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How to Get your VA C-File


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    • Memorial Day Vets Freebies, discounts
      WOW long list ..... also many VAMCs like mine are having a nice Memorial Day service and I believe they will have the VA bus ready to take people up to the cemetery. It is quite a climb if you walk, and very difficult to park on Big Holidays like tomorrow is. When I got home from church today  it was almost 95 degrees out and I was about to take a dip, and suddenly like yesterday , it started to rain and then we had a violent thunderstorm. We are still under a Thunder /lightening watch. The last memorial Day service I went to at the Bath NY VA...it was hot but beautiful , blue sky and a few clouds like this AM was and this is a gorgeous historic VA with a lovely cemetery ,but just as a prominent guest speaker got to the outdoor podium, to speak, an enormous thundercloud moved over the sky fast and it began to pour in bucket loads and it was hard for us to get the vets in chairs back into the VA for cover. I think they had made the fly over ( they drop a big  wreath in the cemetery) but it turned out to be a great day anyhow ,they made a fabulous meal for all the VA patients and I stayed there for a few hours in the recreation hall ,talking to vets. We just got a flash flood warning too and the Bath VA is surrounded on two sides by the Cohocton River. But it hasnt flooded there bad yet. There are no words to really ever describe  how grateful I am for the service of so many deceased veterans, back to the Civil War at my local VA, and for the sacrifices all of you have made. It was nice to hear God Bless America and some other patriotic songs in church this AM. We have many vet members and about 6 members in Active duty. A retired Lt Col. (Desert Storm)member led us into prayer after the singing. I hope you all have a Great  and Safe Holiday!!!        
    • I DON'T UNDERSTAND THIS NEED HELP !!!
      I apologize, I had no idea there was more to this and it regards inservice MST. There has been some excellent advise here on MST claims, some of it from vets with MST themselves. Did you specifically raise MST in the initial claim? Broncovet is right! You need to get a C file copy and copies of all of your treatment records. Also if you need your SMRs from NARA, ask for ALL of your Personnel files as well. The drinking and change in your inservice behavior proves that something happened to you, and if MST ,that is a Major stressor. Search here for the MST discussions. "This Document makes me out to look like a lair." The VA Makes us ALL feel like that. "Also they did not use the notes in my VA medical file which states I have PTSD Related to MST. How come there is no mention of that ? " Did they ever list this or mention as evidence at all? Maybe that is why they seemed to say there was evidence both for and against the claim.    
    • I DON'T UNDERSTAND THIS NEED HELP !!!
      Thanks for the reply Berta. I agree that  "The series of experiences you found to be distressing, you reported antagonistic harassment by superiors related to alcohol rehabilitation contributed to his distress." I never said it was in the interview. They added that in. What I said in the examination after the personal assault that happened to me I was basically walking around in a fog the whole time and the only thing that let my mind calm down was drinking and that got me in trouble a lot. After That point my Behavior changed and the images of what happened I could not get out of my head, so when they said it was a series of experiences from drinking which leads to my distress. I guess I need to make myself more clear. I believe everything related to the military was distressing to me, Because it was a constant reminder of what happened and that person was in the unit near me, so I was constantly on guard, so pretty much where ever I went I was always watching my back. I really started to become paranoid. I don't know how i can correct this ? If they say that the stressor occurred how can they say that it does not affect me. That incident changed my whole view of the world....This Document makes me out to look like a lair. Also they did not use the notes in my VA medical file which states I have PTSD Related to MST. How come there is no mention of that ?  
    • CLAIM COMPLETE--Frm 80% to 100% Comb Rtg
      Congratulations on your win, hope you enjoy with your family!
    • Sc'd And Non Sc'd, How Do They Effect Benefit Rating.
      Non Service Connected ratings do not effect Service Connected ratings in any way.The purpose of Non Service Connected ratings is two-fold. 1. The VA acknowledges that you have a disability, but it is not related to your military service. The benefit of this is if at a later date you can prove it is from your military service then you would be compensated all the back to the date they acknowledged the disability. In order to do this you would need your service treatment records and show where the issue was reported during service or that it is a presumptive condition of your service. Not very likely. 2. Non Service Connected disabilities can help you if you ever need to apply for pension benefits. Keep in mind the income limitations for pension are so low you do not want to be in that position.
    • Intent to file
      I'm not sure I understand what you are asking as you stated " 3 claims that I made days prior to my original claim is in intent to file status". The 3 claims that you made prior to your original claim are the original claim, or maybe I misunderstand your question. Nevertheless, here is how the claims process works. But first, know that each Veteran only gets one "original claim", all subsequent claims are just that, subsequent claims. So, the first claim you submit is the original claim. If submitted on an EZ form it is a Fully Developed Claim (FDC), assuming all med evidence and secondary forms were submitted at the same time. The second claim you filed automatically removed your claims from FDC. No big deal, it will just take a little extra time to process your claim. If the second claim is submitted while the original claim is still open it is added to your original claim, but has a different contention date.  An example might clarify things a bit. Suppose I submit an original claim for left knee on January 1. Then on January 10 I submit another claim for right elbow. On February 11, I submit a third claim and the original claim is still open. The VA will add the January 10 claim to the original claim with a contention of January 10, and the February 11 claim is also added to the original claim with a contention date of February 11. Assuming all three claims are granted you would have qualifying disabilities with effective dates of January 1, January 10, and February 11. The January 1 and January 10 disabilities would be payable from February 1, and the February 11 disability would be payable from March 1. *NOTE: If you got out of the service within one year of filing your claim then every disability would have a qualifying disability date from your first day of return to civilian life. Here is where the claims process can get muddied. Suppose your original claim filed January 1 was for lower back pain, and your February 11 claim was for pain radiating down the left leg. The VA may have already scheduled an exam for the lower back pain from January 1, but now they have to recall the med exam to insert what is probably a secondary issue of pain radiating down the left leg caused by the problem in your back. This slows down the process, or might result in you having to report for an additional exam. To answer the last part of your question of why the second claim(s) have not been added to the original claim. There are several possibilities, but the most likely is this. When the VA processed your original claim they reviewed your evidence and probably submitted the claim for medical evaluation and automatically placed a thirty to sixty day suspense date on it. This means they will not look at your claim again until that time has passed. When they do look at your claim again, they will see the other claims submitted and determine what steps to take next. Do they need to recall the previous med exams, issue new med exams, or grant or deny outright due to evidence on file or in your service treatment records.  It is at this point they will change the new intent to file issues to the appropriate status. All in all, it is best to get all your ducks in a row and submit everything at one time, but that isn't always possible. You haven't done anything wrong, it just might take a little extra time to sort it all out. 
