What VA means by evidence when processing claims


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Having served as a senior Veterans Service Representative for six years, there are a couple of questions I am often asked about claims processing – “What is evidence?” and “Is my evidence helpful to my claim?”

What is “evidence”?

In short, it is anything you (the claimant) submit to VA, or VA attempts to obtain on your behalf, in support of your disability claim.

According to Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations, evidence can be (but is not limited to):

  • Military separation papers (such as DD 214, etc.)
  • Separation Health Assessments or DoD’s Separation History and Physical Examinations
  • VA Disability Benefits Questionnaires (DBQs); Veterans Health Administration treatment records
  • Medical records from private providers
  • “Buddy statements” – statements from fellow Veterans you served with, family members or friends who can support your claim

Sometimes, VA requests very specific evidence. In those instances, we will indicate exactly what we are looking for.

However, if you file a Fully Developed Claim through eBenefits that is your way of telling VA that you have uploaded all the appropriate evidence necessary to support your claim and have no intention to submit additional evidence.

Is my evidence helpful to my claim?

Over the years, I’ve seen a variety of evidence submitted by claimants. If you’re thinking of sending VA evidence to support your claim, I encourage you to ask yourself, “Does this evidence directly support my claim?” Evidence that most closely relates to the issue or issues you are claiming will help VA process your claim more quickly and accurately.

If you’re still unsure, a VA representative or a Veterans Service Organization may be able to help.

Have a question about what “evidence” you should submit? Leave a comment below.


Mark P. Ledesma is a public affairs specialist with the Veterans Benefits Administration after having served six years as a senior Veterans Service Representative at the San Diego VA Regional Office. Mark is also a Veteran of the United States Marine Corps.

Author

Mark Ledesma

- Mark P. Ledesma is a public affairs specialist with the Veterans Benefits Administration after having served six years as a senior Veterans Service Representative at the San Diego VA Regional Office. Mark is also a Veteran of the United States Marine Corps.

Comments

  1. edward f. shay    

    I have COPD, and now have Sleep Apnea and use the sleep apnea machine every night, during the 20 plus years that I was on active duty I was dignosed with Pnemuna, and bronchitis many times and also one of my medical records shows COPD while I was still on active duty, my pulmonary doctor said that those lung problems were probably the reason that I have COPD and Sleep Apnea, I never really knew what sleep apnea was until my heart doctor suggested I get the test because my wife said that for years I snored so loud and she was afraid that I stopped breathing for the past 40 years and would shake me. I never complained about the sleep problems while I was on active duty but did with the bronchitis etc. what type of proof do I need? I have breathing test results medical records that show I take spirva once a day and use an inhaler often because of the copd. I was turned down because they said there was NO EVIDENCE that I was being diaginosed with COPD and treated for it yet I had my doctor fill out the va form. also My shrink that said I have PTSD just quit his practice and shut his door and I can’t get a copy of my records from him I have tried and tried as have the VA trying to obtain so how do I get to see a VA Shrink?

    1. Jackson Brownre    

      COPD disability rating is based on the CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) section Title 38 → Chapter I → Part 4 → Subpart B → §4.97.Forced
      Once you prove service connection, you need to get a Comp & Pen exam to test your FEV (Forced Expiratory Volume) – the FEV results will determine the percentage you might be eligible for.

    2. Mark Ledesma    

      Thanks for your comment, Edward. Please visit the public contact team at your local VA Regional Office, or reach out to your Veteran Service Organization (VSO), if you have one assigned. They can assist you with your claim

    3. Mark Ledesma    

      I’m limited to what I can assist you with without the ability to read your rating decision. I also want to avoid discussing your medical conditions in a public forum for privacy reasons. As for your question concerning PTSD, visit this link: http://www.ptsd.va.gov/

  2. Jordan    

    Where are all the comments?

    1. Ricky Holliman    

      What do u do if u had a condition while on active duty but was never treated

  3. gammar pomales    

    I’ve been waiting for a claim for 6yrs please contact mme my phone is 939-207-6700

    1. Ruben BOLIVAR    

      I had surgery for a lumbar fussion in 2012 at the VA in Tucson, Az. The surgery came out bad, malpractice. The surgeons call it hardware failure. I was attending school thru rehabilitation VA. And had 4/month left to graduate. . I was stop cause I wasn’t feasable to continue school. . VA reh gave me letters and statements to applied for unemployability. I have an appeal have send financial hardship letters. And still no reply. I call my DAV service rep.and she don’t help enough ,all she state is the same statement regional personnel give me that my case is still pending. iam at 80 % with many disability. SSI gave me 100 % disability I don’t know why VA wouldn’t do the same.

