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Roly

What Have I Done?

Question

Background: Vietnam vet, '69-71. I was granted 30% for PTSD in 2008 , added to 10% tinnitus; and wrote a NOD to put the effective date back to where I started the process, and objected to the 30% as insufficient. I wrote in the NOD that the private C&P exam psychologist they hired was a dismissive and rude jerk, and further requested that if a new C&P exam was called for that they not send me to that individual. The effective date was put back to 6/2006, which I accepted. Before my year to assemble stuff was up, however, they wrote a denial for the 30% disagreement. I had just sent in supportive letters from my wife, my only long time friend, and the counselor I had been sent to by the local Vet Center, for a year, but they had not been reviewed before the denial was sent to me. Then I sent in a form 9 requesting a BVA review. I have been waiting for this to be scheduled, expecting a circuit BVA hearing in Seattle. So, I recently received a letter from Seattle Regional DRO saying that a private medical entity has been instructed to give me a new C&P exam, and that they hope to resolve my appeal in a fair and timely manner.

I had been assembling a bit of a rambling letter to the VBA going into why I can't face going back to work, am getting by on a minimal pension, and addressing PTSD symptoms as they apply to me, including suicidal ideation. I went to this second C&P with a different psychologist, and gave him these notes, as well as the earlier C&P report, the rambling letter that I had never sent to the benefits people, and the denial letter from them. He said, "Let me read this and I will continue with a phone conversation within the week." He called this morning with just a couple of questions about the stressor, and a recommendation that I get my VA doctor to switch me from Prozac to something called Pristiq, and that the original C&P seemed flawed to him, and that he thinks I suffer from anxiety disorder as well as PTSD. I said OK, thanks. Then this afternoon he called back and said he will mail me the report that he is sending to the VBA via QTC, and that in it he is recommending that I would benefit from INPATIENT TREATMENT for a MONTH. Oh Shit. Can these guys grab me for incarceration in their looney bin? This examiner's friend is the head of the PTSD department, or whatever they call it, at a VA med center, and the C&P examiner thinks I ought to go see him. Does this man want to help me, or is this a new tactic to get veterans disappeared, or, even, "Cured" to 0% disability?

WTF. Perhaps I should be afraid, very afraid,

Roly

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Treatment for a month will help you and your claim

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If you are experiencing "SI" (suicidal ideation), then he is doing you a favor by reccomending some intensive treatment and it is probably going to require some hospitalization.

They are just trying to help you get control of that aspect of your disease.

They know that they can't "cure" your PTSD, only control it, hopefully, but they know you'll never be cured.

They do NOT want you going suicidal on them, trust me on this, for there were 3 or 4 that did the deed at my local VAMC and, after the news media finally got through frying the staff THEN you can BET that EVERY VAMC throughout the land had been well versed in NOT letting a vet act out his suidical ideation.

And, if any organization SHOULD be well versed in PTSD care, it SHOULD be the VA...................they have had, after all, sufficient practice!

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The thing is your rating does not depend totally on a C&P exam. You might try and get an independent medical opinion to bolster your rating. The VA is not going to put you in the hospital based on a C&P exam. It sure would help your claim if you could stand it. Just don't tell them you feel better.

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I've been 70% SC for 11 years. I went to a Stand Down over the weekend, and the VA was there in the field with an "outreach counselor", Nurse. She was trying to recruit me for a woman's PTSD Inpatient in Palo Alto. I told her NO. I was NOT interested, that I would NEVER leave my child for that lenght of time. I told her to save me a bed, and when my daughter has graduated H.S., I would be happy to take 3 hots and a cot at the VA Hospital. This Nurse also asked if she could give me a "quick mental status exam" in the field. I told her "SURE, I will do my best". She was a good lady very likable, but I was sure to mention my near constant STRESSORS and how PO'd I was at the Stand Down because women vets were severely under-represented. Anyway ... later in the evening, the veterans had their own stand down with NO VA personnel --and we definately created SAFE SPACE without THEM there and really unloaded some of the rocks in our rucksacks --you know what I mean.

The VA gets TONS of money for PTSD research and they want to keep those beds FULL. HOWEVER, there are VA alternatives to inpatient TX ... so you could ask for some 1:1 or small group or vet center or private counseling, etc. You are going to need to keep some therapy going on if you want to file for an increase in %$.

Hang in there. ~Wings

Edited by Wings

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Thanks, Wings and you others,

I have been reassured that they won't grab me involuntarily. I think that the rest of the C&P report will support the rating improvement I was seeking. I will now just wait and see.

Thanks again Roly

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