mbl22885

Third Class Petty Officers
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About mbl22885

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    E-3 Seaman
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  • Service Connected Disability
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  • Branch of Service
    Air Force

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  1. "It is easy to forget that aid and attendance and housebound benefits are available to mentally disabled veterans because many special monthly compensation benefits are limited to disabilities that involve the anatomical loss of a body part, the loss of use of a body part, or blindness and deafness. 429 However, many of the difficulties associated with the need for aid and attendance might apply to veterans with mental disorders, such as inability to keep self ordinarily clean and presentable and incapacity which requires assistance on a regular basis to protect self from hazards or dangers incident to the daily environment. Therefore, the grant of special monthly compensation can result in a much higher monthly compensation payment for some veterans with service-connected mental conditions." This is part of the SMC content of the 2007 lexisnexis VA benefits guide. Another Vet had posted it on another forum. It's a good starting point for understanding how to get SMC L with PTSD. My biggest issue was the protect self from hazards or dangers incident to the daily environment, mostly in the form of leaving the stove on among similar electrical devices.
  2. Yesterday I found out my approval for permanent and total status for my PTSD had been finalized. I was approved for SMC L for PTSD earlier in the year. I'm 31 years old and there is no way my 100% P and T SMC L rating would have been possible if it weren't for the invaluable information contained on this message board. There is still a rocky road ahead I'm sure, but I at least have comfort in knowing my family has security in a way I never thought I'd be able to provide. Thank you to you all, from the site operators, moderators, to the members. The wealth of information you guys provide is invaluable and I feel nothing short of blessed to have discovered this message board.
  3. Will do Gastone. My wife helps me with all this crap. She's a LCSW, so she at least has some background with mental health. Before that, she worked 9 years at DCF in egregious crimes where she had to file countless court briefs for abuse trial, so she knows how to put effective documents together. I'm more worried about being angry. My grandfather served in WW II and died later in his life due to wounds sustained during the war, my dad served 3 tours in Vietnam and I grew up watching him deal with the VA, and now my own personal experiences with the VA since separating in 2008. I know my family and I are just a statistic to the VA, but I take all of this personal. From the VSOS I've dealt with who don't know the 38 CFR and pretend like they do to the BS reasons given for denials. I just, I dunno man. It isn't right.
  4. From my decision letter " Although the medical evidence notes your PTSD is chronic in nature with minimal likelihood of improvement..." First line of the CFR you're quoting " Permanence of total disability will be taken to exist when such impairment is reasonably certain to continue throughout the life of the disabled person." So whatever rater handling my claim is not very good at their job and I should expect the DRO to fix the raters mistake?
  5. You asked about my VARO and said something about minimum DRO time being 2 years. My VARO is St. Petersburg and I filed my NOD on 10/20/15, so I dunno.
  6. FOTAD97(1).JPG (1).pdf If you look at that document and their rationale, they're not denying my PTSD is P and T. "Although the medical evidence notes your PTSD is chronic in nature with minimal likelihood of improvement, your other entitlements are not considered to be permanent and total, therefore, a future exam will be requested in order to determine your current level of disability and prognosis at that time." They're basically saying "Since all of your disabilities aren't p and t, none of your disabilities can be p and t." As far as new evidence, I'm currently seeing a private provider who is writing a letter based on his opinion of whether my PTSD is p and t or not.
  7. I don't think a copy of that VES clarification was supposed to go in my file. I had filed for a number of things outsides of p and t however long ago. All the c and ps for the things I had filed for came in, but the psychologist hadn't rendered an opinion on whether my PTSD was P and T. The VA ended up closing out the bulk of the rest of my claim and deferring an opinion on P and T for PTSD until they could get a clarification from the psychologist who conducted my c and p. However much time goes by and I get a call to schedule a C and P with a psychologist at my local VA clinic. I bring up how there was supposed to be a clarification letter from the psychologist I had already seen, but whoever said there was no record of it. I end up calling VES directly to ask about it and they say that the clarification was been completed by the provider and submitted to the VA. Long story short, I go back and forth with the VARO and VES until I get in contact with two people high enough from the VARO and VES that the VES person directly submits the clarification to the VARO person. All the while that this happens, my VSO is telling me to drop it and just go to the new c and p, as well as anybody else that is supposed to be in my corner. My paranoid side tells me the VA didn't want the VES clarification in my file because it's favorable to a permanent and total rating for PTSD. My paranoid side also tells me that the VA wanted me to go to a VA psychologist for an opinion on my PTSD being p and t because the VA takes the stance that PTSD is curable. This is just me venting btw.