  4. jackie essig    

    My husband served in Vietnam, has Hep C cirrhosis stage 3. Finding for new “miracle” drug are used up.

    1. His throat was cut and had blood transfusions in Subic Bay,
    2. How do we prove this so it can be added to his disabilities.
    3. He is 100% totally disabled PTSD thru VA. We need this added incase he dies from this so he can be sure the VA pays me benefits

    1. Jackson Brownre    

      If he is 100%, then after 10 years of being 100%, a dependent will be eligible for DIC. Even if he has not had 10 years of 100%, you will still be eligible for CHAMPVA, commissary/exchange, etc. after he passes.

      1. Jackson Brownre    

        It should be noted that a dependent cannot get the same monthly compensation after the Veteran passes.

    2. Mark Ledesma    

      Jackie, please visit the public contact team at your local VA Regional Office with your husband, or reach out to his Veteran Service Organization (VSO), if he has appointed one. They can assist him with gathering evidence and filing his claim.

    3. Mark Ledesma    

      Additionally, the current medical diagnosis of the condition and the documented in-service treatment of the blood transfusion are evidence that can support your husband’s claim.

  5. Casper Reutebuch    

    i have been waiting for 5 years for my claim to be processed so i can get a disability rating and only letter i got was last year when they said they were still processing my claim, i have major medical issues where i am getting treatments from a couple of outside providers, are they gonna wait till i pass on or something frastic happens before i hear anything????its a crying shame that i have had to wait this long

    1. Mark Ledesma    

      Casper, please visit the public contact team at your local VA Regional Office, or reach out to your Veteran Service Organization (VSO), if you have one assigned. They can assist you with your claim

  6. eugene w walker jr    

    I have had 2 C&P exams 3 years apart from 2 different doctors and both said I had adult-onset type 2 diabetes and I served on DD805, USS Chevalier June 1966 brown water Saigon river. Regional office in Chicago says they need new evidence because they denied my claim. I guess I am now in the 3 Ds with this medical examiner: Delay, deny and die.

    1. Jackson Brownre    

      USS Chevalier is listed as a ship that was in Vietnamese waters from June 15-21 1966. If you have evidence that you were aboard, make sure the DRO has this information.

      http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/shiplist/list.asp#C Also, make sure you are on the Agent Orange registry.

    2. Mark Ledesma    

      Hi Eugene, I can’t really give you specific advice about your case without reading your rating decision, which details the reason for your denial. Jackson is correct, your ship is on our list of vessels that operated on Saigon River from June 15 through June 21, 1966. If you need help with your case, please visit the public contact team at your local VA Regional Office, or reach out to your Veteran Service Organization (VSO), if you’ve assigned one. Make sure to bring your rating decision and any correspondence letters (concerning this case) with you when you meet with them. This will help them figure out what happened to your claim. I’m sorry that I can’t be more detailed about your case. I want to avoid further discussion of your medical condition in a public forum like this for privacy reasons. I hope this helps.

  7. Roy Arnold McDade Jr.    

    Ive asked for my medical records for 4 years ,many times filed the VA asking, never recieved,fighting for service connect 4 years ,my appeal gping on over 3 years, VA asked me to be checked by their doctor and the doctor never asked me about ,hearing loss ,tinitus,or back surgeries, or asthma,im 100 %disabled now ,stage 4 copd,enlarged heart,on oxygen 24/7,been lied too, put off, charged for co pays from 2006 to 2015,when im co pay exempt. VA not refunding as they promised. Im so feed up and disgusted and now know why so many vets give up and commit suicide.

