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lp56

Second Class Petty Officers
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About lp56

  • Rank
    E-4 Petty Officer 3rd Class

Previous Fields

  • Service Connected Disability
    PTSD
  • Branch of Service
    Army

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  1. lp56

    BVA Grant

    You are right about the VARO denying service connection, but the BVA did just overturn that decision. The scenario you gave is so depressing and discouraging. I can see how they hope you go away after reading your post. I know 6 years waiting is not long in comparison to many others I've seen on this site, but I was so hoping this was almost over for me. I just had a feeling they wouldn't be happy with a BVA reversal. I wonder how many vets die before their claim is finally settled. I am going to hang on to some hope because I always felt the DRO who initially did my NOD hearing was very sympathetic to me; she sent me to a 2nd C&P and gave me guidance to be honest like I was with her. The main problem is that the examiners wanted to focus on nonservice connected issues instead of service connected. Plus, I never had the nexus in my medical records until I was in the BVA appeal stage. I think if that was in my records during the first or even second C&P exam, I would have been awarded service connection back in 2010 or 2012. In the meantime, I will try to prepare myself in case I have to go for a 3rd exam. Thanks.
  2. lp56

    BVA Grant

    After almost 6 years of appealing my claim for PTSD due to MST, I finally received a favorable BVA decision in yesterday's mail. Nothing in the paperwork I received tells me what happens next, except that my file will be returned to my VARO and that I'll be getting a survey call about my experience with the BVA. I can't bear the thought of yet another C&P exam, but is that the next step to getting a rating? My last exam was in 2012 and the two exams I did have through this whole process were the worst triggers of all. Can't they just look through all my records and make a rating decision? That may not make sense since the VA had all my records and denied me anyway. They conceded my condition, but they were black and white on the nexus. Once one of my doctors wrote the missing nexus in my medical records, I had everything they required. Does the VARO get ticked off when their ruling is overturned by the BVA? Do they have the last laugh by lowballing them? WIll they try and rate me low starting off so I have to keep appealing over and over? So far this doesn't feel like a victory yet and this battle feels far from over. I really want to feel good (or great) about this BVA win, but since I have no idea of what happens next, I feel a lot more anxious and stressed instead of feeling happy and relieved. As usual, thank you in advance for any information, advice or encouraging words about what happens next.
  3. Thank you Dot09. I will post my win in the success topic and I will certainly research the P&T option. To me, the CaP exams were always the worst triggers because neither of my examiners were the least bit sensitive to how they were damaging me even further.
  4. After almost 6 years of appealing my claim for PTSD due to MST, I finally received a favorable BVA decision today. Nothing in the paperwork I received tells me what happens next, except that my file will be returned to my VARO and that I'll be getting a survey call about my experience with the BVA. I can't bear the thought of yet another C&P exam, but is that the next step to getting a rating? My last exam was in 2012. Does the VARO get ticked off when their ruling is overturned by the BVA? WIll they try and rate me low starting off so I have to keep appealing over and over? This battle feels far from over. I really want to feel good (or great) about this BVA win, but since I have no idea of what happens next, I feel more anxious and stressed instead of feeling happy and relieved. As usual, thank you in advance for any information, advice or encouraging words about what happens next.
  5. I am so glad I read this post. I am in the process of my MST claim, but I haven't spoken a word of it to anyone. None of my family even know what happened to me when I was in the Army. For some reason I still feel totally ashamed and even guilty for what happened to me and I certainly don't want anyone asking me questions. I have often thought what I would say when my disability claim is finally settled. I really like Dark Angel's suggested response and the comments others left about it not being anyone else's business. Maybe because I have had such a long, hard battle fighting the VA, I just don't want anyone else judging me either. I definitely want to have control of what others know about me, so I will do what Andyman73 said. I will be in charge of my own story when it comes time. This is all good advice bassrunnin. Reading your question and the string of advice from others really helped me as well. We can do this!!!
  6. I just got home from my long awaited BVA videoconference hearing. I waited almost 3 years for the hearing, so waiting 4 hours for my turn with the judge seemed like a blink of an eye. The hearing went exactly like I have read it described. The big differences in this hearing and the De Novo Review is that I had someone else represent me who seemed like they really wanted to help me. The other crucial difference was that this time I had the NEXUS the VA required. No doctor just wrote their medical opinion on their own, I had to ask for one. I had an abundance of alternative evidence, a diagnosis of PTSD and even a consession from the VA that I suffered from MST. Even with all that, I didn't have the nexus. Well, today at the hearing the judged said he wasn't a doctor and he asked me if I ever received a medical opinion that linked my PTSD to MST. Once I told him yes and said it was in my medical records, he pretty much ended the hearing because he said it wasn't necessary to put me through any more of a difficult and sensitive hearing. I so appreciated the sensitivity of the judge and my representative today. I had 2 C&P exams and always requested a female examiner, but they were more biased, adversarial, and judgemental then I could ever have imagined. Although neither examiner could give their medical opinion on the cause of my PTSD, they wrote things in their report that insinuated my PTSD was linked to another trauma in my life, well AFTER my service. Know what your SOC is saying, what evidence you are missing, have a good rep who believes you and don't give up. I still have to wait for a final decision, but I am hopeful for the very first time in this long and difficult journey. I learned a lot from this site and received much encouragement and advice, so I thank you.
  7. I really appreciate the encouragement, advice and information I have received. Its hard to keeping going when you feel all alone fighting a system that seems determined to make you go away.
