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New to the forum. Have a few questions about my psoriatic arthritis claim. Here is a little of my back story:
Discharged from the Army in 1995. I had problems with psoriasis on legs, chest and scalp when discharged. Also had documented foot, hand and back issues when I discharged. I was given a 10% rating on my back, 0% for both hands and feet. No mention of psoriasis in the award letter in 1998. So that process took 3 years. In 2001 while getting treatment in a VA hospital for psoriasis the doctor asked why was limping and I told him about my problems I’ve had since discharging. He ended up picking up the phone and arranged to have me meet a Rheumatologist that day. That day changed my life when he told me I was suffering from Psoriatic Arthritis. He started me on an infusion therapy called Remicade. Within 2 months the psoriasis was gone and no more pain. I was happy to finally feel normal again. In 2012 I made the switch to Humira which worked great because it saved me from having to go the the VA hospital every 6 weeks for the infusion therapy. So I’ve been on Humira every 2 weeks since.
About a year ago my condition has finally started to rear its ugly head again. I really don’t know if I’ve built up some immunity to the Humira or maybe need to take something else along with it My VA doctor told me to look into getting my rating increased because she was afraid this is only going to get worse and may not be able to work in the next 5 years. Plus all of her patients all had ratings higher than mine. So I came on this site to research and read everyone’s battles with claims and filed an intent to file in August 2018. I immediately requested my medical records and signed up with a local VSO. Fast forward 11 months later I had one month to get my claim uploaded. Still didn’t have my service medical records. I was worried that I was going to miss the one year deadline so I submitted my claim in July 2019. We decided to go the secondary claim route and attach it to the listed disabilities I already had on record because I didn’t have the service medical records to prove I dealt with all the symptoms of PSA while in service. The day of my C&P exam I get a call from my VSO saying my service medical records finally showed up. Great timing huh? I picked them up before the appointment, luckily he made me a couple sets of copies. Went to my exam and I think it went extremely well. I was able to go over all the service records and VA care records with my examiner and we went over everything that was being affected body wise and how much work I’ve missed this last year because of the flare ups. She did range of motion on the affected body parts. At the end I gave her several buddy statements, copies of all the medical records detailing what has happened in 20 years. Her last question to me was why I waited 20 years to file a claim? I told her I felt like since the VA was treating me for the condition and I was not getting a bill for all the medications and I was doing so well and I could work when there were many veterans that needed it more then I at the time. But now that the condition is threatening to take away that job, I needed to do something. She then said she would take care of me and thanked me for my service.
My question to everyone here is will she? How much power does she have?
I’ve noticed on EBen its in the “Prep for decision” with a finish date for next week. My exam was last Thursday so isn’t that a little fast? I’m somewhat confident that it’s going to get approved because of all the documented episodes from service but I’ve also seen many fellow soldiers get denied because the raters don’t read everything. If I do get awarded an increase I’m not sure how it would look. Since I filled it as a secondary condition will it be 3 different ratings or just one all encompassing rating for PSA? Would it be dated back to the intent to file date or the date I finally filled the claim? I’m guessing it will be in the 60 to 70% range because of being on constant therapy and the number of flareups causing me not to be able to walk the past year. Anyone here have any advice?
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New to the forum. Have a few questions about my psoriatic arthritis claim. Here is a little of my back story: Discharged from the Army in 1995. I had problems with psoriasis on legs, chest and scalp when discharged. Also had documented foot, hand and back issues when I discharged.