    • I DON'T UNDERSTAND THIS NEED HELP !!!
      You need to order your Cfile, and review your records.  Does your entrance exam show a history of alcohol abuse?  Also read your C and P exams.  The decision states the examiner stated your shoulder issue was less likely than not related to service.  This means you have not got a nexus.  If, indeed, your c and p exam says this, then you will need to fix this to get SC, probably by an IME/IMO.   You need to check your records to see if the statments they made are consistent with the medical records/cfile.  If not, its possible either the VA did not read your evidence, they shredded some, or they used another Vets medical records (yes, it happens).     You posted (from your decision) : "You submitted a lay statement to Support your claim. A credible lay statement may establish what was seen, heard, and directly experienced. The lay evidence was found not to be competent and sufficient in this case to establish a diagnosis of your condition or to show that a diagnosis had been made by a medical professional. You submitted a lay statement to support your claim. A credible lay statement may establish what was seen, heard, and directly experienced. The lay evidence was found not to be competent or credible evidence of the symptoms of your claimed condition. Although, some evidence supports your claim, we found other medical evidence more persuasive because it is supported by an accurate account of the medical history and/or it is the most detailed and reliable depiction of your medical condition. While some evidence supports your claim, we found other medical evidence more persuasive because it is supported by your relevant military And/or personal history. The VA medical opinion found no link between your diagnosed medical condition and military service.  You submitted lay evidence that your claimed disability is..."   The underlined portion is not a valid reasons and bases.  They must be specific as to what medical evidence conflicted your lay statements.  They need to say something like, "The Veteran reported xx, but Dr. C on 4-14-2010 stated this was yy, and that xx was incorrect".   You probably need to file a NOD, after reviewing your cfile, before, if it does not arrive within  a year.    
    • Memorial Day Vets Freebies, discounts
      Add yours to the list if you have one: Memorial Day is May 30. It's a time set aside to honor those who lost their lives in the service of their country. It's also become a time for people to thank active duty military personnel and veterans for their service to America. Some stores, restaurants and attractions offer freebies, deals and discounts for both current and former military personnel. It's always good to check with individual merchants to ensure their participation and make sure you have military identification. Here are some of the best Memorial Day offers: Restaurants Applebee's: Up to 10 percent off with valid military ID. Cinnabon: Save 15 percent at participating locations daily with your military ID. Dunkin' Donuts: Take 10 percent off all online orders every day with your Veterans Advantage membership. Hooters: Present military ID at Hooters on Memorial Day and for a free burger, buffalo chicken salad, or 10-piece wings. Lone Star Steakhouse: 20 percent off on Mondays, and 10 percent all other days of the week with valid military ID. McCallister's Deli: Free meal to all active duty military. Includes complimentary entrée, drink and dessert on May 30. McCormick & Schmick's: Active-duty military and veterans can get a free entrée for dinner or lunch on Monday, May 30. The options include buttermilk fried shrimp, parmesan crusted chicken, beef medallions, or beer battered fish and chips. Outback Steakhouse: 10 percent off with valid military ID. Red Robin: Free appetizer with any $10 purchase all weekend. You have to be a Red Robin Royalty member to qualify and can sign up here. Shoney's: One All-American Burger with fries is available to each guest with military ID on Memorial Day. Texas Roadhouse: Receive up to 30 percent off depending on location with valid military ID. Attractions Museums: More than 2,000 museums around the country offer free admission to active-duty military and their families from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. You can find participating museums here. National Park Service: Current U.S. military members, dependents of deployed members of the armed forces and most Reservists and National Guard members can get a free annual pass year-round with military ID. Walt Disney World Resort: Four days military promotional tickets with park hopper option is $196 plus tax. Purchase through Dec. 16 for use now through Dec. 19. Zoos: Many zoos, including the Birmingham Zoo, offers free admission for all active duty and retired military and their dependents on May 28 from 9 a.m.-May 30 at 5 p.m. Other Lowe's  Year round 10% Discount for Active Duty, Disabled Vets, retired.     General motors: Active duty, reservists, retirees, veterans and their spouses can receive the General Motors military discount on Chevrolet, Buick, and GMC vehicles through May 31. Hyundai: Hyundai is doubling its usual $500 military discount for active, retired or veteran military members and their spouses for all eligible 2015, 2016 and 2017 model-year new Hyundai vehicles. Lowe's: A 10 percent military discount to active duty military members and retired veterans, or VA recipients. Valid military ID required. Nike: Save 10 percent at Nike.com and U.S. Nike retail stores throughout the year as an active duty, retired or reserve member of the armed forces. Under Armour: Veterans and active duty service members receive 15 percent off with valid UA Troop ID from May 24 to May 31. You can find out more here.
    • Increase Upgrade rather then DRO or Re open
      Your Award has to pass the 1 year mark, without a NOD filing, to become final. I was in the same situation back in 07/14. Secondary 04/14 FDC Awarded @ 0%. At that time, I had just been Awarded IU at a 06/28/14 DRO Hearing, from a 2010 NOD. Sure didn't want to wait another 3 to 4 yrs for a DRO Decision. Filed a New Secondary FDC 01/15, exactly the same as the 04/14 FDC. C & P took place 04/15 (real Negative VA Dr), 07/15 Decision letter, same Secondary SC @ 0%. I was getting ready to get back on the NOD Train 12/15, just hadn't mailed it in yet. Went on E-Ben 01/03/16 to get a copy of my IU Award for MI Property Tax Exemption. Low and behold, the VA Quality Control Phantom Rater, had taken me from 90% IU to 100% Scheduler with SMC S (1), in mid December. I have no idea of how long the Quality Control Rater had my 07/15 Decision. Had I jumped back on the NOD Train right away, would that have stopped his review and subsequent Award, I don't know. Semper Fi
    • I DON'T UNDERSTAND THIS NEED HELP !!!
      The decision states: "Because we were able to identify a marker in your service treatment reports you were scheduled for a VA compensation examination which was conducted in July 2015.  The examiner diagnosed major depressive disorder and other specified anxiety disorder.  The examiner indicated it is at least as likely as not the" stressor occurred. However the examiner indicated The series of experiences you found to be distressing, you reported antagonistic harassment by superiors related to alcohol rehabilitation contributed to his distress." That, in my opinion ,is not a stressor. We have a topic here I did on what is and isn't a stressor available under a search.  Although combat is not the only prerequisite for a stressor, this does not come close to a non combat stressor. Others might disagree with me and chime in here.    

