Here’s one of those famous bait and switch decisions repped by none other than the DAV. I wonder who put him up to this division of assets? Divide and conquer is vA’s game, not DAV’s. Unless, of course, everyone is using the same playbook. Ouch.
Yes, our Oakland, California gold rush seeker has struck HBV paydirt. One problem now will ensue. How to prove the liver damage claimed is from B or the C which is on remand? If the odds are what I think they are, it’s two hundred to one they will come back with willful misconduct for the C and leave the B as acute and resolved based on DC 7345. The result will be 0% for DC 7345 (HBV) and no service connection for the HCV until 2022 on his deathbed. The wife will eventually get DIC but a lot of money will be saved in the interim for future Orlando playcations.
Here’s the punchline in the REMAND section. Can you in your wildest dreams envision this getting to DC while all the C&P guys were staring at the ceiling and saying “Yup. HBV, dude”. Considering they regularly test us for HCV and don’t tell us, I wager there’s evidence in his VISTA records somewhere saying HCV POS. Nobody at the RO, even the much-vaunted vA examiners, would let this go to town without some well-reasoned discussion about the pros and cons of HCV. The DAV is stuck on dumb for even discussing HBV unless its the chronic version and I strongly suspect it isn’t. This means someone is flogging the dog over an acute and resolved infection from 40 years ago. Active HBV viral antibodies are the hallmark of an ongoing disease process but there is no discussion of this. That leads to one and only one result-denial on the C. Its the latest ploy to deny. Here, Johnny. SC for HBV @ 0% but negatory on the C. You never had that in service. Just the B. Oh, and look! The B is miraculously healed and resolved with no ill effects. Of course that C is kicking your ass-not to mention your liver- but it isn’t service-connected. We’d love to pay you for that one but we can’t. Thank you for your service, too.
The Veteran is also seeking service connection for hepatitis C. At the July 2006 VA examination, based on private lab reports, the examiner indicated that the Veteran had no known history of hepatitis C from the records that he reviewed. However, in subsequent July 2009 VA treatment records the Veteran reported a history of hepatitis C. An assessment of hepatitis C was made. However, as there are no contemporaneous lab reports of record, it is unclear whether the basis of this diagnosis was the Veteran’s own history or a positive objective finding of the hepatitis C antibody based on blood work. Importantly, a follow up treatment record shows that the active problem list included hepatitis B, rather than hepatitis C. A November 2011 letter to the Veteran from the VA indicated that his liver tests were still abnormal, but gave no indication as to the underlying cause. Accordingly, the Board finds that further information is needed and that this issue must be returned to afford the Veteran another examination to determine whether the Veteran currently has hepatitis C and, if so, whether it manifested in service.
This stinks. This guy is a combat Vietnam Vet. You didn’t get Shell Fragment Wounds (SFW) from opening up C-rations between 1969 and 1971. They’re measuring this Vet for a necktie and hiding it in a time-consuming remand. He’s toast already but no one will tell him-not even his DAV rep. This fellow needs an HCV nexus-like yesterday.