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Everything posted by hemipepsis5p

  1. "To achieve it, it has to be established that you're prevented from any occupation because of your SC disability" I thought that was just for TDIU, which I don't have. What if my psychiatrist says I can be rehabilitated? What if I get an IMO to boost that? I'm fine with trading the 100% rating for Voc Rehab if that has to happen, I'm not meant to live on this shit because my goal in life is to help other Veterans. I'm also 30... Thanks everyone for the responses so far.
  2. "when threes a will threes a way!" I absolutely agree 100% Buck! "Being in voc isn’t an indication of getting better until you complete it, so that shouldn’t be an issue." Right, but I'm at 100% and I'm going to go in and tell them I feel great because they're definitely going to want to know if someone at 100% is well enough to go to college, especially since I failed out before due to the bipolar disorder.
  3. Hi everyone! So I have bipolar disorder, and I've made massive progress in my wellbeing in the last 6 months from diet/exercise and tons of self-help books and a Bipolar Life Skills program. Anyway, I feel great, and have for months and months now, and I feel like I'm ready to go back to school and finish my degree (in psychology) and try to get higher education so I can help other Veterans out of depression (I want to be a psychologist, the Psy.D route). Anyway I'm at 100% right now for my bipolar disorder, and I'm getting re-rated in like 2 years. I have 1 month left on my 9/11 GI Bill, which isn't enough for me to finish my degree (I have 2 years left). I'm aware that I have to put in for Voc Rehab before using my last month of benefits in order to get the higher Voc Rehab BAH rate. So my question is, if I call up Voc Rehab and say "Hey I'm feeling well enough to do school again and work and I want to be a psychologist and help other Veterans get their lives together" will the Voc Rehab people immediately schedule me for a re-evaluation? Don't get me wrong I want to get off of this disability stuff but if Voc Rehab is going to pay me only the BAH for the school's zip code, that is not enough for me to live on without a roommate (I'm 30) or some other source of income, not even close, like, the BAH is 3k per month, and the cheapest studios around the school (within a 45-minute drive one way) are $1200, and there are so many people applying for the apartments that unless you can show you bring home an income that is 3x your rent (in this case $3600 per month), they won't rent to you. I already tried to move there on my current monthly income (3k) and I got no responses. Living on campus is possible but would be a nightmare as I would have to spend 4 months out of the year living with my 62 year old mom and my stepdad in a cramped little house. It's just not realistic. I know for a fact they wouldn't let me live with them for 4 months out of the year. Even when I was homeless they were only going to let me stay there for 1 week until I got into a VA housing program. It especially wouldn't work if I wanted to take summer courses because the dorms are closed during the summer and my family lives in another state. I also wouldn't be able to maintain my current extremely-healthy diet because no cooking is allowed in the dorms (no hot plates or toaster ovens). I eat very specific health-food recipes and mealprep 3-4 days at a time. The dining facility at the college is okay but is incompatible with my superfood diet. I checked to see if the school has off-campus school-sponsored housing but they don't have any. Anyway, I could absolutely make it work even if I'm bumped down to 50%, but if they put me at 10% or something I'm going to have to get a job when I'm going to school which would be too hard for me to do while getting the grades I need to get into a Psy.D program. Transferring schools to a cheaper area isn't much of an option because my transcript is so awful right now that no one else will take me. Will Voc Rehab set my BAH to 3x the studio rent for the area so I can get an apartment? I can hear you laughing now, I've dealt with the VA, I know the answer is probably "Yeah sure, when pigs fly." Thanks for any help!
  4. I have formally filed a claim, and no this wasn't from a C&P exam, it was from my very first phone call with my local VA to set up a mental health screening. The notes do however contradict the notes in my C&P exam, which has me worried.
