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Hello brothers and sisters! I am new here but have been browsing the pages and I feel this is a great resource for Vets trying to benefits!
I already have 30% from the VA for my left knee from when I got out. Over the last several years, I have been having major back problems. I went to the VA and they essentially (at that time) told me my pain was due to my abnormal gait from my knee injury and no imaging was done.
Fast forward a couple more years, around 2014. The pain had now increased to a point where I knew something was not right. I went back to the VA to which thee finally did X-rays and discovered I had degenerative discs and spondylosis in my lumbar and thoracic areas and evidence of a stress fracture around my T-11 and T-12. In addition, I had some bone spurs. VA told me due to the fracture, they could not give me injections and offered PT, which I did and it did not help. They then gave me a TENS unit, which also did not help. They then offered acupuncture, to which I just denied out of frustration. It was then I stopped going to the VA.
Fast forward a little more, last year or two. I now have more issues that go up my back and my neck. I have been sing a NON-VA provider, CORE Institute, as well as a therapeutic massage provider. The new spine doctors did more imaging and found the same findings as the VA except they also found my neck also has signs of spondylosis as well as a bulging disc.
I filed a claim, knowing it would most likely be denied, but had favorable findings. It was denied mostly based on service-connection and I wasn’t sure what to do as I felt I screwed myself.
It was when the doctor at the non-VA provider asked me “how do you think this might have happened” that I had remembered an event in Active duty that may have been the cause of it all. In a nutshell, I was leaned over, loading my gear into the racks of a M2 Bradley IFV, when one of my NCO’s popped the spring-loaded armored hatch and pushed it open quickly. It struck me square on top of my head, with enormous pressure and force, knocking me unconscious. My squad mates ended up pulling me down to ender aid. We were in the middle of a 36-hour, installation wide training exercise, so I did not go to CTAS or hospital, only had some neck stiffness and headache at time.
Since that, I went out and was able to get Supplement to Claim statements from the NCO who popped the hatch, one of my team members who helped me down, my father who I lived with after active duty, and my current wife who is a Licensed Practical Nurse with over 10 years of long term, skilled geriatric care. I also filled out a statement of my own, detailing what happened, where, when, who, how its affected me (muscle spasms, back and neck lock-ups, inability to play with kids, the works), etc. My NCO and team member wrote about the incident itself as they only know that much. However, my wife’s statement was very good, much better than I could have described my issues.
I gathered it all up, signed (and notarized the ones done from MS Word), filled out the 20-0995 Supplement Claim form and sent it along with all of the “New and Relevant” evidence (The Buddy and Lay statements) overnight to the Intake Center in Janesville, WI on OCT 15.
I am just wondering if this was the correct avenue and if anyone might have an idea if this seems like a strong claim? Any insight really, just hoping it works out. Thanks! If I left out important info just ask, Its been a long long process lol.
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Hello brothers and sisters! I am new here but have been browsing the pages and I feel this is a great resource for Vets trying to benefits! I already have 30% from the VA for my left knee from when I got out.