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    • I've had a few C&P exams go in my favor that I really thought the doc either didn't care or was incompetent. I say that because they just asked me questions and I answered them.  I was honest in my answers, but they did no exam to confirm my statements. Off the top of my head, my deviated septum and BPH were rated without the doc doing any type of exam.  All they did was ask questions.   I agree with waiting until it shows up on the blue button.  
    • Well I have been talking to some people and someone screwed up somewhere.Because he had a honorable discharge and because of his income he should of gotten medical help He also had a preexisting condition from the military but they didn't look any of that up. I have managed to pull his medical records and have been very busy Since posting this. 
    • Please pardon the length of my post, but I am looking for feedback.  I haven’t been on the board for awhile, and already miss the critique that Carlie and Stretch would have offered. I am 100% service-connected Permanent and Total for Bipolar Disorder.  I was awarded 100% in October 2009, backdated to September 2007.  Initially, I was in the VA system from 1994 to mid-1997, before they finally successfully diagnosed me as having a Bipolar Disorder.  I responded to medication treatment well for seven years (during which time I used the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program to obtain two computer-related degrees, until the medication stopped working overnight.  My Bipolar Disorder came back worse than ever, and nothing tried by VA and private psychiatrists worked in the least bit.  Finally after 2007, in which I missed half the year being hospitalized time and again, I listened to my psychiatrists telling me I was disabled and resigned.  After 8 years of failed attempts at controlling my Bipolar Disorder, the VA has finally given me the Veterans Choice program allowing me to see a psychiatrists and psychologists specializing in Bipolar Disorder. I have a rare form of Bipolar Disorder, which is why it took the VA so long to diagnose what was wrong with me.  I am hyper-manic, as a result, I have longer days than most people do, and look for things to fill up my time.  I do not suffer from depressive episodes like many others having Bipolar Disorder do.  The lack of depression, in itself, is a danger sign, and the VA has given me months of therapy to cope with depression if it should hit me.  There is a school of thought that people with my form of Bipolar Disorder cannot handle depression, and just spiral downwards until they commit suicide.  But I digress, sorry about that. I was recently talking to another veteran about MIT offering their entire course curriculum online for free.  You don’t get any credit, but you can study the subjects and I was playing around with that.  He informed me that the VA is required by law to retrain me into a different profession, since I cannot work at my previous one; due to not being able to work a regular full-time job in the field I was previously trained in through VR&E.  So I researched it and found: According to 38 USC Chapter 31 §3103. Periods of eligibility:  (c) In any case in which the Secretary determines that a veteran is in need of services to overcome a serious employment handicap, such veteran may be afforded a vocational rehabilitation program after the expiration of the period of eligibility otherwise applicable to such veteran if the Secretary also determines, on the basis of such veteran's current employment handicap and need for such services, that an extension of the applicable period of eligibility is necessary for such veteran and—(2) that such veteran had previously been rehabilitated to the point of employability but (A) the need for such services had arisen out of a worsening of such veteran's service-connected disability that precludes such veteran from performing the duties of the occupation for which such veteran was previously trained in a vocational rehabilitation program under this chapter, or (B) the occupation for which such veteran had been so trained is not suitable in view of such veteran's current employment handicap and capabilities. So, indeed I qualify, but there is a caveat.  I must have a feasible Rehabilitation Plan to present to the Vocation Rehabilitation counselor consisting of education needed, and employment plans.  The only option that would fit me is self-employment.  So I looked at self-employment careers, and found photography.  I researched further, and found that VR&E had even given someone $30,000 to start their own photography studio after they were trained.  