  5. Hello, So recently I called the VA to make a mental health appointment. Up to now, I had been using a private psychiatrist, but now I'm dirt poor so I have to rely on the VA. Well, I called them up to make the appointment and the lady (turned out to be an RN) asked me, "Okay, so, any thoughts of suicide, any self-harm, stuff like that?" I took that to mean recently, as in, am I in a dire state right now. I answered "no" because I haven't had any of that going on in the last few months. The records I looked at state that she asked that to determine how soon I should be seen. It was then signed off on by a psychologist. So I was right about the whole "dire state" thing, right? When I read my records however, the entry said, "Have you ever had thoughts of suicide? No." "Have you ever engaged in self-harm? No." That is not what I was asked! Both of those are completely wrong! Those questions were not asked! Instead, her question was phrased ambiguously. I also needed transportation to the VA, and she said "We don't do that but maybe I can get you some help" and gave me two phone numbers, and nobody answered either one. I then googled it and found the transportation person for my local VA (different phone number) and had a ride scheduled within 10 seconds. Can I include this as evidence of her incompetence? I'm about to submit my claim for a decision (but not until this is taken care of). How should I handle this? Should I put in a statement in support of claim mentioning this? - Phil
  6. Hello, So a while back, the VA sat down to decide my claim, but the DAV rep who signed my claim was apparently no longer certified or something, so the VA erased my claim. As in, I checked E-Benefits and it was no longer there. Erased. Zero. So, I e-mailed my DAV rep (who barely even apologized) and he had me send him a new EZ claim submission form. So I did. So, my new claim is currently visible in E-Benefits, however under the "documents uploaded for this claim" tab, there is nothing there. Now, the VA is requesting documents from me about any private medical care I received. I already uploaded everything that I had. Should I try to get more, because if I don't, they'll deny me? Also, I called the claims hotline twice, and each time was told that documents that I upload to E-Benefits for my claim are automatically entered into my C-File. How long does that take? Is it immediate? I just wanted to check here that that is the case, because I am getting ready to hit the "Request Claim Decision" button and if my C-File has been wiped and I get denied or have to wait another year, HAHAHA! So, should I be good to go? It has only been 3 weeks since my claim was erased, and I don't have any new documentation. Best regards, Phil
  7. Hello all, So I uploaded a personal statement with my claim, and have since hit the "Decide Claim Now" button on E-Benefits. I would like to take down my personal statement because I'm nervous it downplays my symptoms. Is there a way to take my uploaded file down? I haven't been able to figure it out. Best regards, Phil
  8. Congratulations bro! I know you've been sweating bullets about your claim lately. I'm so glad to see that things turned out in your favor and everything is going to be okay! Best regards, Phil
  9. Hello all! So I was browsing around E-Benefits a few days ago and came across my digital C&P exam on my BlueButton list. The Doctor checked the "Total social and occupational impairment" box. What are the odds of that translating to me getting a 100% rating? Thanks for any and all help. - Phil
  10. I've got no idea what's going on, but that's lightning fast. How did everything work out for you?
  11. He didn't give a disability percentage, just the probability of service-connection at 100%. He's a private psychiatrist.
  12. @Buck52 @broncovet @Hamslice I have a nexus letter where my psychiatrist checked the 100% box for service-connection probability. Sorry I didn't include that in my main post. Thanks to all of you for giving me some kind of ballpark to work with. I hope you all have a good week.
