CRSC Reconsideration Help

Zopp39

Registered Member
#1
Hi All,

My name is Mike, and am new to the PEBFORUM. However, I have been using this forum for years and it has guided me every step of the way, through my IDES MEB, TDRL-PDRL, and VA concerns. I was medically retired from the USAF in 2014 for PTSD 70%, and Spinal Cord Injury (Syringomyelia)30% AF. I am currently 100% PT with the VA, and moved from TDRL to PDRL in 2015. Now I am here for advice on CRSC. I applied for CRSC in 2014, and received a denial letter roughly 30-60 days later to my surprise. I thought I had CRSC bagged for sure, due to having my unfitting disabilities combat related on my AF Form 356 "A" for PTSD, and "S" for SCI. My retired pay was Tax free, but I took my VA benefits, due to more pay. I submitted the same information for CRSC as I did for the IDES to get my combat related injuries and it was not approved.

Here is the background to my injuries I am trying to claim under CRSC:

PTSD - In 2005, I was cannibalizing some parts off of a HUMMV, to make repairs to another. The ARMY compound at Talil AB was close to the wire, and as I was removing parts a Mortar lands right next to the vehicle I was working on. The motar was a dud, so I did what I thought was right and pulled the door shut on the Up Armored HUMMV I was working on, and Sheltered in place inside the HUMMV yelling for help. The Army contacted USAF EOD, and Army MP's and they instructed me to remain in the vehicle until they can dispose of the munitions. However, I am sheltered in place in 140 degree HUMMVEE for almost 3 hrs thinking that any second this thing can blow, and I can die! Freakin out! Well this is my trigger. I have never been right and I struggle everyday with my PTSD. Unfortunately, I didn't think about CRSC, or needing evidence for anything at the time, so didnt ask for copies of witness statements or incident reports at the time? Who would? I have several other instances I have been in that would warrant combat situations, but this is the one that changed me forever. I know others have it much worse than I, but this event had a huge effect on me. I received 70% which got upped to 100%, and VA labeled it Combat Related. I know this dosent mean much though.

For my Spinal Cord Injury, I was injured in a HEAT trainer. When the HEAT (RHINO/MATV Simulator) trainer was upside down, we had to dismount in full gear and set up a perimeter for CST as fast as we can. When I tried to release the 5 point seat belt, it got stuck and had to use both hands to release myself. I came down on my neck hard and jacked up my back and neck. Shortly thereafter I noticed a burning sensation and pain down my left arm. Went to the clinic several times, and have records of this complaining of arm pain and chest discomfort. They just pushed me through training and I proceeded downrange. the nerve pain got worse down range and I provided AFPC with records showing I went to the medic down range as well with complaints of nerve pain. Long story short, I was diagnosed with Syringomyelia an SCI about a year later after returning. It took an MRI to find the issue and is what started my Med board.

I get that AFPC wants solid proof of evidence providing a link from a combat related event to my PTSD and SCI, but how can I obtain this info? I have given a statement to EOD, as well as the ARMY when the event occurred when I was down range, but I never received a Combat Action Medal for this, nor did I ask, cause the AF is just too lazy when it comes to things like that. There is nothing written in our LOE or Letter of Evaluations, because thats mostly reserved for accomplishments and volunteer crap, or even negative information, but wouldnt reflect incidents of this sort? As for my SCI, Im not quite sure why my medical documentation didnt support this from both Ft POLK where the injury occurred, and downrange where I complained about pain? I even provided a buddy statement for my SCI from someone who was in the HEAT trainer with me?

Now I am working with NVLSP Pro Bono contracted Lawyer to help, me. NVLSP approved to proceed with my case for CRSC reconsideration, but it seems like unless they can get some incident or safety report related to my incident downrange in 2005, CRSC wont get it approved? How can I obtain these reports? AFPC says to contact AF Historian, but will they be able to find this info?

