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doc25

Chief Petty Officers
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Everything posted by doc25

  1. Yay! I'm another statistic. Lol. Well my reopen claim likely got denied. I'm not giving up on it though. I'll wait for the BBE to see what happened.
  2. Check your disabilities list and see if your claimed condition was SERVICE-CONNECTED. If it says not service-connected and your disability rating did not increase then it's likely a denied claim. But, you'll have to wait to get the actual letter. Ebenefits isn't always reliable.
  3. yea, I got a hold of skip back in october and I re-sent my records to his colorado residence. I kept copies of everything and overnighted those copies.
  4. ED is rated 0%, but you'll be eligible for Special Monthly Compensation due to loss of use of a creative organ. It's an extra $100.You'll need to be diagnosed with ED before claiming it. Hopefully, you receive an increase for MDD. As far as, seizures go. You'll have to weigh the benefits and risks of the medication you're on. That'll have to be discussed and determined with your mental health dr. I doubt the seizures are a benefit to you your current medication.
  5. Looks like a 10% rating based on the occupational and social impairment the examiner marked, but there's good news; you have two options. #1. Appeal, obviously. Your other criteria and symptoms lean more towards a 30% rating. #2. Continue going to therapy through the VA or a private psychologist/counselor and build up evidence at least a year; for any worsening symptoms. What you have to consider is that going from active duty to the civilian world is a difficult transition after leaving service. Even if you were in the civilian world prior to entering the military. There will be challenges. I received a 10% rating for PTSD after I left service. I thought that was all I was going to get. I was never told my symptoms could worsen.It wasn't until 8 yrs later that another veteran told me about requesting an increase. I was like,"No way they'll give me an increase." I submitted a request for an increase and I was awarded 70%. Fortunately, I already had two years of regularly attending therapy and on medications to substantiate the increase. Before you get out, see if you can get set up for a sleep study, ASAP. The examiner did mark CHRONIC SLEEP IMPAIRMENT. It wouldn't hurt to try to get a sleep study done. If you are diagnosed with Sleep Apnea in-service and require a "medically necessary/required" CPAP machine that's rated 50%. Even if you are not diagnosed with Sleep Apnea in-service, you can still Secondary Service-Connect Sleep Apnea to PTSD; if you get diagnosed with Sleep Apnea after-service. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Keep in mind that most, not all service-connected disabilities can cause a secondary disability that will be considered service-connected.
  6. Weight gain is a misconception by most doctors, unless it's a sleep specialist. It's only one factor. There's plenty of veterans that are not overweight and still have Sleep Apnea. Why is that?? So you're right in not buying what they're selling.
  7. What was the date you received your denial letter? If it's been over a year...you'll need to re-open it with new and RELEVANT evidence as a supplemental claim for DRO review. https://www.va.gov/decision-reviews/supplemental-claim/ "New and Relevant Evidence" such as, new treatment notes for your mental health issues due to hearing loss and vestibular disorder; possibly a filled out mental health DBQ other than PTSD; and a nexus letter from a mental health doctor stating the minimum threshold of "at least as likely as not" the veteran's claimed condition is due to or the result of the veteran's hearing loss and vestibular disorder, plus a rationale linking your stress and anxiety to your SC conditions. Below I provided the proper DBQ that a mental health doctor can fill out. You can't fill out the medical part, only your personal information. MH disorders DBQ.pdf
  8. I didn't have Sleep Apnea diagnosed in-service, but I did get SC for PTSD with Depression. I claimed SA as secondary to PTSD medications. I was denied twice, I appealed each time, and the third time was the charm. You can secondary connect OSA to your Mental health conditions, if you're taking meds. Since you also have insomnia, the sleep medication that I'm sure is prescribed to you, to help you sleep; can cause or make OSA worse(aggravate). You can secondary connect OSA also to GERD, but there's not alot of literature that I could find other than the case I believe I provided to you in that earlier post. The URI claim suggested by BDD has to do more with chronic infections. That's what you will need to highlight in your claim. If you had recurrent and chronic respiratory infections well documented in your STR/SMR, and they still occur, you should have a relatively strong claim. [Read through the two articles I am providing at the bottom to give you an idea of which SC condition would make your OSA secondary claim stronger.] GERD&Sleep Apnea.pdf Psychiatric Disorders and Sleep Apnea article.pdf
  9. You would have seen an increase or no change to your percentage immeadiately. But, as other forum members have said to other veterans;we have to wait for the decision letter. Ebenefits isn't always accurate. A denial sucks but always appeal because don't be like me and let an appeal go past the year timeframe...then re-opening a denied claim becomes very difficult.
