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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims


    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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Moving My Primary Care


I am getting therapy at a Vet Center and it has been decided that I should take medication to get thru this process..to get the medication I need to change my primary care to this local VA clinic... if I change my primary care to this facility will it in any way cause my PTSD claim (applied for in a different state different area) to be slowed down or am I over thinking this..don't want to go back north to the COLD but if a change in any way will slow my claim ...thanks for your thinking....

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It shouldn't affect anything bud. Your file may just be late, to follow you to your new location.

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that is what I am getting at...does the the claim file follow me to the new area where it may go to the bottom of the pile...it is not the end of the world to go back north... it is just that the therapist I am working with has been very helpfull...

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Two reasons a file would move. One if you request it while a claim is going and two if you need and exam the current RO will forward to new regional office of jurisdiction. So if you had your exams you should be ok IMHO. If they need an exam it will be forwarded or clarification of exam it will be forwarded. Jmho

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  • Similar Content

    • By John Galt
      Have a question.  I was investigated by the IG.  No charges filed, but were substantiated.  This ended the career.  I have developed several mental health issues because of this.  Long story on the investigation that I do not want to get into but looking for advice.  
      1. Can I put in for PTSD on this?
      2. Or should I put in for MDD/Anxiety?
      This condition has led me to a couple of suicide attempts, and massive other health issues.  I am seeing a shrink and therapist weekly.  This issue will affect the rest of my life and all future employment opportunities.  The investigation was such BS and over something that is so small that I get so angry and depressed over it.  What is the best strategy for approaching this to the VA.
    • By Togore101
      Hello everyone I am new to the site. And I recent submit a the dbq for an increase for my PTSD and I trying to understand it but im just not getting it. So I figured would ask you all. Below is what the examiner put in the record.
      Review Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
      Disability Benefits Questionnaire
      Name of patient/Veteran: =========
      Is this DBQ being completed in conjunction with a VA 21-2507, C&P
      [X] Yes [ ] No
      SECTION I:
      1. Diagnostic Summary
      Does the Veteran now have or has he/she ever been diagnosed with PTSD?
      [X] Yes [ ] No
      ICD Code: F43.1
      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):
      No response provided.
      3. Differentiation of symptoms
      a. Does the Veteran have more than one mental disorder diagnosed?
      [ ] Yes [X] No
      c. Does the Veteran have a diagnosed traumatic brain injury (TBI)?
      [ ] Yes [ ] No [X] Not shown in records reviewed
      4. Occupational and social impairment
      a. Which of the following best summarizes the Veteran's level of
      and social impairment with regards to all mental diagnoses? (Check only
      [X] Occupational and social impairment with reduced reliability and
      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
      of the occupational and social impairment indicated above is caused by
      [ ] Yes [ ] No [X] No diagnosis of TBI
      Clinical Findings:
      1. Evidence Review
      Evidence reviewed (check all that apply):
      [X] VA e-folder (VBMS or Virtual VA)
      [X] CPRS
      Evidence Comments:
      DATE OF NOTE: MAR 05, 2018
      CHIEF COMPLAINT: "same old same old"
      Veteran is here for 6 week follow up for PTSD, Alcohol Use Disorder,
      unspecified, episodic. At last appointment, low dose venlafaxine was
      added, aripiprazole, prazosin, and melatonin were continued.
      He reports symptoms are about the same. His wife is pregnant with twins,
      so he is trying to minimize arguments at home. He worries he will not be
      able to connect with the babies, because he struggled so much with his
      daughter and points to her persistence as the reason they are close now.
      He see no change in sleep, remains irritable, and more hypervigilant due
      To recent car break ins on his street. He has cut down on drinking, and
      denies any binges since last appointment. He continues to have fleeting
      SI, but denies intent. He often has thoughts of hurting others, but
      strongly denies acting on the thoughts. No recent hallucinations. He
      does talk to himself when he is trying to work something out, but denies
      hearing voices other than his own. It can be embarrassing as coworkers and wife
      have caught him.
      DSM 5 Diagnostic Impression
      Alcohol Use Disorder, Unspecified, episodic
      1. Decrease irritability and anger- does not interfere with home or work
      life more than one time per month, ongoing, improving
      2. Improve feeling of connection with others- enjoying and developing
      relationships, ongoing, no change
      3. Decrease avoidance of social situations/crowds- can tolerate Wal Mart,
      enjoy outings with family, ongoing, no change
      4. Improve sleep- no difficulty falling asleep, sleep 6 to 8 hours
      nightly, ongoing, worsening
      reviewed records and discussed options
      - increasing venlafaxine to 75 mg
      - continuing aripiprazole, prazosin, and melatonin
      - suggested individual supportive counseling at the Vet Center after Dr.
      Bhatia leaves.
      - monitoring labs at next appointment
      - Will continue to follow closely. RTC 6 weeks/PRN
      2. Recent History (since prior exam)
      a. Relevant Social/Marital/Family history:
      Last C&P PTSD DBQ May 2016
      Lives in Moncks Corner, SC with wife of 9 years and daughter age 4.
