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Re: VA Ankylosing Spondylitis Ruling [Re: MYAK] #203265
04/01/11 06:25 AM
04/01/11 06:25 AM
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jtaylor Offline
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Hi Mike.

I am new to this site but have had AS since 1984, but not diagnosed until after my retirement physical in 1998, due to uveitis.

I did not seek a disability rating until 2006. Initially denied as AS but 10% for lower back pain. This is when I learned that my rhuematologist is my best hope of getting this straight. He reviewed my entire medical record and identified everything symptom that I had as evidence of AS. These included urethritis, uveitis, tendonitis, plantar fascitis, and others.

I reopened my claim with this IMO (independent medical opinion), and currently have 20% for AS, 40% total. One thing that I noted on the VA exam is that they are only looking at the back, none of the other areas affected, such as obstructive sleep apnea, pain and mobility of the neck, shoulders, hips and knees. Also, my last bout of uveitis changed my glasses prescription.

I recently discussed this with my rhuematologist, who is an active duty air force doctor at BAMC. He told me that he sees this with many service members when they go to the VA. I told him that my research in other forums has shown that the IMO is extremely important, and he is currently working on a new one for me to file with my notice of disagreement, including all of my secondary conditions, quality of life, and employability. Truthfully, it has become nearly impossible for me to work, even though I am taking Humira and Clinoril.

Hopefully I will know how this turns out within the year.

Joe

Re: VA Ankylosing Spondylitis Ruling [Re: mmparker] #203604
04/04/11 04:26 PM
04/04/11 04:26 PM
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zachery Offline
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I am currently in a bind as well. I served my 4 years in active duty Air Force. I got out in May of 2009. But 2 years into my service I was having severe hip pain. They sent me to physical therapy and the doctor there told me I had a "butt sprain". That was their diagnosis for me for about a year and half. Then when it started getting really bad, they finally gave me a MRI. Which of course showed massive inflamation. I was refered off base, and a rhumotologist (my spelling is horrible) gave me 2 different medication, which failed, and then did the tests and diagnosed me with AS. After that I was prescribed Humira (which works amazing). This was all 3 months before my seperation date. So it was service connected. When i applied for VA disability, they told me that I didn't have enough info to get AS approved. So that was denied. And now I went to a doctor for my civilian job and they are telling me it's a pre-existing condition.

I have already had a informal appeals hearing and they are reconsidering my decision. I brought all the paperwork from the physical therapy and the actual diagnosis from the civilian doctor. They said those were new to them, even though it was sent with the package. But after reading this thread, i fear that it will only get me a 10%, if that.

So as they sit there and figure it out, I guess I will just sit here in a whole lot of pain and hope they come to a decision soon. Hats off to all others that have to deal with this.

Re: VA Ankylosing Spondylitis Ruling [Re: mmparker] #204715
04/14/11 07:53 PM
04/14/11 07:53 PM
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MAJ_Ed Offline
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I am in the D.C. / NOVA area, looking for a good AS doctor- both in civilian/private practice and in the VA system. Can anyone recommend an AS specialist? I have encountered several bad ones.

The VA has not ruled on my claim yet. Any advice there?

I am also fighting the army to get a medical board (MEB).

Background:
I am a 19 year Army Reserve veteran (Major). I was in the Ft. Belvoir Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) diagnosed with Osteoarthritis of my hips. The army docs say I do not have AS, however I do have *ALL* the symptoms! My army doctor certified that I was "fit for duty" pending total hip replacement on both hips (she said I could walk after the surgery to take the PT test!). The "fit" rating allowed her to request REFRAD (release from active duty) orders, so now I am left on the outside with no pay or benefits. I filed a VA claim in August 2010 when I was released, but it is still working thru the system. I have been fighting for a medical board, but the army will not even give me that. The army claims "pre-existing conditions" even though I have an approved line of duty with "service aggravation" and I was able to walk OK when I was mobilized a year earlier, and passed 2 PT tests. I meet the "8 year active duty" rule, but the army is also not following that.
Anybody else have this scenario? and any suggestions as to how to fight it? I am entitled to an MEB, PEB, and service compensation. How to get it?

