als and military disability compemsation

I have two sources that tell me that if you were or are ijn the military and have a diagnosis of ALS that you are entitled to 100% disability. Is this true? My nurse at the clinic almost hit the cieiling when I asked her. She was adament that I should receive 100% disability.

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I will assume that you are a veteran with at least 90 days of honorable active duty time. If this is the case, you need to file a claim for compensation as soon as possible if you have been officially diagnosed with ALS. From what I understand, the minimum rating is 30% and up, depending on your condition. I did hear that they are trying to make it an automatic 100% because of the progression of ALS, but I haven't seen anything official. You should consider contacting the PVA (Paralysed Veterans of America) because they are very helpful. You will not receive any compensation until you file a claim. Have you filed for Social Security Benefits?

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Yes I was in the service for over three years. And yes I have a VA rep who works for PVA. I have been told by two or three sources that because ALS is a termanal disease that it qualifies for full benefits. I have been at 40% disabled for over a year just for a little weakness in my left hand. Today, my left hand is much smaller, I can feel the tendens and bones in my left hand and I need a brace for my left foot. I have foot drop and I can easily fall down because of having a weak ankle. My VA rep to this day says no change in my condition and he is full of it. He is not representing me, he is representing the VA. But I will do what I have to do to get what others have told me. The fight goes on!!! Have a wonderful Thankgiving!!

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I don't know where you live but here in North Carolina there is an ALS clinic. Sometimes these clinics are helpful in documenting ALS. I was diagnosed in 11/09 and can no longer use either hand, can't walk, have a feeding tube, and just recently had a tracheostomy for my breathing. Working with the VA is just as you say, a fight. You have to fight for everything you need from compensation to medical care. Have you brought a copy of your recent medical records to your VA rep? You can always ask for an increase to your benefits if you feel your rating is incorrect. Just be careful because a rating can go up or down if your records are not documented properly. What VA rep do you have? I started with the DAV but switched over to PVA and had much better luck with them. I sure do wish that we wouldn't have to fight for things that the government has promised us. Good luck my friend! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving yourself!!

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Sounds like a govt operation. But let's make a couple of quick distinctions here. Probably first thing to keep in mind is that since they control the money & dole it out, they get to make the rules.... the PVA rep DOES NOT work for the VA...he has an office there at the VA center, but PVA employee's are not employed by the govt or the VA and they get no year end bonus because they've kept someone from getting a 100% disabled rating...they work for the veteran to get them every benefit they are "entitled" too and that's an important word to remember when dealing with the VA; entitlement.

Since you've been rated 40% for a year now, I would presume you have the understanding of how the VA works. Just because a condition is worsening or that it's terminal does not mean they'll rate a person 100% disabled and hand over "money"..nothing happens until their process is complete. And its cumbersome and tedious. It means more appts at the VA healthcare center, a lot of time with the neurologist and all the others who will be involved. If they are not treating you today for say, respiratory failure as a result of the ALS, they are not going to compensate you for it now. You stated your condition is worsening, so I assume your assigned PA has logged it, treated you for it and your PVA Rep has access to your medical records. If its not in your medical history at the VA, there's little the PVA rep can do. I would assume you have regularly scheduled appts with at least your Neurologist at the VA plus your primary care assigned PA where your on-going deterioration is being logged and therefore creating the paper trail necessary for the PVA to help get that next "upgraded rating"....But lets net this out: an ALS diagsnosis is not an "automatic" 100% disability rating under the current system. There is work underway to try and make this happen, but keep in mind it is a govt operation and for the moment, it is what it is.
As your situation digresses and you start receiving additional treatment as a result of the disease progression, then the rating will go up...and by the way....when the paperwork is submitted, it still takes a couple of months to get the upgraded rating...you'll receive retro payment and all, but its still the process..

I would only ask that you consider one other thing as you work your "entitlement"....with the continuing efforts in the MidEast and Afganistan, and probably Korea before long, the VA is inudated with claims...So when you see one of the young, and I mean 19 or 20 yr old combat vets with no legs or missing pieces of their brain as a result of his/her efforts, I would only ask that you keep this in mind when complaining about delays to your entitlement. It was only 2 yrs ago that the VA and the govt decided that all Veterans with an ALS diagnosis be viewed as having a "service connected disability". They will get you to that 100% rating, or I should say ALS will get you there soon enough, but under the present system, it's not automatic and you have to play their game as well....Their money, their rules..probably the easiest way to view this...

