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Found 1,906 results

  1. First off, hello and thank you in advance for any help that can be provided. Also, I apologize if something is not clear, trying my best to keep things concise. On Friday, May 15, I received letter from the VA, dated May 11, proposing a rating reduction from 100% to 70% for PTSD. The only evidence for the change listed is Rating Decision - Narrative(17SEP18) and DBQ PSYCH PTSD Review(06MAY20), whereas on my initial decision letter there was an abundance of evidence used. The major takeaway appears that my medical records(both prior to and after the initial rating, also from VA facilities) were not considered in this proposal. Is this normal? I have yet to obtain the most recent C&P as I just received the proposal letter, but intend to attempt on Monday, May 18. Looking at the proposal letter though it seems that examiner didn't check a few specific boxes that were checked on my previous C&P. Other than that the differences appear to be minor. The two lists are as follows: Original C&P Gross impairment in communication Suspiciousness Depressed mood Suicidal ideation Near-continuous depression affecting the ability to function independently, appropriately, and effectively Disturbances of motivation and mood Chronic sleep impairment Near-continuous panic affecting the ability to function independently, appropriately, and effectively Difficulty in understanding complex commands Total occupational and social impairment Panic attacks (weekly) Difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances Neglect of personal appearance and hygiene Difficulty in adapting to work Inability to establish and maintain effective relationships Flattened effect Panic attacks (less than weekly) Intermittent inability to perform maintenance of minimal personal hygiene Difficulty in adapting to a worklike setting Anxiety Difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships Intermittent inability to perform activities of daily living Gross impairment in thought processes New C&P Forgetting names Occupational and social impairment, with deficiencies in most areas, such as work, school, family relations, judgement, thinking, and mood Depressed mood Suicidal Ideation Near-continuous depression affecting the ability to function independently, appropriately, and effectively Disturbances of motivation and mood Mild memory loss Forgetting recent events Chronic sleep impairment Near-continuous panic affecting the ability to function independently, appropriately, and effectively Difficulty in understanding complex commands Panic attacks more than once a week Difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances Neglect of personal appearance and hygiene Difficulty in adapting to work Inability to establish and maintain effective relationships Impairment of short- and long-term memory Flattened effect Difficulty in adapting to a worklike setting Anxiety Difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships Forgetting directions I bolded the important items not that were not checked on the new c&p which led to the reduction proposal. It seems strange to me that new symptoms were added, however the very specific ones that would've caused the rating to remain the same all disappeared in just 1.5 years even though there is no noted improvement in my actual medical records. What exactly is my next step? I have written a few statements of disagreement contesting the proposed reduction and pulled my VA medical records and will be getting a copy of the new C&P shortly. I have no idea were send the items as it is unclear in the packet. It says I have 30 days for one option and 60 days for the other. I don't think I need a notice of disagreement or start the appeal process as the final decision hasn't been made(this is a poorly worded question)? Can I also request that they consider TDIU if the rating reduction is finalized or will I have to start a new claim for that? Should i send TDIU forms with my statements of disagreement and records? I have been avoiding poking the bear and not filing claims for other conditions, some of which are caused by the various medications they have me taking, should I start filing claims for those as well? And finally, if I do have to file for TDIU separately, should I start the claim now so that the date is saved? Do I submit the claim before or after I receive the final decision on the proposal? Sorry for the long post. I'm lost as to what to do next. It took me over 5 years of being denied before they would actually service connect anything and now this. Thanks again for any help, it is appreciated.
  2. Are you having trouble with a TDIU claim, TBI claim or any old claim that was never developed or decided? I posted this earlier on Tbird's question, "Unemployability and Working in a Sheltered Environment...?" Just received an example of this in a decision by the Executive Director, Compensation Service which I will attach after redacting. My part time employment from September 1987 to September of 1990 consisted of working for a CPA business manager of a now deceased movie star. (Egg and I actor as a hint). The job was a 20 hour per week job by the previous employee which I couldn't keep up putting in more than 40 hours a week. I'll also attach a copy of my employer's May 7, 1990 statement. The job paid more than poverty level. These documents should help clarify to any who have a question about this subject. I'll also start my own question where I can answer questions about how I got to this point. Now I'm just waiting for a $500,000 plus