  8. Like, they're not denying me because my PTSD isn't P and T. They even acknowledge that it is. They're denying me because everything else wrong with me besides PTSD is not P and T.
  9. Pretty much got it all right. Let me work on redacting more documents. This is a copy of the decision letter denial. Added the opinion of the VES psychologist the VA sent me to on the likelihood of improvement of my PTSD. Also included an IMO that supports P and T. FOTAD97(1).JPG (1).pdf VESClarification.pdf FairchildPT (2).pdf
  10. As the title states, I have a DRO hearing at the end of this month. The issue at hand is over permanent and total for PTSD.. 1. I am currently 100% scheduler for PTSD 2 I also receive SMC L Aid and Attendance for PTSD, it is temporary. The decision letter with the denial for permanent and total reads as follows "PLEASE NOTE: The date of entitlement to DEA (Chapter 35) is presumed based on the last date of SMC at L or higher. If a future examination is warranted for other purposes and there is potential for a reduction below 100%, do NOT grant entitlement to Chapter 35. Please note, that you have been granted additional disabilities such as fibromyalgia and entitlement to special monthly compensation as Aid and Attendance. Although the medical evidence notes your PTSD is chronic in nature with minimal likelihood of improvement, your other entitlements are not considered to be permanent and total, therefore, a future exam will be requested in order to determine your current level of disability and prognosis at that time. Based on your age and apparent willingness to seek treatment, it is found that an additional examination should be conducted in the future to determine whether or not your disability has stabilized. At that time the issue of entitlement to a permanent and total evaluation and subsequent entitlement to Dependents' Educational Assistance under 38 U.S.C. chapter 35 will be revisited." First, wtf? Second, isn't "Although the medical evidence notes your PTSD is chronic in nature with minimal likelihood of improvement, your other entitlements are not considered to be permanent and total, therefore, a future exam will be requested in order to determine your current level of disability and prognosis at that time." Basically saying "Your PTSD is permanent and total." Worse, the rationale I'm taking away from this is " Not everything wrong with you is permanent and total, so nothing wrong with you can be permanent and total." What I'm gathering from my VSO is that they're going to try to deny based on the SMC L not being permanent, or they're going to try to order a c and p to determine if it is. Obviously, I'm not okay with that. Plus, given what's stated at the top of denial "and there is potential for a reduction below 100%," isn't that saying it doesn't matter if my SMC L is permanent, so long as my PTSD remains permanent and total, like they've tacitly admitted in this denial letter? Assume I have an abundance of evidence to support the PTSD being p and t here. My VSO sucks. Any advice on how to mount a defense here?
  11. They did consider the IMO. The reasoning for their denial was that I didn't have frequent hospitalizations or bouts of unemployment. I asked for a reconsideration and pointed out that I hadn't been employed since my separation from the military, but P&T was still denied.
  12. I hear you. I imagined it was going to be an uphill battle due to my age and the perception of mental health issues. I'm thankful for the evidence I have though. I figure I'll appeal and see how it goes. I'm at 100% with SMC-L, so I'm okay in the meantime. Thanks for the info
  13. Not really sure on how to do the redacted copy thing. I'll copy and paste the section from the c&p detailing the provider/examiners opinion on the likelihood of improvement of my condition. The VARO wrote: "Question to provider: Examination request dated 7/26/15 requested an opinion regarding the likelihood of improvement of the disability (PTSD). Please provide the requested opinion." The provider/examiner wrote back: "The veteran has evidenced moderate to severe PTSD symptomology for at least the past seven years. He has a history of mental health treat for his PTSD, yet his symptoms still remain quite severe and pervasive. At this point, it is my professional opinion that his PTSD is of a chronic nature with minimal likelihood of improvement." I've already filed a NOD.
  14. "The Chapter 35 will be re-evaluated in 5 years and was not granted at this time. The rater considered the opinion of the examiner and felt that because of your willingness to go to treatment and because of your age that there is a likelihood of improvement even if the examiner felt that the likelihood would be minimal." I can understand my age factoring in (I'm 30,) but my willingness to go to treatment? I'm going to appeal obviously, but what the crap?