MOTIVATION IS 9/10THS OF SUCCESS. SO IS PLANNING!
At some point, we all depart Service. And, many of you will be just like me when I retired after 20 years: I simply did not know enough, nor concerned myself with, the Department Of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability process. That was a mistake.
In just over a year, medical conditions which began in Service, worsened. It was only then that I realized I should have been more serious about submitting claims for those conditions. I imagine sometimes how better off I would have been had I had my health records reviewed professionally to identify potential ratable items, in advance.
Nowadays, Veterans are far more fortunate to enjoy Veterans Services Organizations (VSOs) and VA Accredited Agents who are more proactive, better qualified and committed to assisting with the claims process. Most are awesome, and I HIGHLY recommend you find one you’re comfortable with and get assistance.
Unfortunately, with over 20 million Veterans, how can any organization possibly commit enough time to effectively scrub Health Records from cover to cover? The sheer volume of records to be reviewed presents an epic challenge to even those with the best of intention.
I have been within the military medical community for nearly 38 continuous years. I have accumulated over 17 years of direct experience dialoguing with the VA, multiple VSOs and even elected Representatives, while mitigating claims and ratings issues.
What I offer you, as an Active Duty member preparing to depart service, is a thorough review of your health records. Something I wished I had an opportunity to take advantage of in preparation for retirement. Sure, you can have your buddy do it. Or, someone you happen to know in the medical field. Or you can rely on the cool, digital, searchable copy of your health record on that CD you ordered.
After all, it has a master problem list you can sort through on your own and identify every single medical condition, right? So then, why the need for the VA Math Guy to do the same thing, for a nominal fee? That sounds like a firm, sensible conclusion. Perhaps, not.
I recently reviewed an Active Duty soldier's health record (CD), who is retiring in less than a year. The CD listed over 70 medical conditions accrued over a two decade career. Wow! That's a lot, right? But when I finished scrubbing his records, the total more than doubled.
Grant it, a lot of that included the same diagnosis but then ask yourself what that serves to prove to the VA? It helps you establish the "Chronic" nature of any one condition, especially if it has not been "diagnosed" as a chronic condition by a Provider during your career.
Keep in mind that I physically read each medical encounter. Every sheet. You know those pages with "doctor handwriting" that no one can read? Those hand written entries that contain little tidbits of additional info you won't find on that cute little CD you're going to receive soon? Those are are examples of where I find hidden, relevant information to better prepare you for transition.
A recently retired Airman decided to review her Active Service medical records. She initially had just under 20 conditions "considered" for a rating, only a few years ago. But in the course of assisting her to increase her current rating, I discovered more than 80 items.
My findings will be presented in a professionally bound document and presented to you in strict confidence and with the hope that it will help you better prepare for your transition. While I cannot guarantee the findings outlined in the document will be considered by the VA, I can certainly assure you that every effort will have been made to locate items which are worthy of your attention and will enhance your awareness moving forward.
I hope you will trust Funky VA Math to confidentially review your Health Record. We can definitely help in identifying conditions which might then be considered by the VA when assigning a disability rating.
See below to view several sample pages of our exclusive Health Record Review. To request your records review, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. In your subject line, simply put "Request Records Review".
We will usually reply within 48 hours (excluding weekends and Federal Holidays)
(*Note: Records review restricted to CD-ROM only, at this time. Please, no hard copies)
Remember: a failure to plan, is a plan to fail!
Best wishes and thank you for your Service!