check. A lot of years in abject poverty under the bridge but I'm now in a nice home which will be fully paid for and I'm having a Japanese spa bath put in in the basement. Feels good but was a miserable live from 1974 to 2017. Hasn't been bad since I turned 76 in 2017. Now, at 79, it is even better. Still the issue of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) to go but it is more an act of activism since additional compensation doesn't mean much to me. I don't want those with similar organic brain syndromes to mine left behind on that paper trail. TLE is difficult to identify and identification is complicated by the victim being unconscious of the symptoms. We are thought of as being "drifty", absent minded, procrastinators (from enervations), etc. and no one connects it to our TBI and advises us or gives us a consult to a neurologist for epilepsy evaluation. Look up that $100 dollar word, "enervation". If you've had a TBI, especially if caused by near by blast concussion or repetitive outgoing heavy artillery (not me, mine was focal left temporal lobe) or p. falciparum malaria, you need to ask your family and friends if you are a little drifty or inattentive at times. If you've had Motor Vehicle accidents that you blamed on the other guy but it could have been your inattentiveness this is hard evidence. If you had malaria and have any of the symptoms I listed, contact me through this board. Compensation for those victims is the last goal of my life. At 79, I don't have too many more years to work on it. Also, if you have a TBI award post 2008 for a TBI years before contact me. I filed a case in 1988 in district court as a next of friend making a claim for you that has never been developed. Same case as my TDIU. An award to me would be moot because my new TDIU award goes back to 1985. But we may be able to get that Executive Director, Compensation services to take our TBI awards back at least as far as my claim but possibly all the way back to when the symptoms first interfered with our employability. I was finally treated for my TLE in August of 2015 and all symptoms are in remission. I was confirmed to have TLE in September of 1990 but mistreated with Tegretol which should never have been used for the diagnosis of "atypical absence seizures" and because I had a recorded sensitivity to amitriptyline per the 1990 PDR and every PDR after that to date. Subsequently, I was diagnosed as having "pseudo seizures" which too many read as being a malingerer. At 79, I'm more employable now than I was at 35. But I lost my most employable years to a 3.154 1151 treatment. It is on my NOD of 01/08/2018 and the claim it is on. I'll keep everyone posted on its development. 3526-3527 19900507 Al Marsella Stmt_Redacted.pdf 20200408 - TDIU Review - Admin Opinion_Redacted.pdf
  3. I’ve done the VA claim-bit on my own. I don’t know if this is a mistake or not. I went to a c&p exam recently. I left somewhat confused. I never had a doctor tell me directly that she was recommending an increase as well as IU. She said though it was ultimately up to the rater. I don’t have her report because 30 days has not passed. I was at 50% for ptsd and 10% hearing loss. During the appointment the c&p doctor quoted a couple other reports where VA doctors I’ve seen at various clinics said that I had “long term, chronic and severe...” (Don’t want to get into the what). I find myself now obsessing if: 1. The c&p dr was lying to about her recommendations; 2. The c&p dr was telling the truth about the recommendations; 3. The rater will decrease my % 4. The rater will increase my% Ultimately it boils down to: How much weight does the rater put into the C&P dr recommendations? Could I really get IU if that dr did actually recommend it? what are the chances? The IU could help a lot, I’ve not been able to work much the past few years.
  4. I have recently learned that I my be eligible for a grant from "Monetary Trust Fund", would this cause issues with my TDIU?
  5. Hello Hadit Helpers, I feel like I am stumbling around blind. I hope someone can help me see. I was service connected in 2011 severe anxiety due to mst and a bladder condition. I have not had gainful employment since ETSing in 2004. I was re-evaluated for an increase and received an overall 70 - 40 -10 but started being payed at 80% in 2016. In June of 2019 I applied for TDIU. I hit the make a decision now button on ebenefits, which was like shooting my own foot for lack of patience, not realizing that this meant the VA could not request any further info from me. In August I was denied, and obtained an attorney. The attorney took over and ebenefits is showing the privacy act starting on October 4th and my claim is now in the evidence gathering/decision making process. Estimated end date of April 2020, the attorney says 3 years, but I know there are new systems in place to make things move a little quicker. I am looking for any information that you all would have about what is actually happening. I don't know if this is a NOD or what. My case manager acts like I am a major pain and won't give me any info and I fear she has no idea what she is actually doing. =( I assume it is not an actual appeal yet, because my case manager said they would have to wait for my c-file before they would appeal on the next denial from the VA. I am so confused, If any of you experts could find the time to help me I would greatly appreciate it. I have always dealt with the VA on my own with no previous denials, but never fully understood what I was doing. I thought hiring an attorney would change this, but I still feel just as blind as before.