      Daily routine: Lay down for bed 2100. Will fall asleep 2300. Wake
      frequently. "I have to do certain things to calm down. I need my
      gun next to me. I have to check the house make sure its locked. Make sure
      the alarm is on. If I hear something, it wakes me right up and I have
      to check it out." +Nightmares, night sweats. "Sometimes
      I'm swinging and yelling and talking in my sleep, so my wife leaves for a different
      room. I wake up and she's not there and it freaks me out."
      melatonin for sleep, prazosin for nightmares. Abilify for PTSD.
      Diagnosed sleep apnea by sleep study in 2013, prescribed CPAP and is
      Relationship with wife: "We almost got divorced a few times. She
      didn't understand what was going on. She started reading up on it. The whole
      reason I went to mental health was because of her."
      Relationship with daughter: "She is scared of me. She has seen me
      Snap a few times. She is on guard. She doesn't know if I'm going
      to be up or down. She is my heart. She is the only thing that makes me feel
      normal." Will watch cartoons and read books together.
      Hobbies: play basketball, go to gym "but now I just sit in the
      House watch TV or just in the room." Likes anime.
      Support: father "he's been with me through everything."
      And is Veteran
      too, wife "but there is a wall there where I don't open
      b. Relevant Occupational and Educational history:
      Working for passport services for 3 years. "Its rough at times.
      There's a lot of people in there. They had to move my seat because I'm
      too jumpy. They moved it so I'm not around a lot of people. It is hard
      to focus. I have to use sticky notes. They have been pretty supportive.
      I've had good supervisors." Was counselled about days missing
      for work; "I had a blow up at my co-workers so they spoke to me about
      that." Miss 2-3 days per month. "When I get to work, I drive around the
      Building and if I see something I don't like, I just go home."
      Military history: E4, MP, Separated 2014, Honorable, Served about 6
      c. Relevant Mental Health history, to include prescribed medications and
      family mental health:
      Mental health treatment with prescriber and therapist. No history of
      hospitalizations. Was in group therapy "but I didn't like it."
      d. Relevant Legal and Behavioral history:
      "When I was in Japan I got us into trouble because of my alcohol
      abuse. I got into a car accident and hit 3 cars." Was sent to ADAP for
      anger and PTSD. A month ago got into a physical altercation with sister's
      boyfriend "I laid hands on him. So then I went to a hotel room and stayed there and
      then I went on a drink binge."
      e. Relevant Substance abuse history:
      Alcohol - "I abused it really bad. My PCM said it was affecting
      My liver." Was drinking4-5 25 oz beers, drink a bottle of liquor over
      The weekend. Now will drink 1-2 beers.
      Tobacco - 2-3/day
      Denies other substances.
      f. Other, if any:
      Current reported symptoms:
      Anger: "I black out and become very violent. I knock TVs off
      walls. My wife was ready to leave me."
      Triggers: "foggy day and rain." "Ignorant and stupid
      Social avoidance.
      "If a car is behind me too long, I start to think he is following
      me. There is a particular truck that I know and he gets too close to me. I
      got sick of it and one day I followed him home. I didn't do
      anything, but I blacked out mad. I knew I needed help."
      Flashbacks - "I was shopping with my wife, and this guy had a
      turban on his head and I thought I was back there. Its constant, its all the
      Hygiene - "My wife got on my because I went a week without washing
      And I didn't even realize it."
      Suicide - "I thought about driving into traffic at the light. One
      Time I sped up and got on railroad tracks when a train was coming. I
      thought, what am I doing? I went into store parking lot." Reports
      this occurred 2 weeks ago. "I keep a picture of my daughter in the car
      to keep me from [doing it]."
      3. PTSD Diagnostic Criteria
      Please check criteria used for establishing the current PTSD diagnosis. The
      diagnostic criteria for PTSD, are from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual
      of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5). The stressful event can be due to
      combat, personal trauma, other life threatening situations (non-combat
      related stressors). Do NOT mark symptoms below that are clearly not
      attributable to the Criterion A stressor/PTSD. Instead, overlapping
      symptoms clearly attributable to other things should be noted under #6 - "Other
      Criterion A: Exposure to actual or threatened a) death, b) serious
      c) sexual violence, in one or more of the following ways:
      [X] Directly experiencing the traumatic 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] Dissociative reactions (e.g., flashbacks) in which the
      individual feels or acts as if the traumatic event(s)
      were recurring. (Such reactions may occur on a continuum,
      with the most extreme expression being a complete loss of
      awareness of present surroundings).
      [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
      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
      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)
      the following:
      [X] Persistent and exaggerated negative beliefs or
      expectations about oneself, others, or the world (e.g.,
      am bad,: "No one can be trusted,: "The world is
      dangerous,: "My whole nervous system is permanently
      [X] Persistent, distorted cognitions about the cause or
      consequences of the traumatic event(s) that lead 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.
      [X] Persistent inability to experience positive emotions
      (e.g., inability to experience happiness, satisfaction,
      loving feelings.)
      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)
      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] Reckless or self-destructive behavior.
      [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] The duration of the symptoms described above in Criteria
      B, C, and D are more than 1 month.
      Criterion G:
      [X] The PTSD symptoms described above cause 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.