    1. Ralph Maddox    

      Mr. McDade, I m not a professional VA rep. or anything like that. But I am a Vietnam Era Vet that has gone through the same run around. First Sir, I must say that Suicide is not the answer. DO NOT allow some lazy ass govt. employee to push you or any other Veteran to that level of dismay. What I have found over the years with my Pension and getting my medical reimbursements every year is one word__ CONGRESSMAN! I contact my Senator, who just so happens to be Chair of Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs and get him a “release Of Information” and explain your situation. For some reason they are not afraid of a Lawyer, but when they get a letter from a Senator, they seem to find another GEAR to get in , it is definitely worth a try. I am no expert, but I am a veteran that has been and still is dealing with the Bureaucracy and the employees that could care less about a Veteran! I say to all I meet, ‘ DO NOT GIVE UP THE FIGHT FOR YOUR BENEFITS”” You earned them and by God you should get them. I have found that the VA is a lot like Soc. Sec. They try to starve you out and hope you will just give up and move on. I say NO WE WILL NOT QUIT. American Military Men and Women do not give up in battle and this is just another battle. It is a shame we have to fight our own to get the victory BUT WE MUST!! You may not care what I say, but I am just giving what I have learned. Thank you for your service and Have A Blessed Day!!

  8. Roy Arnold McDade Jr.    

    Do you have a contact phone so I can call you,please

  9. GOLDIE CLARKE    

    My husband was in Viet Nam for 13 months 1967-1969 in 2006 he had non hodkin lymphonia which in turn weakened his heart through chemo and radiation and in March 24 2015 he died from cardiomyopathy and arrithima and he still was fighting for a claim do to all of this well the case was closed and now i’m thinking that he died because of residules from NHL in some way I feel that he should not have died in vein because of this matter now i’m not sure what to do , he had after remission 52% of his heart functions then when he passed his heart function was 19%. He was sent home with hospice and 2 weeks to live ,do I still fight this battle or is there no hope of this ever being won,please fill free to help me understand this. Thank you

    1. Mark Ledesma    

      Goldie, I’m sorry for your loss. Please visit the public contact team at your local VA Regional Office, or reach out to your husband’s Veteran Service Organization (VSO), if one was appointed. They can assist you with understanding your husband’s claim.

      1. Catherine Trombley    

        Goldie, I too am sorry for your loss. NHL is a presumptive condition for Agent Orange, a chemical used in Vietnam. If your husband served in theater there and his military records show that, he should be entitled. The good news is there are a lot of Veterans like Mark who work claims (except now Mark works with me in communications). Their first goal is to take care of our brothers and sisters. I echo Mark’s advice and think you should speak with a VSO who can talk to you about substituting your name in your husband’s place on his claim. Do it quick though, because there is a time limit. You can also call our 1-800-827-1000 number and talk to one of our employees. Again so sorry for your loss. I can’t even image.

    2. Ronald P. Jones    

      If your husband still had a pending claim, do not let it close. Contact either the Veterans Benefits Office in your state and explain that he has passed and there is a claim active. I just helped a friend whose claim was over 4 years old and still active. I faxed that he was in hospice with a letter from the doctor that he was going to die. 2 days later he did, but the VA granted his claim and she got over 55,000.00 plus will get 1500.00 a month in survivors benefits. If your husband died of a service-connected disability you should at least get survivor’s benefits. In every state the phone number is the same. 1-800-827-1000. If you have a service officer that you or your husband used for his claim contact that person first. Hope that helps. Sorry for your loss.

  10. Calvin DeHart Swenson Sr.    

    My claim was decided in May 2014. I am receiving my monthly payment, but I have yet to receive my retro pay. I have been waiting since July 11, 2014. I have tried several times to contact thru VA rep and even thru my Senator Patty Murray, But still have not received my retro pay. I love the VA and what they have done for me, but I am so upset because no one seems to care.

    1. Ralph Maddox    

      Mr. Swenson, I would think you should have gotten your back pay. I too would advise you to contact the VSO in your area or go on the E Benefits website and file a request through IRIS or even file a claim for them. I got my back pay the first benefit check I got. It was included and was listed on E Benefits under your pay record as “retroactive” payment then after that it will be labeled as continuing payment. Sounds like to me that there may be a discrepancy in when your benefits started. Like I have said, I am NOT a VA rep. just been there done that. When I find something that works, I try to let other Vets. know about it. Like I said, go to the E Benefits and open an account if you haven’t yet, It lists all your payments by month as well as all your other VA benefits. And when you go through there, you will be speaking directly with the Pension Management Bureau. Where the decision is made and payments are sent. Mine is in Philadelphia, PA. I have a direct phone number to them. Don’t know where you live, as far as I know there are 3 Pension Management Bureau Offices IN Country.

