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Jay Johnson

Senior Chief Petty Officer
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About Jay Johnson

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    E-7 Chief Petty Officer
  1. Maybe you should.....Be very careful how you answer this... /sigh
  2. So you are saying the VA is responsible for a pre-existing condition? Yes, as long as one's service had a negative impact on the pre-existing condition. Are you advising veterans to lie? Most certainly; as does everyone else on here in a round-about way. Are you advising veterans to conceal information on their claims? Yup. I'm not going to go through and cut-n-paste every time someone has said, "make sure you say your life before service was fine", because just about everyone here has said something to that affect. Heck, the VA regs encourage lying in that they allow you to withhold ANY information that is detrimental to one's case (which is a form of lying). So take the holier than thou stuff elsewhere.... Be very careful how you answer this... Again be careful because that what it sounds like to me.... These are threats, passive aggressive threats, but threats none-the-less and you should be banned......
  3. I say we remove this post: http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?s=&a...ost&p=63064 , because I find it offensive.
  4. That's a bogus rationale imho. We KNOW the VA uses ANYTHING prior to enlistment against the veteran and we encourage people to say their life was fine before service all the time as a result. If the VA played by these same imaginary codes of conduct you preach there wouldn't be a need to lie, but I've seen many veterans denied claims because of things that happened before/after service DESPITE also having similar issues while in service. In fact, a new poster here is going through EXACTLY that problem...she divulged stuff that happened to her before/after her military service and the VA has used it as a basis for denial of SC despite proof that similar things happened while in service that impacted her condition. So, take your definitions elsewhere and quit trying to rationalize your words...vets should NEVER give the VA info about what happened before/after service because it is ALWAYS used against them. I find this rant sad from a moderator......
  5. Sounds to me like he was P&T for a different reason and opened a claim for knee issues so the VA reopened the P&T claim. This is an issue that all P&T vets face (and it's wrong imo, but that's the VA) when they open different claims. I almost believe the VA does this on purpose so that people stop clogging up the system with additional claims once found to be P&T (again, the VA is wrong to do that if so). Personally, I wouldn't chance it, but the veteran DOES deserve proper compensation and it could affect DIC compensation down the road......
  6. Glad I could help:-) One thing to note is that bipolar (type 1) is associated with periods of mania and it is common for the disease to cause issues with spending habits. This, of course, doesn't mean YOU will have those issues, but they are synonymous with bipolar, so the VA may push the fiduciary issue at some point (if they haven't already). According to the DSM-IV TR, the criteria for a manic episode are as follows: The individual experiences a distinct period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood lasting at least 1 week (or any duration if hospitalization is necessary). During the period of mood disturbance, 3 or more of the following symptoms have persisted (4 if the mood is only irritable) and have been present to a significant degree: Inflated self-esteem to levels of grandiosity Decreased need for sleep More talkative than usual, often with pressured speech with a sense of necessity to keep talking Flight of ideas or subjective feeling that thoughts are racing Distractibility Increase in goal-directed activity or psychomotor agitation Excessive involvement in pleasurable activity that has a high potential for painful consequences (eg, hypersexuality, excessive spending, impetuous traveling) Let me know if there's anything else I can add, - Jason
  7. The lower level of A&A is only like $100/mnth more than HB, so it's not really worth a big fight, but you may want to shoot for the higher level if you think you fit a higher criteria. Also, there are programs through both medicare and the VA for "assistants" that can help you with problems in every day living, but I'm not real familiar with them.