I know I cannot be relied upon to work at the studio full-time, but I am not alone.  I have a wife who wants to use her Dependents Educational Assistance to obtain a degree in photography too.  The difference being is that mine would be a Masters of Fine Arts in Photography, while hers would be a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Photography.  While I would be the one to setup everything to run the studio on my own time, she would actually be the manager with a receptionist.  We would even hire local freelance photographers to shoot events, if need be. So basically, I would utilize project management skills to develop a business plan for the studio, and perform everything necessary for the start-up.  Having a Masters degree would give me the necessary knowledge to oversee the entire operation, but not have to be there 8 to 5; which I know I cannot do.  My wife will be the studio manager. I have researched 100% service connected Permanent and Total for Mental Disorders and going to college.  Most of what I have read is “why would you risk the Golden Apple?”.  First:  I cannot be absolutely sure I will achieve the Masters degree, although I am quite confident; because having a Bipolar Disorder has no impact on your Intelligence Quotient.  Second:  Each and every one of us is unique, and not one size fits all.  While some may consider 100% SC P&T the Golden Apple, I feel a need to do something other than exist and age.  Third:  I doubt that I will the studio will make enough after expenses for the initial couple of years for me to make more than Substantial Gainful Activity.  If the studio starts to succeed and grow, then I can put myself on the payroll.  Fourth:  With a Masters degree, I will be qualified to teach other photographers the finer arts of photography.  Fifth:  I can undertake subjects for photojournalism and submit my work in competitions.  Sixth:  I believe in helping others.  I live in a small rural town, and there are under-privileged Seniors who cannot afford to have Senior Pictures taken.  I would love to help them.  Seven:  There is a World of opportunities to be explored that I haven’t even thought of. I have not read anywhere that someone with a 100% SC P&T Mental cannot go to college.  I know “a 100 percent evaluation is warranted where there is total occupational and social impairment, due to such symptoms as: gross impairment in thought processes or communication; persistent delusions or hallucinations; grossly inappropriate behavior; persistent danger of hurting self or others; intermittent inability to perform activities of daily living (including maintenance of minimal personal hygiene); disorientation to time or place; and memory loss for names of close relatives, own occupation, or own name.”. I know I cannot attend a traditional college with scheduled courses, but I have found an online University that is regionally accredited where I can take the classes at my own pace.  My social interactions would be online and not in person.  I can study at-home, even when I have locked myself away from the World.  There will be deadlines to meet, but I worry more about getting the work done too early, rather than late.  Going to college is different than having an occupational job, although obtaining an occupational job is the goal of attending college. I need to mention that my wife is my rock I cling to.  She tells me to go lay down, when I’m getting manic.  It is absolute torture to lay down and rest your body, when your mind is racing with all the things you could be doing, and the minutes go by ever so slowly.  She goes to all my appointments with me, and tattles about everything! The floor is open for comments, and thank you in advance.  
    • Sure its worth fighting for  you love your father..so fight to your last breath. I Would think you need to finds a good VA Attorney    someone like Dr Bash team  with Attorney John Dorle.  As for as the school tuition I'm not so sure?  but it sounds like your father could get some compensation for his condition   especially if he is a Vietnam Vet? Does he have a claim in appeals? Other members can chime in here  I am not that familiar with what you have mention. Ms Berta can sure give you some great Advice..she be on tomorrow Morning. good Luck .....................Buck
    • Check to see what he put in your C&P report, it should be in the EVet Bluebutton report. If the guy was doing you any favors, you would find it there, if not, you will find it there.    Point is, even if he did a halfassed job, wait to see what he put down in writing before you do anything.  He just might fool ya!