  11. Alfred Martin    

    i have had to fight for everything I have received and now I’m still waiting on them to make a decision on my case, I’ve had several C&P appointments and it seems like they just don’t want to help the Veterans in anyway. I have been fighting since 1991 my return from war and still have to fight to even get anything. It took a congressman to even get put at 50% and should be at 100% and can not get any answers, what should I do before I have to call a congressman again.

    1. Mark Ledesma    

      Hi Alfred, I’m sorry for your frustration. Have you considered filing a claim for an increase? You can file for one electronically through eBenefits: https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/apply

  12. Franklin M. Floyd Sr.    

    I received 50% disability for mental anxiety and I put in for anxiety and Depression. I feel that I should have gotten 70% or more!!! When I went to Columbia and filed an appeal the person helping told me I should file for erectile dysfunction. At the time I filed in july, 2013 the rep in Conway office did not file for my wife? So I put in a claim for her. I put in one claim, not all that other claims they have me down for???? It is a joke and I feel they are playing games. And from the looks of these comments and all the people that I talk with having problems so it’s not just me. That jerk in Conway should be fired. already retired from service and 2 or 3 other jobs and then to find out the salary he is receiving makes me sick… I will never give up and I gonna give them just a little while longer and then I am going to be on National T.V. I hope the person receiving this cares and will help me. There are so many working with VA, that don’t care and just wanting another paycheck>>>>

    1. Mark Ledesma    

      Hi Franklin, I’m sorry for your frustration. I’m a Marine Veteran myself and care about making sure my fellow Veterans are properly cared for. Please know that we are here to help.

      Have all the concerns you’ve stated been addressed? (i.e. your appeal, claim to add dependents)

      Also, for your safety/privacy, I would like us to avoid having a detailed discussion about your medical conditions as this is a public forum.

  13. Dennis Wayne Durham    

    In Nov 2011, I filed a claim for PTSD and a claim to add dependants. After 18 months the PTSD claim was approved. It was added to my monthly benefit and I also received the retroactive backpay from 2011 for the PTSD.

    The dependant claim did not go through until January of this year but I am still waiting for the retroactive backpay from Nov 2011 thru Jan 2015.

    I also need to file another claim for a full hip replacement that was a service connected issue. The hip replacement was done through the VA hospital so the records would be in your system. Should I go to the VA to file the claim or do it online? Also, who can I talk to in order to get the backpay on my dependent claim from Nov 2011 through Jan 2015?

    1. Mark Ledesma    

      Hi Dennis, what effective date was assigned to your dependent award?

      You can file your claim online. Here’s the link to eBenefits: https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/homepage

      1. Dennis Durham    

        The effective date for the dependent award was Dec 1, 2014. The original file date of the claim was Nov 16, 2011. Thanks.

        1. Mark Ledesma    

          Dennis, please visit the public contact team at your local VA Regional Office to clarify the effective date of your dependent award.

  14. Thomas E. ALLEY    

    I filed an appeal in the xSummer 2013. Since that time I received a “we are working on it” letter every six months from Baltimore. I happened to be at a Military Retiree Appreciation Day at Aberdeen Proving Ground inMay 2015 where VA claims personnel were present. When I asked about the status of my appealmI was first told there was nothing on file. Then the rep looked at a different “site” and said “yes, here is your dissagrement form”. A week later I get a letter stating they have received my appeal! This is not fair! It was not my fault that I initally was denied my claim; it was not my fault that the Balt VA put my appeal in a desk drawer somewhere, and now I am being put in line with people who just now filed an appeal. Help me!

  15. Mike Royal    

    I struggle every day with the way I get treated by the VA system. The DAV doesn’t do anything to help nor my congressman. I’ve been to the patient advocate as well as the executive office with no results. I have issues I’ve been denied in one area approved in another. I need help and no place to go.

    Mike

    1. Mark Ledesma    

      I’m sorry for frustration, Mike. Please know that we are here to help. Have you tried visiting the public contact team at your local VA Regional Office?

