Veteran’s experience with claims?

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Any advice from experienced vets on submitting their first VA claim to avoid a super long battle with red tape? I have a nexus letter from my MD, primary care, my full military medical record with documented diagnosis and 3 lay claims. So I’m not asking about evidence, I have that, was there unforeseen difficulties you had that you would have told yourself in advance? Something you would’ve done differently?

Long story short I was with 2/8 marines weapons co. (Infantry) We deployed twice and our OP temp was in the field every other week for the 6 month works up carrying the .50, .240s and even the mark 19 sometimes, 6-12 miles regularly to and from each field OP while dismounted from CAAT platoon. If you’re an infantryman you understand, don’t joke yourself, 110 Ibs over 10+ clicks every week 2-3 times is an insane pressure on your back. We can only tolerate it because we’re young (relative term: my 44 YO SgtMaj Looked 70)

My lumbar discs are crushed, I’ve been diagnosed with chronic degeneration of my thoracic vertebra (T10-12) lumbar (L3-L5) and bone spurs confirmed by imaging in the junction between my sacrum (L5-S1) causing sacroiliac dysfunction in my right hip with radicular symptoms.

I’ve never skated out of anything ever, and I’m not lyin. a moderate pain scale of 4-10/6-10, I don’t even want a disability rating but at least an acknowledgment from the VA it was service connected. Because I can handle working full time and I’ve always hated being non active, but at 28 now, if it feels as bad as it does now when I’m 48 I really can’t foresee handling any form of heavy manual labor.

I have honesty on my side as I’m not lying about anything, it’s all documented and makes sense enough to be signed off by a medical doctor. Osteoarthritis of the spine caused by degenerative disc disease has no cure, the saying “it is what it is” is one I’m familiar with in the service. I’m not BS claiming PTSD or some undocumented injury, my back is really messed up for someone my age. Any advice from guys who’ve gone through this process? Even just a 10% claim would help because my doctor thinks it will be cane time in 10 years if there’s no slowing of the degeneration.

submitted by /u/No_Childhood4689
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