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Koalabiter

100% Ptsd Rating That I Don't Want

24 posts in this topic

WARNING, LONG POST

I'll go ahead and clear the air here; I know this is going to upset a lot of Veterans that have been seeking a strong rating and have been denied. My apologies, I'm not trying to sound ungrateful here.

Here's the situation:

I am a full-time educator who has been working for several months (successfully). I was at a 50% PTSD rating for the the past four years, but recently went in for my re-evaluation. Terrified of the outcome and possible reduction, I went in prepared; I had my list of symptoms, I wrote down the worst days I've had recently, and I was open and honest with the evaluator. Today, I received notice that my rating for PTSD and depression has been raised to 100%.

The money would be nice. I have a family and am expecting another child soon, but I still don't want this rating.

I need to work. Structure and implied hierarchies rule my life. I have a routine that I daily and any deviation from this ruins the entire day. If they took my job away, I would genuinely lose it. . .

Here are the reasons I want to lose this rating:

1. I'm terrified of losing my routine and know full well that a new one wouldn't be good for me. The paycheck from the VA would be more than I could make at my job (teachers have a salary ladder) until about five years from now. If I have this much money coming in, I'll get stuck in a rut that I will never break free from.

2. I'm terrified about coming to grips with my condition. Yes, I have some problems. No, I don't think they are severe enough to warrant this decision. I'm able to work. I need to work. If I don't contribute something to the world then I'm lost. I know Vets who cannot function in daily society, and I'm not one of them. I don't want to take away from the people who really need this benefit.

3. I'm worried what others think. Yes, I know it's shallow, but I spend the majority of my time analyzing others. One of my conditions is that I've lost the ability to respond well socially; I'm emotionally numb unless I'm chemically altered. With a 50% rating, my friends, family (and possibly employers) think I've got a "little baggage." With 100%, I doubt they could ever look at me the same. Those that love me will question whether I'm going to do something drastic, and those who don't will judge me and may think I'm faking.

I'm grateful that the VA took the time and genuinely listened to me, but I think they're overdone it. Can anyone tell me how to rectify this situation? I don't want benefits I don't believe I'm entitled to. I don't want the VA to think I inflated my condition for profit, and I don't want to lose the one thing that keeps me from crawling into a hole (job).

How long can i continue to work before they come after me? I'd at least like to finish up the school year. If I break contract (even though it would be for good reason) I would really destroy my chances of ever teaching again. It's a small town, who would hire me after that?

Thanks for all the help.

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Is your rating for 100% TDIU?

I'm no expert, but from what I understand, if you are rated 100% but NOT TDIU, you can continue to work and earn as normal.

I could be wrong. Hopefully a mod will chime in with more info. If I'm right, then you are good to go.

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You do have the option of asking the VA to reduce the 100% rating. The VA may reduce the rating, and possibly even below the previous 50% rating, based upon current "evaluation" and rating. In other-words, you really don't want to do this without serious cause.

If you are 100% "scheduler", and not "TDIU", you can legally continue to work.

A 100% rating for PTSD often carries some repercussions. The VA may propose that they appoint a "fiduciary", who takes control of your VA payments, and possibly other income (not really according to the law, but it has been known to happen.) You may loose the right to own and carry a firearm. Reducing the rating will not automatically remove these repercussions.

The VA seems to want to ignore the differences between suffering from PTSD and incompetent to manage, or sanity.

The VA has the right to order a review and re-evaluation, and propose a reduction, based upon "new" or updated findings or exams.

Even though the rating may become "protected" the VA still can order a re-evaluation

Will the VA even look to see if you continue to be employed ? Usually not, unless you are rated 100% TDIU.

WARNING, LONG POST

I'll go ahead and clear the air here; I know this is going to upset a lot of Veterans that have been seeking a strong rating and have been denied. My apologies, I'm not trying to sound ungrateful here.

Here's the situation:

I am a full-time educator who has been working for several months (successfully). I was at a 50% PTSD rating for the the past four years, but recently went in for my re-evaluation. Terrified of the outcome and possible reduction, I went in prepared; I had my list of symptoms, I wrote down the worst days I've had recently, and I was open and honest with the evaluator. Today, I received notice that my rating for PTSD and depression has been raised to 100%.

The money would be nice. I have a family and am expecting another child soon, but I still don't want this rating.

I need to work. Structure and implied hierarchies rule my life. I have a routine that I daily and any deviation from this ruins the entire day. If they took my job away, I would genuinely lose it. . .

Here are the reasons I want to lose this rating:

1. I'm terrified of losing my routine and know full well that a new one wouldn't be good for me. The paycheck from the VA would be more than I could make at my job (teachers have a salary ladder) until about five years from now. If I have this much money coming in, I'll get stuck in a rut that I will never break free from.