  13. Hello all! So the long and short of my story is that I have bipolar disorder. My doctor checked 100% service-connected (diathesis-stress theory and all). I can't drive after 7pm and try not to drive after 6:00pm due to medication side effects (clumsiness from Seroquel and confusion from Lamictal). In the last 2 years, I have probably driven after 7pm about 10-15 times. I tried switching to Vraylar and it was gosh-awful. I mean, you know, people here know. The worst... Anyway, I have failed out of school for the last 4 semesters despite being of average smarts. I have lost 2 very good friends due to my manic states (one was my best friend for 8 years, the other was my 2nd best Army buddy). During the Winter I am usually totally "combat ineffective", as in I can barely leave the house, and do laundry every 3 weeks (instead of every week) and shower every 3 days. I also go for groceries probably every 5 weeks instead of every 3. I am submitting my claim through the DAV and my doctor has checked off deficiencies in: "work, school, family relations, thinking, mood" on one of their special forms. Anyway, I know, it's just a lot of wah, wah, wah on my part (and I'm sorry to the vets who are straight-up paralyzed), and don't get me wrong, I am very lucky to not be a Vietnam vet who has been wronged, or a vet who has lost both both arms... but, can anyone guess what my rating will be? I will not hold it againstanyone even remotely. My C&P exam is on Wednesday and I am pretty anxious. I expect to hear my rating in about 3 months. I think I will be placed at 70%. Any "wake up calls" or advice is welcome. Best regards, Hemi
  14. TALON II FE "Is there some advantage to a PTSD diagnosis vs something else?" Probably not. In fact, PTSD is considered treatable and some people even make full recoveries from it (and that's honestly really good news). But in terms of a rating, PTSD is not considered as chronic as bipolar disorder, if my memory is correct. I was thinking in terms of having everything that is wrong with me documented on paper, so I can obtain specific treatments for it all, and in case it gets worse later, but I think I wasn't properly understanding how the VA rates mental disorders. My new understanding is that I only have to have one mental disorder diagnosed, and then the symptoms of all the other disorders just fall under that disorder for rating. So in other words, if I experience hypomania/mania (unique to bipolar disorder), and avoidance of, say, war movies because it's traumatic for me to view the footage of people being wounded because it reminds me of the death of a brother of mine, even though those symptoms are both clearly due to different disorders, the VA will just rate me for bipolar disorder and then take the PTSD symptoms into account without diagnosing me with PTSD. That's completely at odds with the modern practice of psychiatry. In fact, differentiating between disorders with medical certainty is what makes a great psychiatrist. So, the VA's position on rating mental disorders is just plain wrong here, if they think they can't tell the difference between, say, compulsive hand-washing behavior to the extent that the patients fingernails fall off and, say, a manic episode where the patient blows $20,000 in savings on two failed business ventures and new, very sexually suggestive clothing, feels fully rested on 2 hours of sleep per night for the last 3 weeks and ends up getting arrested for trying to break into the Whitehouse to tell Obama their grand plan for ending world hunger. The symptoms of those disorders so obviously suggest OCD and bipolar disorder (specifically, bipolar 1) that it infuriates me that the VA says they can't tell them apart. Sorry for my bit of ranting.
  15. Gastone, My records aren't all at the VA yet because I have a bunch of private records. I've started my claim on eBenefits; I'm filing a FDC like you said. I'm meeting with my psychiatrist on Wednesday to get an IMO and nexus letter, and with my orthopedic doctor to get my chronic tendinitis diagnosis, and with a VSO to get some professional advice on the specifics. My records also say "PTSD diagnosis recommended" so I will be calling the VA on Monday to schedule an appointment with a VA psychiatrist to see if I still have it. I'll have it done ASAP, Senior Chief! Best regards, Phil
  16. Buck -- the picture is of diagnoses made by my primary care doc; they were later verified by two VA psychiatrists.
  17. Thanks. This is also what I suspected, mainly because the ISM criteria is different from the DSM-IV that was out back then, and the DSM-V that is out now.
  18. Okay, so I have looked around and I am not able to find an answer. At the top of (what I think) are my diagnoses in my paperwork, there is a statement that has me worried. I have included a picture underlining the statement I am concerned about, and the statement that disagrees with it. I'm asking because I'll be sitting down with my psychiatrist on Wednesday and asking him whether these diagnoses could be related to my in-service issues (they're the same issues) and he may have big questions about this; does the paperwork say I'm diagnosed, or not? I think it does... but I want other opinions on this:
  19. Thanks so much for sharing your experience with me. I actually received my complete VA healthcare record in the mail today, and I will be working with a VSO to put everything together. I can't thank you enough for letting me know what to expect.
