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About Alcapone1931

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    E-3 Seaman

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  1. wanted to provide an update to my thread i started: As of 5 July, my VA disability claim is complete, and i was approved for 50%, all for PTSD (seems like they rolled the anxiety and depression into it, which helped push it into the 50% rating). My claim went from Prep for Decision on 21 June 2016, to Complete on 5 July 2016, so it finished within the short end of the VA's listed timeline. my entire claim process took about 10 months, Sept 2015 - Jul 2016. thanks to everyone that posted and contributed to this thread and my questions. your help and encouragement is much appreciated. gr33tz to ArNG11 and AndyMan73
  2. ah then thats a whole 'nother issue, my im sure thats irritating.
  3. ive been able to see all my CP exams and VA appointment notes on myhealthevet (need to have a Premium account) under their Blue Button service. thats where i pasted the information from on this thread's initial post.
  4. arng11 - regarding the FOIA, you mentioned this which made be chuckle. i opened up an FOIA claim with the VA back in March. the estimated completion date? 2/2018. probably later. and everything is overdue. which means i dont think the VA or HRC nor my unit have anything. you would think there would be a digital record. but hell, since im anal retentive, i kept every single damned thing bc. i figured someone will drop the ball and i wanted to ensure it wasnt me. regarding filing appeals, if i get a rating and get my back pay and the disability amount begins to come in every month, will the appeals process halt all of that until the appeal is complete? or will my initial disability claim/approval still continue to roll in while the appeals is in process to decide whether it should be rated differently? andyman73 - thanks for the motivation and optimism. i definitely hope youre right, fingers crossed! i know on paper it seems like it should land in a higher rating, but knowing how the VA works...still keeps me on edge. haha. thanks again everyone
  5. +SecurityForces03 - any update? you last post was January, hopefully your claims resolved by now. how long did it eventually take you?
  6. i understand the frustration. the most blatant and audacious response i received from a VA rep when i called them once during the begining stages of my claim when they were taking so long to get my service treatment records was "the burden of proof is on you, the veteran". like dang, i didnt realize this was a trial. it turns out the army never kept my records. anything. blessedly i had hard copies of everything, from my enlistment docs to dd214s to PDHRAs and orders and entrance exams. but the HRC nor anyone has any record of me that they could pull. and the response was pretty much, too bad for you. lol. its ludicrous.
  7. +Arng11 - thx for the response and info. That is what i was assuming regarding VA lumping together multiple MH issues into just the one with the highest rating. No worries, hoping to fight the demons one day at a time regardless. Thank you.
  8. +andyman73 - not specifically. I discussed my sleep issues and nighttime panic attacks and explosions in my ear that wake me up (its been even more frequent since i started seeing a counselor in March, blah), so she made a note of it in her remarks; however nothing about a sleep exam or anything. Ill ping iris, thanks. Also, does anyone have insight on whether i will be rated for two MH issues or just one? since i was apparently diagnosed with two MH illnesses (ptsd + depression) will they rate both seperately and then calculate based off the VA rating table (e.g: 30 for one and 10 for the other, or 30 for each and then calculate it) or will they just rate the ptsd and let the depression ride as a symptom of the ptsd (instead of a ratable disability). Not sure how this will work. Either way, since this experience has been exhausting, i probably would settle for even 30 just so i can get back to life and normal treatment sessions. But its just nice to know what to expect, and whether a happy dance is in order (havent done a happy dance since my wedding 2yrs ago) Thanks all Al
  9. thank you hamslice, arNG, and andyman for your prompt responses. good to hear you guys validate my bit of hope i have on this. +andyman73 - i did file for sleep disturbances in my file, however i never got a c/p or anything for it so not sure if they are planning to consider that, hopefully the rater and decision will rate this. just waiting on the file to move passed the 'preparation for decision' phase. ive heard stories of claims going either way from this phase, so finger crossed. again, thank you all for taking the time out to respond. -al
  10. good afternoon all, i am a new member on this, former US army reservist, and currently employed full time. i separated in 2009 but filed my claim in Aug 2015 (i wasnt aware as a reservist of only 6 yrs total enlistment that i could actually apply for anything). my decision finally moved in the Preparation for Decision phase two days ago, 6/21/2016. i have two questions: 1 - how quickly does it go from here?...(im guessing the answer is that there is no answer. everyone's claim is handled differently but has anyone experienced the claim to wrap up rather quickly from here?) 2 - i am trying to determine what sort of rating i may get for my mental health based off my C&P results. anyone with experience please take a look (below) and offer their opinion? thank you kindly for any assistance and response: SECTION I: ---------- 1. Diagnostic Summary --------------------- Does the Veteran have a diagnosis of PTSD that conforms to DSM-5 criteria based on today's evaluation? [X] Yes [ ] No ICD code: F 43.10 2. Current Diagnoses -------------------- a. Mental Disorder Diagnosis #1: PTSD ICD code: F 43.10 Mental Disorder Diagnosis #2: Unspecified Depressive Disorder ICD code: F32.9 -------------------------------------------------------- 4. Occupational and social impairment ------------------------------------- a. Which of the following best summarizes the Veteran's level of occupational and social impairment with regards to all mental