Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBTQ+ Characters in Speculative Fiction

Decisions, Decisions . . . About My Knees

Way back on 5 December of last year, I described a little adventure I had in my in-progress quest to have the disability of my knees adjusted by the VA. Well, I found in today’s mail their decision.

Government processes take a lot of time. This is not a complaint; it’s a fact. I began this process back in June of last year according to the paperwork, sent in a bunch of forms and paperwork prior to the 5 Dec appointment, and basically leapt through whatever hoops the Veterans’ Administration wanted me to.

My previous disability rating with them was 0%. This was what enabled me to get a little bit of additional money for my income as well as medical care up at the local VA Hospital. All well and good . . . except my knees had gotten worse over the years since my initial evaluation. I have more pain, they’re stiff in the mornings before I get out of bed and move around, and it’s getting more difficult to get up and down stairs. So, with the aid of one of the VA’s personnel assigned to assist those of us with such issues as I have, I began the process to have my disability rating with the VA adjusted.

For this, I was required to send in various pieces of evidence. Bob Banz, the VA employee who helps with such things, assisted me with writing such things as my initial letter of request for reevaluation and getting paperwork I needed sent in. Some of these were forms I had to fill out, some were forms others had to fill out, and, in addition to my initial letter, another written statement from me as well as the physical examination detailed in the post linked above, as well as my treatment records.

With my reception of the paperwork regarding the decision on my disability, I now have a 10% disability rating for each knee. Their diagnosis is patella tendonitis of both knees.

I also applied to have my mental illness connected, but they did not receive enough information about it, so determined it was not connected to my military service. That’s entirely my fault. Instead of being honest and admitting what was going on with me while I was at my A School, I saw a civilian therapist on the sly . . . and never kept his name for my records. I thought I might be able to find some way around this issue, but cancer treatments got in the way, then I lost what little information I had before I could send it in. So, my fault. At this point, I don’t feel like forcing the issue; I’m pleased with my 10% on each knee decision.


  1. I anticipate going through this process in the near future. I had an incident with my left knee early last month (which also seems to have affected my right knee and hip — alignment, of course), and I have an appointment next week to make sure I get it documented, but I don’t think it’s going to help much in the near term. Even though my knees give me the most trouble of all my various disabilities they have agreed are service-connected, I’m rated at 0% for them. That is enough for now, but, over time, I know they will get worse.

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