  20. Thanks for the responses. I'll definitely implement what you all have recommended. Also, I forgot to mention that I ETS'd on 19 Nov 2011 and was diagnosed with depression and anxiety at the VA on 22 January 2012. I feel like that will do a lot to help show continuity?
  21. Hello everyone, So I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder about 2 years after I got out of the Army (left Army in November 2011, diagnosed in Jan 2014). While I was in the Army, after my second deployment, I'm very certain I entered a hypomanic state (I was having racing thoughts, pressured and rapid speech, grandiose thoughts, and a decreased need for sleep). I know now what hypomania feels like because it happens to me every so often and I have to have my medication dosage increased. The details are that basically after my second deployment my buddies and I came back from Iraq, and most of them were stop-lossed and ended up leaving 1-2 months after we returned. I was basically on my own in a whole new platoon and really just fell apart. This is documented on my post-deployment health assessment, where I asked to see a therapist and documented my drinking problem and the problems I had been having with irritability and whatnot. Also, I specifically remember having a plan to move to New Haven, CT and write a philosophy book which would make me famous and help me get into Yale once I impressed Yale professors at book signings. It's really pretty embarassing to admit that and I know now that I was completely delusional. I still had 6 months left on my contract when I was forming plans like this, and I was drinking up to 1/5 of Jim Beam per night starting at 6pm and ending at 2am, chugging a bunch of water, stuffing my face with food, then racking out until 5:50am and getting up for PT and doing a full, normal day on 4 hours of sleep. This went on for about two months until my PLSGT caught wind of how much I was drinking and I ended up cutting back. I remember having tons of energy and being very irritable. The anger and drinking problems are on my PDHRA. After I got out of the Army, I entered a bout of moderate depression and saw some VA psychiatrists. I was tested for ADHD, diagnosed with OCD and depression, and put on an antidepressant. I believe that this made me hypomanic again (when a bipolar person is given a regular anti-depressant, that is, an SSRI, the medication typically causes rapid onset of hypomania/mania, sometimes even resulting in hospitalizations), and about 2 months after being on Prozac I dropped out of college and moved to Connecticut with the idea of becoming a world famous chef. A few of my friends lived in CT and one of them worked at a restaurant. Iron Chef (the old, Japanese one) has always been one of my favorite shows, cooking was my biggest hobby, and I was confident that one day I would be as good as Iron Chef Sakai or Iron Chef Kenichi, my two favorites from the show, or Gordon Ramsay, who is still one of my idols. When a cooking job didn't materialize, I ended up going to college for psychology and gained a boatload of insight into my condition, and suffered through horrible anxiety, depression, and alcoholism until I finally went to a general provider for it (the depression, mainly). He prescribed me an antidepressant and told me to meet him in a week. I came back a week later feeling absolutely amazing, with the same symptoms I had had way back in the Army and back when I decided to pursue being a chef; racing thoughts, grandiose delusions, rapid speech, irritability, etc... He told me "Wait here, I'll be back in a little bit..." and he left and closed the door and I heard his muffled voice along with a female colleagues and she sounded very concerned. He came back in and told me I wasn't supposed to feel much of anything until the 6-week mark, and he is 100% certain that I have bipolar disorder, and I need to find a psychiatrist. I did just that, and am now a happy camper (compared to being suicidal, lol) making his way through undergrad for a computer science degree. It's been 2 years now since I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder, but I vividly remember having the symptoms back on active duty. I requested my complete VA medical history and they sent it to me, but this was years ago, and I do remember my first psychiatrist had written in his notes "observe for possible hypomania." That was about 5 months after I had left the Army, and that was when he started me on the Prozac. I have requested my complete medical record once again and plan on "putting together my case." I guess my question is "What are the odds of me getting my bipolar disorder connected to my service?" I'm looking to start the disability process as my treatment is really expensive and I've finally stopped feeling ashamed about all this.
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