2. I'm terrified about coming to grips with my condition. Yes, I have some problems. No, I don't think they are severe enough to warrant this decision. I'm able to work. I need to work. If I don't contribute something to the world then I'm lost. I know Vets who cannot function in daily society, and I'm not one of them. I don't want to take away from the people who really need this benefit.

3. I'm worried what others think. Yes, I know it's shallow, but I spend the majority of my time analyzing others. One of my conditions is that I've lost the ability to respond well socially; I'm emotionally numb unless I'm chemically altered. With a 50% rating, my friends, family (and possibly employers) think I've got a "little baggage." With 100%, I doubt they could ever look at me the same. Those that love me will question whether I'm going to do something drastic, and those who don't will judge me and may think I'm faking.

I'm grateful that the VA took the time and genuinely listened to me, but I think they're overdone it. Can anyone tell me how to rectify this situation? I don't want benefits I don't believe I'm entitled to. I don't want the VA to think I inflated my condition for profit, and I don't want to lose the one thing that keeps me from crawling into a hole (job).

How long can i continue to work before they come after me? I'd at least like to finish up the school year. If I break contract (even though it would be for good reason) I would really destroy my chances of ever teaching again. It's a small town, who would hire me after that?

Thanks for all the help.

Edited by Chuck75

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Chuck,

He posts that he is now rated 100 percent - for PTSD.

100 Percent solely for a MH disability and working is a NO - NO.

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Carlie is right. The regs actually state for 100 present the condition precludes working.

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The OP does not want the additional money or evaluation of 100 % - because he is

doing good working and feels it is beneficial to him.

He was granted 100% due to findings on a re-evaluation done at VBA's request.

He wants to find a way to get VA to not rate him at 100 %.

I think he would prefer a rating of 50 - 70 percent.

How should he handle this.

(At least this is my understanding)

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Carlie, you're absolutely correct.

I was awarded 100% for a combination of PTSD and Depression, but I want to reduce (or lose at this point) the rating because I don't want to quit working.

Work keeps me moving and focused. Telling me to stay at home would essentially be a death sentence in my eyes.

I plan on appealing, but don't want to have to quit work in the meantime. I teach in a small town, and dropping out during this part of the year (regardless of reason) would be a black mark on my teaching record from which I could never recover. It's sad to say this type of discrimination exists, but I'm not foolish enough to ignore it.

Thoughts?

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Dear VA,

I don't need your money. Please give it to a vet that needs it.

Sincerely,

The Veteran

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As long as you continue to honestly report your income (each year the VA will send a VA Form), why not let the VA make the decision to propose a change? ~Wings

I don't see that VA will send him an income verification form - he's 100 % scheduler - not IU.

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I plan on appealing, but don't want to have to quit work in the meantime.

Koal,

This would not be something to appeal.

Do you have a service officer ?

Perhaps it would help you decide what to do if you went and talked

with a service officer.

JMHO

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Koalabiter - unless you have stated to them that you are "unemployable" there is no reason to do anything. The criteria listed for someone rated 100% schedular, for a mental disorder, includes terms that suggest the person can't work, however one does not need to meet all the criteria, to be rated 100% schedular. As long as you have done nothing that could be construed as being fraudulent, I'd continue to work and accept their rating & compensation. "They've" decided you are 100% schedular, not you. Now if the rating is "TDIU" then my recommendation would be different.

As Chuck75 mentioned you can be 100% schedular and work. No where does it specify that you can't work if rated 100% schedular, for a mental disorder.

At worst, the VA will reevaluate you at a later date and then propose a reduction. I, personally, think you are safe. You can always bank the money, in a separate account, if you feel you could end up having to pay it back. I have never heard of a case where someone rated 100% schedular was prosecuted for working. jmo

pr

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This thread goes together with the following one.

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I don't see that VA will send him an income verification form - he's 100 % scheduler - not IU.

You're right. No VA Forms, and he says in the title he's also Permanent and Total. SO, that means no re-exams either.

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x

x

x

I'm sorry I didn't really listen to what you were saying here, in your first message. I reflexively responded with the assumption that you had been awarded "unemployable" (TDIU). I lost a little sleep thinking about how painful it's been for me, personally, to feel that I have accomplished to little professionally. My career in the military was cut short due to my inability to overcome the emotional and scars of an in-service rape trauma. Because I did not recieve help from the military or the VA when I was discharged (and I knocked at that door loudly and repeatedly), my pproblems only worsened and I found myself totally unable to secure employment. All that said, if I could trade my VA comp for a successful career with positive self esteem, I would do it in an instant, even if the pay was less!

IMO, If you are able to work, then you should not have a 100% schedular rating. HOWEVER, I also read into your message that you have been working successfuly for only 4 months? I don't know what that's about, but if it has anything to do with your PTSD, I'd say you are not out of the woods just yet! I think you should wait on making a permanent decision, and see what how rest of the school year pans out. Unless you have lied to the VA during your C&P Exam, and did in fact produce an honest occupational history, then you are under no lawful obligation to tell the VA that your life has improved permanently! I'm sorry to suggest that it is common for a PTSD veteran to have ups and downs, flareups, a sudden exacerbation of symptoms, and even good days.