  8. So the guy who came around every year was the evaluator who would decide after a year or so if she needed a fiduciary? Is that correct? Yes; he had the authority to force a fiduciary on her based on his assessment and he was in the process of doing so when we moved to the NW. And, as I understand your posts, it was his "she's doing better" statement that the VA considered new evidence so the VA did a re-examination and tried to lower her rating which you fought and prevailed keeping it at 100% IU. Correct? Not really. The fiduciary officer was set to force her into an assigned fiduciary (likely me) but we moved from Delaware to Washington state before he could, which changed the jurisdiction. Before the Seattle RO could start the process themselves I sent the wife to her private primary care physician who wrote her a letter that stated, in effect, "Donna seems to be doing better with her finances and fully understands where her money is coming from and what her monthly expenditures are; she is mentally competent to handle her own finances". That letter did get her out of the fiduciary program, but the RO also decided to threaten her into a C&P by lowering her rating to 30%. Just 8 months prior to this she was found to be 100% (schedular) with A&A AND P&T by the philly RO. Eventually, we were able to argue them back up to 100% schedular, but the A&A was reduced to HB and she kept the P&T status. In the end, we basically got what we wanted....the loss of A&A was worth a permanent rating with no fiduciary intervention in my opinion. When you say "we never had to relinquish control of our assets" I assume you are using the prounoun "our" because you are married and not to mean that the VA in any way has the authority to control the assets of a spouse married to a disabled vet outside of the the disabled vet's VA benefits. Correct? If not, well, I'd have one pissed off spouse if the VA tried to control our other assests (limited though they may be) outside of my VA disability. Please clarify that all they can put their hands on and control is the disabled vets disability pay. Correct. The VA can only limit the VA portion of the income. I could still use my income for whatever I wanted, but, at the time, my wife required me at home 24/7, so her income was our sole income. Even now I am required to work from home doing investing and running a small business. The only reason I ask for clarification is I know a couple who got married and a several years later the husband was audited for not filing his taxes for several years both before and during his marriage. For the years the husband was married the IRS took money out of his savings AND his wife's individual savings account she'd had before they were married to satisfy the IRS debt. Took them completely by surprse. Also made him take out his 401(k) and of course, in addition to paying taxes he had to pay the 10% penalty for early withdrawal. So, while it doesn't make sense to me that the VA could get their hands on the spouse's money and control it, or any other money they jointly owned which predated the VA disability claim, I had no idea the IRS could take out funds from one spouse's account to satisfy the debt of another so who knows what all the government can do. The only grey area I can think of would be shared assets like a home. If I were to use her income to pay off the house, would the VA be able to control what we do with the earned income on a sale of said home? I'm not entirely sure there......
  9. Yes, I was not the fiduciary because she was still in the initial stages of the program and the evaluater did not feel she needed a fiduciary at that time. As I undertood it, she was supposed to be in that initial phase for 1-2 years before they made a final decision on whether or not to appoint a fiduciary, so we never had to relinguish control of our assets. However, I did enough digging to come to the conclusion that a fiduciary is a bad way togo; thre are a LOT of restrictions placed on the appointed fiduciary.
  10. I'm that guy and you're a bit off, but close:-) The wife was lowered from 100% to 30% based on a PA note about the fiduciary program (he said she could manage her own funds; nothing more), but I got her back up to 100% at the DRO level and the reduction never took affect. As for your questions: 1) She was originally found to be 100% right out of the military (without even getting a C&P...they used her military and civlian records). We didn't find out she was even in the program until 1 year after she was awarded 100% when some guy from the program showed up at our door and told us he was "evaluating her to see if she needed to remain in the program". 2) We were never told about it, so we were never given the right to fight it. 3) Surprise, surprise; I didn't care for it:-) To me, it's a backdoor way of reevaluating veterans between C&Ps. We had to see this same guy every year, for 3 years, until we finally got her out of the program. I understand the need for it in some cases, but it shouldn't be mandatory in my opinion. If the VA truly wants to help there are ways to do so without taking a veteran's money away completely against their will. 4) See #3:-) On top of the concerns I listed there are also issues when you actually have someone appointed to handle your funds like severe restrictions on what can be bought and the fact that you have to ask the VA for permission for everything you buy over a certain dollar amount (which is quite low)....you are also banned from investing your money in any way on top of other restrictions that I'm sure I'm forgetting. Not to mention it keeps you in another program that can trigger that whole "new and material evdience" thing......
