Two separate issues (CRSC and SMC)

Discussion in 'Appeals' started by Lobo, Apr 4, 2007.

  1. Lobo

    Lobo New Member

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    Howdy all, I'm a newbie, and wish I'd found you about two years ago.

    I have two issues I need advice on, and anyone can step in at any time.

    First--

    I am 100% service connected due to Degenerative Disk Disease and subsequent Foot Drop.

    Walking is next to impossible, sitting for more than an hour is challenging. I do home traction twice a day, and require a leg brace and neck brace.

    My wife needs to dress me, me, bathe me, shave me, and sometimes cut my dinner into bite size pieces, as the DDD has spread to my cervical spine.

    Some time back, I had a Nerve Conduction test on my left arm that showed nerve damage. The arm is virtually useless due to pain and weakness.

    We applied for SMC based on my being housebound, but the VA refuses to look at the results of the previous tests.

    I've been to three C&P appointments that lasted all of 10 minutes total, and then the C&P docs fake the findings.

    Is there another step, short of appearing before a board? SHould I request a board hearing?

    Second, for all those CRSC experts--

    Initial injury was sustained while raising a canopy on an F-15 during an "Integrated Combat Turn" (simulated combat conditions). I applied for CRSC, and was denied. Sent request to AFBCMR for correction to rate injury as "combat related". Three board members concurred and approved, one board member disagreed but chose not to write a minority rebuttal.

    The paperwork was forwarded to the Assistant CoS, and he denied as "lifting is an industrial issue, not unique to the military."

    A) why bother having a board if there is a single person who can veto the board's majority decision?

    B) raising an F-15s canopy IS unique to military service. It's not like I was raising the hood of a Buick.

    Am I barking up the wrong tree, or is there another appeal avenue? Does anyone other than me see it my way, or is the Asst CoS correct?
  2. Vike17

    Vike17 Member

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    Lobo,

    Is your 100% rating for soley one disability or for a combination of disabilities? The reason why I ask is normally one disability rated at 100% is required for consideration of A&A. However, in certain intances a veteran can be awarded A&A when they have a disability(ies) that are less than 100%. I assume it's the later because you stated "due to Degenerative Disk Disease and subsequent Foot Drop."

    I'm not sure what you mean by "We applied for SMC based on my being housebound, but the VA refuses to look at the results of the previous tests." Do you mean the VA never addressed the nerve conduction study in the evidence section of the rating decision, possibily meaning they never received it for consideration? Or do you mean they considered the test but still denied the A&A? A nerve conduction study in and of itself does not show the need for A&A. Having said this, do you receive any SMC due to the L/LOU any extremity? You stated you have "Foot drop" and are rated for it. Also I don't know what you mean by the "the C&P docs fake the findings." Do mean that the examination was inadaquate in your opinion? Do you mean the doctor actually falsified the finding????


    Have you already received a rating decision denying your claim for A&A? If you have received a denial already from VA and it hasn't yet been one year since that denial, you can file a Notice of Disagreement (NOD) and ask that a Decision Review Officer (DRO) review your case. By electing a DRO review, you would have someone else (a senior RVSR with years of experience) take another look at your situation. A DRO has the authority to overturn the prior decision or affirm it. If the DRO affirms the previous denial, you still have the opportunity to take your case to the BVA by filing VA Form 9 after receiving the Statement of the Case (SOC).

    Without knowing more about your situation, it's hard to speculate what is going on. If you could give a little more insight on your ratings ect..., maybe I can give you more concrete answers to your questions. Your situation can become very complex because then you would be getting into the whole business of SMC, which is a whole new ball game in and of itself, and is one of the more difficult and complicated issues when it comes to ratings and so forth within VA.

    As far as CRSC, I really do not have that much knowledge on the subject as that can also be another complicated matter too. Maybe TinCanMan or someone else can help answer your questions on this matter.

    Vike 17
  3. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    Lobo & Vike:

    I'm glad you jumped in there with the SMC as I would have been in way over my head. I started to research the issue and saw many of the same things you did. I wondered, though if Lobo was talking about A&A or Housebound? I thought they were separate issues?

    As far as the CRSC goes, it's a pretty tough sell as the Air Force has final say The Army CRSC site https://www.hrc.army.mil/site/crsc/eligibility.html has this to say about it:
    There are 4 qualifying situations:

    Training that simulates war (e.g., exercises, field training)
    Hazardous duty (e.g., flight, diving, parachute duty)
    An instrumentality of war (e.g., combat vehicles, weapons, Agent Orange)
    Armed conflict (e.g., gun shot wounds [Purple Heart], punji stick injuries

    It would appear Lobo would qualify on the basis of "Instrumentality of War" provided he lowered that canopy in a "Training Exercise" and not in a maintenance situation.