Sounds like you landed a good job after some years of marginal employement? and you want to keep it --and I think you should try. But you probably should wait it out and see what happens. No reason just yet to feel like a fraud! Your VA Award was in all likelihood justified by the evidence at the time the rating was assigned. IMO, again --if you are still doing well in a year's time, I would feel morally obligated to write to the VA for a re-examination, or go to the VA for your mental health treatment and tell them how things are going ... Sorry I didn't listen and hear what you were saying the first time. ~Wings

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One big factor with a gamble on keeping 100% rating is your age. If you are 28 or even 38 I would probably gamble. If you are 58 I would not gamble. If I was 100% schedular and working I would keep working until the VA proposed a reduction. You have time to bolster your SSA and any pension benefits you might have coming. At age 40 you can't see the future that by age 50 you really will be totally disabled. It happened to me and came as quite a shock. I am glad I was able to work for 20 years, but I was also low balled for 20 years. When I got out of the army at age 21 I was totally disabled, but the VA did not see it that way. With 15 years of psychotherapy I was able to hold a job for 20 years. I am now better off than someone who has was disabled from age 21, but it is just an accident. The VA's treatment of those with emotional disabilites is so counterproductive and usually ends up hurting the vet in the long term. They punish attempts to rehabilitate yourself. Why is a mental disability different than a physical disability? Nobody tells a double amputee to just shut up and take the money. The VA will bend over backwards to rehabilitate that amputee. Everyone in society applauds when an brain damaged vet or amputee gets a job. They accuse a PTSD vet of being a fraud if he works.

John

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This topic was very interesting to read. Thanks for posting and for the wonderful comments.

For a long time, I felt as if I was worthless, unbable to keep a job longer than 6-8 months. More recently, I have been unemployed for over 3 years. How I wish I could find a company that would hire me into a job that I could feel proud of. Unfortunetly, thats not going to happen to me anymore. Filling out the applications they ask for five to ten years work experience. I never have enough room to list all my past employers in the space provided. Not having a VA rating didnt help with the situation and explanation to potential employers or with family. All I could reply to their questions of why I can't handle keeping a job was that I had put in a claim with the VA and that I believed the result would be in my favor.

Today I can now say that I am rated by the VA, but the gaps in employment havent changed. Looking at my own work history and recent work experience, I would not hire myself either. I dont blame the hiring managers for passing me up, and I dont feel I owe anyone (employers or family) any explanations.

Having received my award didnt change how i feel or how i see things. If i went back to work I know I would eventually suffer the same outcome as my previous 12 jobs. I dont see how having money, or having a "good" job can change how a disabled vet (especially ptsd) feels or how it eases his/her symptoms of ptsd. I thought that getting my retro pay would change my life and i would be able to "live" better. The joy and excitement went away in as little as a couple days.

Sorry this was long and personal to me, but i find this as helpful therapy to be able to discuss my thoughts and personal views. Again, great post and topic discussion!

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If it doesn't work out to your satifaction with the VA, could you volunteer in some type of teaching capacity?

Then maybe it could be a win/win for you. jmo vet12

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Just voluneer your time without pay.....Keep your disablityVA check, the professional declared you 100% You can donate time and it's

not reportable or tracked by the government.....

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I'm 100% service connected by the VA, but I don't want them anymore.

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Just put the 100% money aside and keep working. If the VA had granted me 100% when I really had a chance to rehab myself I would have kissed the ground.

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Hey guys I'm going to piggy back alittle off this forum. But I was wondering if anyone could maybe give me a ballpark figure from my PTSD C&P exam? Thanks in advance.

1. Diagnostic Summary

---------------------

Does the Veteran have a diagnosis of PTSD that conforms to DMS-5 criteria

based on today's evaluation?

[X] Yes [ ] No

2. Current Diagnoses

--------------------

a. Mental Disorder Diagnosis #1: PTSD

ICD code: F43.1

b. Medical diagnoses relevant to the understanding or management of the

Mental Health Disorder (to include TBI): See below.

Comments, if any: CPRS indicates 30% service-connection for:

IMPAIRED HEARING (0%-SC)

PARALYSIS OF MEDIAN NERVE (10%-SC)

TINNITUS (10%-SC)

LUMBOSACRAL OR CERVICAL STRAIN (10%-SC)

PARALYSIS OF SCIATIC NERVE (10%-SC)

LIMITED FLEXION OF FOREARM (0%-SC)

Computerized records indicate:

Knee pain

Tobacco Dependence

Overweight

Tinnitus, Subjective

Elevated Liver Function Tests

Lumbar Radiculopathy

Degen Disc Dis, Lumbar

Hearing loss

Low Back Pain

3. Differentiation of symptoms

------------------------------

a. Does the Veteran have more than one mental disorder diagnosed?

[ ] Yes [X] No

4. Occupational and social impairment

-------------------------------------

a. Which of the following best summarizes the Veteran's level of

occupational

and social impairment with regards to all mental diagnoses? (Check only

one)

[X] Occupational and social impairment with occasional decrease in work

efficiency and intermittent periods of inability to perform

occupational tasks, although generally functioning satisfactorily,

with normal routine behavior, self-care and conversation

b. For the indicated level of occupational and social impairment, is it

possible to differentiate what portion of the occupational and social

impairment indicated above is caused by each mental disorder?

[ ] Yes [ ] No [X] No other mental disorder has been diagnosed

c. If a diagnosis of TBI exists, is it possible to differentiate what

portion

of the occupational and social impairment indicated above is caused by

the

TBI?

[ ] Yes [ ] No [X] No diagnosis of TBI

SECTION II:

-----------

Clinical Findings:

------------------

1. Evidence review

------------------

In order to provide an accurate medical opinion, the Veteran's claims

folder

must be reviewed.

a. Medical record review:

-------------------------

Was the Veteran's VA e-folder (VBMS or Virtual VA) reviewed?

[X] Yes [ ] No

Was the Veteran's VA claims file reviewed?

[X] Yes [ ] No

[ ] Yes [X] No

2. History

----------

a. Relevant Social/Marital/Family history (pre-military, military, and

post-military):

Mr. XXXXX was born in Corpus Christi, TX and raised in TX and NV.

His parents never divorced. Mr. XXXXX has no siblings and has an

excellent relationship with his parents.

Mr. XXXXX's first marriage lasted from 2003-2005 and his

second

from 2007-2010. He remarried in 2010 and described his current

relationship as "rocky." Mr. XXXXX has four children and

described

the relationship with his children as also "rocky." He

currently lives

with his parents in XXXXX, NV. Income sources include the GI Bill and

current service-connection.

