01 October 2011

John Harris - his VA Peripheral Neuropathy Claim Experience

John writes: My Peripheral Neuropathy story is this; I had numbness in
one foot. I thought it was the result of knee replacement
surgery. I had a neurologist perform a series of nerve tests.

At the end, he asked, "Do you have Diabetes?" I said no,
I had always had normal blood sugars. I then tested for
diabetes and sure enough, my blood sugars were above 
the VA limit for diabetes. I went to my primary care doctor
and he put me on prescription medication for the diabetes 
(Metformin and Glipizide) and Cymbalta for the Neuropathy.

He diagnosed the Neuropathy as being caused by the 
Diabetes.  I applied to the VA for a rating for both AO
related diseases. As I had been based in Thailand flying
F-4's I was denied because I had not set foot in Vietnam.

I appealed and provided proof that at one time I had been at 
Danang for 2 hours, I was given disability ratings for both 
AO presumptive diseases. Subsequently the VA has added 
the bases in Thailand to the list of places sprayed by A.O. 
but will only approve claims from veterans whose duty was 
at the perimeter fences. I guess Agent Orange didn't blow 
toward the flight line or barracks for some reason.

Bottom line, comply with Title 38 requirements, have a 
nerve conduction study done, have a diagnosis of both 
diseases, get medicated, file your claim and win. (If you 
set foot in Vietnam or were a Security Guard in Thailand.)
There is no such thing as too much research when it 
comes to fighting the VA. Keep in mind that Title 38 
specifies various disability ratings based on your diagnosed
medical condition, all the way up to 100%. Make sure you
are familiar with the Regulation and list ALL of your problems
in your claim.

John Harris, 731TAS

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