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Claim For Depression

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I am trying to determine if I have a claim for depression. Last year due my back and knees (80%) worsening I applied for IU still waiting to hear but I have been approved for SSD. Over a month ago I had appointment with a VA Doctor Due to a serve skin condition. The doctor thought at the time it was an allergic reaction to something after a month of medications and changing my food habits and detergents nothing changed. Two week ago, I had my follow up with the VA Doc and know she believes it could be anxiety/ depression and she put me on Fluoxetine which seem to be helping. All my life I have been working and I have seen many 6/12 though out the last 20 years and I will I admit that it has been very hard for me not to be able to work. My question is although I am 80% for my back, knees and foot all service connected can I applied for depression and if so what type of evidences due I need in order to win my claim? And help would be grateful

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4 answers to this question

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Evidence needed will be proof that you do suffer from depression and that it is secondary to your S/C condition. A doctors' diagnoses of such will do- most likely the R/O will see the claim as plausible and set up C&P exam.

Issues that can cause you some problems.

1. From your statement, it seems that this not fully acknowledged as depression but rather a "we'll throw the darts at it an see if we hit the target". In which case you will definitive proof that you do have depression.

2. How did the depression come about- hence connecting it to your S/C conditions. Is there any other reasons for the depression like financial problems or a divorce. From reading your comment, I would say that loosing your ability to be productive (due to the S/C conditions) might be something related.

3. Perhaps the biggest road block could be the amount of time that you have been living with depression. Have you had signs and symptoms of depression longer than a month? So people go years without seeking treatment or having a doctor refer them to a mental health specialist.

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If a doctor states that your depression is secondary to your SC conditions, the VA will service connect it as secondary.

However-the IU claim- does the VA know you were approved for SSA yet?

Was the SSA award for the exact same conditions that are now SCed?

If so that SSA award will definitely help the IU claim.

Send VA the award letter as evidence and also send them a signed authorization form (they should be found at the VA web site) so they can get the SSA records.

The depression/anxiety diagnosis- is she a psychiatrist?

The diagnosis has to be solid-I just saw poolguy's reply and he is right on here-

The skin condition- could this be side affect from anything else the VA gives you?

If the skin problems return they might have to rule out depression.

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First, I would like to thank you guys for the help. No, the doctor is not a phsychatic but rather a regular VA family Doc. My problem started over a year ago and I you’re right I don’t know if that is long enough for a claim. Although, I am experiencing other problems I listed the skin condition because it is a big one. Again thanks

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You would be better off making a claim for depression as secondary to your accepted back and knee claims. You want to phrase it probably as depression due to chronic pain and disability due to a SC condition. Your doctor has to spell that out and explain the nexus between your current depression and your chronic medical conditions. You should have a psychiatrist do that.

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