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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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Weight of a Private Professional Psychologist Medical opinion


What weight would a private psychologist have on my claim for PTSD. The VA keeps ducking saying it was due to childhood trauma. I am trying to get them to admit it exasperated any preexisting condition. I had a Top Secret Clearance from 92 to 96 and would (back n those days) NEVER received it with any hint of mental issues. I feel if I can get a professional to say this into my medical record I might have a fighting chance. I have been denied twice I think. Link for so many of us it has been a long journey... 


Also does anyone know of a Veteran friendly Private Psychologist in South West Florida? 

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Unfortunately, the VA does "not" recognize a PTSD diagnosis by anyone but those on their payroll.    We dont have to like this, we just have to play by VA's rules or not at all.    The VA makes it clear, here, the "Golden Rule" applies.  You know, the one with the gold makes all the rules.  And, the VA has the gold, we dont.  

Now, if you have a PTSD diagnosis by a VA doc, I think you can get a nexus statement from your private doctor.  

Im not sure if this position VA is taking has been "tested" in court or not, you are welcome to hire a lawyer and get him to challenge VA's position that a PTSD diagnosis has to be made by a VA doctor.  The VA's position is unprecedented, and likely unjustified.  Unfortunately, they have about 500 lawyers on staff ready and waiting to defend any position the VA takes no matter how anti Veteran, or anti human it may sound.  They would likely fight you to the Federal Circuit on that.  


Source:  Unfortunately, I can not locate my source right now..I just remeber reading it and Im almost sure Berta confirmed this...that VA takes the position that no one can diagnose PTSD except VA docs.  

Edited by broncovet

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I will guess the reason Va can and does do this is because THE VA largely has control over our records, AND, an "in service stressor" must be verified.  (The VA has "backed off" the verification of stressor for "combat" Vets).  

This gives VA an opportunity to "lose" your records, and thus your stressor, in order to save the VA money.  

VA's newest way of "shredding" your records is to simply drop them in another Vets file, where they lay undiscovered sometimes indefinately.  This way, if the VAOIG comes checking the shredder bin, they say, "No evidence in the shred bin, it looks like you are clean".  This occurred because of what VA calls the "October" (2008) incident, where VAOIG, suprisingly did their job for a couple months and reported about 5 RO's had Vets evidence "in appropriately" in the shredder bin.  

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The July , 2010 PTSD regulations state that the PTSD diagnosis must come from a VH MH professional.

However, if a veteran does not lock themselves solely into a PTSD claim, and raises other MH issues, 

that is when an IMO might be of some benefit.

"The scope of a mental health disability claim includes any mental health disability that could reasonably be encompassed by the claimant's description of the claim, reported symptoms, and the other information of record."  Clemons v. Shinseki,

23 Vet. App. 1, 5 (2009).

Under Clemons V Shinseki, other vets have had their MH issues service connected, and have been able-if needed , to provide an IMO on MH issues other than PTSD.

Still all MH issues regard a service nexus.

If you can scan and post the last denial you got as to their Reasons and Bases, maybe we can help more.

The New 2010 PTSD regulations are available under a search.

Only 600 or more ( two or three of  us here) along with vets, vet lawyers ,and vet reps,  commented in disagreement with  the new VAMH professional requirement when the rule was published in the Federal Register.

I guess if hundreds more vets commented on that the regulations , the VA MH requirement might be different by now.



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I checked for my denial letter(s) and it would seem those went with my ex in the ceder chest. I do recall that there was not enough supporting information for them to make a judgement and commented that it was less than likely. Short story, we had a fire on board my ship pier side. While combating it I feel into the flames and my safety equipment did its job, but I thought I was going to die. I recall coming to later in a side compartment with (what I assume was a medic) giving me a once over saying I was fine and they needed back up on the line. No information was documented in my medical record, The only reference I can find was a newspaper article . I have requested ships logs but they were of no help because they do not account for individuals hurt. I helped various persons overcome by smoke and helped load them into ambulances. So All I have as evidence is the fire in a ships log, a newspaper article, and my word. I have tried to reach out to various buddies for buddy letters but to no avail (found out later that they are more or less useless from an attorney).

Information from my medical records follows 

3. Medical opinion for direct service connection
a. [ J The claimed condition was at least as likely as not (50 percent or
greater probability) incurred in or caused by the claimed in-service
injury, event , or illness. Provide rationale i n section c.
b . [XJ The claimed condition was less likely than not {less than 50 percent
probability) incurred in or caused by the claimed in-service injury,
event, or illness . Provide rationale in section c .
c. Rationale: Veteran meets DSM-IV criteria for PTSD. Veter a n' s symptoms
are secondary to childhood physical abuse at the hands of his
stepfather and an incident where he was choked by a juvenile
inmate (after discharge from the military) . Veteran sought
mental health treatment in 2004 after the incident where he
was choked . Veteran presented to the VA again in 2012, now
reporting PTSD symptoms secondary to a ship's fire in the
Navy . Veteran reported in 2012 that he had been having
nightmares about this fire since 1993. Veteran did not
report any such symptoms/nightmares secondary to a Navy ship's
fire when he was seen 8 years earlier in 2004 . As veteran's
reports of his symptoms are inconsistent, I think it is less
likely than not that veteran has PTSD related to his conceded
military non-combat experience .

There are inconsistencies in my record. First I was not molested by my stepfather it was two cousins... 

I never really had an issue with my PTSD and the fire till my mother died in a fire and I had to go to the location to answer questions from the fire marshal for the investigation. The sites and smells, along with the closeness of how I could have met my fate is what broke me. 

Hope this helps. 

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Thank you for your service.  

How long ago was your mothers death in the fire and did you seek treatment soon after that?  Depending on that could help you I would think.  If in your treatment records soon after your mothers death you are mentioning also the ship fire that would seem to provide a link between the two events I would think.

I am fairly new here but it seems to me that link between triggering your memories of the shipboard fire and thus bringing out PTSD might be important.  How that is documented may play a part in how your case was decided.  Again I'm new here and inexperienced in the VA ways so hopefully some of the more seasoned posters can provide more information.



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      All VA Claims questions should be posted on our forums. Read the forums without registering, to post you must register it’s free. Register for a free account.

      Tips on posting on the forums.

      Post a clear title like ‘Need help preparing PTSD claim’ or “VA med center won’t schedule my surgery” instead of ‘I have a question’.

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      Use paragraphs instead of one huge, rambling introduction or story. Again – You want to make it easy for others to help. If your question is buried in a monster paragraph there are fewer who will investigate to dig it out.

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