Fellow member Mikey of cereal fame, has filed a §1151 claim asserting the VA gave him the bug in 1997. Makes sense. He didn’t have it then and after a few procedures that went south, he had it in 1999. Occam’s razor, right? Not so fast, hoss. Check this one out.
VA has always insisted that if you were diagnosed, say in 2002 with HCV, then that was when you got it. Our Johnny Vet here from Jackson, Mississippi avers that he got it in a 1956 transfusion. This would hold water if-and a big if- his liver box was toasted and charcoaled on the outside and in. It isn’t. It’s medium rare.
I have constantly harped on the need for a comprehensive biopsy to show the progression of the liver towards cirrhosis. Using the Metavir Scale that shows a progression of each stage equaling 10 or so years, Johnney should be in a box somewhere six feet under or adorning someone’s mantle in the living room. Ultra sounds and all the other medical measuring devices do nothing to ascertain this beyond a doubt. Only a liver biopsy does.
Johnny undoubtedly has HCV but he needs to search for another risk factor. He’s barking up the wrong tree. What is extremely interesting about this decision is that it is the first one I’ve seen where VA has resorted to using this same metric (Stage/Grade) to deny. Usually we present Metavir scale evidence and they ignore it.Their policy is “Yo. You were discharged in 1969. The separation physical doesn’t mention HCV or any kind of gastroenterology problems. Denied.” The Vet, if he got it in that time frame, would be sporting an advanced Stage 4 unless he/she was a health nut and avoided alcohol. It’s interesting that the saw cuts both ways but at the VA, the forestroke is deny and the backstroke is, well, deny too.
Mikey’s biopsy and medical evidence is right on track for a diagnosis of infection around, hmmm, 1997. Occam’s Razor. The simplest explanation is the right one- except at the VA.