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diablogun

New To Forum, Exam Upcoming On Psoriasis And Arhtritis

22 posts in this topic

Hi all,

I'm a new guy, and I've been perusing the posts, but haven't seen much about my condition. Next Tuesday I am going to my ratings physical (is it called this?) to have my service connected disabilities rated. I have Psoriasis and associated Psoriatic arthritis, and am wondering what I can expect from the rating. I have been on immunosuppressive drugs for more than 3 years for the Psoriasis, so according to the schedule that should be 60%?

For the arthritis, I have it in my back, knees, wrists, hands, and to a lesser extent in 1 shoulder and both ankles. Does anyone have any idea if they lump these all together, as it seems to indicate under ratings code 5002? Any information offered is much appreciated, I am pretty new to this process.

Thank you in advance :-)

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http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/Benefits/exams/index.htm

These are the blank C & P exams- which is what I think you mean by the ratings physical.

There might be something there that shows you what to expect.

Also the BVA web site has claims similiar to your condition and if you put psoriasis and arthritis into the BVA search engine they will come- I saw 4 for 2008 but the weather affected my connection-

I see that you are 90% SC- are you able to work- and if not have you applied for TDIU and SSA?

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http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/Benefits/exams/index.htm

These are the blank C & P exams- which is what I think you mean by the ratings physical.

There might be something there that shows you what to expect.

Also the BVA web site has claims similiar to your condition and if you put psoriasis and arthritis into the BVA search engine they will come- I saw 4 for 2008 but the weather affected my connection-

I see that you are 90% SC- are you able to work- and if not have you applied for TDIU and SSA?

Hello :-)

I put 90% because I had to put something when I registered. I am assuming 60% for the psoriasis and perhaps 60 or 70 for the arthritis, which would make it 90%. I can presently work, though the arthritis causes constant pain, I will put off the IU as long as I can hold a job. If the time comes that working is too difficult, is that the time that I should put in for SSA? I hope I never have to do that. Anyway, thank you for the information :-)

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Diablogun,

I filed a claim in March 2007 for both Psoriatic Arthritis and psoriasis, I was rated at 60% in May of this year (60% for psoriatic arthritis and 10% for psoriasis). I have filed a NOD because I have taken on Methrotrextate (immunosuppressive drug) every week for the past three years to treat both, if successful my rating for psoriasis should increase to 60%. Also I filed my first claim almost 17 years after my discharge from active duty.

Here's what was in my rating letter:

Psoriatic Arthritis:

We have granted your claim for service connection for your psoriatic arthritis because evidence shows that this disability developed as a result of the inservice psoriasis. We have assigned a 60 percent evaluation effective March 21, 2007, the date we received your claim treatment records from your private physicians show that you have been treated for this condition since early 2006. The records show that you have been treated with methotrexate with significant relief of symptoms. Your disease remains in the active phase. In 2007 you underwent surgery for significant left wrist disability. VA examination shows that both wrists elbows and hands are affected as well as the ankles and feet. You have flares about every month or two lasting for 1 to 2 days, relieved by Celebrex and rest. There is some loss of motion in the elbows, wrists, knees, feet and hips. There is no ankylosis. The hands show boutonniere deformity of all fingers except the thumb and little finger on the left. There is a gap between the finger and proximal transverse crease of hand of the left of 1 to 2 inches. On the right there is no gap. Range of motion of the right thumb is from 0 to 20 degrees and on the left from 0 to 30 degrees. There was no painful motion. The examiner states that this condition is due to the psoriasis incurred during military service.

An evaluation of 60 percent is assigned for an active process with weight loss and anemia productive of severe impairment of health, severely incapacitating exacerbations occurring four or more times a year, or a lesser number over prolonged periods. A higher evaluation of 100 percent is not warranted unless there is a totally incapacitating process with constitutional manifestations and active joint involvement.

Since there is a likelihood of improvement, the assigned evaluation is not considered permanent and is subject to a future review examination.

Psoriasis:

We have granted your claim for service connection for psoriasis because service medical records show that this condition began during military service. We have assigned a 10 percent evaluation effective March 21, 2007, the date we received your claim. Your service treatment records show that your psoriasis began on your knees in 1987. Subsequent to service you have continued to receive treatment in the form of topical creams and corticosteroid (Cordran) tape. VA examination shows that currently the psoriasis covers 18 percent of exposed areas and 15 percent of non exposed areas. The face is normal with scaly psoriasiform lesions over the elbows and also the dorsal surface of the hands. The skin on the body is within normal limits. An evaluation of 10 percent is assigned for evidence of at least 5 percent, but less than 20 percent, of the entire body, or at least 5 percent, but less than 20 percent, of exposed areas affected, or; intermittent systemic therapy such as corticosteroids or other immunosuppressive drugs required for a total duration of less than six weeks during the past 12-month period. A higher evaluation of 30 percent is not warranted unless the record shows 20 to 40 percent of the entire body or 20 to 40 percent of exposed areas affected, or; systemic therapy such as corticosteroids or other immunosuppressive drugs required for a total duration of six weeks or more, but not constantly, during the past 12- month period.

