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How to Get your VA C-File


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    • PTSD Denied NSC - Schizophrenia NSC
      You are most welcome. :o) Does he refuse psych treatment? Schizophrenia is a serious illness, but patients can often enjoy substantial improvement with treatment. With the NSC 50% rating for schizophrenia, he can receive free treatment at a VAMC or VA outpatient clinic.  When was he discharged? @THOMAS89031's point about continuity of symptoms is an important one. I've done several C&P exams with vets who were not diagnosed with schizophrenia in service but who began to manifest symptoms shortly after service. Schizophrenia usually starts with prodromal symptoms before progressing to the full-blown disorder, so if those symptoms can be identified as beginning during military service, and then continuity of symptoms can be demonstrated, then the veteran should be service-connected. (Of course, the ultimate decision is up to VBA or the BVA, as you know.) He might very well also suffer from PTSD, but it will help to see what the C&P examiner said about that. Yes, being wounded by an explosive booby trap is certainly a traumatic stressor. It sounds like they are not disputing that fact, but are instead saying that he is not displaying PTSD symptoms (or not many) currently.  You really need a psychiatrist or psychologist with experience conducting C&P exams, otherwise they won't know what kind of information VBA needs to determine service connection. Also, keep in mind that when a doctor completes a DBQ, he or she is declaring him or herself to be an expert witness, offering an expert witness opinion in a federal legal proceeding. Consequently, psychologists and psychiatrists who know what they are doing will devote sufficient time to conduct a thorough, evidence-based evaluation, and write a cogent report to support their diagnosis and opinion(s). So, you're talking at least 5, and as many as 10 hours for a good evaluation and report. At anywhere from $150 to $300 per hour (psychiatrists usually charge more), you're looking at $750 to $3000 for a well-written, persuasive report.  A potentially effective, but less expensive option is a "report critique", in which the psychologist or psychiatrist reviews all the relevant records, and then critiques the C&P exam report, pointing out deficiencies particularly with regard to following established VA guidance for C&P exams, and professional standards for such evaluations. Such a critique can support a request for reconsideration and a new C&P exam. If granted, the critique puts the new C&P examiner on notice that they better conduct a thorough, evidence-based evaluation consistent with VA guidance and relevant professional standards ... because you (and your experts) are watching.  Keep us posted!  All the Best, Mark  
    • Curious
      Hi Everyone! Would Like To Say Happy Memorial Day To My Fellow Comrades And All The Fallen Veterans For Paying The Ultimate Price Of Life! I Went On Ebennie Friday, May 27, 2016 And Seen Where My Claim Went To PDA. I Originally Filed For Three (3) Contentions: hysterectomy, bilateral foot condition and cervical radiculopathy. I received both C&P examinations on May 13, 2016 for hysterectomy and bilateral foot condition, but have not received one for the cervical radiculopathy. Have there ever been a situation where the rater may possibly rate the cervical radiculopathy along with the other two, if I have sufficient evidence in my records?
    • New VA Malpractice stats from reporter
      Its a crying shame these veterans died  from the substandard health care the VA  has give them. I know the VA will eventually kill me off. As my pcp just looks at my chart and I don't think she even reads it.  Example The last time I went in to see my PCP by Appointment  6 month check-up She was in a hurry  it was 2:00pm  she had a Meeting with the big wigs there at the Hospital at 3:00pm she said my vitals look ok do you have any questions? she never read my chats I watched her, I said yes mam I do have,  she said well let me look at you and she listen to my heart lungs  vowel sounds  ect,,ect,, took  maybe two minutes.. I went in for my exam at 2:00pm and it was over at 2:10 pm then I sit back in the chair by her desk at the computer, I was going tell her I had this chronic disabling pain in my right hip..she said well its probably arthritis you do have DJD, I'll send you to X-Ray.&  I wanted to tell her I been having a coughing spree for the last 2 months and wanted to get her to check that out too  then she said alright this ends your exam  just stop by the X-Ray dept on your way out  walk me to the door  like get the hell out of here I'm busy with a meeting at 3:00 ...I was there every bit of 5 minutes and never got a chance to ask he about my swollen Prostate and the problems its been causing me   I was going to let her know the med's she has me on for that don't seem to be working  but she had to go to that meeting with the big wigs  and it was at 3:00 pm according to the Tech that check my B.P. Vitals she did renew my meds.  guess that's a good deal. so needless to say it pissed me off  but what can be done about it...this is maybe nothing to worry to much about  but it could turn in to be worse or cost me my life at some point &time she use to be throual and check me out from hear to toe and talk with me explain things to me  and I really started to like her..but I'm in doubt now. What about the other veterans that are in worse shape than me...I tell ya the VA Kill us all if nothing is done about this VA substandard heath care. If I had the $$ or insurance I'd sure use private care..I hope to live a little longer. JMO .........Buck      
    • DRO hearing
      Berta the P&T was in fact my whole case I brought up to the DRO. I had the POA go over and asked them to approve the P&T and I would drop the bowel and bladder issues. They refused. So since they want to go that route then I am going to make them pay big time as in extra scheduling such as SMC. I gave them a chance to fix themselves but the DRO is dumb enough to refuse. Oh well the CUE will settle and fix everything because this should have been rated whenever they rated my legs during the De Novo Review back in Feb. They cannot pick and choose what and what not to rate when the evidence is overwhelming and I am not going to let them.
    • Miss Figured EED?
      Buck, we can not answer that question unless we had way more information.  The effective date is the later of the date the doc said you are disabled, or the date you applied.  Since I dont know when the doc said this vet was disabled, I can not answer.   However...I would treat this as a reduction, and appeal that reduction, since the reduction amounted, apparently, to a later effective date, even with the new disability.  
    • When can the VA reduce my rating "again" after reduction?
      Va can/does lower your rating at any time.  How long ago did they reduce you?  You may still be able to appeal.  You see, VA can NOT reduce 100% P and T Veterans, UNLESS they can show "actual improvement" under "ordinary conditions of life", that is, while working.  If you are not working, then you should appeal.  
    • New VA Malpractice stats from reporter
      I can say with some certainty its "not just" NY VA.  My VA also gives mostly substandard care, but there are some great parts about my VAMC.  For example, the audio department is superb.  Last week I  got hearing aids adjusted from the audiologist who did my 2002 exam.   This means she was there for 14 years.  I dont think she would have stayed that long unless the department was running at least somewhat right.  
    • New VA Malpractice stats from reporter
      This is the same reporter who called me last year, interested in NY VA malpractice issues. I was the only FTCA case here in NY that I had documentation on so I didn't want to let him use solely my story..it will be in my book anyhow.... http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/legal-settlements-veterans-affairs-triple-article-1.2654179 His focus was solely on NY FTCA - VA cases and all I could do is give him some tips because these settlements are very well hidden by the VA. No one here responded as a NYer with a FTCA issue when he asked me to post his contact info here. He and another reporter found some large cases but they do not reveal how much  was paid out in 1151 when FTCA was not an option ( or the claimant or survivor filed both FTCA and 1151claims.) After a 1151 offset is recouped by VA for FTCA settlements ,then the subsequent SC payments under 1151 are not part of the whole picture...VA pays out more for malpractice then we know. There is no record (except what I have in my settlement papers of what their malpractice on my husband cost them. I added up a recent audit and it all ,in my case, is a staggering sum.) Interesting article and they did a good job in the article with the evidence they found. The rest of VA's secret malpractice cash pay outs is well hidden. And there are probably many malpractice claims that are never filed because the vet or their survivor never considered VA could have been grossly negligent in their VA health care.  
       
