Q17: I'm currently receiving 20% disability for a shoulder injury I sustained in activity, had surgery, but now have a deformity, and constant pain in that area, not to include only 75% range of motion. Should I reapply for additional compensation?
A1: I suggest you contact your Veteran Service officer (VSO) and ask him to help you file a VA Form 21-0958 - Notice of Disagreement. If you don't have a VSO, you should go see a DAV rep in your local area and he/she should be able to help you. On the VA Form 21-0958, you're able to disagree about the rating percentage to are receiving, but you'll need to have evidence of the current situation along with the original Award Letter you received awarding you 20% so you can submit it with the claim. Hope this works for you. (JL) 12/11/16
A2: I tell my clients to be very sure about requesting an increase. Whenever you submit another claim, the VA can and will reevaluate your conditions for a possible decrease in benefits. Why open that can of worms if you don't have to? Many veterans are being reduced because they tried to get an increase. The VA may increase one condition and decrease another condition, stating that it got better. Be very careful. (AP) 12/12/16
A3: Before I reopen a claim I make sure of the diagnosis. I would also, if I could afford it get a complete workup on what is wrong with my arm, shoulder, the secondary conditions, including a definitive range of motion study. Also get your tendons, and ligaments checked to see if there is impingement related to the shoulder injury. The main thing to do is to have everything set up before you file for an increase or a new claim. The most important thing is to make sure you have a diagnosis and a reason that it is related to your service. It is not easy. (CP) 12/19/16
Q18: I am now receiving 80% service disability, due to being shot in the back taking tip of spine off, and PTSD. Now I have degenerative spinal stenosis. Would that be considered service related for disability?
A1: Sending away for your medical records and even your Personal Records might be well worth the time it will take you or one of the Service Offices. (JK) 12/13/16
A2: Yes research relationship between secondary conditions for PTSD and injury as well as secondary condition to initial injury as well as change in condition welcome to call me and leave message as I screen my calls but will call any veteran in need: currently 60% VA SSD. (RP) 12/13/16
A3: Which end of the spine? was it the lumbar sacral/coccyx region or higher up in the cervical spine? The other thing that I would do is file for Individual Unemployability based upon the PTSD and the GSW. (CP) 12/19/16