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    I WON!!

    It was a LOooooooooong, HARD battle, but I won my case/claim. I should thank that C&P Dr for letting me know what he was apparently ORDER to do. I do not think he was doting anything other than following orders. By his letting me know what he was doing during and after the C&P exam, I was able to head the miscarriage off at the pass.

    I immediately contacted DAV (my new & far better than PVA VSO), Senator Peters, Congressman Walberg and a couple contacts at the VA itself. (raising the issue of ETHICS & COMPENTENCY. I think I deserved at least a 70% or 80%, if not IU, but I did get 60% and preserved my service connection.

    I think I will just settle for and be happy with the 60%, at least for now, I need a break, R&R from the exhaustive battles. I had to do a lot of research into my own medical records and learn a lot about medicine. ** Hummmmmm, I wonder if I deserve at least an honorary doctorate? I also got back pay to the effective date of my filling.

    The aforementioned was delayed by almost 2 years by PVA, plus PVA tried to get me to file for a new increase, instead of a NOD, which would mean NO back pay. I was able to buy a Newer (90K miles, 11 year old) car, and pay off a couple bills. I retired my Marshmallow (white Buick Le Sabre with aprox 318K miles) It still runs, but needs a few repairs. I now have a working gas gage, working heater, quiet exhaust and no more pre-flight (checking all fluids etc) every time I go anywhere.

    I joined DAV, I am now a life member. While I did the exhaustive research, DAV at least helped some. That was a far cry from having to fight BOTH the Michigan VA & Michigan PVA.You have my permission to call me Doctor GOMER.BTW THANKS MSworld......... You editor is working again!

    ** Moderator's note - Post broken into paragraphs for easier reading. Many people with MS have visual difficulties that prevent them from reading large blocks of print. **

    That's terrific, gomer!

    So glad for you!

    Take Care
    PPMS for 26 years (dx 1998)
    ~ Worrying will not take away tomorrow's troubles ~ But it will take away today's peace. ~


      Hope this means you might be able to have less stress.Congratulations.It can be surprising what we can achieve when we put our minds to it some times.Caroline


        It's about time, Gomer!! Have been following your journey for some time now and am very pleased to hear you finally WON!! Congrats to you.
        1st sx '89 Dx '99 w/RRMS - SP since 2010
        Administrator Message Boards/Moderator



          The future depends on what you do today.- Gandhi


            Gomer,That's great my friend. Having a competent or caring VSO really can make a tremendous difference. It irritates me when bad VSOs cause more problems for the veteran (especially since I am a PVA member). I am happy for your current rating, but I believe they are still rating you quite low.

            For TDIU, you need one service connected disability to be rated at 60% or one service connected disability rated at 40% and a combined total of 70%.So I believe you should qualify if your MS alone is rated at 60%. If they broke out the secondary conditions you will need an rating increase for MS, or something else to become SC.

            Remember VA math is crazy so you will need MS at 60% and something else as 20% (60+20 - 70%).When you are ready please look at the DBQ for MS (VA Form 21-0960C-9) and look at rating areas for secondary conditions. With the DBQ you can work through every section and see if you missed anything in your claim. Please verify that section 10A and 10B are properly recorded in your claim. You can also keep a journal of all your deficits and ensure they are properly claimed. I would not volunteer any possible symptoms that you had before you joined the service.

            Thank you again for your service to our country. I'm just sorry that you have to fight our government for benefits that you have already earned.

            ** Moderator's note - Post broken into paragraphs for easier reading. Many people with MS have visual difficulties that prevent them from reading large blocks of print. **


              That's so excellent Gomer! Followed your battle, you must be so proud of yourself. Way to go!!
              RRMS 2005, Copaxone since 2007
              "I hope to be the person my dog thinks I am."


                Hi Marco………Thanks for the detailed info & tips, great post.

                -1- “CRAZY” yep it’s a crazy system. The VA broke down my MS into separate MS elements. They totaled 80% in normal math, and 60% via VA alternate math, for MS. I had asked for IU, but not a word on that as I recall.

                -2a- Despite loads of documentation of balance & mobility, I even have a VA scooter & manual wheel chair. The VA will NOT provide a carrier or lift for the VA scooter?? (great around the yard etc, but can not go anywhere with it, unless I use our local LIMITED para-transit service, which I qualified for and use it once in a while.