  6. I filed for tdiu and ptsd claim in Oct of 18, I didn't have all my medical files lined up and was given service connection for unspecified anxiety at 30% in March 19, and denied tdiu for failed scheduled rating needed and they mentioned that I had work experince and helped for a year with my niece , weird mention in the paperwork for why tdiu was denied but whatever. So I filed supplemental claim in april and had a highly regarded univeristy brain department and psychiatrist department diagnosis me for ptsd as a referral from the VA. So boom got another c&p in June and was given 70 % rating for ptsd but didn't file anything for the tdiu, at this time hired a va lawyer before I got my 70% rating thinking id have to appeal if they denied my ptsd again but they didn't so then I kept the lawyers on as they looked at my files for more things to be done and then they had me file tdiu paper work again but then on OCT 31st they filed a higher level review for my TDIU decision going back to march when it was denied. My two questions are how does HLR handle tdiu claims and cause I was denied originally for it for lack of rating and lack of medical evidence does my new c&p in June and my medical diagnosis with recommendation that got me to 70% now, will that evidence be included in the review of the tdiu or is the Review just of the evidence that was available at the time of the original denial back in march? I've been out of work for over a year as well but haven't kept a job down for a decade though I've tried for sure. OIF 08-09 1-22 INF, 1 BCT, 4th I.D. Also do granted my tdiu effective date should be Oct 2018 right as my intent to file date? Thanks
  7. This may have been answered elsewhere but as a long time lurker I have not been able to find it. A brief background. I am at 80% SC (70% for a mental health disorder, 10% for a couple of physical disabilities). But nearly all of this has been awarded through BVA appeal process that has been on going since 2009. Part of the appeal has been TDIU. In short the RO did not automatically send the 21-8940 to start the process when I hit 70% RO and I didn't know I qualified. Once I did know I appealed and it became a part of the 2009 ongoing BVA appeal, but joined it in about 2014. A social/industrial survey was ordered (2015) but not completed as the social worker at the hospital completing it didn't know what it was (he thought it was a survey of current patients). So the BVA appeal has gone back to the common BVA Remand to RO SSoC to BVA Remand tennis game for a few years. A mess. Here are my current questions: I have been awarded new service connections and ratings since the TDIU denial part joined the appeal. I have also moved, so the 2009 appeal is at the original RO where is any new claim would go to my, now, more local RO. 1). is there any way possible to file for TDIU now, through my local office since new service connected disabilities are present? 2). Just general opinion if you could, but I had been told that it is detrimental to an appeal to request that RO handling the case be changed or moved to the most recent or local RO. Does anyone have any insight if this is actually true? The old RO is a hassle, its keeps sending appointments and decisions to the old address no matter how many times and ways I update my address, for instance. Thanks vets, any help I get I'll try and pay it forward.
  8. I filed a claim in october of 2018 for ptsd and TDIU, long story short I tried to do everything myself and didn't have the proper diagnosis so I was service connected for anxiety based on having a medical marijuana card diagnosis for anxiety but the rating was 30% and I much worse off then that. So I obtained a referral from the va to a fancy psychiatrist from the university of north florida's behavior health department and was diagnosed with ptsd, bi polar 1 and panic disorder. I used this new medical evidence as my supplemental claim evidence and filed it April 16, 2019 after receiving my letter March 20, 2019. My claim is now at Pending Decision Approval with an estimated completion date of july 2, 2019 which is super fast from all I have read. My question is, Am I going to be awarded tdiu with the evidence I submitted if they adjust me up to 70% which I think it will . Or if they award 70% for ptsd on this new supplemental claim will i have to re-apply for tdiu again? Or would that all be considered in the final review of the entire claim? Thanks for any help. 1-22 1BCT 4th I.D. "Regulars by God"
  9. I first found this forum after I started my claim Aug 7, 2018. This was 10 years after my discharge. I had done everything I could to stay away from the military after my experience and had never even been to the VA before this year. I prepared my claim myself and was concerned I would be denied. I posted my c and p exam results here October 31, 2018 and members commented on their thoughts of success or failure, and said I would get about 50%. I then took my exam results to the Veteran rep here at my local unemployment office who told me ultimately I would be denied and should appoint a representative and prepare for appeal. I choose the DAV and left with my spirits a little crushed, but after reading people stories here I knew I had to remain hopeful. Nov. 29, 2018 I received an email from the DAV with the Decision that had been made even before I could see it. The email stated I had been service-connected at 70% PTSD permanent, also approved for TDIU and Dependent Education, but Ebenefits still said pending approval. So again I came to the forums for assistance and posted a copy of the email. I was met with congratulatory responses and assurance that the email was legit. @GeekySquid then messaged me a ton of information about benefits that were now available to me. It was from that information I was able to start the process of getting my life back on track. Im currently working with VR&E also known as Voc Rehab, to go back to school. Geeky told me they would give me hard time but to be persistent and it paid off my counselor has approved my long term goal of a Masters Degree. I can not put in words how thankful I am for this forum and its Members.
  10. I'm put in my claims for PTSD and migraines. I plan on filing for TDIU due to both. I'm currently in a protected work environment. I was also fired from my last job because of my migraines. Would the VA send me in for another C&P exam right after just having gone through one?