Re: VA Ankylosing Spondylitis Ruling [Re: MAJ_Ed] #204801
04/15/11 05:40 PM
04/15/11 05:40 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 1,530
Minnesota
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Ken Delano Offline
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I am sure Mike Parker will be along soon Maj Ed. He is one of the foremost authorities on this.


AS/PsA DX in 1988

Retired on disability
in 2005 at age 44
Re: VA Ankylosing Spondylitis Ruling [Re: acehigh] #205030
04/18/11 08:31 PM
04/18/11 08:31 PM
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Posts: 5
GA
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Beth_Yates Offline
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i am curently going thru a PEB for AS and bursitus in both my hips. i am waiting on my VA rating right now and should be recieving them hopefully within the next 2 - 3 weeks. The army put on my paperwork that i had the AS when i came into the army although i never had any problems or issues before i did i suffered in pain for 2 years before the army drs even figured out what was wrong and diagnosed me

Re: VA Ankylosing Spondylitis Ruling [Re: Beth_Yates] #205672
04/25/11 03:23 AM
04/25/11 03:23 AM
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Posts: 573
Virginia
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mmparker Offline OP
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MAJ ED,

Already heard of your situation from Dan Franklin although I did not know about the AS aspect. I sent Dan an email on my thoughts.

Beth,

For both the Army and VA you have presumptions that your condition incurred in service and/or was aggravated by service. The standard for overcomming these presumptions is clear and unmistakable evidence to the contrary. Do not allow them to call your condition EPTS w/o aggravation without providing the clear and unmistakable evidence use to overcome the presumptions. Challenge the decision if you disagree that have met this standard.

The standard is addressed in the 14 October 2008 DoD DTM. Ask your PEBLO for a copy.

Mike


Re: VA Ankylosing Spondylitis Ruling [Re: acehigh] #227195
02/12/12 07:04 AM
02/12/12 07:04 AM
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bigadams65 Offline
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I was rated at first by the army board at 10% went back with a
lawyer and thank goodness the doctor on the board demanded that
they call the top rhemotologist in the army and very well respected doctor right then and there in my appeal hearing..to hear what he said...I believe only due to him I received a 30% rating that thank goodness put me out at 14 years with medical. The va rated me at 50% adding in separately my severe uveitis and something else I cannot remember. This was in 1994. I need now to go back and apply for unemployability since I am so severe I can no longer work and I cannot support my family on %1300 a month...the meds I have had to take have caused ulcers, severe anemia, and blockages in my small bowel...I also have severe apnea etc...I am concerned now to apply worried that I will be rated lower...do we know if we have any protection after 10 years..I will have 20 in 2014...and is the military reviewing all AS cases?? I was told the severity of my condition and Uveitis..where I was cared for at Walter Reed and almost died I should have received at least 60% when I was put out.

Re: VA Ankylosing Spondylitis Ruling [Re: bigadams65] #227200
02/12/12 12:59 PM
02/12/12 12:59 PM
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Posts: 1,530
Minnesota
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Ken Delano Offline
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I highly suggest that you use the DAV or the Purple Heart folks to do your re-eval paperwork. Make sure that they evaluate your entire body. Have them do that first (do not apply for unemployable at first). After you receive then new (if any) rating and it is not 100% then apply for the unemployable.


AS/PsA DX in 1988

Retired on disability
in 2005 at age 44
Re: VA Ankylosing Spondylitis Ruling [Re: Ken Delano] #227594
02/16/12 09:20 PM
02/16/12 09:20 PM
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bigadams65 Offline
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thanks

Re: VA Ankylosing Spondylitis Ruling [Re: bigadams65] #228558
03/01/12 05:32 AM
03/01/12 05:32 AM
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 1
Virginia
Troy Offline
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Virginia
I was just told in April that I have AS. Been taking Humira and has been working great. I just had my PEBLO counseling to start the MEB process on 27 FEB. I am nervous about what will come back from all the findings. I am 28 yrs old and been in for almost 11 yrs.

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