  10. I agree with Berta's post. My suggestion though would be to go to behavioral health and at the very least get seen for MDD before you are discharged; that way it's in your service medical record for treatment, along with your private counselors treatment records (the more evidence there is the better). Your Primary Care Manager (PCM) probably gave you a questionnaire to fill out and you answered questions that would satisfy the criteria for MDD. A psychologist or psychiatrist are specialists in their field. Your PCM is probably a family or general practice Dr. only and vaguely has a basic knowledge on mental health disorders. Is your counselor a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), psychologist/psychiatrist? Upon your ETS make every effort to register sooner rather than later with the nearest VA facility to begin behavioral health treatment through the VA. You don't want to go more than a year after your discharge without getting seen because what the VA looks at are the "continuity of symptoms" and "chronicity of symptoms". You'll be helping yourself to build evidence for an increase if you are granted service-connection for MDD or any other granted service connected disabilities. The EO complaint would actually carry some weight in your claim. It would prove you had difficulty interacting with fellow service members. This will give you an idea of how mental health disorders are rated: The majority of mental conditions are rated on the following schedule. Each rating has 5 main categories of symptoms/circumstances. Not every single symptom or circumstance has to be present in order to be assigned the rating, but the rating that most closely defines the condition should always be used. The Ability to Work: This individual cannot work at all. Social Relationships: This individual cannot participate in any relationships. In other words, they cannot interact or build a relationship with another person. Family members may care for them, but it is only a one-way relationship. They cannot seek, invite, or encourage any relationships. 70% rating: This rating will have the majority of the following circumstances and symptoms: The Ability to Care for Yourself: This individual cannot take care of himself most of the time. He is in the hospital or a care facility or is being taken care of by family members all of the time, and requires one-on-one supervision 50% of the time. This person cannot take care of his own personal hygiene. Medications: This individual requires psychiatric medication at all times. Symptoms: Some or all of the following symptoms will be present. – There is the regular possibility of hurting self or others (including suicidal tendencies) – This individual often cannot communicate logically – This individual is actively psychotic, but may have intermittent contact with reality – Obssessive-compulsive behavior that causes repetitive physical actions that interfere completely with daily necessary activities – Severe, constant anxiety – Mood often changes radically, without warning. – Almost constant severe depression or panic, with the inability to function at all in stressful situations – This individual cannot control impulsive actions like anger, violence, etc. – Often disoriented to time and place The Ability to Work: This individual may not be able to work at all or may be severely under-employed (such as a former intelligence analyst now working part time as a custodian). Social Relationships: This individual cannot participate in any relationships most of the time. In other words, they cannot interact or build a relationship with another person. Family members may care for them, but it is normally only a one-way relationship. They cannot seek, invite, or encourage any relationships the majority of the time. 50% rating: This rating will have the majority of the following circumstances and symptoms: The Ability to Care for Yourself: This individual is occasionally hospitalized, but can mostly take care of the basic personal needs like bathing or going to the bathroom, although their personal hygiene may not be kept up regularly. They may also be able to function in areas like shopping, driving, cleaning, etc. Medications: This individual requires psychiatric medication at all times. Symptoms: Some or all of the following symptoms will be present. – Trouble expressing or showing emotions (This doesn’t mean that they are just reserved. It basically means that they are completely blank the majority of the time), or shows the wrong or inappropriate emotion for the situation – Always shows significant signs of anxiety – Regularly gives unnecessary or unrelated details when communicating – Two or more panic attacks a week – Trouble understanding complex