      4. Symptoms
      For VA rating purposes, check all symptoms that actively apply to the
      Veteran's diagnoses:
       [X] Depressed mood
      [X] Anxiety
      [X] Suspiciousness
      [X] Chronic sleep impairment
      [X] Mild memory loss, such as forgetting names, directions or recent
      [X] Flattened affect
      [X] Impaired judgment
      [X] Disturbances of motivation and mood
      [X] Difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances, including work or
      worklike setting
      [X] Suicidal ideation
      [X] Impaired impulse control, such as unprovoked irritability with
      of violence
      [X] Neglect of personal appearance and hygiene
      5. Behavioral observations
      Veteran was open and forthright with no evidence of exaggeration or
      feigning symptoms. Affect blunted. Minimal eye contact. Speech regular
      rate, tone, volume. Thought process linear, logical, goal directed.
      Thought content absent for delusions, hallucinations, paranoia or HI.
      Endorses SI with no active plan, but drove car onto train tracks last
      week. Discussed safety, crisis line, Veteran has MHC appointment next
      week. Veteran reports safety to return home today.
      6. Other symptoms
      Does the Veteran have any other symptoms attributable to PTSD (and other
      mental disorders) that are not listed above?
      [ ] Yes [X] No
      7. Competency
      Is the Veteran capable of managing his or her financial affairs?
      [X] Yes [ ] No
      8. Remarks, (including any testing results) if any:
      PCL-5 score 72, indicating probable diagnosis of PTSD.
      Veteran continues to meet criteria for PTSD. He reports social
      withdrawal, sleep problems, memory problems, irritability, anger that is both verbal
      and physical, suicidal thoughts. He has work accommodations because of
      his PTSD symptoms. He misses several days of work a month because of his
    • By bc0311
      I'm new to this site, and somewhat novice with claims as I've ignored them since my discharge in 2012, but I have some questions that I've yet to find answers for that hopefully someone can help me with:
      In a nutshell, my story is I did my four years, two hellish combat tours to Afghan, got out in 2012, immediately filed my claims for a few disabilities like back and shoulder issues and got a 40% rating total. I've since not looked back as none of that concerns me. My issue now is that I was sent to a mandatory PTSD screening during one of my visits that year, and the examiner kind of went about the thing blase, and although I did tell her most of my traumatic experiences, she gave me 0% for "Combat PTSD not related to military service" as it says in their justification, whatever that means. I don't think they even attempted to listen to me as my experiences were extraordinarily traumatic and have been a detriment to my mental health and quality of life since. And yet I now have an effective date of a PTSD claim from day of discharge 6 years ago for 0%, says it right on eBenefits. I think you know where I'm going with this...
      After 6 years of dealing with a slew of issues related to PTSD, I decided this week to start looking into trying to re open the case. My questions for you are.... Would I be entitled to any back pay if I could prove that I've suffered from PTSD since then, and that they made their original decision in error? And if so, how could I go about receiving the exact paper work / medical records from that one specific screening I had in 2012? I've looked everywhere and I don't really know how to navigate either of these situations... 
      Thanks a lot!
    • By tazntaylr
      I have been working with a VSO to file my claim. I am currently in the process of gathering information. Only thing, file for MST with PTSD or file PTSD. VSO was hung up on the sexual part of MST.
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    • By anxiousinMD
      Hello and TYIA for any responses and for reading my long post.
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    • By hawkfire27
      Please delete
    • By Stick Slinger
      I was never diagnosed in service with OSA. I weigh 220 and I am 6' tall. I am rated at 70% for PTSD and the meds I take add to the OSA. I had my personal Dr. and the Psychiatrist I see both write letters to support that the meds I take add to and cause the OSA. My Dr filled out the DBQ and sent it in as well. I had a failed sleep study results sent in  with my claim. I also have documentation I sent it that back up the fact that OSA is tied to PTSD and is aggravated by PTSD. Then sleeping with the prescribed CPAP machine adds to the PTSD. Just curious if anyone has ever won this claim? I am going to appeal but wanted to get any advise here first if someone has any to share.. not sure if there is anyone who has gone this route before and won?
    • By kent101
      I see now the VA is using ecstasy on Veterans saying it helps cure mental illness. Ecstasy causes some major brain damage. The VA Hospital forcefully did lobotomies on 2000 WW2 Veterans and ruined their lives.
      Roman Tritz’s memories of the past six decades are blurred by age and delusion. But one thing he remembers clearly is the fight he put up the day the orderlies came for him.
      “They got the notion they were going to come to give me a lobotomy,” says Mr. Tritz, a World War II bomber pilot. “To hell with them.”
      The orderlies at the veterans hospital pinned Mr. Tritz to the floor, he recalls. He fought so hard that eventually they gave up. But the orderlies came for him again on Wednesday, July 1, 1953, a few weeks before his 30th birthday.
      This time, the doctors got their way.
      The U.S. government lobotomized roughly 2,000 mentally ill veterans—and likely hundreds more—during and after World War II, according to a cache of forgotten memos, letters and government reports unearthed by The Wall Street Journal. Besieged by psychologically damaged troops returning from the battlefields of North Africa, Europe and the Pacific, the Veterans Administration performed the brain-altering operation on former servicemen it diagnosed as depressives, psychotics and schizophrenics, and occasionally on people identified as homosexuals.