diagnoses? (Check only one) [X] Occupational and social impairment with occasional decrease in work efficiency and intermittent periods of inability to perform occupational tasks, although generally functioning satisfactorily, with normal routine behavior, self-care and conversation ****i know by definition this summary may fall within the 30% rating, but please continue reading below****** a. Medical record review: ------------------------- Was the Veteran's VA e-folder (VBMS or Virtual VA) reviewed? [X] Yes [ ] No Was the Veteran's VA claims file (hard copy paper C-file) reviewed? [ ] Yes [X] No If yes, list any records that were reviewed but were not included in the Veteran's VA claims file: If no, check all records reviewed: [ ] Military service treatment records [ ] Military service personnel records [ ] Military enlistment examination [ ] Military separation examination [X] Military post-deployment questionnaire [X] Department of Defense Form 214 Separation Documents [X] Veterans Health Administration medical records (VA treatment records) [ ] Civilian medical records [ ] Interviews with collateral witnesses (family and others who have known the Veteran before and after military service) [ ] No records were reviewed [ ] Other: 3. Stressors ------------ Describe one or more specific stressor event(s) the Veteran considers traumatic (may be pre-military, military, or post-military): a. Stressor #1: [censored] Does this stressor meet Criterion A (i.e., is it adequate to support the diagnosis of PTSD)? [X] Yes [ ] No Is the stressor related to the Veteran's fear of hostile military or terrorist activity? [X] Yes [ ] No Is the stressor related to personal assault, e.g. military sexual trauma? [ ] Yes [X] No d. Additional stressors: If additional stressors, describe (list using the above sequential format): Stressor #4 [censored] This stressor meets Criterion A; this stressor is related to the Veteran's fear of hostile military or terrorist activity; this stessor is not related to personal assualt. 4. PTSD Diagnostic Criteria --------------------------- Please check criteria used for establishing the current PTSD diagnosis. Do NOT mark symptoms below that are clearly not attributable to the Criteria A stressor/PTSD. Instead, overlapping symptoms clearly attributable to other things should be noted under #7 - Other symptoms. The diagnostic criteria for PTSD, referred to as Criteria A-H, are from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5). Criterion A: Exposure to actual or threatened a) death, b) serious injury, c) sexual violation, in one or more of the following ways: [X] Directly experiencing the traumatic event(s) Criterion B: Presence of (one or more) of the following intrusion symptoms associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after the traumatic event(s) occurred: [X] Recurrent, involuntary, and intrusive distressing memories of the traumatic event(s). Criterion C: Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after the traumatic events(s) occurred, as evidenced by one or both of the following: [X] Avoidance of or efforts to avoid external reminders (people, places, conversations, activities, objects, situations) that arouse distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings about or closely associated with the traumatic event(s). Criterion D: Negative alterations in cognitions and mood associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more) of the following: [X] Persistent, distorted cognitions about the cause or consequences of the traumatic event(s) that lead to the individual to blame himself/herself or others. [X] Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others. Criterion E: Marked alterations in arousal and reactivity associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more) of the following: [X] Hypervigilance. [X] Problems with concentration. [X] Sleep disturbance (e.g., difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless sleep). Criterion F: [X] Duration of the disturbance (Criteria B, C, D, and E) is more than 1 month. Criterion G: [X] The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. Criterion H: [X] The disturbance is not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance (e.g., medication, alcohol) or another medical condition. Criterion I: Which stressor(s) contributed to the Veteran's PTSD diagnosis?: [X] Stressor #1 [X] Other, please indicate stressor number (i.e., Stressor #4, #5, etc.) as indicated above: Stressor #4 5. Symptoms ----------- For VA rating purposes, check all symptoms that actively apply to the Veteran's diagnoses: [X] Depressed mood [this is a 30% symptom] [X] Anxiety [30% symptom] [X] Suspiciousness [30% symptom] [X] Panic attacks more than once a week [this is a 50% symptom] [X] Chronic sleep impairment [30% symptom] [X] Flattened affect [50% symptom] [X] Disturbances of motivation and mood [50% symptom] ****the symptoms listed above fall under both 30% and 50% criteria, so i am uncertain whether they will consider both or make the decision based off the Summary at the begining of the report, which technically defines the 30% rating****** 9. Remarks, (including any testing results) if any -------------------------------------------------- Based on this examination and a review of the records, it is determined that the Veteran meets DSM-5 criteria for PTSD. It is further determined that this diagnosis is at least as likely as not (50/50 probability) a result of the identified in service stressors. The Veteran is also found to meet criteria for Unspecified Depressive Disorder. This diagnosis is determined to be at least as likely as not (50/50 probability) proximately due to or a result of the PTSD. The Veteran gives a credible account of stressors deemed consistent with his MOS, and with service in the identified combat theater. While there are no related service treatment records, post-deployment questionnaires suggest that Veteran was experiencing subjective distress at the time of his redeployment. The claimed anxiety and sleep disturbance are deemed to be symptoms of both of the current diagnoses. this ends my report. thank you again for anyone's response and assistance. [The Silent Warrior of the Army Team]
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