directions – Trouble remembering things (forgetting to complete tasks, etc.) – Trouble thinking logically and often has poor judgment – A serious lack of, or a seriously increased, mood or motivation – Occasional delusions or hallucinations – Regular to nightly trouble sleeping (nightmares, insomnia, anxiety, etc.) – Complaints of physical symptoms, like pain, that do not have a physical cause – Suicidal thoughts, but no definite plan to hurt himself The Ability to Work: This individual may try to work, but will not be able to hold a job for more than 3 or 4 months because of their inability to remember or follow all directions or other similar reasons based on the symptoms or circumstances described under this rating. (In other words, they wouldn’t lose their job simply because they have anger issues and would regularly get in fights. A person like that could also not hold a job more than 3 or 4 months, but they would still be considered able to work). This individual would only be hired for jobs like cleaning, picking up trash, or other simple-task jobs. Social Relationships: Like his ability to work, this individual may try to build and engage in relationships, but these relationships would not last long in most situations. Divorce or other breaks in relationships and friendships could occur due to his inability to properly participate in a relationship. 30% rating: This rating will have the majority of the following circumstances and symptoms: The Ability to Care for Yourself: This individual may have occasional, short hospitalizations, but can entirely take care of himself most of the time. Medications: This individual usually requires medication to function normally. Symptoms: Some or all of the following symptoms will be present. – Spikes or drops in mood, like depression – Often anxious or becomes easily stressed – Panic attacks occur, but no more than once a week – Difficulty sleeping (nightmares, insomnia, anxiety, etc.) – Mild memory loss could include regularly forgetting names or directions – Often suspicious of other people, particularly ones he does not know The Ability to Work: This individual will be able to work and will usually function normally. There may, however, be occasional times where he is unable to properly fulfill all job requirements. This could result in occasionally losing his job. Social Relationships: Like his ability to work, this individual will normally have fairly stable relationships. These relationships, however, will not be great and will often be strained by the symptoms of his condition. Divorce or breakups could occur, but not in every case. 10% rating: This rating will have the majority of the following circumstances and symptoms: The Ability to Care for Yourself: This individual will always be able to take care of himself and will very rarely, if ever, be hospitalized. Medications: This individual may or may not be taking medication. Meds may be taken all the time, or only during stressful times. They satisfactorily keep all symptoms under control. Symptoms: Some or all of the following symptoms will be present, but only during times of significant stress. The majority of the time there are no symptoms. – Mild depression or other mood changes – Mild to moderate anxiety – Mild panic attacks may occur, but very rarely – Occasional difficulty sleeping (nightmares, insomnia, anxiety, etc.) – A range of other, very mild symptoms, which could include suspiciousness of strangers and hyperarousal The Ability to Work: This individual will be fully employable and will very rarely have any problems at work that are caused by the mental condition. Social Relationships: This individual will have full, functional relationships with only occasional, mild stresses that are caused by the condition. 0% rating: If a mental condition has been diagnosed but there are no symptoms that impair social or occupational functioning or require medication, then it is rated 0%.
  11. I was awarded an increase for PTSD from June 2015. My C-file has documented that a future re-examination for PTSD will be January 2021. That's a 6 yr gap. But, it can be whenever the VA wants to be honest. Just keep going to therapy or if you haven't gone in awhile....start getting seen.
  12. Congrats! Just keep in mind that if your depression worsens over the next year or more; you can request an increase. But, worsened symptoms have to be well- documented by your VA mental health dr. or by a private mental health dr.
  13. The emails would be pertinent documentation for the unit records to be located sooner rather than later; since the emails would have the dates of when the attacks occurred confirming your stressor or stressors. The emails may hold some weight, so submit them with your evidence.
