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Veterans-- is there a reason to go to the VA with this?
Old 10-11-2006, 06:53 PM   #1
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Veterans-- is there a reason to go to the VA with this?

I could ask my local VA to document a couple of physical conditions but I don't know if that's important in the long run. I'd like to get the big picture before they inflict their wisdom upon me.

In the last week I've come down with respiratory symptoms related to volcanic fog. (Vog is produced by Hawaii's Kilauea volcano eruption. It's normally blown away by the tradewinds, but when they stop for a few days the vog permeates Oahu's air.) It's mostly sinusitis & ear fluid with some swelling & pain, annoying but treatable by decongestants. Martha, you can tell your kama`aina expat friends that now I understand exactly where they're coming from.

While researching vog symptoms I've learned that acute exposure to volcanic ash can cause a number of respiratory problems. I spent a week in Subic Bay, RP during the eruption of Mount Pinatubo and suddenly I can understand why I've been fighting respiratory infections, bronchitis, & pneumonia over the last 15 years. It's taken me that long to make the tentative connection of my symptoms to the exposure.

While I'm at it I could also tell the VA that I've torn both of my anterior cruciate knee ligaments. I believe that it happened in late 2001, six months before I retired from active duty. It was during martial arts training, not related to military duties but not due to misconduct.

No complaints. Neither condition is what I'd consider "disabling" and I don't plan to file any claims or seek any other treatment. However I don't know if it's worth having this information on record in case sometime during the next five or six decades these conditions turn out to be an expensive problem that isn't normally covered by Tricare or TFL.

Anyone been through this sort of discovery? Any advice on the next step?


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Re: Veterans-- is there a reason to go to the VA with this?
Old 10-11-2006, 07:17 PM   #2 Founder
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Re: Veterans-- is there a reason to go to the VA with this?

I had an injury when I was in, that was treated at the time, followed by physical therapy for a while. No problem seemed to remain.

After I got out, I got advice to make a VA claim, which I did, even though the problem seemed negligible at the time.

I was deemed "service connected disability, 0% disabling". Meaning nothing except a note in my file.

25+ years later, I had been noticing increased impairment, and went to the VA to get checked out again. They decided it was related, rerated the disability, and I was able to get treatment there.

Two bonuses--- iif I recall the details, if you are rated with a service connected disability, you can get medical care for the condition itself for free, and for other medical problems for just a small copay. And in Texas, at least, if the rating is >0%, then there are property tax reductions.

So I'd say, make the claim, and have it in your "hip pocket" for many years from now.

The process is very slow, but worth doing. The VFW, American Legion, DAV, and other service organizations, as well as most counties in the USA, have people who will walk you through the process. That is more valuable than it would seem, as they know the regs and how to prepare the paperwork so that all the criteria are covered.

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Re: Veterans-- is there a reason to go to the VA with this?
Old 10-11-2006, 07:21 PM   #3
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Re: Veterans-- is there a reason to go to the VA with this?

Originally Posted by Nords
Anyone been through this sort of discovery? Any advice on the next step?
Start here?

I'm already under the A.O. program. It dosen't seem that your "condition" can be "pre-recorded" until a ruling is made (many, many, many, years later) against a specific finding. If you can't find an answer in the FAQ's, you could always contact them via their link.

- Ron

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Re: Veterans-- is there a reason to go to the VA with this?
Old 10-11-2006, 07:24 PM   #4
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Re: Veterans-- is there a reason to go to the VA with this?


- I know that when retired the VA counselor hounded me to document every medical incident/malady that I had incurred while on AD, the main reason being to have the genesis of the problems documented in the event they developed into something worse. He was very pushy, I think the number of maladies somehow got reflected in his yearly eval. I really didn't have much to document, especially compared to the multiple knee/back problems nearly all of my (airborne-qualified) Army friends had.

- I'd recommend you pay the VA a visit and get this stuff written down just in case. Be sure to ask them if they've lost any laptop computers lately, that will put them in a good mood.
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