so they couldn't answer my question. :frusty:

    In short, this claim is almost complete and the only thing holding it up is the doctor's medical evaluation for my TBI. However, the evaluation won't be submitted until my MRI is done.
     
  6. Jun 16, 2019 at 9:07 AM
    #6
    o0_henry

    o0_henry Active Member

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    Oh ok I think I understand now. To get a VA MRI could take about a month for them to call and schedule. Unless they are uncharacteristically efficient. But I wouldn’t get your hopes up. And depending on how busy that hospital is it could be 2-3 months before your seen. They did pass the new choice program thing recently but I don’t know how that would affect your case.
     
  7. Jun 16, 2019 at 9:13 AM
    #7
    zippsub9

    zippsub9 Well-Known Member

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    What was your TBI rating? There is a scale in the diagnosis. Mine was in the 13-15 range. I had 6 combat tours southern AFG and Al Anbar in 04-05 and Mosul in 09-10 with multiple IED strikes, military boxing concussions and an 82mm mortar strike in my abdomen with a blackout. The 13-15 is the mild end of the scale. My symptoms are more apt for my age than probably concussions. I am 27 years right now and 44 years old. I did have an MRI, but haven’t been able to look through the medical reports yet. I have not yet started my VA claim. I am going to try and stick around for 30 though.
     
  8. Jun 16, 2019 at 9:24 AM
    #8
    o0_henry

    o0_henry Active Member

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    I don’t know how they rated it with severity. They did combine it with my sleeping disorder though.
     
  9. Jun 16, 2019 at 10:07 AM
    #9
    Kwikvette

    Kwikvette [OP] LOLWUT

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    Fortunately, they're quick to schedule me. When I called last Monday, they were able to set me up as soon as the Wednesday of that week so that won't be a problem. I just can't figure out if VA will cover the MRI cost even though nothing's been presented to me about billing. I never assume though.

    Semper Fi brother; my father did 24 years in the Army.

    You should be able to check your medical records and ratings if you log on ebenefits.
     
  10. Jun 16, 2019 at 10:23 AM
    #10
    Kwikvette

    Kwikvette [OP] LOLWUT

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    Oh by the way, in the event that anyone was wondering, I specifically stated 'combat veteran' in the original post because we are able to make a fully developed claim easily with just our DD214.

    No dealing with county owned and ran VA offices.
     
  11. Jun 16, 2019 at 10:34 AM
    #11
    TacoBuffet

    TacoBuffet Well-Known Member

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    Did 2 times overseas, not to fun places, but never in direct harms way, separating here in 2 weeks and completed my VA exams 2 weeks ago for my benefits upon discharge. All my exams were done through QTC (contractor for VA), had TBI/concussions claimed for a bad get off on the dirt bike while serving (counts as it was while I was active duty), no word on what I was rated or the extent of the findings, but I'll admit the exam was pretty pointless and the doc lacked any sort of care or concern, basically was draw a clock, repeat these 5 words later when I ask you, do you find yourself feeling irritable easily, etc. etc. The research on TBI and concussions is still growing, there is alot of evidence/support for changes to personality, habits, etc. later in life even if not right after. For me I've had issues with decision making, irritability and anxiety, brain fog/headaches, all things I didnt have before the crash. Good luck!
     
  12. Jun 16, 2019 at 10:38 AM
    #12
    Kwikvette

    Kwikvette [OP] LOLWUT

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    So my thought's were correct in that the TBI evaluation was a complete joke.

    Did 3 tours to Iraq, and all 3 times we patrolled in and out of Fallujah with the first tour being OIF 2 (push through Fallujah).

    I had a better experience dealing with the 3rd party companies for my other evaluations; wonder if I could go back and ask for another doctor?

    12-13 hour work days, 5 days a week, with only 2 days to run errands/etc limits me making any progress though which is why I came here to ask.
     
  13. Jun 16, 2019 at 10:41 AM
    #13
    TacoBuffet

    TacoBuffet Well-Known Member

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    Same here, I'm still active duty and they scheduled all the exams for me it was hard but I figured out a way to make them all, had to take leave for the one in phoenix which was irritating, especially since the VA wont reimburse for travel expenses for Active Duty.
     
  14. Jun 16, 2019 at 10:43 AM
    #14
    Kwikvette

    Kwikvette [OP] LOLWUT

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    I haven't been reimbursed for travel when I went to Palo Alto; when I went to Travel/Claims, the staff were surprised I was there at all. They were exchanging comments about how the VA doesn't have a process to take care of people like me, showing up for an evaluation and showing up to sign and request a voucher.

    I don't care if I get paid for it or not, but it does say something about how things are run if I can't even be compensated the gas it took to drive those 6 hours.
     
  15. Jun 16, 2019 at 10:50 AM
    #15
    TacoBuffet

    TacoBuffet Well-Known Member

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    Same. 5 hours round trip and 350 miles for a 5 min exam and a doc that could careless. Not holding my breath on my rating.
     
  16. Jun 16, 2019 at 11:14 AM
    #16
    o0_henry

    o0_henry Active Member

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    My VA local system doesn’t have a hospital it’s just a series of a half dozen outpatient clinics across a quarter of south Texas. But they don’t even offer reimbursement, my last one was denied because the system offers a “shuttle service” that needs requested 30 days in advance and you have to wait for all other vets appointments to end before they bring everyone back .
     
  17. Jun 16, 2019 at 11:17 AM
    #17
    o0_henry

    o0_henry Active Member

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    But if you guys are enrolled in the “premium” va care program or whatever it’s call on myhealthyvet, you can email your doctor directly and schedule appointments through the website. And see all of your VA patient records. Won’t show your service medical stuff or claim records though, just your records from appointments with them.
     
  18. Jun 16, 2019 at 12:42 PM
    #18
    TacoBuffet

    TacoBuffet Well-Known Member

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    Maybe for regular appointments but disability claim exams are a whole different process. I’m signed up on myhealthvet as well.
     
  19. Jun 16, 2019 at 1:55 PM
    #19
    Kwikvette

    Kwikvette [OP] LOLWUT

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    As @TacoBuffet mentioned, those appointments are different than those for a claim exam.

    You receive a letter and a phone call for examinations relating to a compensation claim.
     
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  20. Jun 16, 2019 at 2:03 PM
    #20
    o0_henry

    o0_henry Active Member

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    like I said earlier it’s been years since I filed my claim, and it was done entirely by the QTC folks. So the whole going through the VA for your evaluation is a foreign concept for me. I sure wouldn’t trust my local VA to handle it. They can’t even be bothered to answer the phone or update the VA website with the right phone number. Just figured if your using a VA facility for an evaluation that appointment should be in the system. Might be too efficient for a government organization though.
     

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