    • When can the VA reduce my rating "again" after reduction?
      Sorry to hear of your issues, as I too have Asthma bud. I am so tired of the VA coming after us. I just went thru this last month. I too am 100% P&T, yet the VA called me on 2/29 to come in for a Review on my 40% for Bladder issues. Well we drove over 300 miles round trip for a 10 min exam. Well what happened next, they continued my 40%, but then the Damn VA lowered my 30% for Scars down to 10%, even though I never had an Review Exam for my Scars and the Doc never asked me anything about it. Luckily it did not affect my 100% P&T. 

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Loose Cannon

Fired Due To Ptsd...should I Get A Lawyer?

10 posts in this topic

I need advice...and I'll try to keep this short. I was recently fired from my job after a meeting with my employer where I made him aware that I was suffering from PTSD. I am a 20-year honorably discharged retired Marine- retired in 2004, VA diagnosed with PTSD in 2005. A few days ago, I received a "severence package" in the mail. Basically, they are offering me about $2800 to keep my mouth shut (no speaking to the press, other employees, etc.) regarding my termination. They put all this in writing and gave me 3 weeks to accept it. The problem is that if I sign and return it I will also be waiving my legal right to sue. Fact is they knew I was receiving treatment for PTSD and fired me anyways...Isn't this illegal? Do I need to see a lawyer, show him their "proposed" severence package, and sue them or am I wasting my time. I really could use some good advice here. Can anyone relate or help?