  11. I have been rated 80% with TDIU since 2013. I recently attended my 5 year re-evaluation for PTSD. My exam results showed up on Myhealthyvet today, but I shouldn't get a decision until June or July according to VA.gov. I just wanted to know what you guys thought my rating "MAY" be based on this C&P. Of course, my PTSD and MDD are firing at max speed right now worrying about it. My concern is the part where the Dr says "Moderately Severe" PTSD and depression. I have heard stories about the raters pulling small words like that out and using them for a reason to reduce benefits. Thank you in advance for your time and responses. cp1.pdf cp2.pdf cp3.pdf cp4.pdf cp5.pdf cp6.pdf cp7.pdf cp8.pdf cp9.pdf cp10.pdf
  12. Hello all I am fairly new to this forum however I get the majority of my insight here Currently I'm rated at 90% overall , out of that my depression is currently rated at 50% , about 6 or 7 more disabilities each rated at between 10-30% as well ranging from back ,feet and hip problems and recently I have submitted my claim for tdiu back in October 2018 and this past Feb 2019 I had my c&p exam and I was wanting to seek feedback based on what my examiner wrote in the notes in the results I've copied and pasted the portion that stuck out to me most Do I have a good chance at tdiu? Its a very scary process facilities. Encounter Date/Time Encounter Type Encounter Description Reason Provider Source :here are some of key things that stuck out from my examiners notes- At the time of the last exam she was experiencing a high level of work stress. This continued until her discharge in 9/19. She enrolled in College but only went to a day of school. She recalls, "it was pretty stressful, the wear and tear. Some of the classes were upstairs. Mentally I couldn't focus. I was excited, but when I went I felt overwhelm[ed], 'I can't do this.'" She has looked for work she could do at home but was unable to find anything. Has not had paid work since her d/c from military service. The veteran's depression is quite severe and would impact her performance in any job. She would be vulnerable to regular absenteeism and low productivity in any job. She would avoid social interaction and would particularly struggle to perform in jobs that involved extensive social interaction (e.g., team based jobs, customer facing jobs). She would likely struggle to tolerate the routine stress of most jobs or get through a work week without displaying obvious signs of depression and anxiety
  13. Its almost a year now since i was approved 100% for IU and Total and Permanent. should i be expecting this form in the mail from the VA or should i be proactive and fill one out and send it in? Opinions would be appreciated, or even better, a weblink to the appropriate regulations.
  14. BVA granted 100% Dec 20, 2018. Filed my claim Feb 2012. It's been a long hard road. Now I am just curious how long before I here from the regional office, and back pay.
  15. Hello fellow veterans! My question is this. My psychologist at a VA facility told me he does "not provide letters with regard to unemployability." Not that he opined negatively, but that he simply doesn't do it! Now PTSD programs (Cinncinnati) in their brochure say they will not provide any letters with regard to VA benefits. I have now moved to Vietnam in order to be able to live (got my ticket right before my decision that gave me 70% arghhh!) so any ideas what I can do now? I have a truly horrible work history but mostly I would quit because the stress would be too much. This was before I had any benefits to lean on, I simply lost everything and became homeless. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
  16. I am just wondering to what extent does the VA's Duty to Infer reach? I keep seeing it mentioned but I am not finding any particular bounding rules or interpretations, so any links or opinions would be great. Take for example a post I read this morning. OP was initially rated as 70% PTSD and was not/had not been working. Said it was in his file. Asked if VA should have inferred IU. So what has to be in their file to trigger the Duty to Infer? Is simply stating they are unemployed enough to trigger the question? is a mention in their intake memo enough? from their Primary Care doc? Psychiatrist? does a discussion with the 1-800 number trigger this duty? What if they are homeless or near to becoming homeless is that enough? Do they have to have an extensive statement saying they have not worked in two decades (or whatever) and don't think they ever will again? Would the duty to infer by itself require the VA rating decision to mention IU or send the IU form with an explanation? For example my latest rating decision for SMC K include a statement that I might have a claim for Voiding Dysfunction and tells me to file a "new" claim if I want to explore being rated for it. To my mind this is a Duty to Infer action on the part of the Rater; taking that back to the 70% PTSD example should there also have been a statement inferring possible IU and the forms needed to process such a claim? What about something like sleep apnea? I know the rules have changed on needing a statement that CPAP is "Medically necessary" but what if under the old rules a sleep study is done, a cpap issued and following that a C&P finds the veteran to be Service Connected for PTSD and has Chronic Sleep issues? Should the rater 'infer' that C&P is in order, or does the veteran have to intuitively know (yeah right) that SA is a ratable condition and then has then file a new claim? what about under the new rules? how would a new veteran know that their sleep apnea might be a ratable condition if service connected? doesn't the VA have an obligation to tell us if some condition is potentially a ratable condition or secondary to a rated condition? I cannot imagine it was the intention of Congress for Veterans to have to know things and rules they could not possibly be aware of before they file claims, particularly veterans new to the VA process. In that light it makes zero sense that legal requirements such as a Duty to Infer would/could be narrowly interpreted. Any links, discussions, BVA or CAVC results, etc would be appreciated.
  17. my husband was 70% PTSD with GAF score of 50% Viet Nam Vet.. He was killed by the VA 41/2 years ago, and so I receive Pension on those grounds. But before "They killed him" we had 3 claims pending: Agent orange : (needed to prove in contiguous waters) They are denying AO because he was on a ship and a "Secret Mission" so very hard to get verification. (waiting on C-Files). Aid and Attendance : ( I took care of him for several years) A&A : Outright denial.. He was on oxygen, 80 pills a day and 5 shots a day.. I also have recorded (from another non VA hospital.. he could not take care of any daily activities. So why the denial.. We were denied twice before he died. TDIU : back pay since (at least) PTSD rating. Beyond, because of Gross negligence on the part of the VA (Not including conceeding his death) which has all been very well documented. WHAT I NEED TO DO NOW IS!! figure out how to remove an old Social Security claim. (back trouble, of which he was receiving care for at the Va) but it should not "Supersede" his claim for TDIU.. (of which we had not been receiving any monies for, for a very long time. I don't know how to move forward. How would I get it removed or make the VA not use the SSI to deny his Unemployability claim??? I don't think going to SS office would be beneficial because it has been a "Mute" point with them for a long time.. So I am assuming it would lie somewhere within the VA system. BUT WHERE?? WHO?? and HOW??