      Also, there are a number of other Service Organizations that can help you with your claim. Here’s a link to help you find one that meets your needs: http://www.va.gov/ogc/apps/accreditation/index.asp

  16. Ronald P. Jones    

    As a retired VA Supervisory Social Worker (GS-185-12/5 and former Team Leader of 2 different Vet Centers, there is many areas where you can get evidence especially for PTSD. Proof of combat for your unit if you do not have awards of combat such as CIB, CAR, Commendation Medals with V device, Purple Heart etc. it is hard to prove you were in combat and what happened.
    Army unit records – National Archives in College Park, MD
    Navy and USMC – Archives at Naval Shipyard in DC area.
    Air Force – I can’t remember, but it is the Air Force Base in Montgomery, AL.

    Working for the Vet Center in WV, we took veterans to the National Archives and Naval Shipyard to find their evidence. The several times we did this at least 97% of the veterans found their stressors and evidence.

    You can either call them ahead of time if you choose to go there and give them your unit and time you were there and they can pull the records. You cannot take anything out of the National Archives but you can spend the money and copy all you want. For Marines, they have most units, especially Vietnam and earlier on CD’s

    1. Mark Ledesma    

      Hi Ronald, VA has actually relaxed the standard for in-service stressor evidence for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) quite a bit. Evidence that verifies service in locations that involved “hostile military or terrorist activity,” such as an Iraq Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, or Vietnam Service Medal, would be sufficient enough to warrant a VA psychiatric examination. I hope this clarifies things. For more information on this topic, you can refer to 38 CFR § 3.304(f): https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/38/3.304

  17. Gordon N Smith    

    I had a C&P exam done on my hearing, the results came back as right ear service connected, left ear not. The examiner did not take into consideration several years of service in the Infantry. Other hearing folks tested it all again and showed the correlation based on the new information. I filed a reconsideration in October of 214, have not heard a word. My C&P exam person was right one and I am sure they would have found connection had they known about the length and type of service. I there anything more I can do.
    Thank You,
    Gordon Smith
    3999

  18. John Finke    

    I was in the Army Reserve from 1969 thru 1975. After my basic I was stationed at Ft. McClellan Alabama where I attended the Army Chemical School. After that I rejoined my unit where I spent the balance of my 6 year enlistment as the company CBR (Chemical, Biological, Nuclear) NCO in charge of training. While at McClellan I was exposed to a liquid form of mustard agent which caused severe blistering. This was intentional, done to give us a sense of what mustard will do. We were also exposed to a variety of other agents like chlorine gas and likely Agent Orange since it was commonly used there. In the later 70’s I began to have neurological problems. My doc at the time had no clue as to the cause or even what to call it. It continued to get worse over the years – again, none of my doctors had a clue. Last year I read an article about a 60 Minutes segment about Ft. McClellan and the health problems vets have had since being stationed there. This was the first time that I began to think that my health problems were related to my military experience. I passed the info on to my current doc who believes that my neurological problems are “…not only possibly but probably” caused by that exposure. According to him, based on Social Security criteria, I am 100% disabled. Unfortunately none of this came to light until after retiring so I don’t qualify for SS disability. However, when I discovered that my problems are “probably” military related, I started the claim process. That was about 6 months ago. Since then I have been accumulating as much info as possible to file my “fully developed claim”. My doctor is totally supportive and will do all he can to support my claim. Can you think of anything else that I might do?
    Thanks in advance.

    1. Mark Ledesma    

      Hi John, first I want to thank you for your service. Secondly, I would like us to avoid detailed discussion of your medical condition for your safety/privacy as this is a public forum.

      If you can, provide evidence of in-service treatment records. “Buddy statements” – statements from fellow Veterans you served with, family members or friends who can support your claim would help. Treatment records related to your condition from your doctor should also be submitted.

      My blog above has a link to Veterans Service Organizations that may be able to help you assemble your claim. I hope this helps.