Mr. XXXXX enjoys target practice every couple of months. He rarely

socializes.

b. Relevant Occupational and Educational history (pre-military, military,

and

post-military):

Veteran completed a GED in 2003. Veteran noted that he was diagnosed

with Attention Deficient Disorder as a child.

Mr. XXXXX joined with the National Guard in 2004 and is currently

enlisted. MOS include infantry (11B), combat engineer (21B) and

military police (21B). Mr. XXXXX reported exposure to combat fire

(small arms, mortars, rockets, RPGs) in Afghanistan from 2011-2012.

His current rank is E-5.

c. Relevant Mental Health history, to include prescribed medications and

family mental health (pre-military, military, and post-military):

Interim Mental Health History:

Mr. XXXXX and his wife currently participate in marital counseling

at the XXXXX Vet Center. Mr. XXXXX also participates in individual

therapy with Dr. Krogh and group therapy targeted at PTSD symptoms.

Mr. XXXXX is also followed by Dr. Pai for psychiatric medication

management.

CPRS lists active medications as:

AMITRIPTYLINE TAB 50MG

PRAZOSIN CAP,ORAL 1MG

HydrOXYzine PAMOATE CAP,ORAL 25MG

GABAPENTIN CAP,ORAL 300MG

METHOCARBAMOL TAB 500MG

LAMOTRIGINE TAB,ORAL 25MG

DICLOFENAC TAB,EC 75MG

MORPHINE TAB,SA 15MG

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

--------------------

PTSD Symptoms:

Intrusive Thoughts - Mr. XXXXX reported intrusive thoughts

regarding stressor #1 on a weekly basis.

Sleep/Nightmares - Mr. XXXXX reported nightmares that occur on a

weekly basis.

Dissociative reactions - Denied.

Psychological/Physiological Reactions - Anxiety, heart palpitations

And perspiration.

Avoidance - Veteran tends to avoid thoughts and conversations

Regarding combat experience.

Difficulty Remembering - Denied.

Distorted expectations/beliefs/blame - Chronic self-blame and

suspiciousness.

Persistent negative emotion - Chronic anger.

Loss of Interest - Rarely participates in hobby activities.

Distant/Emotionally Numb - Rarely socializes.

Irritability - Irritability on a daily basis.

Self-destructive/reckless - Denied.

Hypervigilance/Startle - Mr. XXXXX often scans for environmental

threats and is easily startle by sudden noises.

Difficulty Concentrating - He has difficulty concentrating on mundane

tasks.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

--------------------

d. Relevant Legal and Behavioral history (pre-military, military, and

post-military):

Veteran reported legal problems for failure to comply with a court

order.

e. Relevant Substance abuse history (pre-military, military, and

post-military):

Alcohol:

Pre military: Rarely.

During Military: Weekend binge drinking.

Post Military: Three beers/week.

3. Stressors

------------

a. Stressor #1: Exposure to combat fire.

Does this stressor meet Criterion A (i.e., is it adequate to support

the diagnosis of PTSD)?

[X] Yes [ ] No

Is the stressor related to the Veteran's fear of hostile military

Or terrorist activity?

[X] Yes [ ] No

Is the stressor related to personal assault, e.g. military sexual

trauma?

[ ] Yes [X] No

4. PTSD Diagnostic Criteria

---------------------------

Please check criteria used for establishing the current PTSD diagnosis. Do

not mark symptoms below that are clearly not attributable to the criteria A

stressor/PTSD. Instead, overlapping symptoms clearly attributable to other

things should be noted under #6 - other symptoms. The diagnostic criteria

for PTSD, referred to as Criteria A-H, are from the Diagnostic and

Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DMS-5).

Criterion A: Exposure to actual or threatened a) death, b) serious

injury,

c) sexual violatrion, in one or more of the following ways:

[X] Directly experiencing the tramuatic event(s)

[X] Witnessing, in person, the traumatic event(s) as they occurred to

others

Criterion B: Presence of (one or more) of the following intrusion

symptoms

associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after the

traumatic event(s) occurred:

[X] Recurrent, involuntary, and intrusive distressing memories of the

traumatic event(s).

[X] Recurrent distressing dreams in which the content and/or affect of

the dream are related to the traumatic event(s).

[X] Intense or prolonged psychological distress at exposure to

internal

or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the

traumatic event(s).

[X] Marked physiological reactions to internal or external cues that

symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event(s).

Criterion C: Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the

Traumatic event(s), beginning after the traumatic events(s) occurred,

as evidenced by one or both of the following:

[X] Avoidance of or efforts to avoid distressing memories, thoughts,

Or feelings about or closely associated with the traumatic event(s).

[X] Avoidance of or efforts to avoid external reminders (people,

places, conversations, activities, objects, situations) that

arouse distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings about or closely

associated with the traumatic event(s).

Criterion D: Negative alterations in cognitions and mood associated with

the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the

traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more)

of the following:

[X] Persistent and exaggerated negative beliefs or expectations about

oneself, others, or the world (e.g., "I am bad,: "No one

can be trusted,: "The world is completely dangerous,: "My whole

nervous system is permanently ruined").

[X] Persistent, distorted cognitions about the cause or consequences

Of the traumatic event(s) that lead to the individual to blame

himself/herself or others.

[X] Persistent negative emotional state (e.g., fear, horror, anger,

guilt, or shame).

[X] Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant

activities.

[X] Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others.

Criterion E: Marked alterations in arousal and reactivity associated with

the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the

traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more)

of the following:

[X] Irritable behavior and angry outbursts (with little or no

provocation) typically expressed as verbal or physical aggression

toward people or objects.

[X] Hypervigilance.

[X] Exaggerated startle response.

[X] Problems with concentration.

[X] Sleep disturbance (e.g., difficulty falling or staying asleep or

restless sleep).