  8. I am calling it new evidence because the medical records I found the doctor's opinion in were written one year "after" I submitted my BVA appeal. If I hadn't asked for a copy of my own records, I wouldn't have known the opinion was there myself. For two years I have been waiting on the appeal and felt like I had submitted all the evidence I had. I don't specifically recall authorizing the VA to see my records, but was told they do have access. Does anyone think the VA would have gone through my records as thoroughly as I did to find the doctor's opinion? I honestly don't know how thorough they are when looking through medical records. Members of unit were all male and would not be helpful since many were offenders.
  9. I took my medical records showing the opinion of the VA MH doctor to my VA Rep today and she filed a VA Form 21-4138 claiming I had new evidence to be considered regarding my appeal. My rep said she couldn't access my claim today in VACOLS, so I came away with no update in the status of my appeal. Can anyone tell me what will happen with the new evidence I submitted?
  10. Thank you as well and for responding to me. You are very fortunate you had a nice and patient C&P examiner. I had a female examiner also, but there was no attempt to make me feel at ease whatsoever during the entire exam. Basically my VA MH doctor has also disagreed with the examiner, but I am just now seeing that documented opinion in my records. I made copies of my records today and will take them to my rep this week. Because I haven't had my BVA appeal yet, I was hoping I could send this new evidence to the RO without adding more years to my wait.
  11. The MST was not documented on active duty. Only documentation of complaints or request for transfer is no where to be found. VBA does acknowledge MST occurred and acknowledges PTSD diagnosis. However, the C&P examiner did not link the two together and thus the claim was denied. The C&P examiner tried to connect other non-service traumatic events to PTSD, but still conceded couldn't conclusively say service connected MST caused PTSD. This is first instance a VA doctor gave an opinion linking the two together; the critical piece that was missing in my claim.
  12. I have been waiting for 2 years on a BVA appeal of my PTSD claim due to MST and have accepted the fact that I may still have to wait for some time to come. I am having to appeal because the C&P doctor could not conclusively state there was a connection between my PTSD and the MST I suffered in service. When I went for an appt. last week, I stopped to get a copy of my medical records that were dated AFTER I submitted my paperwork for the BVA appeal. As I read through my records, I came across an entry by my VA psychiatrist in 2013 that's says, "A lengthy review of her records shows the patient has for years reported symptoms, signs, memories, dreams, intrusive thoughts, etc. all related to MST and documented in her chart. In a 1/27/10 note when first seen in the clinic she reported a history of MST. In notes, pt reports symptoms of related to MST and described rape and sexual harassment. In other notes, pt was advised to seek inpatient therapy for MST and numerous notes since then reflect ongoing issues with MST and attempts to work thru these issues in individual therapy with psychologist, groups, and psychopharmacology. In my opinion, the MST reported by veteran is very likely the largest traumatic events leading to her PTSd and may be the precipitating event for later traumas. Veteran would indeed benefit from inpatient treatment and is now showing signs of readiness to fully participate in therapy." Have I just found the missing nexus in my medical records? If so, what do I need to do regarding my BVA appeal? I am represented my my states veterans group. I am hoping with this new evidence, I can send it to my RO and not go through another tortuous appeal. I appreciate any advice on what to do next.
  13. About a month ago I received a letter from Director Murphy telling me to contact my local VA regional office if I would like my PTSD claim reviewed to determine entitlement to service connection. The letter stated that a new review will determine if any evidence was overlooked and that participation in a VA examination may be required. The instructions given were to submit the enclosed VA Form 21-4138 and indicate that I would like to have my PTSD claim based on MST reviewed. I am really afraid to get my hopes up over this new development, but I sent in my request for a new review just the same.
  14. Yesterday I received a letter from my RO stating that although my claim for PTSD was denied, that claims for PTSD based on MST are being reviewed in an effort to assist Veterans. A new review will determine if any evidence was overlooked. Participation in a VA examination may be reviewed. I am instructed to contact my local VA RO if I would like my PTSD claim reviewed to determine entitlement to SC. For my convenience, I was sent a VA Form 21-4138 and instructed to indicate that I would like my PTSD claim based on MST reviewed. The letter also tells me I can submit additional evidence from family or fellow service members to support my claim. The letter was from Thomas J. Murphy, Director of Compensation Service. In Jan 2013 I filed a BVA appeal, but it looks like my file is still at the RO according to eBenefits. Does this letter mean that the RO will look at my claim one more time to determine if any evidence was overlooked and possibly get another C&P exam even though I was already denied twice by the RO? What will this do to my BVA appeal that is already in progress? I would really appreciate any thoughts on this letter and what it really means. I am so afraid to get my hopes up, but so much attention has been made concerning MST and the claims denial rate by advocate groups like SWAN and members of Congress, that I want to believe this is a genuine effort by the VA to fix a long overdue problem for victims of MST.
  15. Thank you so very much Carlie. I thought it was so wrong that my own VA doctor wouldn't honor my request for her medical opinion reagarding my PTSD due to MST after treating me for 3 years. If I am reading 4d(2) of this directive correctly, my doctor must place a descriptive statement in my medical record regarding my current status of existing medical condition, disease, or injury, including prognosis and degree of function since I requested it. This statement may then be requested by VBA for the purposes of making a claim determination. For my appeal, can the VBA request my doctor to provide a medical opinion on my condition, especially since I have a letter showing that I asked for one? I don't hold much hope that my doctor will write an opinion, especially since she told me she couldn't add anything in my records that wasn't already there.
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