                -2b- I might(??) get A LIFT, OR CARRIER had I bought a used SUV, but they are too high off the ground for me to get in & out of easily/safely, & TOO EXPENSIVE. I do NOT qualify for an adapted vehicle grant to help get a more suitable vehicle. I was, operative word is WAS, looking for a Ford Flex, good height for me to get in/out and they make a 2” receiver hitch for them, but the VA refused that. I ended up getting a Cadalic DTS (Deville, W/90K MILES, cream puff?) for ½ the price of a used FLEX.

                -3- The LAW as passed by congress is such that the S/C requirement is symptom/s of MS while on active duty, or (Dx/Sx?) with-in 7yrs. I have 2 documented active duty SXs, one in ’67 and another in ’68, plus ignored issues. I had a hearing test about Jan 68 that showed bilateral reverse slope hearing loss (30 one side & 50 the other), classic Meniere’s. The Navy simply moved me line/hanger maint. to IMA (indoor avionics A/C shope) when I failed the routine hearing test. I was not formally Dx decades later in 2007 with Meniere’s (w/testing note of possible CNS issue that was NOT followed up).

                -4- DIPLOPIA; I had developed simple/basic horizontal diplopia just a couple months before enlisting in the Navy. ( was 19 almost 20) I is well documented in my enlistment physical as well as my failing a NYC (railroad/switchman) physical (no specifics given).

                -5- Dual cranial nerve (horizontal + vertical aspect) started in early 68 shortly after sea duty/foreign service immunizations. In the few months following the aforementioned, I failed the hearing test, developed the double (H+V) diplopia, the RED FLAG, admitted to sick bay for pancreatitis, and started falling down.

                -6- I do not plan to, nor need to mention POSSIBLE(?) pre-existing issues, There were no screaming RED FLAGS until 1968 while I was stationed at NAS Sanford (my 3rd duty station). I do plan on trying to use the Meniere’s (stage 3 Sx), balance & tinnitus & related for IU. What I did learn was that Meniere’s is a “fall back” diagnosis, when NO neurological cause, such as MS is found, 2 years later in my case. When a neuro disease, such as MS, is found, it is considered superseded by the MS, as mimicking Meniere's, which goes away, becomes null and void replaced by the MS Dx. (& the Meniere's like Sx, actually are MS Sx)

                -7- I was a real GOMER in the Navy. Too many sick bay visits. I tried THREE times to get updated glasses (w/prisms), ALF Ellison Pensacola, NAS Jax (A-school) & NAS Sanford. ALL three times the Navy ignored my needs for diplopia prisms. I ended up going to a civilian eye doctor in Winter Park (near Orlando) for proper diplopia prism glasses

                -8- I got kicked out of sick bay so much I was kicked out repeatedly for pneumonia, eventually the sickbay doc got MAD, ordered an Xray saying “I am going to PROVE there is nothing wrong with you”.
                After the Xray, he ordered an ambulance & taken to the base hospital. Upon arriving there, I was criminally charged under UCMJ with “failure to seek medical care”. The charge was dropped like a hot nuke when I requested my previous 10 days sick bay records for my defense. Gomer, .......... I EARNED (the hard way) the GOMER title, and now use it with PRIDE.

                ** Moderator's note - Post broken into paragraphs for easier reading. Many people with MS have visual difficulties that prevent them from reading large blocks of print. **



                  I think it has to do with the individual in picking your VSO. It was the PVA who finally got my 100% service connection and 9 years of back pay. A huge shout out to my neurologist who said the magic words, “more likely than not” in a letter that I finally took to the Board of Veterans Appleals in Oakland CA.


                    Hey Gomer

                    Goober Says Hey!!



                      Glad things worked out to your satisfaction.

                      Simply to see your name again on this thread was uplifting.


                        I’m sorry you had such trouble with the PVA. It appears not all VSOs are the same. I use the PVA in Palo Alto CA and they won a very complicated case that got me 9 years of back pay and I’m now rated 100% with SMC-R2. The PVA flew out a senior representative for my case at the Board of Veterans Appeals in Oakland CA. My wife wanted me to give up thinking I would never get the higher rate. I only say this because all VSOs are not the same. Training needs to be standardized.


                          Rich congratulations on winning your battle against the VA. I'm also sorry your condition is difficult enough to warrant 100 > smc > R2. Certainly a high hurdle to obtain.

                          I would be very interested in learning more about your successful R2 award. I am currently rated at SMC L1/2.

                          My PVA VSO currently has an open claim waiting for the VBA for SMC R1. My contact information is on my profile. I'd greatly appreciate it if you emailed me.

                          Thank you.