  18. This past Friday I received a decision from Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office regarding a NOD that I had filed nearly two years ago. In October of 2016, I was awarded benefits at 70% retroactively from 2010. About 4 months prior to actually being approved, I requested that I be awarded TDIU as well. After all the dust settled, I was awarded TDIU back to June of 2016. However, my original claim was from January of 2010. As a result, I sent in a NOD requesting that TDIU be retroactive back to 2010. I was just mailed a letter from the VA stating that "Entitlement to an earlier effective date for the grant of Individual Unemployability was granted because the evidence shows you last gainfully worked on March 2, 2015... We have assigned an effective date of March 3, 2015, the day after you last worked... This decision represents a partial grant of benefits sought on appeal. My questions are: (1) Approximately how long before I receive the back pay? (2) Should I pursue the amount back to 2010, since the time from 2010 to March 2015, my work record is spottier than Swiss cheese and I really didn't have a consistent work record. (3) My son who was awarded Chapter 35 Educational benefits once I received TDIU in December of 2016, had just graduated from college (undergraduate), but was too late to have benefited from Chapter 35. But now since I have a new TDIU retro date dating back to his senior year in college, can he receive back monies for that one final year that he should have been entitled while in school? He has the award going forth, but was wondering if they'd pay him back pay for his last year of college since it now falls under my new onset (TDIU) date. How to proceed if its possible? Thanks so much in advance for all your help in this matter. Kevo
  19. So. I am100% TDIU total and permanent. Wife has to help cathterize me each day. My hands have Dupuytrens contracture and limited fine motor movements. I only venture 60 to 75 minutes away from home in fear of needing to void and will need her close by when needed. I have a condition that will never improve and without her would need medical care during the day. I want to know if I am eligible for special compensation L. Aid and attendence. Thank you. Jbun4678
  20. Hey everyone, love the sense of community and support here, long time reader first time contributor...Anyway, just another OIF marine veteran from the mid 2000s here with a few questions. I initially filed a claim in 2010 - was awarded 80% in 2011/2012 and filed an appeal shortly thereafter for tdiu. I was awarded ssdi and have had continual treatment from the va for ptsd, tbi and lower back injury. I was denied initially, filed a nod and hired an attorney. Seven years later my claim seems to have been diversified, my appeal for an increase in rating has been sent to the board (vets.gov shows this as an “open” issue) and beneath that under “closed” issue my appeal for tdiu says GRANTED. When I called the va to ask for more info the rep confirmed a DRO had approved it August 18, 2018 and that it was awaiting final signatures for the paperwork and benefit to be dispersed. My question to you all is does this seem about right? That the DRO granted tdiu while a p&t appeal was pending board review? It’s been over two months since the DRO approved it, how much longer do you think it’ll take to conclude? I saw that awards over 100k need to be authorized by the central office, is this a likely cause in delay? What are some average times between DRO granted benefits and benefits received? Lastly, this has been seven long years and my heart dropped seeing this update, I know anything can get screwed up in the government but would I be foolish to think it’s incoming? My life following Iraq and the things we did to those people had been a nightmare burdened with grief and guilt. While I’m working towards a whole life, the stress of financial burden alleviated would be a great supplement to focus on my recovery without needless strains. I really want this to be true!! Thank you all for your help!
  21. CAN SOMEONE HELP ME MAKE SENSE OF THE RESULTS OF MY C&P EXAM FOR IU? LOCAL TITLE: COMP & PEN MENTAL HEALTH/PSYCHOLOGY EXAM STANDARD TITLE: PSYCHOLOGY C & P EXAMINATION CONSULT DATE OF NOTE: SEP 07, 2018@09:00 ENTRY DATE: SEP 10, 2018@13:29:26 AUTHOR: HILBORN,ROBERT S EXP COSIGNER: URGENCY: STATUS: COMPLETED Mental Disorders (other than PTSD and Eating Disorders) Disability Benefits Questionnaire Name of patient/Veteran: Derick Is this DBQ being completed in conjunction with a VA 21-2507, C&P Examination Request? [X] Yes [ ] No SECTION I: ---------- 1. Diagnosis ------------ a. Does the Veteran now have or has he/she ever been diagnosed with a mental disorder(s)? [X] Yes [ ] No ICD code: Bipolar I Disorder If the Veteran currently has one or more mental disorders that conform to DSM-5 criteria, provide all diagnoses: Mental Disorder Diagnosis #1: Bipolar I Disorder Comments, if any: The Veteran is currently service connected at 70% for Bipolar Disorder. He was not diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder until after service, though he has several markers identified during service, including periods of 3. 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 deficiencies in most areas, such as work, school, family relations, judgment, thinking and/or mood b. For the indicated occupational and social impairment, is it possible to differentiate which impairment is caused by each mental disorder? [ ] Yes [ ] No [X] Not Applicable (N/A) 3. Symptoms ----------- For VA rating purposes, check all symptoms that actively apply to the Veteran's diagnoses: [X] Depressed mood [X] Anxiety [X] Suspiciousness [X] Near-continuous panic or depression affecting the ability to function independently, appropriately and effectively [X] Chronic sleep impairment [X] Mild memory loss, such as forgetting names, directions or recent events [X] Disturbances of motivation and mood [X] Difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships [X] Difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances, including work or a worklike setting The veteran verbally consented to the exam and did not express any concerns. The Veteran currently meets DSM-5 criteria for a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder that is more likely than not caused by or a result of his military service, given obvious markers for Bipolar Disorder during service, and no reported mood symptoms or treatment thereof prior to service. His mood symptoms impact his ability to function effectively. As such, his current level of impairment is best described as, occupational and social impairment with deficiencies in most areas such as work, school, family relations, judgment, thinking, and mood.