I know there are many of you who have gone through this ordeal or who are currently fighting this same battle? Any recommendations will help greatly. There is no way I can get a witness statement for my PTSD claim for the mortar incident. AF usually dont deploy their Airman as a Unit, like US ARMY does, they kind of shot gun blast us out to the Mid East where we work with other DOD or NATO forces from all over the place. Now there are other incidents that have occurred downrange, like taking on small arms fire to one of our convoys, that I may be able to get witness statements for, but these events are not my TRIGGER. Any advice, suggestions or recommendations are welcome.
 

scoutCC

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#3
I get that AFPC wants solid proof of evidence providing a link from a combat related event to my PTSD and SCI, but how can I obtain this info?
Note, you are saying they want a link to be proved, not prove the event. They often call the event "the stressor", or your word is trigger. You seem to want to prove that the stressor happened. Likely they will take your word for it, but they won't take your word that the stressor caused your PTSD. After all, it could have been a car accident, bank robbery, all sorts of things, that caused your PTSD. Who knows. They want a shrink to evaluate and judge your flavor of PTSD and agree that your link makes sense. I know, hardly sounds like proof, but likely all they need.

The VA C&P for PTSD should list stressors that justify the PTSD. I was given a copy of my C&P exams before discharge and sent the page with the stressors with my CRSC claim. The VSO also printed a page that said the PTSD was combat related, M6 or something, don't remember.

Historian may have access to unit reports that prove the mortar landed in your motor pool or something, but generally these types of inquiries aren't needed to prove stressors unless someone is saying your unit was never downrange.

SCI may be harder. Docs are often reluctant to say the condition diagnosed a year after being in combat are a direct result of the same injury the medic barely treated downrange. Medic likely didn't get imaging, etc, so they can't say with certainty it wasn't a result of some unreported event during that time span. Worth asking if your doc could write a brief memo on your behalf explaining the link (or nexus) between the event and the SCI. Some docs are better about it than others. CRSC doesn't employ docs, they can't draw that link on their own, no matter how obvious.
 

GUNS'N'STUFF

Registered Member
#4
Hi All,

My name is Mike, and am new to the PEBFORUM. However, I have been using this forum for years and it has guided me every step of the way, through my IDES MEB, TDRL-PDRL, and VA concerns. I was medically retired from the USAF in 2014 for PTSD 70%, and Spinal Cord Injury (Syringomyelia)30% AF. I am currently 100% PT with the VA, and moved from TDRL to PDRL in 2015. Now I am here for advice on CRSC. I applied for CRSC in 2014, and received a denial letter roughly 30-60 days later to my surprise. I thought I had CRSC bagged for sure, due to having my unfitting disabilities combat related on my AF Form 356 "A" for PTSD, and "S" for SCI. My retired pay was Tax free, but I took my VA benefits, due to more pay. I submitted the same information for CRSC as I did for the IDES to get my combat related injuries and it was not approved.

Here is the background to my injuries I am trying to claim under CRSC:

PTSD - In 2005, I was cannibalizing some parts off of a HUMMV, to make repairs to another. The ARMY compound at Talil AB was close to the wire, and as I was removing parts a Mortar lands right next to the vehicle I was working on. The motar was a dud, so I did what I thought was right and pulled the door shut on the Up Armored HUMMV I was working on, and Sheltered in place inside the HUMMV yelling for help. The Army contacted USAF EOD, and Army MP's and they instructed me to remain in the vehicle until they can dispose of the munitions. However, I am sheltered in place in 140 degree HUMMVEE for almost 3 hrs thinking that any second this thing can blow, and I can die! Freakin out! Well this is my trigger. I have never been right and I struggle everyday with my PTSD. Unfortunately, I didn't think about CRSC, or needing evidence for anything at the time, so didnt ask for copies of witness statements or incident reports at the time? Who would? I have several other instances I have been in that would warrant combat situations, but this is the one that changed me forever. I know others have it much worse than I, but this event had a huge effect on me. I received 70% which got upped to 100%, and VA labeled it Combat Related. I know this dosent mean much though.