Criterion F:

[X] Duration of the disturbance (Criteria B, C, D, and E) is more than

1 month.

Criterion G:

[X] The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or

impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of

functioning.

Criterion H:

[X] The disturbance is not attributable to the physiological effects

of

a substance (e.g., medication, alcohol) or another medical

condition.

5. Symptoms

-----------

For VA rating purposes, check all symptoms that apply to the Veterans

diagnoses:

[X] Depressed mood

[X] Anxiety

[X] Suspiciousness

[X] Panic attacks that occur weekly or less often

[X] Chronic sleep impairment

[X] Disturbances of motivation and mood

[X] Difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social

relationships

6. Behavioral Observations

--------------------------

Mr. XXXXX arrived on time for his appointment. Grooming and hygiene

Were adequate. He was alert and cooperative throughout the examination.

Expressive speech was fluent; thought processes were logical. Veteran

described his mood as "frustrated and eager to get out of here";

affect was congruent with his mood state. He denied any suicidal/homicidal ideation,

plan, or intent. There were no indications of delusions, hallucinations or

other signs of frank psychosis. Insight and judgment were intact.

7. Other symptoms

-----------------

Does the Veteran have any other symptoms attributable to PTSD (and other

mental disorders) that are not listed above?

[ ] Yes [X] No

8. Competency

-------------

Is the Veteran capable of managing his or her financial affairs?

[X] Yes [ ] No

9. Remarks, if any

------------------

Veteran completed the PCL-5, a self-report measure of PTSD and obtained a

56.

On the BDI-II, a self-report measure of depression, Veteran obtained a

34, suggesting severe depression. The BAI is a self-report measure of

anxiety; his score of 20 indicates moderate anxiety.

Veteran currently meets DSM 5 criteria for PTSD and currently

Participates in relevant mental health treatment at the XXXXX VAMC.

NOTE: VA may request additional medical information, including additional

examinations if necessary to complete VA's review of the Veteran's

application. Income sources include the GI Bill and current service-connection. Patient enjoys target practice every couple of months. He rarely socializes.

b. Relevant Occupational and Educational history (pre-military, military,

and post-military):

Veteran completed a GED in 2003. Veteran noted that he was diagnosed

with Attention Deficient Disorder as a child.

Patient joined with the National Guard in 2004 and is currently

enlisted. MOS include infantry (11B), combat engineer (21B) and

military police (21B). Patient reported exposure to combat fire

(small arms, mortars, rockets, RPGs) in Afghanistan from 2011-2012.

His current rank is E-5.

c. Relevant Mental Health history, to include prescribed medications and

family mental health (pre-military, military, and post-military):

Interim Mental Health History:

Patient and his wife currently participate in marital counseling

at the XXXXX Vet Center. Patient also participates in individual

therapy with Dr. XXX and group therapy targeted at PTSD symptoms.

Patient is also followed by Dr. XXX for psychiatric medication

management.

CPRS lists active medications as:

AMITRIPTYLINE TAB 50MG

PRAZOSIN CAP,ORAL 1MG

HydrOXYzine PAMOATE CAP,ORAL 25MG

GABAPENTIN CAP,ORAL 300MG

METHOCARBAMOL TAB 500MG

LAMOTRIGINE TAB,ORAL 25MG

DICLOFENAC TAB,EC 75MG

MORPHINE TAB,SA 15MG

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

--------------------

PTSD Symptoms:

Intrusive Thoughts - Patient reported intrusive thoughts

regarding stressor #1 on a weekly basis.

Sleep/Nightmares - Patient reported nightmares that occur on a

weekly basis.

Dissociative reactions - Denied.

Psychological/Physiological Reactions - Anxiety, heart palpitations

And perspiration.

Avoidance - Veteran tends to avoid thoughts and conversations

Regarding combat experience.

Difficulty Remembering - Denied.

Distorted expectations/beliefs/blame - Chronic self-blame and

suspiciousness.

Persistent negative emotion - Chronic anger.

Loss of Interest - Rarely participates in hobby activities.

Distant/Emotionally Numb - Rarely socializes.

Irritability - Irritability on a daily basis.

Self-destructive/reckless - Denied.

Hypervigilance/Startle - Patient often scans for environmental

threats and is easily startle by sudden noises.

Difficulty Concentrating - He has difficulty concentrating on mundane

tasks.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

--------------------

d. Relevant Legal and Behavioral history (pre-military, military, and

post-military):

Veteran reported legal problems for failure to comply with a court

order.

a. Stressor #1: Exposure to combat fire.

Does this stressor meet Criterion A (i.e., is it adequate to support

the diagnosis of PTSD)?

[X] Yes [ ] No

Is the stressor related to the Veteran's fear of hostile military

Or terrorist activity?

[X] Yes [ ] No

Is the stressor related to personal assault, e.g. military sexual

trauma?

[ ] Yes [X] No

4. PTSD Diagnostic Criteria

---------------------------

Please check criteria used for establishing the current PTSD diagnosis. Do

not mark symptoms below that are clearly not attributable to the criteria A

stressor/PTSD. Instead, overlapping symptoms clearly attributable to other

things should be noted under #6 - other symptoms. The diagnostic criteria

for PTSD, referred to as Criteria A-H, are from the Diagnostic and

Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DMS-5).

Criterion A: Exposure to actual or threatened a) death, b) serious

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WARNING, LONG POST

I'll go ahead and clear the air here; I know this is going to upset a lot of Veterans that have been seeking a strong rating and have been denied. My apologies, I'm not trying to sound ungrateful here.

Here's the situation:

I am a full-time educator who has been working for several months (successfully). I was at a 50% PTSD rating for the the past four years, but recently went in for my re-evaluation. Terrified of the outcome and possible reduction, I went in prepared; I had my list of symptoms, I wrote down the worst days I've had recently, and I was open and honest with the evaluator. Today, I received notice that my rating for PTSD and depression has been raised to 100%.

The money would be nice. I have a family and am expecting another child soon, but I still don't want this rating.