  22. Hello to all the amazing people who are helping more people than you know, Looking for help with a few questions so here is the short (longer than intended*)rundown...My ETS was Mar2016.. While still active in 2010 was on my Sr year finishing premed degree with 4.0 gpa had to stop going to college when my second kid was born and wife was very ill the following years missed alot of work but always made up for it (i had very supportive chain of command that made alot of my own med issues go unnoticed or possibly pitty..not sure but love them all miss them all) fast forward to 2016 after ets wife is better all the kids in school and with full post911 benefits left why not try to finish my degree, unfortunately over that time my health had greatly deteriorated and school was not so easy anymore, and it wasnt just school but all areas of life had become to much for me(ALL). Without going to far into a long story I was in two major car accidents in 2014-2015 went into a mental breakdown loosing touch with reality on the reg and it wasnt until this year the "Helpful Psych at VA" actually taking her time to talk with me that we found out it was more than just failing in all areas that was making me act like a different person. Turns out that a blow to my head caused alot more damage than I originally thought, and i hope one day my friends and family can see who i once was again. Towards the end of my enlistment I went to see my pcp a few times and to mental health only once very bad communication between me and anybody from that point in my life to today which I still have trouble seeking/getting help especially when i have to wait months for an appointment and speak maybe 2 min max with the dr who never remembers anything and thinks its the first time we have met almost everytime and being a walk in is even more pointless as they really are already overwhelmed with patients already....so frantically rambling to a dr or dav or vso about a number of issues just trying to get the point across with no useful outcome is how I always leave and I constantly not remembering what im talking about by the time I start talking is why I thought it might be good to get on here and write it down...sorry...so va claim background: June 2016: First claim filed (4months after ETS) August 2017: First claim closed rated at 80% 0% for groin > for foot injury> for facial scar> and knees 10% tinnitus 10% Blood Pressure 10% arthritis wrist 20% back issue 30% migraine 30% maxillary <Denial: Dental> No complaints for dental had unbelievable issues with teeth dont know what or why but by this time next year i wont have ANY left. I have had 2 molars pulled in last year less than a month after dental c&p Side note* no dental or med exam when I got out no exit exam at all..whatever the exit medical exam is called to show you are healthy and well ready for civilian transition the clinic scheduled the exam the day my orders ended so Dr said he couldnt legally see me as I was no longer in the military. Last conversation I had on base... <Denial/TREATMENT ONLY: active psychosis/ gw claimed depression, anxiety/stress" (reason: i did not have any evidence or complaints in service but symptoms developing within time limit of leaving service hence treatment only) even though i did go to MH clinic while in service>>>#didnt know the only service records that the VA doesnt get/have access to is mental health! (Found out after calling the MH clinic at my old base with hopes that maybe a past appointment might be in their computer system somewhere...turns out they did have a record of the appointment with the MH Dr notes from the visit! #only one appointment but still #in service treatment record thats good right? **side note after receiving the "Treatment only" decision by VA and visits and advice from the "Helpful Psych at VA" who told me I should have got service connection "at least deppression 2ndry to chronic pains associated with scd's" which i filed for within a yr of the original notification letter. <Denial: hemorrhoids> (had/have but owell) no treatment in service prep h worked fine <Denial: genitourinary condition> #i had a mucosal discharge documented breifly in smr> with Dr visits in service noting possible relation to <Denial: Digestive condition> problems with gallbladder heavily documented in smr which va said existed before service in confusion with an appendectomy prior to entering service. #visits in 2017 to urologist documented discharge havent been back. <sometime between all of the psych visits from 2017 to now i have a history of TBI of what level is still unclear to me> have met with tbi specialist> still have alot appt scheduled with neurologist and neurosurgeons> TBI not rated as of right now... June 2018: file for increase in knee rated 0% and groin 0%, and claim Depression secondary to chronic pains associated with service connected disabilities Beginning of August 2018: Discover missing Mental Health records were available I notified VA of new material evidence to make sure service connection established and to maintain the effective date of original claim (being made available to VA within 1 year of original rating notification). This was done via VA written statement form and uploaded to the supporting documents for the now open claim for depression secondary on ebennies I also called the 1800# to advise VA and statement was taken over phone. I was also told that this would reopen the original claim for deppression. Mid August 2018 receive notification letter now combined rating is 90% : effective date June 2018 Increase Knee granted: 10% Increase Groin granted: 10% Depression secondary basis to chronic pains associated with scd's granted: 50% August continued>> while the claim was still open I met with the VA TBI specialist provided and she provided me with TDIU form since i have not been able to work due to the severity of my mental health conditions along with the form for spousal support which i faxed to claims intake but the claim closed and 90% rating was