For my Spinal Cord Injury, I was injured in a HEAT trainer. When the HEAT (RHINO/MATV Simulator) trainer was upside down, we had to dismount in full gear and set up a perimeter for CST as fast as we can. When I tried to release the 5 point seat belt, it got stuck and had to use both hands to release myself. I came down on my neck hard and jacked up my back and neck. Shortly thereafter I noticed a burning sensation and pain down my left arm. Went to the clinic several times, and have records of this complaining of arm pain and chest discomfort. They just pushed me through training and I proceeded downrange. the nerve pain got worse down range and I provided AFPC with records showing I went to the medic down range as well with complaints of nerve pain. Long story short, I was diagnosed with Syringomyelia an SCI about a year later after returning. It took an MRI to find the issue and is what started my Med board.

I get that AFPC wants solid proof of evidence providing a link from a combat related event to my PTSD and SCI, but how can I obtain this info? I have given a statement to EOD, as well as the ARMY when the event occurred when I was down range, but I never received a Combat Action Medal for this, nor did I ask, cause the AF is just too lazy when it comes to things like that. There is nothing written in our LOE or Letter of Evaluations, because thats mostly reserved for accomplishments and volunteer crap, or even negative information, but wouldnt reflect incidents of this sort? As for my SCI, Im not quite sure why my medical documentation didnt support this from both Ft POLK where the injury occurred, and downrange where I complained about pain? I even provided a buddy statement for my SCI from someone who was in the HEAT trainer with me?

Now I am working with NVLSP Pro Bono contracted Lawyer to help, me. NVLSP approved to proceed with my case for CRSC reconsideration, but it seems like unless they can get some incident or safety report related to my incident downrange in 2005, CRSC wont get it approved? How can I obtain these reports? AFPC says to contact AF Historian, but will they be able to find this info?

I know there are many of you who have gone through this ordeal or who are currently fighting this same battle? Any recommendations will help greatly. There is no way I can get a witness statement for my PTSD claim for the mortar incident. AF usually dont deploy their Airman as a Unit, like US ARMY does, they kind of shot gun blast us out to the Mid East where we work with other DOD or NATO forces from all over the place. Now there are other incidents that have occurred downrange, like taking on small arms fire to one of our convoys, that I may be able to get witness statements for, but these events are not my TRIGGER. Any advice, suggestions or recommendations are welcome.
Your the lucky type to receive treatment. I had a gun frag wound in my back, from a sniper on an ambush, crushed my spine on the same ambush with nearly 300pds gear to maneuver with combat load on attack-which also separated both of my shoulders completely, walked through landmine fields-right next to landmines unknown to get to site locations, came into rooms which where I was walking on stacks of dead bodies and was sinking in them as no light to emit the rooms, saw an IED go off that I reported that blew up three people and blew me back, crawled in tunnels by myself where enemy was hiding at night, and I could go on and on, you know what kind of treatment I ever received for this in the military-ZERO and I was basically thrown out after Afghanistan so they didn't have to deal with me. Lucky you at least had care. I deserve CRSC and decorations and the rest of the yada yada, how do you think I feel?
 

eps17

PEB Forum Veteran
#5
300 pds of gear? Separated both shoulders? Walking "on" stacks of dead bodies? Crushed your spine? Frag wound?

I am somewhat skeptical you didn't receive appropriate medical care, a purple heart, etc. And why did three people approach a reported IED?

I've heard a lot of stories but I've also worked with every single branch boots on the ground and I can't see anyone in any of them denying a purple heart for a "crushed spine" and a "frag wound" and all the numerous injuries you're explaining.

300 pounds of gear? What were you carrying, other people's full kits and gear?

Yada yada....nuthin
 

GUNS'N'STUFF

Registered Member
#6
300 pds of gear? Separated both shoulders? Walking "on" stacks of dead bodies? Crushed your spine? Frag wound?

I am somewhat skeptical you didn't receive appropriate medical care, a purple heart, etc. And why did three people approach a reported IED?

I've heard a lot of stories but I've also worked with every single branch boots on the ground and I can't see anyone in any of them denying a purple heart for a "crushed spine" and a "frag wound" and all the numerous injuries you're explaining.

