We at asknod always have our ears peeled for anything useful coming out of the BVA decisions on Hepatitis C. In their haste to rush more decisions through with the ever-increasing numbers of appeals, the Board is shoveling these claims out the door at record speed. The encouraging news is many are winning…finally.
I try to find as many Hepatitis decisions as possible for the same age-old reason. BVA decisions were my sole source of education about legal proceedings, evidentiary requirements and techniques to win when I began. Furthermore, they continue to evolve and metamorphose in their denial logic.
The well has not run dry on the number of applicants. Certainly, the numbers of appellants has begun to decrease as we’re dying off more rapidly. Nevertheless, the number of true jetgun wins is astounding. Gone are the days of the BVA Veterans Law Judge (VLJ) blindly reciting a boilerplate denial concocted to fit every case.
I like to subscribe to the faery tale that Theresa’s Hadit.com® and asknod jointly are responsible for educating Veterans in the claims process. It certainly is a novel theorem but one that is supported by fact. More Vets nowadays know they need the Caluza/Shedden/ Hickson elements to win that in the whole of the 20th century. The only ones losing with regularity are those represented by VSOs. That is indisputable and easily proven by looking at how many repped by, say, DAV lose and the VLJ’s reasoning is because they arrived without a valid nexus.
Here’s another one that clearly reflects the last man standing technique. Johnny Vet hired a lawyer and presented two nexi on appeal. VA demurred and said it was too speculative to venture how he got it. The important facet in not the attorney’s presence but the act of submitting to the VLJ after the appeal is certified. VARO weenies will never approve these jetgun claims so it’s smarter to submit the dynamite to the BVA.
A big round of applause is due Matthew D. Hill for a solid offense and a great win.
On the other hand, we are still seeing far to many of these:
FINDING OF FACT The Veteran currently has hepatitis C, but there is no nexus between it and his service to include a hepatitis C risk factor therein.
Six years of patiently waiting for the big day and your “free” legal help arrives with no ammo. If this were an anomaly, everyone concerned would be outraged. Sadly, it happens about 75 times a day at 810 Vermin Ave. NW. That, my friends, is why we at asknod advocate you use a NOVA attorney if you are not well grounded in VA law. I’m the poster child for that stupidity. It took me almost 20 years and several trips to the Court of Appeals For Veterans Claims (CAVC) to realize VA is not going to cave in- even when they know they’re holding a losing hand.
John, you have nothing to worry about the VA taking the rating away. The secondaries of Hepatitis C are brutal. VA cannot make your liver whole again. If you have had the rating over 5 years, it is substantially protected against reduction. If you have had it over 20 years, it is fully protected against any reduction like mine. Congratulations on making it back alive, brother. And congratulations on finally killing the dragon. Live long and prosper.
When I came home from Vietnam in 1970 I was transfered medically from the Phillipians to Japan to Alaska, then to Washington, State. Finally I end up at the Ft. Sam Army Medical Center for GSW and while there they did a series of blood work and a Doctor told me I had high liver enzymes and asked me did I drink a lot or do drugs. He just assumed it I guess but I told him no I do not drink and damn sure do not do drugs. He went on to explain I had been exposed to Hepatitus, so I figured it was the Hep B I had in Vietnam, then about 1986 I again was told by the VA this time that I had been exposed to Hep C and wanted to know did I do injectable drugs because my enzyme level was way high. No the only thing I had been injected with was metal from an RPG round. Finally everytime I went to the VA I had lab work in which my liver enzyme was always high, but this year in May I was called by the VA to let me know they had a new drug to kills the virus once and for all with hardly any side effects and would I like to take it. A 12 week regimen with one pill a day, now that is tolerable so I got on board and now I am Hep C free. I have to go back for 2 follow-up blood test to see if my enzymes stay in the negative or don’t show Hep C virus, then after that blood work I get to go back in a following 3 months to check again, if that is ok then I am declared cured of Hep C and they take away my disability benefits I had received for it, which is only 10 or 20% I don’t remember.