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  1. For in person do you mean my independent evaluation, or the VA evaluation? I read that a DBQ needs to be done in person. Have there been any allowances on remote DBQ during covid? Last question, if I do get a nexus letter or imo, and a dbq, is it a sure thing the VA will award a claim, or can they still disregard stuff I submit? I have the results of the sleep study. The sleep lab results aren't in my file yet. I still need to go back next month to get fit for a cpap and get the actual prescription.
  2. I called a few of those firms, and they all let me know they handle appeals, but not initial claims. It seems like I am at a block in the road. I found a site online where a psychologist reviews records and if a nexus is found, writes a nexus letter. I'm not sure if posting links to service sites is allowed, so I won't post the one I found. I also did a google search for forensic psychologists near me, and the closest one is 3 hours away. On one hand, I feel like a nexus letter from a site and a psychologist who specializes in them would be the best option, but on the other hand I'm worried the VA might look at a letter from a psychologist who writes nexus letters all the time as less credible. Any thoughts?
  3. GBArmy, My VA therapist suggested I go for a sleep study, and got my VA doc to put in a consult for a study using Care in the Community. Her thinking is that my ADHD symptoms aren't actually ADHD (because I didn't exhibit them in childhood or in school, and they didn't improve when I was on medication for ADHD) and instead are a result of sleep apnea and exacerbated by anxiety. She really has been the best therapist I've ever seen - I'm happy the VA provides mental health services, I just wish they would get involved in ratings. I've done the first study, and the follow up CPAP test study, and I do have sleep apnea. I have a third visit next month to go back to the sleep clinic to go over using a CPAP and get my prescription. I 100% know my life has been more difficult in many ways because of the MH issues I have. I can't go back and change things, but I'm hoping a CPAP will help me sleep better and improve my functioning. I guess my first step is to s-c my MH and then see about a secondary for sleep apnea. Honestly though, if I get a CPAP through the VA out of this and it helps me, that alone would be worth all of my effort. Thanks for the opinion on getting outside help. I'll try to get together what I can myself, and maybe give one of those services you mentioned a call to see what they have to say about all of it.
  4. GBArmy, Correct, I am going for a new MH rating; I have never had a mental health rating. I have a 30% combined rating for my arm. It seems really fristrating to me that the VA clinic MH providers won't provide nexus letters. My health report from myhealthEvet (I think it the blue ribbon report?) has my diagnosis as GAD and MDD, but they are not currently service connected. I have 2 buddy statements from Marines who knew me in high school, and who also served with me prior to symptoms (to provide evidence that I haven't always been this way), 1 of them is from boot camp and the other is from Japan prior to my arm being broken, as well as both also playing high school sports with me. I also have 2 buddy statements from Marines I served with back stateside after symptoms started (to provide evidence of in-service symptoms). I also have 1 statement from a Marine I didn't serve with, but who tried to get me to go back to the gym after I got out of the service, and his statement talks about how I wouldn't do certain exercises or on certain things I would only do low weight because I was afraid of hurting my arm again, and eventually I stopped going to the gym with him because I was worried about my arm. I have statements from 2 prior coworkers from different jobs (to provide evidence of ongoing symptoms and severity, aggression, forgetfulness, sporadic poor performance), and I have statements from family (to provide evidence of all the nitty gritty that only family knows). It's clear to me and family that my anxiety and depression are related to my time in the Marines, and I get why it is a difficult process to get things service connected after leaving the service, I just don't understand why the VA provides a mental health service to vets but won't give a statement on their opinion of service connection - they are the ones who would know best. I *think* I have the 2 of the three requirements covered pretty well, but would appreciate any suggestions on if I need to do more. 1. Current diagnosis - I have this, from the VA clinic I regularly visit 2. In service event - I have this from buddy statements 3. Medical nexus - This one I need to get, and really wish I could get it from the VA. I don't know how to approach the clinical psychologist I saw 5 years ago about a nexus letter. I didn't have a therapy relationship with him, he only did testing for ADHD and depression. I really appreciate all the comments and help with this. I wish the process was easier.
  5. I just had an appointment with my VA therapist. She confirmed again that her and the VA Psych N.P I see both don't get involved in nexus letters at all, which is fine since I plan on seeing the civilian N.P. I used to see. Here is my question: I read online that nexus letters should come from experts in their field. The non VA civilian N.P. I saw is a Family Nurse Practitioner who does mental health. I never asked the question when I saw her previously. I was her patient for about a year and a half, and she was good, she provided therapy and also prescribed medications. If she writes a nexus letter, will it matter to the VA that she is not specifically a Psychiatric N.P.? I did also see a clinical psychologist several years ago, who administered some testing, but he was in a different practice from the most recent Family N.P. I plan on asking for the letter. I planned on asking the Family N.P. because I have seen her more recently. I am so confused with all of this. I would like to do it myself, and not pay $$$$ to have a firm do it all, but I'm wondering if that is a better route to go? I'm afraid of going that route, because I don't know which firms are legit and which ones are just out for Vets' money. Some sites look OK, but others look like they could just as easily be snake oil sales sites.