300 pounds of gear? What were you carrying, other people's full kits and gear?

Yada yada....nuthin
One teammate went down in a raid rehearsal, and was flown out. Our three man 60mm mortar crew became a two man team with myself carrying the bulk (almost entire mortar system) with a heavy full combat load, plus extra rounds (small arms ammo) (15 mortar rounds), plus some of the devil dogs gear that went down. Walking on stacks of dead bodies was through adobe buildings which had no direct light-and were a maze to get through-so it was dark-I actually had no idea what I was walking on at first. For the IED, that report never went anywhere because the unit was horrible, these poor people didn't know it was even there. I was never put in for a Purple Heart or anything. My frag wound was small, it bounced of my flak, splattered and a small piece went into my back. Don't be skeptical, my unit was a disgrace to the military and the United States. I was refused medical care. Heck, PTSD or TBI didn't even exist back in 2001 to be seen or treated for.
 

terrence

Registered Member
#7
Your the lucky type to receive treatment. I had a gun frag wound in my back, from a sniper on an ambush, crushed my spine on the same ambush with nearly 300pds gear to maneuver with combat load on attack-which also separated both of my shoulders completely, walked through landmine fields-right next to landmines unknown to get to site locations, came into rooms which where I was walking on stacks of dead bodies and was sinking in them as no light to emit the rooms, saw an IED go off that I reported that blew up three people and blew me back, crawled in tunnels by myself where enemy was hiding at night, and I could go on and on, you know what kind of treatment I ever received for this in the military-ZERO and I was basically thrown out after Afghanistan so they didn't have to deal with me. Lucky you at least had care. I deserve CRSC and decorations and the rest of the yada yada, how do you think I feel?
I was in Tallil in 2004-2005..
Your the lucky type to receive treatment. I had a gun frag wound in my back, from a sniper on an ambush, crushed my spine on the same ambush with nearly 300pds gear to maneuver with combat load on attack-which also separated both of my shoulders completely, walked through landmine fields-right next to landmines unknown to get to site locations, came into rooms which where I was walking on stacks of dead bodies and was sinking in them as no light to emit the rooms, saw an IED go off that I reported that blew up three people and blew me back, crawled in tunnels by myself where enemy was hiding at night, and I could go on and on, you know what kind of treatment I ever received for this in the military-ZERO and I was basically thrown out after Afghanistan so they didn't have to deal with me. Lucky you at least had care. I deserve CRSC and decorations and the rest of the yada yada, how do you think I feel?
I was at Tallil AB from 2004 until 2005. What higher did you serve under??? 122nd Group from AL?
 

eps17

PEB Forum Veteran
#8
Zero medical treatment after "crushed spine" and a "frag" wound while in country. That's hard to believe at all, on any level, along with "basically thrown out" with "so they didn't have to deal with me" so there's obviously a lot more to the story.
 

GUNS'N'STUFF

Registered Member
#9
Zero medical treatment after "crushed spine" and a "frag" wound while in country. That's hard to believe at all, on any level, along with "basically thrown out" with "so they didn't have to deal with me" so there's obviously a lot more to the story.
Hello, it is rude for you to be skeptical in tone with me. I wouldn't be here writing some sort of war stories, I came here for help. These were unfortunate events. I had SCI yes, and still pushed on, an yes, being hit by a sniper ricochet a small piece hit me. I can show you articles where our C130 into Afghanistan was shot at by RPG's by the Taliban I think they were like a hundred feet off-but the military covered it up and said the reports were merely gunfire from a wedding. That is total BS. So, yes, there is a lot more to the story and that would require you to look at what Osama Bin Laden swore he had and would procure to defend his back from around 1998-2000's . As far as the injuries go, my corpsman was a useless bag of crap that got minority privileges and didn't treat anybody, lazy-I wanted to shoot that piece of $hit myself. I will tell you what, I was in Afghanistan from 2001-2002. You don't have the right to call me out ad tell me what you hat you believe or disbelieve. I had three crushed disc's which protruded and effaced nerves. Why I was not treated, you have no idea how demonic a command could be and get away with things in the Marines from the 90's to early 2000's. I saw F'IN Taliban and Al Qaeda a$$holes being medically treated and basically had their a$$es wiped for them onshore and offshore, for me, how I was treated by my command-was criminal. That is all you need to know. You can believe that or don't, doesn't matter. Actually, I can even prove everything to you, fact based, record based. Except like the OP stated commands not keeping track of records, or turning them over, or citations, etc. Military history division only having small bits and pieces. I could tell you we got shot at all the time, from a distance and I had bullets whizz passed me when I was half asleep, but that's just war stories. Although true.
 

