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First Class Petty Officer
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bluevet last won the day on September 9 2015

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About bluevet

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    E-5 Petty Officer 2nd Class

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  • Service Connected Disability
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  1. Many psycholgical C&P examiners simply go down the list of symptoms on the DBQ, asking you what you do and do not experience. These include: Depressed mood, anxiety, suspiciousness, panic attacks, sleep impairment, memory loss, suicidal ideation, impulse control, ritualistic behavior, etc. Your responses to these questions are used to get a picture of your current level of disability. GAF scores are no longer in use in the field of psychology or at the VA. Raters decide your percentage based on severity and frequency of symptoms.
  2. Everyhting you've said is perfect in theory, however it simply doesn't happen that way. 99 out of a hundred times, when you file a claim, you are going to be scheduled for a C&P exam.
  3. Submitting a DBQ from a private doctor won't really speed up anything. What it will do is increase your odds of getting your claim decided in your favor, by a huge margin. The Va will almost always schedule a C&P ( to include a dbq). As it stands, the odds of a VA contracted C&P examiner providing a favorable exam or medical opinion is not very good. There are a great number of C&P examiners who; have no idea what the Va is even asking of them; do not understand what constitutes service connection; are totally hostile toward veterans; or are just plain incompetent. If you get a well written IME or IMO (depending on your needs) from a private practitioner, and submit it with your claim, you are very very likely to have your claim decided in your favor on the first round. The reason for this is simple. If the C&P exam fails to support your claim, but the IME/IMO you submitted does, the benefit of the doubt goes to the veteran. There are many who will tell you that the VA will apply more weight to the C&P examiner. This is simply not true. Unless the VA has a valid reason to question the credentials or opinions of your private doctor, the VA will almost always give your private Doctor's evidence equal weight or better. What really gives one doctor's opinion more weight than another's is how well reasoned and backed up by the records the opinions are. This is why you should seek IMEs/IMOs from doctors who have experience in providing evaluations and opinions for VA disability claims. Although you may run into a jackass of a rater who wants to give less weight to a doctor simply because you hired and paid him, this policy is not endorsed by the BVA and claims denied this way will almost always be overturned.
  4. Triman, When you file an FDC, you are simply certifying that you have submitted all available evidence with your claim. This allows the VA to avoid certain time requirements in processing your claim. For example, the VA's duty to assist requires them to seek any medical records that you identify for them and after they request them from a doctor or hospital, they must wait a specific amount of time before moving forward. By telling the VA that you have collected all of your evidence yourself and that you have no further evidence to submit, you are waiving these required waiting periods. This allows them to process your claim much faster, but an FDC is not always your best course of action. When the VA receives your FDC claim, they will still schedule a C&P exam for you, just like any other claim. This exam will result in a DBQ, so you don't need to send in one from a private doctor, but it's a good idea to have your own if you can. One real problem with FDC claims is that they put the VA rater under a lot of pressure to get your claim "completed" within 125 days. If they wait a month or two before scheduling your exam, and then the C&P provider is a little slow in returning the results, the VA will get your exam results at the same time that this target deadline is looming. Given the high number of C&P exams that are seriously flawed and need to be redone, this sets up a situation where the rater is often holding an exam that they know is "inadequate" to use in making a decision, but ordering a new one would negatively affect their own statistics on the completion time of FDC claims. This happens all the time! What do you suppose the rater does in scenario? They protect their own stats, by denying your claim and leaving it to you to jump into the 2+ year long DRO review or appeals line. I always recommend that veterans should not file FDC claims unless they have supporting evidence from a private source, such as an IME or IMO from a private doctor.
