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Immune

Seaman
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  1. BionicVet, your first step is getting in touch with a Service Officer if you still have not yet met with one. If you do not feel comfortable with the first you meet with, go to another organization. The main ones I know of with good track records are the DAV and American Legion. I used the American Legion after my own manual claim submission for PTSD was denied. I had only been home for seven months at that point, after coming home from combat in Al Anbar province in 2004-2005. The denial for PTSD as a shock to say the least. Like many others, I have been down many of the VA rabbit holes and doing it on your own is a painful and very frustrating path. The Service Officers work on your behalf and mine was awesome...not much personality, but he sure knew the process! Through a number of appeals, I eventually got PTSD and my migraines covered by the VA, so it is very possible and highly likely...if you get help through the process with a VSO. Folks on forums like these can be helpful, but ultimately you have to take action and file the appropriate paperwork. If you forget a form or fail to include an ailment in your filing, it is all on you to know what you need to do to recover the process. That is where the VSOs are worth their weight in gold. Just as lawyers have to communicate with the judge in a specific language few of us know, the VSO knows how to do the same with the VA.
  2. First off, you have the right to feel comfortable with your doctors/counselors. If you have a need to see someone because of your disability, I highly recommend asking for a different counselor if it is personality thing or you feel you are not receiving the level of care you expect or need. Similar to when you stop taking medications, if you go cold turkey, you can run into withdrawals or shock from the chemical change. So if you need the service but don't like the provider, change to a new one. I have been through 4 different MH providers before I stopped and at least 10 primary care doctors, mostly due to moving. Not sure if the original poster (OP) is still tracking this question but hopefully this info helps a bit. If you still have active benefits submissions or appeals in place, I would recommend NOT stopping seeing any providers you currently see; for the same reasons mentioned above. Once your current benefits are locked in as permanent (regardless of the percentage) and you do not plan to file any appeals for current assessed disabilities, you should be good to stop seeing whichever providers you do not want to see anymore. I quit seeing VA mental health for many reasons, but mainly I got tired of playing the "13 CYA questions" game. Every time I would go in, it was the 13 questions and then a couple of arbitrary questions solely for the purpose of appearing the doctor cares then I was herded out the door. To put it it simply, I don't feel like they actually care and instead this is them paying their dues as a VA doctor to pad their resume. I stopped going in to VA mental health two years ago and have yet to receive any notification from the VA related to my benefits. Again, I am already locked in as permanent at 100% (I am not 100% P&T though). I still use the VA for my primary care, but I am done with MH. I have been told by my service officer (American Legion) once you are in a permanent status, they do not change. The only exception being if you are determined to be faking or defrauding the country; or, if you are miraculously healed and word travels up the chain that you do not need/want the benefits anymore...but I doubt that last one exists.
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