RonG

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#10
Just a couple of comments:

In CRSC reconsideration cases, it is important for the applicant to address the reason the application was initially denied. The CRSC web pages for the services can be of help in determining what documentation will support an application. The Army's CRSC web page seems to go into more detail than some of the others (I have reviewed all of them), but I am probably biased since I am retired from the Army.

It is never a good idea to question the degree of disability for another veteran, unless one is a physician. The same applies for CRSC applications.

Another bad idea is to suggest that a service member received special treatment because he/she is a minority.

Good luck to those who are trying the navigate the various government systems to obtain benefits to which they believe they are entitled.

The CRSC web pages for the services and DFAS are shown below:

DFAS: https://www.dfas.mil/retiredmilitary/disability/crsc.html

Army: https://www.hrc.army.mil/content/CRSC

Air Force: http://www.afpc.af.mil/Combat-Related-Special-Compensation

Navy/USMC:

http://www.secnav.navy.mil/mra/CORB/Pages/CRSCB/default.aspx

USCG: https://www.uscg.mil/ppc/ras/CRDP-CRSC-News.asp
 

eps17

PEB Forum Veteran
#12
Hello, it is rude for you to be skeptical in tone with me. I wouldn't be here writing some sort of war stories, I came here for help. These were unfortunate events. I had SCI yes, and still pushed on, an yes, being hit by a sniper ricochet a small piece hit me. I can show you articles where our C130 into Afghanistan was shot at by RPG's by the Taliban I think they were like a hundred feet off-but the military covered it up and said the reports were merely gunfire from a wedding. That is total BS. So, yes, there is a lot more to the story and that would require you to look at what Osama Bin Laden swore he had and would procure to defend his back from around 1998-2000's . As far as the injuries go, my corpsman was a useless bag of crap that got minority privileges and didn't treat anybody, lazy-I wanted to shoot that piece of $hit myself. I will tell you what, I was in Afghanistan from 2001-2002. You don't have the right to call me out ad tell me what you hat you believe or disbelieve. I had three crushed disc's which protruded and effaced nerves. Why I was not treated, you have no idea how demonic a command could be and get away with things in the Marines from the 90's to early 2000's. I saw F'IN Taliban and Al Qaeda a$$holes being medically treated and basically had their a$$es wiped for them onshore and offshore, for me, how I was treated by my command-was criminal. That is all you need to know. You can believe that or don't, doesn't matter. Actually, I can even prove everything to you, fact based, record based. Except like the OP stated commands not keeping track of records, or turning them over, or citations, etc. Military history division only having small bits and pieces. I could tell you we got shot at all the time, from a distance and I had bullets whizz passed me when I was half asleep, but that's just war stories. Although true.
You make a lot of inflammatory statements and claims. If you can prove everything like you said than you shouldn't be having so many issues with the VA. Like actual medical record proof, orders, not "buddy letters" and your first hand personal account. I find and see many veterans, from every branch, who inflate/exaggerate their stories years later for many different reasons. The VA has to deal with that as well and there are far reaching ways that they can verify and check out peoples claims directly from the DoD, DFAS, etc.

I still stand by my statement where I said it was hard to believe and there is probably more to the story. You can cry and say I am being rude with my tone, or whatever, you can't hear my tone.
 
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