Father In Law finally got an answer

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The local PVA was so helpful for us in getting my husband set up with the VA benefits. And the benefits are incredible. There are also caregiver benefits if the veteran qualifies.
I thought PLS was upper motor neuron and PMA was lower motor neuron.

The distinction probably does not matter for the OPs purposes, but if I am wrong about which is which, please let me know.


That is correct, Steve, so that's why I said PMA is code for we see the LMN side of ALS only at this point.

But PLS is a recognized entity -- a well-defined subset of people stays UMN only. PMA, the data have not really supported that as well. And many neurologists code both as ALS for practical and just-easier reasons. They presume that most PLS becomes ALS (a lot does) and even more so in PMA. The criterion that to dx ALS requires UMN and LMN signs in multiple regions is not really important in practice. Many PALS are diagnosed that a purist would call PMA if they believed in it as a distinct entity.
This is helpful to know. We are also getting another review nearby at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. A “second opinion”. Since the doc who dx’s my FIL was KP’s usually third+ opinion they give people. They have his records and data, and will do an exam.
And along we roll….
A lot of progress, the good kind, this week. Got the dx letter from his neurologist, plus she filled out the VA ALS diagnostic questionnaire. Scanned lots of documents. And most importantly, got connected with the PVA today and sent them the form to handle his case with VA. A lot of resources are going to be available for him, apparently. Equipment, provided. Home care services if/when needed, provided. Support benefits money, provided. The takeaway message was “he will be well taken care of”.
This man raised my wife, clearly pretty well, and he doesn’t have any other kids…so any way I can help I’m happy to do. Odd how nobody at Kaiser put together the Veteran and ALS situations and got us started a month ago…?!
That's lots of progress, you will be a wonderful support to him, and to your wife.
I'm just glad you came here and got steered in the VA direction.
A word of advice, Andrew -- don't expect anyone clinical to take an interest in paperwork, billing, reimbursement or benefits unless you ask them to perform a specific task. Here are some examples of forms you would need to bring in yourself or upload for storage or approval:

Utility form certifying need for power for medical devices, to keep him at the top of the list in a power outage
Advance directive
Health care power of attorney
Ferry form giving him priority when there are long lines
Handicapped placard for motor vehicle

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