      The VA doctors considered themselves conservative in using lobotomy. Nevertheless, desperate for effective psychiatric treatments, they carried out the surgery at VA hospitals spanning the country, from Oregon to Massachusetts, Alabama to South Dakota.
        Roman Tritz talks about the scars from his lobotomy.  
      The VA’s practice, described in depth here for the first time, sometimes brought veterans relief from their inner demons. Often, however, the surgery left them little more than overgrown children, unable to care for themselves. Many suffered seizures, amnesia and loss of motor skills. Some died from the operation itself.
      Mr. Tritz, 90 years old, is one of the few still alive to describe the experience. “It isn’t so good up here,” he says, rubbing the two shallow divots on the sides of his forehead, bracketing wisps of white hair. 
      The VA’s use of lobotomy, in which doctors severed connections between parts of the brain then thought to control emotions, was known in medical circles in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and is occasionally cited in medical texts. But the VA’s practice, never widely publicized, long ago slipped from public view. Even the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says it possesses no records of the lobotomies performed by its predecessor agency.
      Musty files warehoused in the National Archives, however, show VA doctors resorting to brain surgery as they struggled with a vexing question that absorbs America to this day: How best to treat the psychological crises that afflict soldiers returning from combat.
        Between April 1, 1947, and Sept. 30, 1950, VA doctors lobotomized 1,464 veterans at 50 hospitals authorized to perform the surgery, according to agency documents rediscovered by the Journal. Scores of records from 22 of those hospitals list another 466 lobotomies performed outside that time period, bringing the total documented operations to 1,930. Gaps in the records suggest that hundreds of additional operations likely took place at other VA facilities. The vast majority of the patients were men, although some female veterans underwent VA lobotomies, as well.
      Lobotomies faded from use after the first antipsychotic drug, Thorazine, hit the market in the mid-1950s, revolutionizing mental-health care.
      The forgotten lobotomy files, military records and interviews with veterans’ relatives reveal the details of lives gone terribly wrong. There was Joe Brzoza, who was lobotomized four years after surviving artillery barrages on the beaches at Anzio, Italy, and spent his remaining days chain-smoking in VA psychiatric wards. Eugene Kainulainen, whose breakdown during the North African campaign the military attributed partly to a childhood tendency toward “temper tantrums and [being] fussy about food.” Melbert Peters, a bomber crewman given two lobotomies—one most likely performed with an ice pick inserted through his eye sockets.
      And Mr. Tritz, the son of a Wisconsin dairy farmer who flew a B-17 Flying Fortress on 34 combat missions over Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe.
      “They just wanted to ruin my head, it seemed to me,” says Mr. Tritz. “Somebody wanted to.”
      Counting the Patients
      A memo gives a partial tally of lobotomized veterans and warns of medical complications. A note about documents:
      Yellow highlighting has been added to some documents. The names of patients not mentioned in these articles have been redacted, along with other identifying details. All other marks are original.   The VA documents subvert an article of faith of postwar American mythology: That returning soldiers put down their guns, shed their uniforms and stoically forged ahead into the optimistic 1950s. Mr. Tritz and the mentally ill veterans who shared his fate lived a struggle all but unknown except to the families who still bear lobotomy’s scars.
      Mr. Tritz is sometimes an unreliable narrator of his life story. For decades he has meandered into delusions and paranoid views about government conspiracies.
      He speaks lucidly, however, about his wartime service and his lobotomy. And his words broadly match official records and interviews with family members, historians and a fellow airman.
      It isn’t possible to draw a straight line between Mr. Tritz’s military service and his mental illness. The record, nonetheless, reveals a man who went to war in good health, experienced the unrelenting stress of aerial combat—Messerschmitts and antiaircraft fire—and returned home to the unrelenting din of imaginary voices in his head.
      During eight years as a patient in the VA hospital in Tomah, Wis., Mr. Tritz underwent 28 rounds of electroshock therapy, a common treatment that sometimes caused convulsions so jarring they broke patients’ bones. Medical records show that Mr. Tritz received another routine VA treatment: insulin-induced temporary comas, which were thought to relieve symptoms.
      ‘Anxious to Start’
      The VA hospital in Tuskegee, Ala., asks permission to perform lobotomies. To stimulate patients’ nerves, hospital staff also commonly sprayed veterans with powerful jets of alternating hot and cold water, the archives show. Mr. Tritz received 66 treatments of high-pressure water sprays called the Scotch Douche and Needle Shower, his medical records say.
      When all else failed, there was lobotomy.
      “You couldn’t help but have the feeling that the medical community was impotent at that point,” says Elliot Valenstein, 89, a World War II veteran and psychiatrist who worked at the Topeka, Kan., VA hospital in the early 1950s. He recalls wards full of soldiers haunted by nightmares and flashbacks. The doctors, he says, “were prone to try anything.”
