I submitted my claim in April, 2012 for an upgraded VA compensation. I have been a 10% service connected vet since the 1970's. The disability was for back problems. I received a letter from the VA today, requesting "additional evidence" my condition has worsened over the years. The VA has all my (VA) medical records, such as MRI's, X-rays, clinic notes from audiology, ENT, spinal pain clinic, etc. available to them.
I am wondering what else I could submit as evidence ? Does anyone know what the VA is looking for when they make a request for "additional evidence" ?
Back Problems - I was seen by a private Spinal surgeon/specialist in 2002 for my ongoing back problems. I have been able able to avoid surgery which has only a 60% success rate for my type of problem. What started as scoliosis and a herniated disc is now scoliosis, degenerative disc disease and arthritis according to my private (outside VA) Doctor. Some of my vertebrae appear with very little disc material between them, causing pain in my back, and legs, also numbness when standing more then 10 minutes or so. I know they did an MRI and X-rays then, also sent me to Physical therapy once again. The VA did a MRI just 12 months ago, which is much more current than the 2002 MRI. - But I have not seen the VA Neuro/Spinal surgery practitioners, because frankly the idea of surgery scares me.
Tinnitus - This is the first time I have ever requested consideration for Tinnitus. I don't think I have any evidence regarding the tinnitus, other than my VA medical records. I have been told my active duty medical records may have been part of those which were destroyed by fire in the St. Louis Military Personnel Records Center, in 1973. I was discharged a year before that fire occurred. What began as on-off ringing in my ears has been constant now for over 15 years. I believe the Tinnitus was caused by working on the flight-line and exposed to loud jet engines all shift. I recall getting off work and experiencing that ringing for several hours afterward. I worked the flight-line for almost all of my 4 years.
Thanks in advance,