  14. You will need a nexus letter to secondary service connect your hypertension to your PTSD/MST. Not so much for a visitation. So, correct me if I'm wrong, but the VA is recommending taking you off your meds, just to get some readings? Sounds fishy to me. Apparently, you've already been diagnosed with hypertension and have been on hypertension medication for over 25 years. You wouldn't need to be on hypertension meds if you were NOT diagnosed with hypertension. The VA doesn't need to do a re-diagnosis; but that's just my version of logical reasoning. I hope that makes some sense. If your doctor doesn't feel comfortable with what the VA is recommending, then there's a very good reason why he wouldn't want you to DIE; if you are taken off your medications. It's a risk even for just a few days. To SECONDARY SERVICE CONNECT: #1. Current service connected disability. (You have that.) #2. Current diagnosis of condition claimed. (You have that.) #3. Obtain a nexus of opinion that states the minimum threshold as follows: The veteran's claimed condition is "at least as likely as not" (equal to or greater than 50% probability) due to or the result of the veteran's service-connected PTSD. A rationale will be required to be included.
  15. Mine hasn't changed....yet. I'm sure it will. Status of Your Claim PREPARATION FOR DECISION Submitted: 01/31/2019 (Compensation) Estimated Completion: 04/03/2019 - 05/08/2019 Estimated Completion InfoTooltip with additional information Disabilities Claimed: bilateral flat feet (Reopen) Representative for VA Claims: TEXAS VETERANS COMMISSION Current Status: Preparation for Decision Current Status InfoTooltip with additional information
  16. Is a history of treatment important to build the claim? I usually recommend a minimum of 6 months to two years of treatment; is a good amount of time to establish the medical evidence to substaniate any claim. What this does is it shows a condition is present, has been present, and will continue to be present. Also known as continuity of symptoms and chronicity of symptoms. I dont want to jump the gun and file prematurely either. You can start an intent to file around the six month mark of continued treatment. This will preserve your effective date. An intent to file locks in the effective date for a year with a claim. So, let's say it took you 364 days to gather all the evidence needed and you file on that day, your backpay will be for x amount of months plus however long it takes for your claim to be granted. If you're granted 100% PTSD that's alot of coin in your pocket in back pay. which he says my orders suffice with also records of the daily attacks, and nexus in my diagnosis. Orders confirm you were deployed to the area and they carry some weight. Do you have the records of the daily attacks or at the very least have the buddy statements; already in hand? If you don't there is work to be done to obtain those records through the JSRRC. The VA is not going to go above and beyond of their half assed DUTY TO ASSIST attempt to get that to help your claim. Unfortunately, the burden is on us as veterans to do the heavy lifting to substantiate our own claims. United States Army and Joint Services Records Research Center The Army and Joint Services Records Research Center (JSRRC) is the research arm of the Department of Defense and holds historical records (including some personnel records) for the Army, Navy and Coast Guard. Similar information for the Marines is held at the Marine Corps Archives and Special Collections (USMC Archives). Records Kept at JSRRC Any type of military historical records that were created are likely held at the JSRRC. Common types of records held vary by branch of the service, but tend to include operational reports and casualty records. These records can be helpful to prove exposure to an environmental hazard or to prove an incident occurred during service in order to establish a service-connected disability compensation claim. When a veteran files a claim for post-traumatic stress disorder, the VA will ask the JRSCC or USMC Archives for evidence of whether the claimed stressful event occurred. How to Make a Request Research requests to JSRRC or USMC Archives can be made by letter or by using the VA Statement in Support of Claim form. Provide as much specific information as possible in the request, such as details of when and where an incident occurred. A veteran may be asked for additional information in order for the request to be met, or may be redirected to another repository of documents that is more likely to hold the requested information. Requests to JSRRC can be sent to: U.S. Army and Joint Services Records Research Center 7701 Telegraph Road Kingman Building, Room 2C08 Alexandria, VA 22315-3802 Marine Corps Archives requests can be sent to: Marine Corps Archives and Special Collections Alfred M. Gray Research Center C40RCA Attention: Dr. Jim Ginther, Archives 2040 Broadway Street, MCCDC Quantico, VA 22134-5107 Buck52, is providing the information exactly of what is required for a favorable decision. If you end up meeting all the criteria, you're going to make it very difficult for the VA to deny your claim.