    Instrument must be used in military training

    The following situations are described as Combat Related Situations:
    Routine auto accident in unique military vehicle
    Tanks, armored vehicles, etc.
    Ammunition and explosive devices
    Lifting artillery round
    Rappelling from military aircraft


    The following situations are described as Service-Related situations:
    Military sedan in civilian vehicle accident
    Repairing military vehicle in maintenance setting
    Improper use of pyrotechnics
    Off-post weapon incidents

    I don't believe you're barking up the wrong tree so much as you've reached the end of the process. I also suspect Lobo knows much more about CRSC than any of us. Perhaps Lobo will stick around and help other vets with CRSC issues. I can do the research and read the instructions and directives but there's no substitute for practical experience. At this point he's tried all the avenue's. The only thing left is to appeal the BCMR decision if there is such a thing. I have to go look that up.
  4. Lobo

    Lobo New Member

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    Thanks for replying guys...

    Okay, NOT SMC...sorry. It's A&A. The DDD and subsequent foot drop secondary to the DDD makes it 100% for the loss of use of the foot/leg. 100% for a single disability.

    Prior to the decision, they requested letters from people who where familiar with my case, and I had letters from 2 massage therapists, my wife, a neighbor, and two friends. I had the Nerve conduction test done (at a VA facility at the request of the C&P doctor) and in the denial letter, they listed "evidence" and completely blew all that information off.

    Dunno if that explains it any better, but at least this place allows me to vent a little.

    As for the CRSC, it appears as if there is no other appeal authority. Not without "NEW" evidence, but if "lifting an artillery shell" is "combat related" then opening an Aircraft Canopy during a simulated combat exercise is too. Now we just have to convince the Secretary of the Air Force of that.
  5. Vike17

    Vike17 Member

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    Lobo,

    It's still unclear what your actual percentages One cannot acheive the 100% schedualr rating for DDD and drop foot regardless if you're rated under the new criteria for the spine (DC 5243) in which you have ben given a 60% evaluation for IVDS based on incapacitating episodes and 80% for Paralysis of the Sciatic nerve (which is really rare). These two would combine for a 92% rating rounded down to 90%, or you're rated under the old criteria DC 5293 in which the highest rating obtainable would be only 60% based on 'Pronounced' symptoms.

    At any rate, if you are actually rated under the new criteria as I stated above (80% for foot drop and 60% for DDD), then you would be receiving at least SMC "k" for the L/LOU of a lower extremity. However, that does not appear to be the case. Without actually getting into all the details of the provisions of all the possible SMC senarios and confusing everyone in the long run, I would file a NOD if you feel that you truely qualify for A&A. Just ask for a DRO review and if you actually qualify then that DRO will grant your claim.

    Hope this helps!

    Vike 17
  6. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    I would certainly agree with that but they also say; "Repairing military vehicle in maintenance setting" does not qualify. So the question becomes when did you lower the canopy? Was it on the flight line or in the hanger while performing maintenance? I'm not familiar with decisions from CRSC but BCMR usually provides some rationale. What did they say with regard to their decision?
  7. Berta

    Berta New Member

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    CRSC is -as you stated - Combat related- and thus is determined by the DOD 's definition of combat.
    Military.com as well as the DOD web site have considerable info on CRSC claims.
    The "foot drop" might garner you an SMC "K" award- about 84 bucks more a month-and would depend on whether your medical evidence can show that you have"loss of use of" the foot due to the foot drop.


    The full gamit of SMC criteria is found within 38 USC 1114.
    A & A and HB as well as considerable other levels of SMC are explained in the actual regs-as well as the medical criteria needed to establish these benefits.

    Aid and attendance as well as the SMC "S" award for housebound are explained there and also if you access some BVA cases at the VA web site regarding Housebound or Aid and Attendance-you will be able to determine what evidence you need to fulfill the criteria of these SMC awards.

    I assume the VA specifically stated reasons and bases for their denial of SMC.
    This is the key to determining how to challenge their decision.
    It might well take getting an independent medical opinion that you could provide to the VARO if the VA is failing to address your medical evidence thoroughly.
  8. Comanche4-3

    Comanche4-3 New Member

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    Crsc



    Hello Everyone!

    Just wanted to let Lobo and everyone else know that I just joined and came across this initial posting and make you all aware that I am a Certified (CRSC) Ambassador, and recipient. If I can help anybody out let me know and I will do my best to get you the right answers with the appropriate references or point you in the right direction. Please be aware that YOU HAVE 6 Years TO FILE FOR CRSC . THE DATE STARTS ON THE DAY YOU WERE AWARDED VA COMPENSATION/ DISABILITY.

    I am sure I will have questions for you all inregards to the VA because that is where I am now navigating my way through the obstacles. Good luck to all on your en devours!

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