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Get the letter to an attorney asap.

J

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You need an attorney. Don't delay.

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LC,

Don't signed a danged thing yet.

You will probably need legal representation from a firm that

handles EEOC and ADA claims.

I've sent a shout out to one of our members that can probably

provide some accurate guidance for your situation.

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Get a GOOD lawyer!!!! copy everything they sent.

I need advice...and I'll try to keep this short. I was recently fired from my job after a meeting with my employer where I made him aware that I was suffering from PTSD. I am a 20-year honorably discharged retired Marine- retired in 2004, VA diagnosed with PTSD in 2005. A few days ago, I received a "severence package" in the mail. Basically, they are offering me about $2800 to keep my mouth shut (no speaking to the press, other employees, etc.) regarding my termination. They put all this in writing and gave me 3 weeks to accept it. The problem is that if I sign and return it I will also be waiving my legal right to sue. Fact is they knew I was receiving treatment for PTSD and fired me anyways...Isn't this illegal? Do I need to see a lawyer, show him their "proposed" severence package, and sue them or am I wasting my time. I really could use some good advice here. Can anyone relate or help?

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I need advice...and I'll try to keep this short. I was recently fired from my job after a meeting with my employer where I made him aware that I was suffering from PTSD. I am a 20-year honorably discharged retired Marine- retired in 2004, VA diagnosed with PTSD in 2005. A few days ago, I received a "severence package" in the mail. Basically, they are offering me about $2800 to keep my mouth shut (no speaking to the press, other employees, etc.) regarding my termination. They put all this in writing and gave me 3 weeks to accept it. The problem is that if I sign and return it I will also be waiving my legal right to sue. Fact is they knew I was receiving treatment for PTSD and fired me anyways...Isn't this illegal? Do I need to see a lawyer, show him their "proposed" severence package, and sue them or am I wasting my time. I really could use some good advice here. Can anyone relate or help?

Well, you have not stated if you were fired with cause. If you look at the termination papers they should give their reasons for the termination. Many states, like Texas, have a right to work set of laws, which basically means you can be fired for any reason or no reason at all. Other states have more protection for the average joe. In any case, it is very hard to sue a former employer and win unless you have some pretty good evidence you can use.

I am not an attorney, but do suffer from PTSD. I worked many years in the high tech arena and have lost many jobs because of my PTSD. Absolutely none of the positions that I was asked to leave ever cited my PTSD as a reason. The fact that they are offering you a severance package speaks pretty good for the firm these days.

The choice is yours and I wish you luck in the future. (PTSD is a gift from your service that keeps on giving!)

Edited by NSA-Saigon-ET

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they knew I was receiving treatment for PTSD and fired me anyways...Isn't this illegal?

The fact that you are receiving treatment does not disallow them from firing you. It depends on the specifics. If there were previous behaviors that you feel were caused by your PTSD that you engaged in at work that created a hostile work environment or resulted in your not being able to perform your job duties there could easily be cause for termination. The fact that you feel the behaviors were caused by PTSD does not mean they are required to accept your opinion. However, if they are terminating you because they feel there is an implied risk keeping an individual diagnosed with PTSD on their staff then they are asking for a wrongful termination suit.

Check on the Americans With Disabilities Act. Find out if the employer is large enough to be required to comply with the ADA. Also, find out who is handling the charges under the ADA. It used to be the EEOC.

If they terminated you without telling you a specific reason then getting an attorney might be the only way to find out why they terminated your employment. I would not pay any significant advance fees to the attorney. When I went through this I found an attorney who accepted the claim on a fee/contingency basis. I was terminated because the employer did not want a person who was disabled working in the department that I was in. The employer later ammended the cause for termination. I spent six months battling the employer under the ADA and did not get a dime. The EEOC ruled that the employer did not violate any laws when terminating my employment.

In this state misconduct at work usually disqualifies an individual for unemployment insurance. Talk to your doctor and file either for unemployment insurance or state disability insurance. If your doctor feels your PTSD caused your termination you should be eligible for state disability insurance. It depends on what state you are in.

