Recent CAD surgery warrant increase in rating?


I am a 68 year old former Marine Infantryman, Combat Vietnam Veteran.  Considered boots on the ground.  Since 2015, I have been receiving 30% compensation for IHD & 20% for Diabetes.After a recent C&P exam, I was approved and waiting for 40% (upper/lower both sides) compensation for neuropathy.  My health seems to be going down hill quickly,  I recently had surgery on my left and right carotid arteries to remove blockages.  Does this new medical condition call for an increase in my IHD?  I am told
carotid artery blockages are secondary to diabetes, but I am unsure what to do.  My VSO has cautioned me in filing for increase.  All my doctors will once again complete any necessary DBQ's.  Your thoughts will be appreciated.

Jim's Reply:

I don't understand why anyone would tell you not to file? If I were you, I'd immediately file a claim for "carotid artery disease as secondary to service connected DMII". Had you done that prior to the surgery you'd have received 100% compensation for 4 to 6 months after each surgery. Now that the surgery is in the past, you can file and maybe receive a 10% or 20% rating for any scarring, etc. If the surgery was less than one year ago, you may still be able to file back to the date of surgery but it's hard to predict.

But go ahead and file for the carotid artery disease secondary to DMII and get that recorded.Unless your heart condition has measurably changed, there's no reason to file for any IHD increase. Diabetes can cause all sorts of vascular problems and as soon as they arise as diagnoses, you can and should file for a rating. Some examples are the carotid (neck to brain) arteries you've already had trouble with, peripheral artery disease (blocked arteries in the legs) can make walking very painful, renal artery disease (kidneys disease) and a host of other issues can be attributed to diabetes. If you have high blood pressure, you should file for that too as secondary to agent orange exposure...that isn't presumptive but the science is there to file. Then there are eye problems that are secondary to diabetes...diabetic retinopathy is very common and if you have it, you should file for it as secondary to DMII.You've got work to do!  Good luck sir.

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