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MS and the military (Page 1)

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How many of you served your country only to be medically discharged due to MS or find out later on down the road after you had separated from Active Duty that you were given a definate dx?

Did you know that the government considers MS to be a service related disability?

You see the government sets a time-frame from the time you leave active duty until you are given a dx of MS before your claim will be void as they only allow 7 years. BUT with great documentation and a fight for your rights...7 years is poo-poo. I was finally given a dx 11 years after I left active duty...why 7 years and not 70? Not every person who has MS is dx'd right away, it can take up to 20 years...it just depends.

Personally, I know first hand. And I proved beyond a resonable doubt (took 4 years but I did it) that I had an MS episode while active duty but the culprit was not discovered at the time as my symptom left as quickly as it appeared...however it was documented in my military medical records and continued into my civilian records.

You probably ask why would the government claim responsibility for MS for it's previous active duty employees? Let's see...recall all those injections we get during basic? Well a person may have an inactive gene that could cause MS but the drug(s) that they inject could turn that gene on. However if we had never been exposed to that agent...that gene would probably never have been activated.

Such a shame, there is no one else in my family who has MS symptoms or been dx'd as such...I'm the first documented case...I don't mind being first, just not this time.
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First Helper User Profile zigemyster
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replied October 2nd, 2008
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The cause(s) for multiple sclerosis still remains unknown so it is very dificult to relate any event during the military service with latter MS occurence. There are several risk factors for MS occurence: genetic, certain viral infections, Vit D deficit, exposure to certain toxines, smoking, vaccinations etc. But clear conection between MS and any of these risk factors is not proven yet.
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replied October 5th, 2008
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It might have been those mandatory vaccinations that I received during Basic Training in San Antonio, Texas.
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replied February 26th, 2009
While Dr. Nikola is right and we don't know the cause of MS, we do know that people returning from the sandbox have a higher incidence of MS than the general population.

So while we can't say what it is, we know that something that is happening during military service increases our risk. Thus, a diagnosis of MS within 7 years of leaving Active Duty is automatically considered a service connected disability, and you receive 30% disability for that alone.
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replied February 26th, 2009
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30% is not correct, there are several factors that are taken into consideration and while I was active duty I did not participate in the sandbox adventure. It could be as little as 10% or as much as 100%...

I along with others believe that it has something to do with injections...it's just that in some individuals it will turn the MS gene on.

Think about this...when our troops are stationed overseas they are required to take injections plus whatever they are exposed to in these foreign countries...

Interesting...
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replied March 1st, 2009
Does having MS immediately DQ a person from joining the military?
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replied March 2nd, 2009
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Yes as MS is an unpredicable disease of the Central Nervous System...
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replied April 1st, 2009
Think my husband should be getting payments
Was in Iraq in 1992, Active Duty 1984-1994, inactive reservist 1994-1997, diagnosed with MS 1997 6 months prior to final discharge.

Who do we talk to about this? I don't even know where to start?
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replied July 21st, 2011
MS and the Military
My former husband who is now deceased, also served in Iraq 1991-1992. He was diagnosed with MS in 2000 while still active duty. He was discharged with a medical retirement. Paperwork after paperwork he was final rated at 100% disability. I wish there was something that I could do on behalf of my children.
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replied April 12th, 2012
My father was in WWII and received 100% disability for MS. He died from the diesese at age 47. I'm still looking for answers on why our military is connecting MS with active duty. Shouldn't they be obliged to tell us so we can fight this horrible, killing disease? I'm always looking for these answers even after all these years.
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replied April 1st, 2009
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Re: Think my husband should be getting payments
Anniboo wrote:
Was in Iraq in 1992, Active Duty 1984-1994, inactive reservist 1994-1997, diagnosed with MS 1997 6 months prior to final discharge.

Who do we talk to about this? I don't even know where to start?


He'll need to get in contact with VA. (va.gov or phone) If a MS diagnosis is made within 7 years from date of ACTIVE duty discharge then it is considered to service related disability. (If dx'd more than 7 years but if there is documention in active duty medical records an MS attack then you fight with VA; like I did...I was not dx while active duty as my symptoms would leave as quickly as they appear)

Who gave him the dx of MS? Civilian or Military doctor?