assigned but along with the tdiu claim I have a new claim opened for increase for depression and migraines which were the two most severe scds which the tdiu form asks to list on the form. The DAV has not contacted me at all throughout the entire claims process that started back in 2016 so I am not sure what I should be doing if anything more to make sure that i get the earliest effective date. I have been unable to get anything done in my day to day life and typing this has taken an entire day for me. Im failing out of school which means I wont get my post911 housing anymore of which ive used almost all of now, my wife has been taking care of me and our kids and i know its beginning to be to much for her to handle, to put iceing on the cake shes 2 month pregnant which i couldnt be happier to have another child but i dont know what im going to do, if anyone does read this long thing any advice is greatly appreciated. Sorry if it doesnt make much sense. Thank you to all of you who are doing great things for for the vets on this website it has been a go to place for me for the past 3 years Much love to my brothers and sisters i miss yall more than you know -c
  23. Hi all, As some may have read elsewhere I just got a 100% SC for PTSD rating from my 8/16/2018 C&P review. At this minute I am waiting for my Big Brown Envelope and battling Ebenefits web site in hope to see my AB8 letter updated. Its the weekend and their outage calendar says they will be down all the way through Tuesday. On monday I go to the American Legion and hopefully my new AB8 will be visible in the VBMS On to student loans. I have them and so do many veterans who are disabled. There seem to be some oddities and word games in the way Nelnet phrases things and I think vets should be aware of this and we can maybe track outcomes of people on here who do apply. more down below. Until recently getting your student loans discharged was a) a pain in the neck and b) would likely result in an IRS tax hit which considered the forgiven amount to be income. Sucks to discharge 100K and get a 50K tax penalty but that is what the old law laid out B is no longer a problem, veterans who get their student loans discharged will no longer be hit with that penalty. This is effective with the 2018 tax law. A is yet to be seen. The new process, handled by Nelnet for the Dept of Ed, gets to interface with the VA and if a vet is 100% SC or TDIU they can discharge their loans. Under the outlined process on their website https://www.disabilitydischarge.com/ The VA sends Nelnet notification that a vet is TDIU or 100% and they send you a letter and a form saying you are eligible and what you have to do. Vets don't have to supply any more info, according to the site, because the VA has provided it. You can also initiate the process yourself if you did not get a letter or you have just been rated, etc. A blank form is attached here but there is an online form generator on the site that will partially fill in the blanks for you and then you download and sign. You will have to supply your AB8 and possibly other documentation depending on which sections of the form you fill out. . The wording oddities: On the site where they describe who is eligible and in the monitoring section there are oddities. The good news is that they have clarified that if a Veteran is TDIU they are not subject to monitoring the way people apply based on SSI or other programs are. The VA says if you are on TDIU you can only earn poverty level income but there is no clearly designated way they would know if you are working and I am guessing the VA does not have the staff to monitor everyones tax returns. With the Student loan discharge, Nelnet is allowed to monitor you electronically and physically to see if you are working and then find out if you are making more than poverty wages. I will say again according to the site VETS who are TDIU are not subject to monitoring. However it is not clear that if you don't have the specific TDIU designation but are 100% SC that you will not be monitored. More research is needed. This is part of the wording oddities. On the site and in the FAQ they say: " – If you are a veteran and we have received information from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) indicating that you have a service-connected disability (or disabilities) that is 100% disabling or that you are totally disabled based on an individual unemployability rating we will contact you and explain how you may apply for a TPD discharge, but you will not need to provide documentation of your VA determination. " That word, or, indicates that a TDIU designation is not needed. meaning if you are 100% scheduler you should qualify. but in section 5 of the attached blank application it says: 2) you are a veteran who has been determined by the VA to be unemployable due to a service-connected disability. Except for certain individuals who have received SSA notices of award for SSDI or SSI benefits, or for certain veterans, a disability determination by another federal or state agency does not establish your eligibility for a discharge of your loan(s) and/or TEACH Grant service obligation due to a total and permanent disability. That phrasing might be important as it explicitly uses the word unemployable which connotes TDIU. Not all 100% scheduler vets will have any statement in their file that says they are unemployable. and even the FAQ might be read to that both halves of the "or" statement actually mean the same thing. Legalese is somethings that F'd up. If anyone has started the process in 2018 it would be great to hear what your experience is with them and the process. blank student load discharge application based on va.pdf