    • By FAVet777
      Thanks for reading this. I have been trying to find all the information that I can about getting re-examined. So I thought I would start here and I did my research on here. I am rated at 70% for PTSD with Major Depression Disorder long with a few other claims that rounds out to 80%. Ill mostly be disscussing my mental health award and not the others Since the that is my highest rating. My benefits where awarded in July of 2017 as far what e-benifits shows. that was my backpay date. In my award letter that I got in the mail it states for all my conditions even tinnitus that "since there is a likelihood of improvement, the assigned evaluation is not considered permanent and is subject to a future review examination". First let me state that I am beyond grateful of my award and I do not wish to try to try to increase my ratings or bring any attention to my file or profile with the VA. I am content with where I am at. I go to the VA every two weeks for my 1 on 1 with my Mental Health provider. So I am knocking out two birds with one stone as far as getting my treatment and showing the VA that I am seeking treatment. 
      Now...What are the circumstances of me getting Re-evualutated? Is it the luck of the draw and I might get randomly selected? I know plenty of people with lower ratings that are not TDIU or P&T that have been rated for over 4-5 years with no exams what so ever. Consider me being paranoid but I want to be Pre-emptive. Especially since my award letter clearly states that ALL my conditions "is subject to future review examination". When would the VA see that my condition has improved if it did? Would they get an alert from the VA Hospital that I am doing better? Or would it would it arise if i get selected for a review and they review my medical records? Like I said earlier im contempt at 80% and more than anything I just want to stay out of sight out of mind on the VA's raters radar and continue my treatment in peace. 
    • By Broken Cat
      I am in the process of putting together a claim package for mental health issues related to MST.  Try as I might, I cannot find a VSO with experience in my situation.  It's taken me years to accept that I need help and that I need to address this once and for all, so when I say that I cannot handle doing this twice (submitting a sub par claim and then doing appeals) I really mean it. From day to day, I vacillate between thinking my problems are actually other people's inability to cope OR feeling like there is no point to me and that I'm a burden.If it weren't for the whole not being able to pay bills and risking alienating my kids for all eternity, I'd be perfectly content letting the world turn while I hang out at home and being maladjusted and mean.
      In my perfect world, there would be a check list of things to submit for a fully developed claim. On this checklist, there would be a list of key phrases or high points that would help sway the decision makers into awarding adequate compensation. I haven't been able to find anyone that has had success doing this with a case like mine.  I have police reports from the MST.  I have trauma counseling records and AD medical records that clearly state a d/x for PTSD related to rape on X date. My counseling sessions identified dissociation behaviors, PTSD, and anxiety. One doctor even noted that I was combative and stated that I wished harm on my attackers. 
      Obviously, the Navy handled this clear cut case of rape, with evidence and my complete cooperation, like they do any scandal.  They buried it and came after me.  That might be a secondary stressor, but I've been warned that claiming a secondary stressor could hose up everything and to keep my mouth shut?  kind of amazing that the advice that is meant to help, sounds a lot like the advice that sent me careening out of control all those years ago.
      Anyhow, I survived, got married, got out, and went in and out of counseling.  Over the years, I've been diagnosed with PTSD, Chronic Depression, Chronic Adjustment Disorder, Agoraphobia, Generalized anxiety Disorder, and Dissociation Disorder.  I don't trust military medicine or the government, so most of my counseling was done through non-profit organizations and women's shelters. They're so secretive, that I felt it'd be safe to tell them what I went through and my statements wouldn't end up in the Navy's summary of Mishaps... again. So, I don't really have records of those, except for prescriptions that were reported to Tricare.   I do have my civilian medical records. It has page after page of doctors complaining that I broke down, was combative, emotional etc, etc.  I do have a few sessions with shrinks at MTFs in the last couple years. They were not keen on actual diagnostics, they just gave me the pills I asked for.
      I'm shopping shrinks to assess me and give diagnosis. I'm not sure I need a nexus letter, but I'm thinking it wouldn't hurt.  I have a letter from my ex boss describing how my work performance plummeted over the years and how he made accommodations to keep me on. I also have a letter from me, describing my bad days and my rituals to get through them. My husband and his best friend were witnesses to the fallout of my rape, in terms of the military's response to me.  They can verify in statements that I did report it and go into counseling. They can also verify that I'm socially isolated and very codepenedent on them to meet new people or get involved in activities.  I don't have a single friend that they didn't make for me, first.  I do not know how to people. I don't have friends from work. I don't have "my own" friends from church. I don't even have people who like me well enough, and include me in things, without my husband and his best friend acting as intermediaries.  
      oh, I also have the most recent sentencing transcripts for the ringleader of my attackers.  The judge stated that he felt this dude was unrepentant and a monster. He cited his past sex crimes, "both in the record and that didn't make it to trial" and his history of convincing others to help him conceal his crimes.  If that's not a shout out from the bench, I don't know what is.

      Anyhow, I guess my question is, has anyone here done a fully developed MST claim with multiple bullet points for anxiety, phobia, ptsd, and depression, and get 100% or at least, a high enough rating to qualify for unemployability?  Without having to go through appeals and lawyers?  Was a police report enough, even if the military dropped it?  Should I give the C&P my evidence, letters, and my personal statement too? I'm sure I have 1000 more questions,  but I'm mostly looking for someone who has done what I'm trying to do.
