I love the VA’s computer. It can show you mistakes made back in the dawn of time. They’re just sitting there waiting to be found. Sadly, VA won’t do these claims expeditions in search of repairs. Hell, they’ll come after you and try to reduce you but being proactive in your favor is not in their toolbox. Which is exactly why I named this blog Fort Courage after the old 1965 western comedy show F troop. 


I was almost finished with this Veteran’s claims and got him his TDIU but decided to make one last high-sided pass to make sure I didn’t miss anything. And there it was- a glaring mistake in 1983. Wayne had filed for a blown left knee and they never located his old service records. In spite of the duty to assist error, they denied.

Fast forward to 2006 and the knee was mega-worse. This time they managed to find the records and one astute rater observed that §3.156(c) was going to be implicated. They ignored her and proceeded to grant with an effective date of 2006 anyway. And that’s the way it sat until I spotted it this January. They graciously conceded their error and promptly granted him a 0% from ’83 until the 10% in 2006. But Wayne had gone to see a doctor. He’d filed the report and it explicitly mentioned the condition. So much for all that “rule out” crap. This doctor said it was a hot mess.

Six months later, the HLR babe finally calls on Tuesday and says “Ready for your HLR informal conference or would you like to schedule it?” Well, hell yeah I was. So we chewed the fat for about 30 minutes and I gave her a little education on how §3.156(c)(3) and (4) are applied after you grant the old date. Thirty minutes later, her new revised rating came out granting 10% back to May 1983. I’m still not satisfied. I think he’s probably entitled to another 10% for lateral instability.  Maybe 20%. Once you open this can of worms, it’s like we climbed into the DeLorean and are now back in 1983. We have a year to complain and get a supportive IMO with a good retrospective opinion of what the knee was then all the way through to the eventual grant in 2007. VA hates when that happens.

So here’s the history for those of you thinking about how to do this. It’s like fishing with hand grenades.


redact knee dx 83

redact 7.18.84 RD knee

redact RD CUE win 5.09.2023

redact CS 5.09.2023

About asknod

VA claims blogger
This entry was posted in 3.156(c), Earlier Effective dates and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. MI Whitetail Hunter says:

    Nice find, Alex. “Thrill of the hunt.” “Sense of discovery.” Another nickname could be: Sherlock Holmes? Better get a smoking pipe and magnifying glass.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.