Reason that I ask... If civilian doctor, his claim once approved by VA will retro disability pay to the date of his claim not the date of dx. If military doctor then they should retro disability pay to date of original dx.

Also he will be examined by VA to determine his disability rating...

VA will require documentation, documentation, documentation and you and / or your husband will need to keep VA in check...

If there is anything else that I can help with, let me know.

Best of luck,

Zig
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replied April 1st, 2009
Yes - he was dx within 7 years
Was on active duty until Oct 1994 and was diagnosed in April 1997 by a civilian doctor.

He is now very disabled - due to memory issues, personality changes, depression, fatigue.

We are starting the process for SSDI I hope after a visit with his doctor tomorrow. But now I'm wondering if VA Disability would be the better option.

Can he get both?
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replied May 7th, 2012
Yes he can get both. I was rated at 100% for the VA and SSDI. SSDI will grant up to a year of retroactive payments. As far as the VA good luck it took me 2.5 years to get my rating.
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replied April 1st, 2009
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VA would be a better option.

The reason I say this...

He will be able to get his meds for little or no cost (not just MS related), all or partial healthcare through VA. Or he may choose just meds from them and healthcare through a private doctor.

If he gets worse; he would need to be re-evaluated; rating would increase and so would his disability payments.

As you know MS medication is expensive and to know that your out of pocket is very little, if any.

He might be able to fight or have an attorney who knows how to fight for VA benefits to request VA retro disability payments back to when he was first dx.

I know when I separated from active duty I was not given a list or notified that if I get such and such within a certain time frame to come back to them and file a claim.

It is sad that I found out about MS related disability quite by accident...

I'm not sure about SSDI...it would be just a disability check with no benefits, correct? Like if he needed healthcare, meds, physical therapy, etc...would be an additional expense?

I'm sorry to hear that he is not doing well.

Is he taking any medication for MS / symptoms?
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replied April 2nd, 2009
We have private insurance
Blue Cross - through my employer and it is excellent. His MS Meds cost about $30,000 annually and there is no cost to us at all.

If he qualified for SSDI he would get Medicaid to go with it so would still have medical coverage.

I'm trying to find out if I can apply for both when I call today. The NMSS says to join the Paralyzed Veterans and that they will provide free advocacy and help with VA Benefits. So we'll start with the VA and the PVA. I may talk to an attorney too because 12 years of back payments would be a huge relief from the situation we are in now. He has been unemployed for 6 months and we are living on my salary alone which is doable since I make a good salary but has been rough because we were used to his salary too and it was also fairly good. Sad

Thanks for the advice - this is the first site I found with the 7 year info and I've since confirmed that from the VA website, the NMSS website and the PVA website so it seems since he was diagnosed within 3 years of active duty this should be a no-brainer. Wonder how long it will take to get it approved though? I should have done this years ago. Sad
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replied April 6th, 2009
MS from current Iraq Duty
Are there other Soldiers/Marines who have unexplained illness? I have been through the VA and Civilian and finally an Infectious Disease Doctor. My primary and Infectious Doc both agree it is MS. I want to hear from others please.