    • By nova
      New here. Found the community through google. I'm still learning to navigate the site, so please bear with me. Searching got me in the right direction but not close enough.
      I was recently diagnosed with Service connected PTSD through the VA. I have not done a C&P exam yet. On the same day I was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea through a VA sleep study. I've read that there is a slim chance to connect my sleep apnea as a secondary to my PTSD. My VA psych Dr said they aggrevate each other, but a pulmonologist opinion would have more power than his. I've seen some advice from other members talking about letter templates, DBQs and supporting articles. However, I haven't been able to find them here. 
      I've scheduled a civilian Dr. appointment with a pulmonologist in about 2 week and would like to come prepared with any information I can.
      Any help would be greatly appreciated. 
    • By kent101
      I'm reading this VA Citation :NR 1231506 and the VA is saying that because a Veteran with PTSD is getting improvement from his psychiatric medication, that he's showing less symptoms because of it, that he is having his rating reduced from 70% to 30% for PTSD. The VA did reverse the reduction at the BVA. Is this still something to worry about? At a C&P exam does the Veteran have to make it clear that the medication is the reason for improvements and needed to sustain them?   
      Citation NR: "
      An October 2009 VA medical record reflects that the Veteran reported that the medication he had been prescribed helped with ability to be out in public and that, while leery about being around people, he could go out in public much more easily. His mood overall was good, and he indicated that he continued to enjoy dining out with his wife and stopping by the VFW to socialize with friends. The examiner assigned a GAF score of 76-80".  
      Over at Veteran's Law Blog it says
      "As an example, say a Veteran has been able to service-connect Irritable Bowel Syndrome (DC 7319).
      Undiagnosed, the symptoms of IBS might be a component of Gulf War Illness
      With prescribed medication, our hypothetical Veteran’s condition moderates from a severe form of the disease to a milder form.
      The severe form of IBS is rated at 30% and the moderate form of IBS is rated by the VA at 10%.
      Let’s say the VA gives the Vet a rating of 10%, claiming that the Veteran’s medication limits her symptoms.
      Is that 10% rating correct?
      No . The Diagnostic Criteria in the VA Rating Schedule for Irritable Bowel Syndrome does not specifically list the effects of medication.
      Therefore, the VA is not allowed to consider the relief it provides when determining the degree of disability.
      Has this happened to you?
      When have you seen the VA use “improvement due to medication” as an excuse to give a lower rating"?
    • By PAR
      I filed a claim for PTSD back in 2014 and then had my C&P. At the C&P the outside VA examiner asked multiple questions and focused on my upbringing (which was good) and my Father almost insinuating that my MST really is from my Father. When I left there I was completed traumatized because of the line of questioning and that he didn't even ask about my military time and shortly after I was denied. At the same time I had already been diagnosed by my VA Mental health Dr and through a MST coordinator. I got the denial shortly after and because I was so upset just did nothing since I didn't want to go through it again. I still went to the VA for treatment and then 2017 I requested an increase for my TBI. They scheduled a C&P and I went and the VA this time and within 4 weeks I was went from 10% TBI to 70% for TBI/PTSD making my overall rating 100%.  A few days ago,  I received my narrative and  I immediately requested my original claim of PTSD reopened requesting an effective date change to my original claim that was denied . My question is that because I did nothing from 2014-2017 will they deny or is there anything I can do to have my effective date changed since the first C&P went so wrong.
    • By MF6
      I separated from active duty service in the Air Force with in 2010 and had undiagnosed non-combat military connected PTSD with alcohol use in remission (According to my VA disability paperwork which puts me at 50% for ptsd.) This was granted the beginning of last year. I recently put in to have my discharge upgraded to honorable from general and have yet to hear back from them. (E-benefits say maybe I'll hear about it early February 2018.)
      There were a few selfmedicated incidents with alcohol that happened while I was active duty that resulted in going into a civilian rehabilitation facility, a perscription to an antidepressant, and a lot of suicidal ideation I recently admitted in my paperwork to the review board that I was afraid to admit to my command because they would do things like write someone up for a sunburn (destruction of government property), or purposefully keep spouses apart by writing one up for something they didn't do and keep them from going during their significant others' PCS (because someone else did it to them for five years and "they turned out fine"(There was no way to prove otherwise.)).
      I was recently reading about medical retirement from the military. It's a little confusing. I was wondering if there was a way to submit for reconsideration and medically retire from the military after separation?