  19. James Elliott    

    I am reading these comments from veterans that have filed their claims and I’m not looking forward to my claim that I originally filed over 20 years ago, but was denied because they said that they couldn’t determine if my claims were service connected. When I was discharged in 1991 I had been on over 142 Airborne jumps and now my back, knees, arms, legs, neck, and my headaches are almost constant most of the time. My problem is that my military jump logs over the years have disappeared and only a memory. I did have an unusual amount of jumps because we had a lot of what they call fun jumps(where we would spend the entire weekend on the drop zone using the remaining parachutes before they can no longer be used for jumps/as well as budget issues with plane fuel. Some weekends I would have as many as 12 jumps in two days. I also have taken the VA’s PTSD test and they told me to seek help. Any answers you can help with would help me with process. Thank you much. James Elliott 2/75 Rgr Bn./ ODB 160 C Co 2 Bn. 1st SFG(A)

    1. Mark Ledesma    

      Hi James, have considered submitting “buddy statements” – statements from fellow Veterans you served with, family members or friends who can support your claim?

      Please visit http://www.ptsd.va.gov/ concerning your PTSD. It contains great resources about the topic. Spread the word to fellow Veterans who also need the help.

  20. Andrew Bourne    

    Mark,
    I had a C&P exam for my TBI, I provided current brain mapping, previous brain mapping and a Dr’s report to explain my injury, also reports from a specialist Dr. in the field of brain injuries reconfirming my injury from 2008. My TBI rating dropped from 40% to 0%. The Dr.that did the exam ignored the evidence, said I made it up in his report. He was the same Dr that conducted my last TBI exam, he ignored the evidence then too, he even went so far as to cut and paste his comments. This Dr is a “physiatrist(?) “. My wife and I have used everyone from my VSO to The SECVA. A legal aid ” specialist ” from the regional VBA called me and just kept “parroting ” that I file a notice of disagreement. The last one took over a year…something that could have gotten corrected with a 5 min phone call.
    No one should ever have to deal with this behavior. Yes, I signed the contract, but why am I, (any service members, spouse or child)a SSgt of Marines the only party to keep their end of the deal?

    1. Mark Ledesma    

      Hi Andrew, I’m sorry for your frustration. I’m a fellow Marine myself. Please know that we are here to help. Did you ever file the notice of disagreement? S/F

  21. Mike Tapia    

    I’ve been diagnosed with several different things..been diagnosed by VA Dr’s…civilian Dr’s …and still getting denied benefits. 2 appeals and 3 years later still.waiting! On 3 different med from VA, got a call today for another C&P exam and of course I can’t get in touch with anyone from the VA. Seen a VA psych and a 2nd opinion from a Dr I’ve never seen. Denied benefits…when is enough enough? How much more do I have to live thru with these people?!

  22. Ralph Maddox    

    https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/homepage //////// I am not sure how many of you have an account on this website. But It is A MUST. You can apply /,goes directly to the Benefits Management Office/ you can manage all benefits and get all letters inc. DD-214, medical records and DOD Military Records. It sounds to me that some of you are not going through this site. You can do EVERYTHING in this one place. Can get any letter explaining benefits you are getting and how much, How mush disability you are getting and for what. I could go on but just go in there and set up your account and if needing to apply or re apply or hell all of it. I would have made yall a hyperlink, if I knew how. But just copy and paste it in your browser. I can do that .He He Take care and Thank You All For Your Service!!

    “JUST AN OLD HIPPY, TRYING REAL HARD TO ADJUST”
    US NAVY SEABEES/ WE BUILD / WE FIGHT!!
    SEABEE CAN DO

    1. Mark Ledesma    

      Ralph, thank you for your service! eBenefits is a great tool! I’m actually in a middle of my own claim in eBenefits right now. Semper Fidelis!

  23. Kevin Terrill    

    I am just wondering will being on SSDI and not being able to work for over a decade help my case? All of these older claims happened while I was still in the military.

  24. Jeffrey Louis Walker    

    Hi
    I received a rating decision on 06/02/2015 VA file # 090 424541
    Decision was the claim for an increased evaluation for P.O. status medial left knee arthrotomy is deferred.
    it stated in my letter “the evaluation for PO status medial left knee arthrotomy is deferred for the following:
    Additional medical opinion from the medical examiner”
    What does that mean?
    Do I need another VA examiner to test me?
    Do I need to appeal this to get another exam?
    Does the VA know this is a service connected injury since no where does it say this. The service connected injury was approved when I had my old name Jeffrey Louis Walkowiak – I always had the same SS#. Should it make a difference for this claim?
    I am not sure what my next step should be towards getting compensation?
    Regards
    Jeff

    1. Mark Ledesma    

      Hi Jeffrey, your claim is still open and hasn’t been finalized. It sounds like a medical opinion is needed from an examiner in order for the rater to make his or her decision on your claim. It doesn’t sound like a medical examination is needed.

