PLS and the VA

lgelb

Forum Supporter
Moderator
Joined
Nov 5, 2009
Messages
8,633
Reason
Lost a loved one
Diagnosis
00/0000
Country
US
State
WA
City
Seattle
I was contacted by a veteran who is having difficulty establishing PLS as an SC dx. I knew I'd seen favorable judgements in the past, so here are some to have them in one place. The key appears to be positioning PLS as an ALS variant rather than its own disease.

https://www.va.gov/vetapp16/Files1/1600209.txt supports PLS as an ALS variant.
https://www.va.gov/vetapp12/Files2/1212706.txt connects them as well. And:

https://www.va.gov/vetapp12/files5/1235687.txt is also supportive in a different kind of case.

I would also encourage counsel to contact the attorneys that brought these successful appeals for their clients, for potential guidance.

Best,
Laurie
 

morleyde

Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2018
Messages
24
Reason
DX UMND/PLS
Diagnosis
9/2017
Country
US
State
MO
City
Saint Charles
I was diagnosed with PLS 3 years ago.
Filed for service connected disability with local VBA, and was denied.
Filed again and provided letters from my two Neurologists (one form Mayo), numerous references from respected, reliable, and authoritative sources stating that PLS is a variant of ALS. Denied again at the local VBA office.
I have now appealed the the BVA about two years ago, and have not heard back.

I have researched PLS claims at the BVA covering the last 10 years. All of them were approved at that level with the supporting documentation I previously described. I know of one case recently that was approved at the local level, but that has not been my experience nor the typical experience. But maybe, or hopefully, that is changing.

You would think that since the BVA commonly approves PLS, that the local VBA would stop wasting everyone's time, but that is not how it works.

Hope this information is helpful. I can provide references if anyone could use them.
 

morleyde

Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2018
Messages
24
Reason
DX UMND/PLS
Diagnosis
9/2017
Country
US
State
MO
City
Saint Charles
I thought I might as well include some references from numerous authoritative sources from medical, research universities, governmental, and medical textbooks confirm that PLS is a variant of ALS. Here are four examples:
 

morleyde

Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2018
Messages
24
Reason
DX UMND/PLS
Diagnosis
9/2017
Country
US
State
MO
City
Saint Charles
Here are some more recent and relevant examples of times when the VBA Regional Office ruled that PLS should be considered a variant of ALS.
  • Citation Nr: 1812342, Decision Date: 02/28/18, Archive Date: 03/08/18, DOCKET NO. 15-35 987,
  • FINDING OF FACT
  • Resolving reasonable doubt in his favor, the Veteran's PLS is a variant of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
  • CONCLUSION OF LAW
  • The criteria for service connection for PLS, as a variant of ALS, are met. 38 U.S.C. §§ 1110, 5107 (2012); 38 C.F.R. §§ 3.102, 3.303, 3.318 (2017).

  • A Citation Nr: 1600209, Decision Date: 01/05/16, Archive Date: 01/12/16, Docket No. 15-06 520
  • FINDINGS OF FACT
  • Opinions by the Veteran's private and VA treating physicians identifying his PLS as a variant of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) (which, under 38 C.F.R. § 3.318, would warrant presumptive service connection). The Veteran's current neurological disability is reasonably shown to be a variant of ALS.
  • CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
  • On de novo review, service connection for the Veteran's current neurological disability (a variant of ALS) is warranted. 38 U.S.C.A. §§ 1110, 1131, 5107 (West 2015); 38 C.F.R. §§ 3.102, 3.318 (2015).0

  • Citation Nr: 1554301, Decision Date: 12/30/15, Archive Date: 01/07/16, Docket No. 15-28 489 Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office in St. Louis, Missouri
  • FINDINGS OF FACT
  • Resolving reasonable doubt in favor of the Veteran, his primary lateral sclerosis, which is considered a variant of his ALS, is presumed causally or etiologically related to his active service.
  • ORDER
  • Entitlement to service connection for a neurological disability, to include primary lateral sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is granted

  • Citation Nr: 1611736, Decision Date: 03/23/16, Docket No. 15-28 915
 
Top