    • By Tbird
      The following is the index with links to the various Training and Fast Letters plus a few miscellaneous. These letters are not necessarily in the original formatting. I have tried to present them in an easy-to-read form instead of some forms as originally presented. Some of the paragraphs were WAAAAYYY too long. lol - HadIt.com Member fanaticbooks Something to be aware....Some of these letters may be rescinded, outdated, or otherwise no longer viable. I have still included them because sometimes they provide additional insight or just plain more information than the newest version. Use them wisely. The oldest letters will display at the bottom with the latest letters displayed at the top, all in sequential numbers. Coding of the letters... FL = Fast Letter TL = Training Letter First two numbers = last two digits of year of origin
      Training Letters
      TL 10-07 Adjudicating Total Disability on Indiv. Unmploy. (TDIU) TL 10-06 Adjudicating Herbicide Exposure, U.S. Navy/Coast Guard, Vietnam TL 10-04 (NEHMER) Re-adjudication of Claims for Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD), Parkinson‟s Disease (PD), Hairy Cell Leukemia (HCL) and other Chronic B-cell Leukemias, and other Diseases Under NEHMER (June 14, 2010) TL 10-03 Environmental Hazards in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Military Installations (April 26, 2010) TL 10-01 Adjudicating Claims Based on Service in the Gulf War and Southwest Asia (February 4, 2010) TL 09-01 Evaluating Residuals of Traumatic Brain Injury under Revised Criteria (Currenhttps://community.hadit.comt as of 25 MAR 2010) TL 07-04 Medical Consequences of Diving (July 5, 2007) TL 07-01 Total Disability Ratings Based on Individual Unemployability (IU) TL 02-04 Training letter on intervertebral disc syndrome (October 24, 2002) TL 00-07 Cardiovascular disabilities (July 17, 2000) TL 00-06 Training letter on diabetes mellitus and its complications (July 17, 2000) Fast Letters
      FL 10-46 Processing Awards Involving Voluntary Separation Pay (October 28, 2010) FL 10-42 Guidance on Rating Dental Conditions (October 12, 2010) FL 10-39 Adding Dependents Without Claims Folder Review (Sept. 15, 2010) FL 10-35 Modifying the Development Process in Claims for Hearing Loss and/or Tinnitus (Sept. 2, 2010) FL10-34 Disability Benefits Questionnaires -- They pertain to the disabilities related to herbicide exposure that are part of the proposed Agent Orange regulation: Ischemic Heart Disease, Hairy Cell Leukemia and other B-cell Leukemias, and Parkinson's Disease. (Sept. 2, 2010) FL 10-32 Removal of Certain Co-Signature Requirements and Ordering Specialist Examinations (September 1, 2010) FL 10-30 Substitution of Party in Case of Claimant's Death (August 10, 2010) FL 10-26 Revisions to 38 C.F.R. § 3.317 to clarify the Meaning of "Medically Unexplained Chronic Multi-system Illness" Related to Gulf War and Southwest Asia Service (July 21, 2010) FL 10-25 Corroborating Military Sexual Trauma (MST) Using DD Form 2910, Victim Reporting Preference Statement, or Similar Forms (July 15, 2010) FL 10-24E1 Pre-Discharge Program Form applicable to any and all conditions claimed prior to your release from active duty. (companion to FL 10-24) FL 10-24 Updated Pre-Discharge Veterans Claims Assistance Act (VCAA) Notification in view of U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Federal Circuit) Decision in Vazquez-Flores and Schultz v. Shinseki (June 29, 2010) FL 10-22 Fully Developed Claim Program -- Fully Developed Claim (FDC) Program to process claims meeting FDC Criteria within a 90-day timeframe (June 15, 2010) FL 10-04 Final rule: Presumptive Service Connection for Former Prisoners of War (FPOWs) (January 11, 2010) FL 10-02 Implementation of Board of Veterans' Appeals Decisions (January 6, 2010) FL 09-52 Verification of Participation in "Special Operations" Incidents (December 9, 2009) FL 09-50 Procedures for handling disability claims based on herbicide exposure for hairy cell and other B-cell leukemias, Parkinson's disease, and ischemic heart disease. (November 19, 2009) FL 09-33 Special Monthly Compensation at the Statutory Housebound Rate (July 22, 2009) FL 09-27 Final rule: Presumptive Service Connection for AL Amyloidosis (June 5, 2009) FL 09-25 Special Monthly Compensation at the "k" Level for Eligible Women Veterans (June 4, 2009) FL 09-21E2 Enclosure Two - Summary of Regulatory Amendments (companion to FL 09-21) FL 09-21 38 C.F.R. Parts 1, 14, 19 and 20 Accreditation of Agents and Attorneys; Agent and Attorney Fees; Final Rule (May 13, 2009) FL 09-20 Developing for Evidence of Herbicide Exposure in Haas-Related Claims from Veterans with Thailand Service during the Vietnam Era (May 6, 2009) FL 09-17 Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation Claims (March 27, 2009) FL 09-10E1 Enclosure 1 -- Changes in the Eye Rating Schedule (companion to FL 09-10) FL 09-10 Final Rule: Schedule for Rating Disabilities; Eye (February 13, 2009) FL 09-09 Re-adjudication of Claims for AL Amyloidosis (ALA) and Other Diseases Under Nehmer (February 12, 2009) FL 09-07 Haas v. Peake -- This letter contains guidance for adjudicating cases affected by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decision in the case of Haas v Peake. (February 6, 2009) FL 09-06 Appeals Resource Centers (January 29, 2009) FL 09-05 New Notice and Development Paragraphs for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) Claims. (January 27, 2009) FL 08-41 Special Temporary Procedures in Response to October 2008 Records Incident Purpose (November 14, 2008) (Concerning Shredding) FL 08-38 Survivor Benefits Claims Consolidation Procedures (November 3, 2008) FL 08-36 Final Rule: Schedule for Rating Disabilities; Evaluation of Residuals of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) (October 24, 2008) FL 08-34 