  11. There are already laws on the books about mentally disabled people not being able to buy guns, so I don't see why they would need to specify veterans....sounds like a rumor to me..... You donate money to the DNC? haha......
  12. Many psychs narrowly focus on a handful of treatment methods (usually a single one). To me, the best psychs are those that subscribe to the eclectic side of psychology in which many different methods are tried and the one that seems to work best (on an individual basis) is used. In the end, ANY psychotherapy is going to be very individualistic, so you need to be very honest about the results of any treatment and don't be afraid to say a given treatment isn't working or is making you uncomfortable. Give it a try and be honest.....anything is worth a try imo....
  13. No offense, but that isn't an example of a cause/effect relationship between meds and this woman's prognosis. Her environment was poor while on meds and got better while off meds, which the meds have no impact on, and one's environment plays a very major role in their mental stability. Let that woman's life fall apart (lose a spouse, friends, job, etc.) and see how she reponds with just "good nutrition". Also, a *good* med doctor understands the limitations of meds in this profession and it sounds like her med doctor was over-prescribing them....the goal of an psychiatrist should be to stabilize a person with as little medication as clinically neccessary. I've never been one to buy into "alternative medicines" because there is zero proof that any of them work....some blueberries and cod seed oil is not going to do anything for anyone:-) Now that isn't to say that I think meds help everyone, because they don't, but in most cases it does *if* the doctor prescribing them doesn't think he/she can cure people with medications alone.
  14. That's pretty much everything on the ratings criteria...you can look it up for yourself here (it's in Ch. 4). It's not the end all be all of getting the rating you want, but it's a good guideline for what they're looking for......
  15. 9440 Chronic adjustment disorder General Rating Formula for Mental Disorders: Total occupational and social impairment, due to such symptoms as: gross impairment in thought processes or communication; persistent delusions or hallucinations; grossly inappropriate behavior; persistent danger of hurting self or others; intermittent inability to perform activities of daily living (including maintenance of minimal personal hygiene); disorientation to time or place; memory loss for names of close relatives, own occupation, or own name 100 Occupational and social impairment, with deficiencies in most areas, such as work, school, family relations, judgment, thinking, or mood, due to such symptoms as: suicidal ideation; obsessional rituals which interfere with routine activities; speech intermittently illogical, obscure, or irrelevant; near-continuous panic or depression affecting the ability to function independently, appropriately and effectively; impaired impulse control (such as unprovoked irritability with periods of violence); spatial disorientation; neglect of personal appearance and hygiene; difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances (including work or a worklike setting); inability to establish and maintain effective relationships 70 Occupational and social impairment with reduced reliability and productivity due to such symptoms as: flattened affect; circumstantial, circumlocutory, or stereotyped speech; panic attacks more than once a week; difficulty in understanding complex commands; impairment of short- and long-term memory (e.g., retention of only highly learned material, forgetting to complete tasks); impaired judgment; impaired abstract thinking; disturbances of motivation and mood; difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships 50 Occupational and social impairment with occasional decrease in work efficiency and intermittent periods of inability to perform occupational tasks (although generally functioning satisfactorily, with routine behavior, self-care, and conversation normal), due to such symptoms as: depressed mood, anxiety, suspiciousness, panic attacks (weekly or less often), chronic sleep impairment, mild memory loss (such as forgetting names, directions, recent events) 30 Occupational and social impairment due to mild or transient symptoms which decrease work efficiency and ability to perform occupational tasks only during periods of significant stress, or; symptoms controlled by continuous medication 10 A mental condition has been formally diagnosed, but symptoms are not severe enough either to interfere with occupational and social functioning or to require continuous medication 0 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Your evaluation needs to meet the criteria listed in one of the above categories (or at least mostly so) in order to reach that level of disability.

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