1972 injury in service led to current disability


Hello Jim, In 1972 I suffered a head injury while on active duty. I was given Dilantin and was told I would be OK as long as I continued taking this medication, so I did. After I got out of the military (Honorable discharge) the Dilantin wasn't working like it should so I went to the VA Hospital for advice and then treatment. My medication was changed but I still felt weird at times so the Neurologist gave me an MRI that showed I had an abnormal EEG and I was diagnosed as Temporal Lobe disorder. I tried to open a claim with the Government but they said that they had no record that I hit my head, even though I was sent to an Army hospital for tests after the injury. I fought the VA for years but w/o success. In 1990 my mother died so my brothers and I cleaned out her house and put everything in storage, a few years later we started to sell her belongings, that's when I found my old Prescription bottle (Dated 1972) for Dilantin! Inside the bottle was a small piece of paper from the same hospital that did my original EEG, which showed that I suffered my head injury and that I had an abnormal EEG (To this day I have had at least 8 EEG tests and they all read the same results, abnormal). I opened a claim and the VA Claims Specialists turned it down. In the meantime I had letters from3 VA Neurologists & 1 private Neurologist letter stating that in their professional opinion my head injury was "More likely than less", that my head injury occurred in the military. I again filed a Claim which was denied so I refiled and asked for a BVA hearing which was remanded back to the Regional office but I was denied service connection. I disagreed with the Claims Specialist decision and was able to supply more Doctor's letters & it went (Again) back to the BVA... Where it was again Remanded to the Regional office, with a note from the BVA Judge to provide a good reason why I was denied.

Earlier this year I was sent for a C&P exam, I am awaiting a decision regarding my head injury. My injury happened in 1972 & my claim has been active since the mid 1980's, I feel that it was not my fault that the Office of personnel records couldn't find my records because of a fire, years ago, but I did some research regarding that "Fire" at the Office of personnel records & it said that Soldiers records with the last name starting with the letter "M" was destroyed in the fire...But my Last name begins with a "G"!. My question is: If I do win this claim, would it be retroactive to the date of injury?.... Thank you for your time.

Jim's Reply:

I have doubts that your claim will have any retro money attached to it. In fact, with the convoluted story you tell, I have doubts you can prevail on your own. The best advice I have for you is to have a look over at my web side and talk with any or all of the veterans law attorneys you'll find there. That won't cost you any money out of your pocket and you'll get great legal advice and maybe choose a great representative. I'd urge you to do this because the long term effects of dilantin can be pretty brutal...I really think you need a pro guiding you.