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In addition to what others have said - - firing a veteran for a service connected disability is cause for an employer to be barred from government contracts.

I'd also suggest that you get a lawyer asap. $2800 seems quite low, however that may depend on a variety of other factors, such as how long you worked for the company, rate of pay, etc.

There is quite a variance between states as to labor law. The state I live in is an "at will" state, meaning an employer can fire without reason at any time.

I need advice...and I'll try to keep this short. I was recently fired from my job after a meeting with my employer where I made him aware that I was suffering from PTSD. I am a 20-year honorably discharged retired Marine- retired in 2004, VA diagnosed with PTSD in 2005. A few days ago, I received a "severence package" in the mail. Basically, they are offering me about $2800 to keep my mouth shut (no speaking to the press, other employees, etc.) regarding my termination. They put all this in writing and gave me 3 weeks to accept it. The problem is that if I sign and return it I will also be waiving my legal right to sue. Fact is they knew I was receiving treatment for PTSD and fired me anyways...Isn't this illegal? Do I need to see a lawyer, show him their "proposed" severence package, and sue them or am I wasting my time. I really could use some good advice here. Can anyone relate or help?

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Was this a private or public employer? Big difference if it was a public employer!!!

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YOU BET!

As Hoppy said:

"Check on the Americans With Disabilities Act. Find out if the employer is large enough to be required to comply with the ADA. Also, find out who is handling the charges under the ADA. It used to be the EEOC."

My husband won the first ADA case here in New York.

I did all of the legal work for him.I filed the case the very same day that ADA became law.

It wasn't a case of being fired however- it was a federal contractor bound by not only the ADA EEOC but also the regulations in 38 2012/2014 as to hiring and retaining disabled veterans.The company had laid him and others off and then did a recall without calling him back.

We had extensive documentation generated by complaints he had filed under the Vocational Rehabilitation Act with the Department of Labor.

I used FOIA a lot and got,by accident in the FOIA response , a very sensitive internal document that proved the company had discriminated against him on the recall by referencing manifestations of his PTSD.The document said he had gotten abusive and violent with a co worker.

FOIA only works with the federal Gov but this employer,due to his multiple discrimination complaints filed with the DOL,and their responses, was part of the DOL packet I received under FOIA.

In other types of employment you could use the Privacy Act to request any documents they have regarding this termination.I cant guarantee if they will honor a Privacy ACt request but a lawyer could get what they have.

He told me the charge of violent behavior was not true and that his excellent performance appraisals showed that.I certainly believed my husband as he had fought them for 3 years via DOL to even get hired.Their hiring record of disabled veterans was below one % of all new hires in a 6 year period.(one hired -1 % and then this vet left the company r got fired ???- less than 1 %)

I called the woman whose signature was on the critical document and she said she didn't even know who he was and denied the statement

Still the statement indicated he had created a "hostile' environment when the reality was the company had created a hostile environment by failing to recall him.

They had to make a cash settlement under ADA. They could not recall him however as he had suffered since this case began a Section 1151 38 USC stroke due to VA malpractice.

Loose Cannons case is similiar to that of a Navy Seal I know.He worked for the same federal contractor my husband did.His leg had been blown off in a river maneuver in Vietnam. They knew he was a disabled veteran.What they didn't know was he also had PTSD.For some reason his VA shrink told him to share that info with his employer. He did and they canned him with a trumped up sexual harrassment charge.

He was unwilling to obtain a lawyer and he should have as he was months away from 20 year retirement with this company when they canned him. I helped him prepare the legal EEOC papers and we even got to the point that they were going to dispose him.They would not let me attend the deposition because I am not a lawyer but I told him what to expect and we went over the case for hours the day before the deposition.

He never showed up for the deposition and lost by default.

These cases unless you have a strong legal background yourself- DEFINITELY require a lawyer.

There is plenty of info on the net regarding unlawful termination and the regs that apply to federal gov and federal contractors or any employer falling under the ADA.

An Employment discrimination lawyer might give you an assessment of your chances and a tenative fee via their site.I would think they might take a case on contingency.

Meantime you might want to obtain a copy of your personnel file.

"Fact is they knew I was receiving treatment for PTSD and fired me anyways...Isn't this illegal?"

They had to have good cause to terminate you.That statement does not give us enough info to know if it was illegal.

Edited by Berta

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