  6. Buck52, I had Marines and coworkers and family complete statements on VBA-21-4138-ARE. Is the 21-526EZ the same as the online stuff at VA.gov or is it an actual paper form I need to fill out?
  7. Broncovet, No, I went in to see the VA after finding out I could recieve healthcare based on my 30% from arm. I went for a corneal scratch, and then learned about the mental health clinic. I started seeing VA mental health since it is free (no more copays with insurance) and my diagnosis with them is GAD and MDD. They haven't ruled out ADHD, but wanted me to do the sleep study first to see if I have sleep apnea (I do and I never knew I had it) and then see if treatment helps with brain fog, forgetfulness etc.
  8. Berta, All of my reading has been online, and I haven't discussed any of this process with other vets who have gone through this process. I thought I read that PTSD needs an in service "event or injury" but other mental issues don't need that. Is that true, or will the VA still want me to pinpoint a specific "thing" that caused it. I don't think I could pin point a single thing. I think breaking my arm the way I did, PCSing to a new station, and feeling like I was "less than" or like I didn't deserve to be promoted since I couldn't do the same stuff as well as I used to be able to, all created a storm in my head that just kept getting worse. I know I started acting out, and making shit choices I never would have made before, but I don't know if I could specifically say a single event did that.
  9. Broncovet, I was not diagnosed with GAD/MDD in service, but the VA has diagnosed me with GAD/MDD and prescribed meds. I've had ongoing symptoms, my wife of 8 years was more than willing to write a statement of all my symptoms, and I'm hoping the statements from coworkers that span the last 10 years will help show my symptoms have been ongoing. I guess my concerns are that even though I know I was outgoing, assertive, and not depressed before breaking my arm and going to NY, I don't know how to best give the VA proof of that, or if statements are all I can give. I haven't filed yet. I want to wait to talk with the civilian psych. nurse practitioner I used to see, and get her opinion on service relation, and see if she will write a nexus letter. If she agrees, I guess all I can do is submit, and see what VA says.
  10. Brand new here. I'm posting because I'm so confused and unsure if I'm doing the right stuff, or if I should be doing it at all. I'm hoping to find answers on how to file a claim for GAD/Major depression. Here's my story. 1996-2000 high school captain of soccer and baseball teams. Captain of Snare Drum line in marching band. 2000 - enlist in USMC, squad leader in boot camp, meritoriously promoted to PFC at graduation. 2001 - Class leader in A school 2002 - PCS to Japan (Iwakuni) volunteer for secondary school, awarded Microminiature soldering credentials. Perform extra duties and awarded Meritorious Mast for going above and beyond. Compete in meritorious board for Cpl, and win. 2002 cont. While celebrating the win (but not yet actually promoted) engage in arm wrestling match, and lose, terribly. Suffer spiral fracture which requires evacuation to naval hospital for surgery - internal fixation (plate and 8 screws). Require months of rehab, and continuous wear of mechanical brace and continued light duty for months. Ok, this is where things get hairy. 2002 cont. PCS back stateside (NY) while still wearing mechanical brace and on light duty. Within 1 week of reporting, promotion ceremony is held. I had to be promoted while wearing a brace and a sling, no "pinning" of rank and no "earning" of blood stripe. From this point on, I'm pretty much viewed as a punk, and a melingerer. I stop volunteering for extra duties or assignments, motivation drops, etc. 2003 - Drink heavily. Merry an awful woman who is into drugs. 2004 - pop on piss test. Before NJP, I make Sergeant due to previous meritorious promotions and excellent pro/con, rifle, PFT scores. This infuriates most Marines in my squadron, and further solidifies my reputation as a shitbird, because I am a piss-popped mellinger who made Sergeant before most people. 2004 cont. NJPed, busted down to Cpl. Result of NJP is that I will not be discharged, based on demonstration of excellent performance earlier in service, but will not be allowed to re-enlist. During a PT session I fall and get a class III AC joint separation, which again requires light duty and use of a sling. Anyone who didn't think I was a melingerer before, starts thinking/calling me one now. 2005 - EAS. 2005 - Civilian diagnosed with everything from ADHD, to GAD, to MDD, to bipolar. Various medications do not improve mental performance or fatigue. 2013 - buddy talks me in to visiting VA for disability due to arm. Awarded 30%, feel like I don't deserve it because of NJP. 2019 - visit VA mental health clinic, diagnosed with GAD and MDD. Therapist suggests sleep study. Just got results. I have mild sleep apnea. I have decided to file a claim for GAD/MDD and sleep apnea. I have buddy statements on the official VA forms from Marines who served with me from boot camp through Japan stating I was a stellar Marine. I have statements from Marines who served with me in NY stating I was not at all stellar, and performed poorly. I have statements from civilian coworkers stating I had performance issues, was fired from a job, and was on the chopping block at another. I have medical records from Naval hospitals for all my injuries. So, from other service members, does it sound like I have any chance at a case? How should I file? I have an appointment with my previous Psych. Nurse Practitioner in 2 months from now, to request a nexus letter. I don't know if she will write one, but based on our prior treatment session discussions, I believe she agrees my GAD and MDD or related to my service. Where do I go from here? Should I even be filing a case at all?
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