I need to work. Structure and implied hierarchies rule my life. I have a routine that I daily and any deviation from this ruins the entire day. If they took my job away, I would genuinely lose it. . .

Here are the reasons I want to lose this rating:

1. I'm terrified of losing my routine and know full well that a new one wouldn't be good for me. The paycheck from the VA would be more than I could make at my job (teachers have a salary ladder) until about five years from now. If I have this much money coming in, I'll get stuck in a rut that I will never break free from.

2. I'm terrified about coming to grips with my condition. Yes, I have some problems. No, I don't think they are severe enough to warrant this decision. I'm able to work. I need to work. If I don't contribute something to the world then I'm lost. I know Vets who cannot function in daily society, and I'm not one of them. I don't want to take away from the people who really need this benefit.

3. I'm worried what others think. Yes, I know it's shallow, but I spend the majority of my time analyzing others. One of my conditions is that I've lost the ability to respond well socially; I'm emotionally numb unless I'm chemically altered. With a 50% rating, my friends, family (and possibly employers) think I've got a "little baggage." With 100%, I doubt they could ever look at me the same. Those that love me will question whether I'm going to do something drastic, and those who don't will judge me and may think I'm faking.

I'm grateful that the VA took the time and genuinely listened to me, but I think they're overdone it. Can anyone tell me how to rectify this situation? I don't want benefits I don't believe I'm entitled to. I don't want the VA to think I inflated my condition for profit, and I don't want to lose the one thing that keeps me from crawling into a hole (job).

How long can i continue to work before they come after me? I'd at least like to finish up the school year. If I break contract (even though it would be for good reason) I would really destroy my chances of ever teaching again. It's a small town, who would hire me after that?

Thanks for all the help.

I am 100% P&T for PTSD and had the same types of concerns so I called Human Resources. I was told I do not have to disclose my percentage and only have to say 30% or more. In addition I was told the Company has several people with 100% that ARE working. As long as you are not unemployable. So now I am in good shape financially for the first time in my life. No more stressing to meet the bills and spouse arguing about money is a big stress reliever and is helping with my mental health.

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If you read the rating for mental condition and also the CFR that goes along with them then you can still work. It is based on what is expected of the average person. However, if you work they may decide to reduce you if you dont show the same symptoms and show improvement. It does not say you have to quit working at all. I am having a hard time but I still continue working with a 100% rating. I just make sure and tell them the truth when they ask me questions. They know that I work so it is untrue to say that you cant work with a 100% scheduler mental rating.

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Posted (edited)

During Vietnam, I served with the Rangers which period originated my PTSD tho it had supplement help from other wars.  I encourage you not to petition to reduce your PTSD rating in that not only the financial support will be valuable to you but such a rating might save you from unemployment someday.  Doctors decided how severe your PTSD was and it may not always be that severe but you can bet, if it is chronic, you will have many reoccurrences during your lifetime and you may need the support if your teaching supervision want to let you go.  Also if you disclose your condition, someone may choose you the first to go in a budget reduction or downsizing. While the latter should not be done, it will be difficult to prove that "they" discriminated.  I have a 100% PTSD rating since 2013, w/Special Monthly Compensation since Dec 2015, with unemployability since 2002, 70% PTSD since 1990 and 10% PTSD since 1980.  Although I had a regular nonmedical retirement in 2002 and went on 100% the next day, my last few years of employment was stressful and not as productive as earlier.  First of all, it is no one's business in your employment hierarchy to inquire about your health problems or substance of your VA claim as long as you can productive handle your work.  If you can not satisfactorily do the work, then that is another matter but they may still be required to give you accommodation so you can remain employed.  I too was a college teacher in the evening for many years but in 1990 I noticed my mind not being able to recall the substance of what I had taught many times so I quit that job and I was also an Army reserve officer with excellent ratings until after my 20th year to qualify for retirement.  Because I had become overweight for the first time, I was sent for a medical board and the two repeated physical examination boards which both unanimously recommended that I be retired for PTSD.  But the Walter Reed disability retirement agency would not permit that and reduced my rating down to 10% and that forced me out.You may recall all the horror stories that the military faced from t3here about their discharges but mine was pre 9/11 and the military never tried to correct those injustices.   Nevertheless,I made it to my 30th employment year and retired from the civil service.  Now I generally remained silent about my PTSD for most of those years since I did not want to face discrimination and suspicion of being unable to do my work. PTSD through life comes and goes in up and down cycles.  Numerous times I disclosed my PTSD treatment when supervisors would know that something was not right in Dodge City with me.  I did not have to do that but when the supervisor sees you constantly going on sick call for an undisclosed medical appointment or if PTSD symptoms squeak out in the work day, there needed to be an explanation.  Also a few times I had to go for hospitalized treatment or had to have a doctor's note to take off a few weeks to recover.  They had a right to know why I did not show up for work.  Fortunately, I worked for some good people who I trusted and who unofficially accommodated me during some periods.  Still I was not always happy  when the people I served did not follow my advice since they discounted my "PTSD" opinions.  The first supervisor that I had to disclose to was a non-vet and someone who did not support me.  Thereafter the next job I disclosed when I was able to "hide out" at the job when I was in a PTSD slumber at work but I did outstanding work overall.  The next job I got mad when my EAP counselor disclosed my PTSD to my supervisor.  (Others were concerned about me)  I did disclose to my chief admin person working for me since he was a SGM in the Army and could help me through the periods.  Lastly, I was transferred from a job that was ending to another supervisor at another location by my higher chain.  They did not disclose tho I suspected wrongly that they did.  However, my last three years were barely functionable at times.  My last year I disclosed to my office that I was disabled from PTSD in a special meeting moderated by the EAP psychologist.  I did not make it to retirement before I was hospitalized for an extended period during which I did retire.  I am enjoying my retirement but I earned it.  I did have help from some pretty good people.

Edited by Sgt Savage
left out the word "it"

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