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  1. #1
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    Mar 2008
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    Dunlap, Tennessee 37327
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    hypertension claims

    can anyone give me help
    Daniel Willoughby

  2. Member 1stindoor's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
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    Fayetteville, NC
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    #2
    Starting from the top, need a lot more information...
    1. How long have you been out?
    2. What is your rating now?
    3. Have you ever claimed it before?
    4. Are you on meds?
    5. Have you started a log with BP taken several times a day?
    6. Do you think that you can draw a line between your service and hypertension?

    Lots of questions I know, but it would help me with a starting point.
    2016 Nitro Z21
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin

  3. Member
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    Mar 2008
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    Dunlap, Tennessee 37327
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    #3
    1. How long have you been out? since may 1991 served in desert storm/Shield
    2. What is your rating now? 10% tinnitus 30% ptsd 50% sleep apena service connected filed 2020
    3. Have you ever claimed it before? no
    4. Are you on meds? yes for 10-15 yes
    5. Have you started a log with BP taken several times a day? no
    6. Do you think that you can draw a line between your service and hypertension? yes between sleep apena and ptsd, my heart dr said yes these two conditions could cause hypertension said he would write statement

    Lots of questions I know, but it would help me with a starting point.
    Daniel Willoughby

  4. Member 1stindoor's Avatar
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    #4
    Thanks Daniel, and thank you for your service. So, since you answered the questions in that order, I'll start there. Reader beware…this is a long response. But should be worth your time.

    1/2. Making a claim after 30 years sometimes makes it difficult for the VA to determine service connection, especially if the medical records are thin. Where you're ahead of the game is the fact that you already have existing claims that can be tied to your hypertension, i.e. the BH and the sleep apnea. Also makes your case stronger since the service connection for the sleep apnea happened more recently.
    3. No problem with not having made the claim before, actually works in your favor, because they haven't denied the service connection.
    4. Since you are already taking meds, get copies of those medical records for your claim. It would also help if you could get your Dr to state that the hypertension is more likely than not caused by your sleep apnea and BH issues. Kudos to him for already volunteering to do that for you.
    5. Since you’re already on meds, doing a BP log now isn’t likely going to assist you in any way. If your med records show a history of rising BPs that’ll help, but it’s not crucial.
    6. Since you already have BH and Apnea, showing service connection shouldn’t be difficult.

    So a few other things that you may want to think about: If you’re trying to raise your overall VA ratings…it may not make a difference. If what you told me is all you’re currently rated for, I’m estimating your hitting 70%. Hypertension, with meds, is usually 10%, though sometimes it hits 20%. If your decision comes back with a 10% rating for hypertension, your 70% rating will remain the same…thank you VA math. If your decision comes back at 20%, it “should” push it 80% overall.

    If it were me, I would still go through the process of filing the claim. One, you have nothing (but time) to lose and it might end up giving you more compensation. Two, even if it comes back at 0% (which is still a rating), the service connection is established, which means you could always go back and get re-evaluated at some point to bring the rating up if it becomes necessary. Three, and this is the most important thing to me, if, God forbid you should suffer a cardiac event and pass…and the hypertension is the cause and service connected, your surviving spouse may be entitled to an entitlement called DIC (Dependency and Indemnity Compensation), which could result in a payment to her/him of about $1,400 a month.

    So this now brings us back to your original question, “Can anyone give me help?” Definitely!

    I do not work for a VSO, but I have been through a lot of the training and work daily with helping Soldiers with their VA claims. Depending on your comfort level with DYI stuff, the easiest/fastest method is to pull up VA.gov and on the right hand side of the screen you should see a blue link saying, “File a claim for compensation” Click on the link and follow the instructions. There’s also links to get help.

    If you’re not as comfortable with doing it yourself, and doing things online, then I would recommend finding your local VSO, think, DAV, VFW, WWP, NACVSO (National Association of County Veteran Service Officers). They can assist you with all the paperwork and walk you through the process. If you’re not sure what resources you have in your area, let me know, I’ll find them for you and list their contact information. Here at Bragg my office uses the VFW and WWP fairly often. If it’s going to take some time to gather the required documents, statement from your Doctor, etc. then the very first thing I would do is submit an Intent to file. This can be accomplished by simply going to the VA.gov site and starting your application. Or having your VSO do it for you. The reason why you would want to do this is because it establishes your date. The VA will back pay you back to the date you filed. If you filed today…they’ll back pay you to today. If you start your paperwork today…then don’t actually submit until 364 days later (you get one year to get the documents together). They’ll still back pay you to today.

    Now the bad news. The VA is currently backlogged more than 500,000 claims. Thanks to several factors, a claim submitted today may not get worked on for months. It is not uncommon for Vets to wait 6, 9, 12 months for a decision. On the plus side, that usually means a nice check if there’s a raise in the compensation amount, i.e if your rating went from 70% to 80%, and it took 12 months to get a rating decision…after the 6 months it took to get all your paperwork in…you could see roughly a $4k check.

    Long read I know, if you would do better talking on the phone let me know and we can figure out a good time.
    2016 Nitro Z21
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin