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Q7: I'm 86 year-old vet. Have hearing loss with 40% VA Compensation. Froze my toes while on duty. Now have neuritis & Raynaud's dx. Can those 2 impairments be added to my disability rating?
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A1: If you can find service records to show medical evidence of service related medical conditions then you can claim them but you will have to find the evidence to prove the claim. The VA says they will help you but that is just one of the lies they tell. Contact a VSO and write to your congressman and see it they can help. At your age and you have lived with it for so long doubt if you stand a very good chance for the hearing they will say is because of age hearing loss. The only other my be your toes while on duty but they will probably question why you did not claim it sooner. It is worth a shot but you probably will not live long enough to see any results in the claim. Takes usually 2 1/2 years on a claim and then if they deny it you would have to file a BVA claim and that would drag out for another two to even 10 years. You have nothing to lose by trying and if you feel you deserve more of a rating then go for it. The hardest thing I see is unless you were discharged because of your toes condition and have it in any records most likely will have a hard time getting the evidence which you will have to have to prove your claim. (JRM) 2/13/18
A2: The VA has a Duty to Assist in the development of your claim, however, providing your evidence is your responsibility. In order to have a satisfactory outcome, your claim must meet three elements. First, you must have an illness or injury in service. Second, you must have a Nexus of care from service to the present. That means you have been continuously treated. Third, you must have a current diagnosis of a chronic condition. If you meet all three, then you have a good chance of a satisfactory outcome. (AP) 2/13/18