      Your file number wouldn’t change. However, please update your information with us to avoid any confusion. You can do this through eBenifits: https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/manage

  25. Dennis Durham    

    I filed two claims in Nov 2011 to be added to my disability compensation: (1) PTSD and (2) dependent claim to add my wife and child. After 18 months, I received the approval for the PTSD claim and the retroactive backpay from the original claim date from Nov 2011. However; my dependent claim remained in the “we’re still processing” stage.

    In Nov 2014 my wife posted a comment on the VBA facebook page ( ). Per the VBA’s recommendation, I resubmitted my dependent claim online( <a href="https://www.facebook.com/VeteransBenefits/posts/10152827761813416?comment_id=10152827924788416&reply_comment_id=10152827963188416&total_comments=13&comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22R9%22%7D&quot; title="VBA reply" ). They said it would not affect the original claim date in Nov 2011 and that I should still receive the 3+ years of retroactive backpay that is due me. They approved that claim shortly after filing and in Jan 2015 it was added to my monthly benefit. HOWEVER, I still HAVE NOT received the 37 months of retroactive backpay that I am due. I have spoken to someone about this and written letters and, so far, no one is helping me. I was told that the online claim would trigger the paperwork for the backpay.

    Meanwhile, I have another claim to file for a service connected issue. I was in the 82nd Airborne and, as a result, I had to have a full hip replacement last year. The surgery and follow-up visits took place at the VA Hospital, so the VA already has access to all of the medical records in their system pertaining to that.

    So my questions are:

    (1) Do I file this new claim online or is it better to go to the regional VA office?
    (2) Who can I speak to, or meet with, that will actually assist me in getting 3+ years of backpay for my dependent claim? Can someone at the regional office make that happen? That's who I need to talk to. My monthly benefit is correct right now…it's just the backpay that is severely overdue.

    Any help you can provide is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    1. Mark Ledesma    

      Hi Dennis, I believe I already answered your question above. Please let me know if I haven’t.

  26. Charles Timothy Marchant    

    I worked in a emergency room at Ft Stewart, GA in 1975 and received numerous needle sticks due to eradic patients. A lot of those patients were women that GI’S had married and brought back to the states. I have hep c that didn’t show any symptoms for about 15 or so years. I filed a claim with the VA and was denied because I didn’t go to sick call before I seperated service complaing of any illness. I filed 2 appeals and both were denied and was told by the VA that I couldn’t file again. Do I still have any recourse on this matter?

  27. Joseph Cain    

    In Dec. 2014 I was awarded a increase on my appeal and everything granted to be amended effective date Aug.08 2007 from the BVA they used the phase (action must be handled in an expeditious manner) I have heard from the Regional office once in Jan.2015. And as of yet my rating has not been processed. I have called the 800-827-1000 number 3 times they were unable to give any updates or any help, I’ve gone to the VA Rep. at the Va facility twice we were able to contact the Regional office he stated they were behind these was the end of March. It has become a financial hardship,I just don’t understand the length of time it is taking.

  28. William Walker    

    I’m about to file for PTSD, and I’d I just had a sleep study done so I’d like to file for sleep apnea secondary to PTSD. Do I need to file for one, and then later on file for the other? Or can I file for both at the same time?

    If I can service connect my PTSD, I’m not sure what “evidence” I’ll need to service connect my sleep apnea when the sleep apnea is occurring as a result of the PTSD (and I ETS’d in 2012).

    1. Mark Ledesma    

      Hi William, you can file for both at the same time.

      If you have a current diagnosis of sleep apnea showing linkage to your PTSD, you should submit it as evidence to support your claim for sleep apnea.

      1. William Walker    

        I just submitted an FDC, and I’vefinally been diagnosed with moderate OSA. Will the VA give me an opportunity to submit additional evidence that links PTSD to sleep apnea? Or should any evidence have been submitted when I turned in my claim to the DAV?

