New Old Goat On The Forum

Citizen Patriot

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Howdy, y'all ! Just found this forum, and figgered I'd jump in and see what happens. I'm working my way thru the SS Disability process (with a legal team guiding me) since April of 2018. My first application was denied outright, then life got in the way and I let it sit on the back burner. Moved across the country, and re-applied in the spring of 2019 with the help of a pretty good legal team. After the usual round of denials we are now in the home stretch, waiting for a "virtual" chat with the Administrative Law Judge sometime in the next few weeks. I'm hopeful for a good determination...

I have a torn meniscus (left knee), chronic back & neck pain, COPD, and a dose of Complex PTSD from my twenty years as a 9-1-1 dispatcher for the State Police in Detroit (yeah, I've got some stories). My back pain derives from an old fracture of the C5/C6 vertebrae which requires ongoing chiropractic treatment courtesy of the VA and the Mission Act. A couple of folks have suggested that I file an additional claim for a VA disability, but I'm kinda on the fence.

As a Military Working Dog Handler in the USAF, our initial training (after finishing the Law Enforcement training) lasted twelve weeks. At least once a week, I was chosen to carry a 10-gallon "Igloo" cooler filled with ice water for the dogs in our class. That 80-pound cooler was carried in a duffel bag with one strap slung over a shoulder. Add to that a couple of canteens of water (for me), two leashes, a muzzle, a long chain, a couple of collars, all dangling off the duty belt around my skinny self. I only weighed 115 pounds soaking wet at the time, but I was carrying in excess of 100 pounds of "stuff" out into the field on a regular basis. I wasn't a badass, nor was I a complainer. The last thing I wanted to do was get "washed out" from training after working so hard to achieve a dream. I was getting paid to play with dogs - and they were the badasses! But I digress.


Fortunately, my old K9 instructor and I have reconnected after decades gone by, and he has first-hand knowledge of those circumstances. I have no doubt he would offer some testimony as to the physical exertion, but I don't believe there's any record of seeking treatment at the time. It becomes a question of "which came first - the unseen injury or advancing age ?" I have no doubt the VA would deny, deny, deny - it's what they seem to do best.

Should I speak with someone at the DAV or some other organization that might help me make a decision to pursue or not ? Any comments or suggestions appreciated.

CP
 

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chaplaincharlie

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I would start by requesting a copy of medical records from any provider visits from your time in the military. I would also get a statement from your former instructor. Then make an appointment with a Disabled American Veteran (DAV) member trained in making claims or any other Veteran Service Officers (VSO).
 

Citizen Patriot

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Thanks for the sage advice. I'll be in touch with my old instructor and start down that path. Grateful for the wisdom shown right here in this forum.

Be Blessed.

CP
 

oddpedestrian

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Decades-old claims the VA will fight it especially if it's not noted in your in-service medical records. They are also bad for hitting you with "no chronicity" what that means is you have to have treatment very close to when you got out all the way to today if it didn't really manifest to a decade or so later expect denials.
 

Citizen Patriot

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Decades-old claims the VA will fight it especially if it's not noted in your in-service medical records. They are also bad for hitting you with "no chronicity" what that means is you have to have treatment very close to when you got out all the way to today if it didn't really manifest to a decade or so later expect denials.


Yeah, I was concerned about that after decades gone by. I might get one of my chiropractors to opine, but lack of treatment at the time would likely torpedo the effort. Thanks for another perspective, Mr. Super Moderator Man !

CP
 

chaplaincharlie

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Yeah, I was concerned about that after decades gone by. I might get one of my chiropractors to opine, but lack of treatment at the time would likely torpedo the effort. Thanks for another perspective, Mr. Super Moderator Man !

CP
Unless you try, you will never know for sure!
 
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