SD
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replied September 22nd, 2011
just found this website, very informative and a relief to know there are others like me. i served with the marine corps, 1987-1991. 1st marine division, gulf war. i started having ms symptoms last year, mainly in my arm and leg, major weakness in arm hand and leg. ive had many many tests done but no confirmed diagnosis yet. perfectly healthy before gulf war. strange symptoms in service but it was well understood in a combat ground unit you dont complain, just suck it up. va rated me for ptsd but all but ignored and dismissed neurological problems. am now also receiving ssdi, woopdi-doo id rather be working. i wish i wouldve lost it all during the war, but instead im slowly being f*****n parylized in front of my kids. thank you very much military for ruining my f*****n life!!!
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replied December 10th, 2011
if you are pretty sure you have MS you should look for a MS doctor/ hospital, the VA has two I believe, I went to Washington University St. Louis then had help from the American legion for filing my claim with the VA. there is no doubt however that they will fight you due to the 7 year window. Best of luck to you, I hope it all works out for you.
Michael
USMC 2000-2004
Dx- 2007
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replied May 2nd, 2009
Not in Iraq
I did not serve in Iraq, but I was diagnose with MS right after getting out of the Air National Guard in 2001 (with in 2 months). I get SS disability and I am currently going thur VA claims. I'm also the only one known to have it in my family. I had many vaccines given to me while in the Guards.
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replied May 2nd, 2009
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Re: Not in Iraq
mrtudeep wrote:
I did not serve in Iraq, but I was diagnose with MS right after getting out of the Air National Guard in 2001 (with in 2 months). I get SS disability and I am currently going thur VA claims. I'm also the only one known to have it in my family. I had many vaccines given to me while in the Guards.


Unsure when you got your shots; mine were in 1985...I was active duty and did not serve in Iraq...only stateside...and I am the first documented case of MS in my family and I have dug deep into both sides of my family tree looking for someone who was dx'd or had symptoms...nothing.

It just goes to say...they know something in those shots could possibly trigger MS & cause our body to attack itself at any given time.

I hope all works out with your VA claim...it took me 4 years fighting with them (plus they kept losing paperwork...thank goodness I keep excellent records and copies).

Did you also know that if MS attacks you and causes damage (like gastritis)that you can ask VA to reopen your file as that too is considered part of MS. I questioned it myself and was told that it is true....
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Users who thank zigemyster for this post: mrtudeep 

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replied May 2nd, 2009
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Hey Girlfriend
Zig, you are just full of suprises! You make me so very proud to be your friend! Give em hell girlfriend!
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replied May 2nd, 2009
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Re: Hey Girlfriend
Fairy Godmother wrote:
Zig, you are just full of suprises! You make me so very proud to be your friend! Give em hell girlfriend!


Full of surprises...little 'ole humble me? Shocked

Naw, I'm the lucky one to have you as MY friend, the queen Fairy GodMother (one and only)...
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replied May 3rd, 2009
served in the military
Whiled serving in the Air National Guards I was a police officer. But prior to that I was active in the army, were I also received many vaccines. I am told I do have a case with VA. I feel they will step up to the plate. Thank you for your advise.
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replied June 29th, 2009
We are now 3 months past our VA Applicaiton - last week they sent us a packet of more stuff to fill out and despite us sending them statements regarding his disability and forms for them to get records from all his doctors they want us to get the records ourselves. I have most of them now so just about ready to send back to the VA with all my t's crossed and my i's dotted. They say they could have a ruling within 30 days of getting this information.

I'm nervous - although it should automatically be service connected we really believe he should be considered 100% disabled at this point and also receive additional payments based on the loss of ability he has from the MS, (walking, some sight, fine motor skills, short term memory).

Once it is service connected and we start getting some payments we will hire a lawyer to try and get him retro payments back to the original diagnosis 12.5 years ago.

I found out that when he was diagnosed he went to the VA in the city we used to live in and at that time (May 1997) the person there told him he did NOT have a case and would not get benefits. This is why he never pursued it. So I am wondering when the 7 year window was put into play? Was it after that or was that case worker seriously negligent?
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replied July 2nd, 2009
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Honestly I do not know when the 7 year window came into play. They initially denied me as my 'offical diagnosis' was after 7 years. I came back over and over again as to why 7 and not 70 as MS does not present itself the same in each person who has it. Some people can get a diagnosis right away and others it takes longer (many years in some cases) depending on symptoms, length of attack, physican(s), etc....

Speaking from experience: Stay on top of this with VA...paperwork has a tendency to disappear within their walls.
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replied September 9th, 2014
Right now I am so frustrated with the VA I can't stand myself. I have at 12 different diseases including my Multiple Sclerosis and still can't get approved. been turned down twice because when they discharges me from basic training they said nothing was wrong and labeled me with a character and personality disorder but said i wasn't entitled to benefits and to this day that is biting me in the butt
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