Revised Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Worksheet (October 10, 2008) FL 08-33 Updated Audio Compensation and Pension Examination Worksheet (October 10, 2008) FL 08-31 Interim Final Rule: Presumption of Service Connection for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Rescinds Fast Letter 01-100, Call Up and Identification of Cases of Gulf War Veterans with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)/Lou Gehrig's Disease, dated December 19, 2001. (October 7, 2008) FL 08-26 Vazquez-Flores v. Peake and New Veterans Claims Assistance Act (VCAA) Notification Requirements (Sept. 16, 2008) FL 08-23 Pension Consolidation Procedures (July 22, 2008) FL 08-20 Benefits Delivery at Discharge Expansion and Pre-Discharge Claims Consolidation (July 2, 2008) FL 08-12 Overview of Changes in Evaluation of Visual Impairment Made by Public Law 110-157, the Dr. James Allen Veteran Vision Equity Act of 2007 (May 14, 2008) FL 08-10 Update on Disability Examination Worksheets -- Audio, Genitourinary, and the new TBI disability examination worksheets (April 17, 2008) FL 08-08 Additional Guidance on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), (April 7, 2008) FL 07-27 Claims from veterans who served aboard the USS Ingersoll (DD652), (December 28, 2007) FL 07-07 Final Rule: Accrued Benefits (March 29, 2007) FL 07-10 Revised Disability Examination Worksheets--Revised disability examination worksheets for Audio; Ear Disease; Hand, Thumb and Fingers; Feet; Mental Disorders; Eating Disorders; Esophagus and Hiatal Hernia; Intestines; and Stomach, Duodenum, and Peritoneal Adhesions (April 24, 2007) FL 07-06 Overview of changes made to title 38, United States Code, by the Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006 (Pub. L. No. 109-461) (March 27, 2007) FL 07-01 Claims Processing for Military Retirees Entitled to Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) and/or Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay (CRDP) (January 22, 2007) FL 06-28 Hartness v. Nicholson--This letter contains guidance for adjudicating special monthly pension (SMP) cases where the veteran is 65 years of age or older. (December 22, 2006) FL 06-25 Clarification of DeLuca Guidelines for Compensation and Pension Examiners (November 29, 2006) FL 05-08 Handling PTSD claims based on stressors experienced during service in the Marine Corps. (June 7, 2005) FL 04-13 Relationship Between Immunization with Jet Injectors and Hepatitis C Infection as it Relates to Service Connection (June 29, 2004) VHA Directives
      VHA DIRECTIVE 2010-045 Introduction Of Disability Benefit Questionnaires (Dbqs) To Support The Compensation And Pension (C&P) Process (October 1, 2010) VHA Directive 2006-013 Qualifications for Examiners Performing Compensation and Pension (C&P) Mental Disorder Examinations (March 7, 2006)
      Best Practice Manual for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Our picks

    • I have a 30% hearing loss and 10% Tinnitus rating since 5/17.  I have Meniere's Syndrome which was diagnosed by a VA facility in 2010 yet I never thought to include this in my quest for a rating.  Meniere's is very debilitating for me, but I have not made any noise about it because I could lose my license to drive.  I am thinking of applying for additional compensation as I am unable to work at any meaningful employment as I cannot communicate effectively because of my hearing and comprehension difficulties.  I don't know whether to file for a TDUI, or just ask for additional compensation.  My county Veterans service contact who helped me get my current rating has been totally useless on this when I asked her for help.  Does anyone know which forms I should use?  There are so many different directions to proceed on this that I am confused.  Any help would be appreciated.  Vietnam Vet 64-67. 
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      Claims Process – Your claim can go from any step to back a step depending on the specifics of the claim, so you may go from Pending Decision Approval back to Review of Evidence. Ebenefits status is helpful but not definitive. Continue Reading
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    • I was rated at 10% for tinnitus last year by the VA. I went to my private doctor yesterday and I described to him the problems that I have been having with my sense of balance. Any sudden movement of my head or movement while sitting in my desk chair causes me to lose my balance and become nauseous. Also when seeing TV if there are certain scenes,such as movement across or up and down the screen my balance is affected. The doctor said that what is causing the problem is Meniere's Disease. Does any know if this could be secondary to tinnitus and if it would be rated separately from the tinnitus? If I am already rated at 10% for tinnitus and I could filed for Meniere's does any one know what it might be rated at? Thanks for your help. 68mustang
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    • I have a 30% hearing loss and 10% Tinnitus rating since 5/17.  I have Meniere's Syndrome which was diagnosed by a VA facility in 2010 yet I never thought to include this in my quest for a rating.  Meniere's is very debilitating for me, but I have not made any noise about it because I could lose my license to drive.  I am thinking of applying for additional compensation as I am unable to work at any meaningful employment as I cannot communicate effectively because of my hearing and comprehension difficulties.  I don't know whether to file for a TDUI, or just ask for additional compensation.  My county Veterans service contact who helped me get my current rating has been totally useless on this when I asked her for help.  Does anyone know which forms I should use?  There are so many different directions to proceed on this that I am confused.  Any help would be appreciated.  Vietnam Vet 64-67.