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Diablogun,

I filed a claim in March 2007 for both Psoriatic Arthritis and psoriasis, I was rated at 60% in May of this year (60% for psoriatic arthritis and 10% for psoriasis). I have filed a NOD because I have taken on Methrotrextate (immunosuppressive drug) every week for the past three years to treat both, if successful my rating for psoriasis should increase to 60%. Also I filed my first claim almost 17 years after my discharge from active duty.

Here's what was in my rating letter:

Psoriatic Arthritis:

We have granted your claim for service connection for your psoriatic arthritis because evidence shows that this disability developed as a result of the inservice psoriasis. We have assigned a 60 percent evaluation effective March 21, 2007, the date we received your claim treatment records from your private physicians show that you have been treated for this condition since early 2006. The records show that you have been treated with methotrexate with significant relief of symptoms. Your disease remains in the active phase. In 2007 you underwent surgery for significant left wrist disability. VA examination shows that both wrists elbows and hands are affected as well as the ankles and feet. You have flares about every month or two lasting for 1 to 2 days, relieved by Celebrex and rest. There is some loss of motion in the elbows, wrists, knees, feet and hips. There is no ankylosis. The hands show boutonniere deformity of all fingers except the thumb and little finger on the left. There is a gap between the finger and proximal transverse crease of hand of the left of 1 to 2 inches. On the right there is no gap. Range of motion of the right thumb is from 0 to 20 degrees and on the left from 0 to 30 degrees. There was no painful motion. The examiner states that this condition is due to the psoriasis incurred during military service.

An evaluation of 60 percent is assigned for an active process with weight loss and anemia productive of severe impairment of health, severely incapacitating exacerbations occurring four or more times a year, or a lesser number over prolonged periods. A higher evaluation of 100 percent is not warranted unless there is a totally incapacitating process with constitutional manifestations and active joint involvement.

Since there is a likelihood of improvement, the assigned evaluation is not considered permanent and is subject to a future review examination.

Psoriasis:

We have granted your claim for service connection for psoriasis because service medical records show that this condition began during military service. We have assigned a 10 percent evaluation effective March 21, 2007, the date we received your claim. Your service treatment records show that your psoriasis began on your knees in 1987. Subsequent to service you have continued to receive treatment in the form of topical creams and corticosteroid (Cordran) tape. VA examination shows that currently the psoriasis covers 18 percent of exposed areas and 15 percent of non exposed areas. The face is normal with scaly psoriasiform lesions over the elbows and also the dorsal surface of the hands. The skin on the body is within normal limits. An evaluation of 10 percent is assigned for evidence of at least 5 percent, but less than 20 percent, of the entire body, or at least 5 percent, but less than 20 percent, of exposed areas affected, or; intermittent systemic therapy such as corticosteroids or other immunosuppressive drugs required for a total duration of less than six weeks during the past 12-month period. A higher evaluation of 30 percent is not warranted unless the record shows 20 to 40 percent of the entire body or 20 to 40 percent of exposed areas affected, or; systemic therapy such as corticosteroids or other immunosuppressive drugs required for a total duration of six weeks or more, but not constantly, during the past 12- month period.

Hi John,

I am assuming the arthritis will break down in the same fashion as yours. My heart goes out to you, this disease is horrible. Did you tell them of the methotrexate during your C&P? I don't really want to have to appeal. I am surprised they only rated you 10% knowing you had been on immunosuppressive drugs. I am bringing my prescriptions and letter from my private doctor about the Enbrel I have injected for the psoriasis for almost 4 years.

Please let me know anything you can about the examination for the arthritis; did they take x-rays? Did they test each joint? Are all of your joints affected? Thank you for any information you may have :-)

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Yes, I told the C&P doctor that I was on MTX for both, he even noted that I have seen a "enormous improvement on the skin" since I started taken MTX on my C&P report. The rating letter only mentions this for the arthritis.

All of my joints a affected, some are worse such as my wrists and knees.

The C&P Doc used the exam work sheets http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/Benefits/exams/index.htm for "Shoulder, Elbow, Wrist, Hip, Knee, and Ankle" and "Hand, Thumb, and Fingers". Yes they did X-rays for all joints and used a goniometer to measure the ROM of each joint. He will also ask you alot of questions on how each joint impacts your daily activities, work and how ofen you have flares.

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