  17. Disregard some of my last post. LOL. You have the ball rolling already. I say file it all at once.
  18. There's some good news and bad news. Initiate an "INTENT TO FILE". I don't mean to be a debbie downer, but just barely getting diagnosed with PTSD last week is only part of the criteria to service connect it. How long have you been treated for PTSD? A minimum of 6 months to 2 yrs is a good amount of treatment that will build a stronger claim. It's a process. #1. A Confirmed in-service stressor. (I strongly believe you when you say what you witnessed; occurred in-service. If you have a combat action ribbon/medal you'll have a slightly easier time proving the in-service stressor.) If you still have buddies that were there to corroborate your stressor. Have them write a buddy statement as lay evidence. You can also have family, friends, co-workers, or anyone associated with you to write a lay statement saying what they have witnessed in your behavior related to PTSD, such as....being distant, isolates, easily angered/agitated, the list goes on. #2. Being diagnosed with PTSD (you have that.) 3. Nexus of opinion stating the minimum threshold of "at least as likely as not" the veteran's PTSD is due to or the result of military service. Hope this helps. Welcome to the forum!
  19. You'll need to obtain your service medical record to confirm that your complaint during your May 2008 physical exam was clearly and unmistakably documented. Here is one way to request a copy of your service medical record. You will be making a FOIA/PRIVACY ACT request for a copy of your service medical record only. Be advised it will take approximately 5-6 months, but in the meantime you can file an intent to file to start your effective date; and still be getting treatment to build more medical evidence. va3288.pdf2017-01-18+Claims+Intake+Fax+Coversheet-1.pdf So let me see if I understand. 1. According to your post, the in-service event/injury was first mentioned May 2008 2. You have been treated for your shoulder in 2017 and 2018 . You might have a diagnosis, but you'll need to check your treatment notes. What you will need is lay evidence(buddy statement...same difference) from a buddy (in-service), family, friends that knew that you had hurt your shoulder and they will need to report what symptoms they witnessed from you after you hurt your shoulder, such as; guarding, wincing in pain, limited range of motion, decreased strength. But, it has to only be what they have seen; they can't make a diagnosis. You need to have what's called "continuity of symptoms or chronicity of symptoms" to fill in the gap from 2008 to the present day. If you have treatment notes ,submit that with your evidence. You will need a Nexus of opinion stating the minimum threshold of "at least as likely as not" your shoulder condition is due to or the direct result of military service. I hope this helps you get the ball rolling. Best wishes.
  20. Back in 2017 I had a C&P exam for sleep apnea; two weeks later I got a prep for notification in ebennies. So, it's not uncommon. Hopefully you got a favorable decision. Best wishes.
  21. I think if it gets denied. Of course, appeal it but in your NOD point out the fact that the rater did not provide due diligence to your claim and proper guidance to the examiner of what exactly is required. Also, point out that the duty to assist was neglected to substantiate your claim. Best wishes.
  22. Ok. So, the examiner established that fact. It still doesn't say one of these: 1. "Due to" 100% probability 2. "More likely than not" greater than 50% probability 3. "At least as likely as not" equal to or greater than 50% probability. With that being said, I do hope what was written will substantiate a granted decision in your favor.
  23. If it is found that flat feet caused the bunions then it would be rated seperately, on a secondary basis. That's probably the only way to get a separate rating. Bunions are rated 10% only. Flat feet max. rating is 50%. But, don't be surprised if the the ratings scheduler combines the two as "Bilateral Flat feet with unilateral hallux valgus". This is to avoid pyramiding. Hope this answered your question.
  24. What? Hell no. Here you go. I got mine after five months. 2017-01-18+Claims+Intake+Fax+Coversheet-1.pdf va3288.pdf
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