  29. Cyndy Hamilton    

    I was medically retired from the Army and received a VA rating of 30% for migraine headaches and a bad ankle. Since getting out in 2000 my migraines continued but I had a instance that was so severe the civilian neurologist called for an MRI which showed a stroke. Since I had an MRI in 1998 that showed no stroke it would appear the condition occurred after. How can I get reevaluated?

    1. Mark Ledesma    

      Hi Cyndy, did your neurologist say the stroke is related to your headaches?

  30. kevin    

    I filed a claim on my knees, they died my claim twice, I now have to go before a judge but have no more evidence. From 18 to 30 I was active navy, the value Dr put me in full time knee braces, I tried to get into the system years before and couldn’t afford medical. Now I’m facing losing what I earned anything Helpful would be appreciated

    1. Mark Ledesma    

      Hi Kevin, have you reached out to a Veterans Service Organization (VSO) to help you with your current claim status? I’m limited to what I can assist you with without reading your prior your rating decisions. Here’s a link if you want to assign one: https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/manage/representative

  31. Jeffrey muldrow    

    Hello l have a question l serve in the military frm 1977 thru 1983 doing that time l had foot problems that later on l was told l had flat feet by a va doctor but in my mar it said foot problems how can the va say there’s no evience in my record also l have toenail fugus which can from athlete feet if not treated it’s also in my mar so how l handle this any information will be helpful this has been going on since 2011

  32. Joshua    

    Good evening, this has to do with my payments made to me, I was divorced last April, I contacted the VA multiple times and updated it on EBenefits, but they continue to pay me the extra money as if I’m still married. I know they will finally realize it eventually, and will ask for it all back. I’m just nervous they’ll stop my payment completely until it’s paid in full. Is there anything I can do?

  33. Ken Crosby    

    The va changes the rules daily. It’s a tactic so that they have a job. I’m 70% for ptsd 50%sleep apnea (not allowed service connected ) 40%fibromyalgia (not allowed service connected ) 10%tenitus (ringing in the ears and hearing loss) which I’m 80%total service connected I filed all appeal the office of the sect of the va told me were now allowed to use private Dr reports but in Chicago they will only use va Dr’s notes/reports the va has what they call stalling tactics so they have all looked job to go to they admit that they make mistakes and stall with veterans claims on purpose

  34. Anthony    

    I have several NOD pending and have been for over 2 years. I provided adequate evidence of my diagnosis for the claims. However, when I went to my C&P appointment, the examiner reported that I had no diagnosis for my disabilities. My understanding is that when the VA makes 2 different diagnosis, then the Board decides which one it will accept. How does this reasoning comport with the alleged “benefit of the doubt” doctrine?

  35. Rogr Herman Newson Jr    

    I have one, I have MIGRAINES!!!! I have had them for over 30 yrs, including the 10 yrs on active duty. In which this landed me “SIQ” in the rack 24/48 hrs in bed 2 to 3 times a week. I missed 2 to 3 days a week for years. Of course my command thought I was lazy, didn’t want to work, crazy etc.. I was never sent to the hospital, never consulted to a Neurologist. My career had stalled I didn’t advance. I was alredy dx’d with Renal Failure stage two and high blood pressure. I am seperated form the Navy, high year tinure. Irritated with Uncle Sam, the VA and life in all forms. Migraines!!! I lost my VA card so I replaced it to find out to my joyous surprize I am fulled covered medically at the VA! Time to get tests done. Got a consult to Neurology, got a MRI, got two, then five then eight to find out that MS, has been ruled out but you have SM! Is this the opposite of MS? I asked. Syringeomylia effects 7 out of 100,000 people and you, you have it! it can only be detcted by MRI……I can’t claim SM because it’s inmy Medical Records. It pays 100 % alone! Guess what’s a systom of SM? MIGRAINES!!!! I have claimed SM and was denied. Currently in appeal for 3yrs, meantime I can’t work and not surviving.

  36. Jacqueline M. Padilla    

    Hi Jackson. My name is Jacqueline M. Padilla, and I am a ill child of a deceased 100% Service Connected Veteran. I have been ill since childhood. I was told at one time that I needed to get my medical records starting from 1965-Present. I was told I need these to prove that since childhood I have been ill in order to qualify for benefits or access to commissary, or other services. Is this true?? I just turned 50 years old and in very bad health. Can you direct me to see if this is true??

    All The Best,

    Jacqueline M. Padilla

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