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The thing that tipped the scales this time was the DBQ I filled out for my dermatologist to sign, which says I have been on constant systemic medication since 1998. I needed this to overcome the bad VA contractor exam that left off my medications in 2017. The Congressional complaint I filed may have also been a factor.
I was service connected for the skin condition when I retired in 2009. My decision letter says “the veteran says she is taking XXX daily”. They had access to all my pharmacy and medical records that show I was put on the medication in 1998 and have been taking it ever since. I know it is still a CUE. I believe the rater did not know my medication was “systemic” since it isn’t listed specifically in Title 38, or they rated me by area of skin coverage versus constant use of systemic medication. Either way, it was a big error.
The letter I got today didn’t mention my request for a back date at all, which I find odd. When VA denied the backdate for peripheral neuropathy that was awarded in 2017 by saying I didn’t have a diagnosis in 2009. I may still fight that one because I requested a back date for cervical radiculopathy, which I did have a diagnosis for in 2009. CR is just rated the same as PN because the symptoms are almost identical. Hopefully since I finally got my increase for the skin condition, it will be easier to get a back date, but I really don’t trust the St Pete VA after the hoops they put me through.
Anyway, I’ve won a huge battle but haven’t won the war yet. I guess I need to keep trying until I get that CUE. 🙂 Until I do, I really am not a cuerino yet.