  5. Right. What you really need to do is to prove a nexus between your in service hospitalization and you current bipolar diagnosis. This really is not difficult to do at all. I was in the exact same boat as you. I was discharged from the Army 20 years ago after a 30 day psychiatric hospitalization. They also misdiagnosed me with the dreaded "personality disorder". This was no mistake. For decades, the Army dished this diagnosis out to veterans with mental health issues, preventing them from gaining access to the benefits that they are entitled to. I filed my claim for service connected bipolar disorder 2 1/2, which was denied. I got an IMO from a psychologist who is an expert in VA disability examinations. This was not cheap, but it was worth every penny! This was the single piece of favorable nexus evidence in my file. I just won my DRO appeal last week. 100% rating. If I were you, I would get my IMO before I even bother filing the claim. Submitting your nexus evidence with your "Fully Developed Claim", could very well get you benefits within a matter of months. If you want the name of the doctor who did my IMO, send me a private message.
  6. Spring, with all of the records that you have in your possession, as well the fact that you have been treated by the VA for the past 8 years, you are a perfect candidate to file an FDC claim. When you send in the claim, send in all of the non VA medical treatment records. You do not need to submit the Va treatment records, just identify on the application for benefits, the VA treating facilities where you have been treated. It wouldn't hurt to also include your personnel file if you have it. Also, include a Statement in Support of Claim with a similar explanation to the one you posted here. You don't need to go into detail, just point out, as you did above, what is supported by the record. You will likely receive a C&P to assess the severity of your symptoms, but you should not need to go into graphic detail regarding the actual trauma. If you can manage to explain things as you did above, you should be fine. If an examiner tries to probe for more detail than you are prepared to get into, it's OK to let them know that you're not comfortable talking about it at the moment. An FDC claim should get you an initial decision in about 125 days. It sounds to me that you have sufficient evidence on record to succeed. The worst they can do is deny you, in which case, you can choose at that point whether you want to invest in the appeals process. For now, just file your claim ASAP, you'll probably have an answer before your turn on the waiting lists for residential treatment even comes up.
  7. DIC benefits are handled through the VA pension center. There are 3 pension centers in the U.S. and the one in Milwaukee serves Indiana.
  8. Thanks Berta! Is there some way that I can send you a private message? Last time I tried to send you a PM, it wasn't allowed, but I have some info that I want you to have.
  9. No rating prior to this, but I have had Va healthcare for years.
  10. Received a call from the R.O. today. I've been awarded 100% P&T + Housebound benefits! It's been 2 1/2 years since I filed my claim for a single contention of bipolar disorder. Thanks to everyone here who contributed to my education on the inner workings of the VA disability claims process! I don't think that I would have ever understood how to overcome the "personality disorder" misdiagnosis and discharge had it not been for the veterans on this site. On the call, I was told to expect a retro payment of $92,000 to post to my account in 4 to 5 days. She also mentioned that there is an educational benefit for me as well. Honestly, I was expecting 70% so this decision has truly blown my mind. Anyone have anything that I should know about being 100% P&T?
  11. Your MH history is a bit unique in that you were retained in service for a year following a diagnosis of personality disorder/adjustment disorder. You are correct in that personality disorders are not typically compensable, however you also have a diagnosis of adjustment disorder. In some cases, chronic adjustment disorder is compensable but would require a continuity of symptoms following your hospitalization and a current diagnosis that is relatable to that event. Did you receive any outpatient treatment during that year following your hospitalization? You mentioned that you have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. When did you receive this diagnosis and are you currently being treated for bipolar disorder? I ask because bipolar disorder is compensable. Depression, mood swings, anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse are all symptoms and behaviors which can be attributed to bipolar disorder. A current diagnosis and ongoing treatment for bipolar disorder, along with a medical opinion that what you experienced in service was a bipolar event, mischaracterized as a personality disorder, is a very winnable claim.
  12. I agree with andyman. Something doesn't seem right. Particularly, that the newly scheduled exams are with the same doctors. I can not think of a scenario where this would be appropriate. If one of your C&P exams was lacking something, I could see a new one being ordered, however If the Va just wanted additional information from an examiner, it wouldn't normally require you to be re-examined. If these exams are being conducted by one of the contractors (QTC for example) I would call them and inquire. If these exams are through the VA, I would call Peggy.
  13. ReelnRod, Since your discharge in 1990, have you received a diagnosis for any MH disorder? Have you had any contact with any MH providers?
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