I don't mean to sound harsh or bombastic here, just that I've been working the system for sometime now and it isn't perfect, but I thank God it has been available for us....you want to know what really makes dealing with the VA tough? That's when your wife, a 5 yr 'Nam era Veteran, and who is a veteran in every sense just like you & me, has to go thru the system that was intended for & built for men veterans. Like all the forms & discussions with the doctors who assumed you are the disabled vet because you are the male in the room....or get turned away at the hospital and told "no available female beds" and placed in another hospital 2-3 hrs from you...or statements like: "this is the first female vet we've had here in over 2 yrs".....then I would say you have a legitimate complaint...With that, thank you for your service.... I wish you the best & we'll keep you in our prayers..Mike

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Mike,
I want thank you for the info. I understand that maybe I don't deserve 100% disability, Someone I was talking with on-line that said her husband has 100% disability and was retro back to when he was first diagnosed.
I resently talked with my VA rep and told him that I have foot drop since I was diagnosed Aug 2009. he says to put it in the report. from I go to the U of M in Ann Arbor. I have all my information from when It all began. The last two show I have foot drop. And my endurance isn't close to what it was a year ago.
Last year in June, I could walk 27 holes of golf, no problem. Oct. same year, had a hard time walking 18. This year I would be luck to walk three holes. But to get back to the point, people keep asking if I'm alright. My left arm and leg are getting weaker. When I talk to my rep on Monday I am going to ask for an appointment with a VA evaluator. You are right that the VA has all the cards and I hope they deal me some good ones.
In the beginning, when I was first in the system, it was a breeze. It took a while to put my wife on. And kind of funny how they ask the questions. One queston; if I was married to her and if she was married to me. I am married to my wife, who do they think she is married to other than me? I thought it was a little odd. I know there are other vets worse off than myself. I would want the VA to take care of them especially those that fought for this county. They should not be left in the street and forgotten. I try to help those who are exactly that.
Thanks again and have a Happy Thankgiving

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Mike4/Golf: Unrelated to the subject, but curious: Have I seen you on Pokerstars? (I play as Capri22)

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I got my answer today. My left hand is cured. According to the VA, now I have 20% in both legs and they made a mistake in giving me 10% for my left hand. Well isn't having the diagnosis of ALS and being in the service for more than 90 consecutive days rated at 30%. So even by their own rating, 20% + 20% + 30%= 70%. Doesn't it? But in the letter from the VA they turn down the fact that I can't work. This past week I tried to shovel one inch of powder snow, our driveway is 70 feet long and wide enough for a single car. It wore me out, my muscles were screaming at me. And my left hand is worse than it was a year ago. The fight goes on.
Thanks for listening Mike Karjala

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Ya I've been to pokerstars

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On September 23, 2008, the Department of Veterans Affairs implemented regulations to establish a presumption of service connection for ALS.

Importantly, the regulation acknowledges the link between military service and increased risk of ALS. Under the regulation, the VA presumes that the development of ALS was incurred or aggravated by a veteran’s service in the military.

Unlike other presumptions, which generally are limited to a specific time period (e.g., the Gulf War) or exposure (e.g., Agent Orange), the presumption for ALS is broad,
among the most comprehensive that the VA has ever issued.

It applies to veterans diagnosed with ALS at any time following service in the military and is not limited to where or when a veteran served in the military. As a result, veterans with ALS and their survivors are now eligible for full health care and disability benefits.

You can contact your local ALSA chapter for assistance as well as Veterans posts. They have advocates that can help you navigate the VA system. You can contact your local VA regional office directly by phone at 1800-827-1000

Don't take no for an answer. If you have challenges...immediately contact your congressional representative for support! Veterans serving honorably deserve immediate benefits upon receiving a diagnosis of "ALS".

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Mike 4/golf: Been following your arduous VA expereincees. On my end the VA was extraordinarily responsive From initial filing (via the PVA) it took less than 4 months to a 100% rating. Everyone's situation is different but it may well be a result of being diagonosed with bulbar ALS which is more aggressive than lower-liimb onset that characteristically progrssives slowly.

There are no shortcuts to the rating process, but the key (as I'm sure you well know) is clinical documentation. But there might be a degree of fortuitous circumstance involved as well. The ALS Clinic in Indianapolis is blessed with one the nation's top ALS neurologists and his extensive documentation I believe was instrumental to the rating. The neurolgy clinic at the Indianapolis VA Hospital, as I learned, is very attentive to his opinions.

Oh, yes.. I urge anyone starting the application process to.be sure to make copies of everything! Consdiering the vast amount of paperwork involved, by and large the VA does an excellent job of keeping track but stuff can get lost.

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Thank you to everyone that responded. I have all paper work from the very start. What bothers me mostly is they, the VA doesn't recognize my left hand.. I am thankful for all of you and pray for you often. I will be talking to my PVA rep tomorrow. Thanks again for all the help. Peace Mike

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This is my question? There is clinically possible, probable and definite on the El Cortical chart for diagnosis certainty.
Do they consider these all awardable or just definite?

Very disabled at the possible stage. Body is near stiff in every direction and cannot breathe. What are my odds? Been on ss since 2007. P&T.

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I was diagnosed by the VA in 2009, and they sent me to University Hospital in Columbia Mo. The neurologist there would not make a decision, and sent me to St Louis University hospital to a certified ALS neurologist, and she determined that my problem is ALS. I applied to the VA in St Louis for disability three months ago, and have not received a decision yet.
At this point my hands freeze up and I cant move the at times, and I drink and eat with a straw, because I am unable to drink without one, and unable to sloes hole food, How long does it take the VA to make a decision?

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Hey Ray, You need to call the VA and get a PVA representitive. They will help you with getting the help you need. Do it asps

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Thank You, I will try this

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Do you know if thias preposal is active yet?

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