  24. Hi all. I am new here and if i put this in the wrong section please help me get it to the right one. My main question, and i have dozens on several topics, is about TDIU/IU and its effects after a review by C&P at 5 year mark. Primarily do I have to accept an 'inferred" TDIU claim decision? As I understand it the RO can make this determination without my applying for TDIU, and there are some long term problems with being rated TDIU verses 100% Schedule. Here are the salient details. 1) I am currently homeless, living in my car 2) I have advanced education some of which is paid by VR&E some by student loans. 3) The School and VR&E made decisions that denied me the most important classes in the degree I was seeking. I was forced to take second best or get kicked out of VR&E according to my case manager. I took out 100K in student loans to offset the lack of those particular classes/certifications and got an MBA. It is not helping me re-enter the workforce. 4). I have a long gap in work because of my PTSD and then 5 years in school. Trying to get employment with that huge gap and the lack of the specifics classes I was denied, is proving to be a barrier I am unable to overcome. 5) Two days ago I had a C&P review at QTC (outside contractor) and Doc indicated that my condition and the current situation has me a millimeter from being, in his words "toast' in terms of being functional and able to work. 6) SSVF has made a similar determination to the above review. 7) VR&E has reopened my claim and is considering allowing me to get that additional training but I have to stabilize living situation first among several other requirements. 8 ) I am a vet who has fought the VA for 25 years just to get treatment, which finally started in 2013. They literally denied I was in the military, that the events actually took place, that I had applied, that I had a "real" problem, and a dozen other bogus statements over the years. 9) I am currently rated as SC 70% PTSD, w/chronic anxiety, chronic depressive condition, and 3 or more other related things, 10% tinnitus, 10) I have never applied for ratings increase or attempted to challenge what the docs said to the ratings board. 11) I learned last year that my claim for bilateral hearing loss had been denied because they only looked at the records from one of my enlistments, but did say the tinnitus was SC. 12) I have sleep apnea with VA CPAP issued but cannot "document" it started around the same time as my other stuff. 13) The meds they gave me, a huge collection of dangerous drugs, caused excessive skin conditions that have not healed even though I stopped taking their meds (which were of no help anyway). Now the complicated part to explain without going on for pages. The doctor told me what he was going to write in his report to the raters. He claimed that I can expect to know in 5 weeks what the increase in my rating will become. I don't know how true that is but it is what he said is the "normal" time frame his company is experiencing for the vets they evaluate. He informed me that the VA gives them a list of 7 sentences with which they must use to define each diagnosis and then provide their supporting narratives. These sentences are in the DBQ's. Essentially he stated that for each of my conditions not specifically rated, i.e. chronic depression, chronic anxiety, etc. I am between 30% and 70% on each of them. AT a minimum my PTSD alone has worsened and should (his words) bump up significantly from 70%. To be clear he stated that they were NOT supposed to put out what they think the raters will decide but he said the way he was writing the report his patients usually fall in that category when they are like me. Using the VA Disability Calculator, I end up at a minimum bump to 80%. All other scenarios take me to 96% or 97% with the exception of them just choosing to NOT increase my rating, which is always a possibility. There is a significant likelihood that the VR&E will institute an "inferred TDUI" claim which seems to be in their purview. They do this by denying my VR&E and stating the reason as TDIU and the RO will process that whether I want it or not. The other way to get TDIU or IU is to apply for it, which I have not done and did not know before now that I could. I also found out recently that a change in the Dept of Ed, originally started by the Obama administration but Congress would not vote on, has been now passed and the Trump administration is taking credit for the change. That change automates a process for Veterans who are 100% SC via Schedule or through TDIU or IU to get their student loans forgiven. The VA and the Dept of Ed and Social Security are sharing information and if you are rated at 100% they will actually notify you and you only have to sign a form, or you can start the process yourself. There is a problem with this though. If you are 100% through Schedule, then you are good to go. You can make as much money as you want and your loans are still forgiven. IF however you get the forgiveness based on TDIU or IU then you can only earn Federal Level Poverty line income, no more. In this scenario the Dept of Ed says that if your TDIU resolves you will be on the hook for those loans again. If on TDIU you earn more than Fed Level Poverty line you have to pay back any income over the poverty level that you received as a benefit. The change also makes it so the IRS does not treat the loan forgiveness as taxable income, which is a huge change. Of course in both cases you can never get another Fed Student loan, without agreeing to paying back the old loans. So my problem is understanding what I might do about avoiding getting an "inferred TDIU" rating if my latest evaluation does not get bumped to 100% Schedule. I plan on working and the idea of only being able to legally earn 13K a year poverty level income does not work for me. Until this exam I had not even considered asking for a review to increase my percentage, so getting 100% or any increase is pretty much a bonus that I had not looked for. I just don't want to screw myself by not knowing how to avoid the VA doing what it wants instead of what is best for me in the long run Thanks in advance for any help
  25. Hello all, Let me start by saying thank you in advance for any help or information provided. Quick backstory: The first time I filed was in May of 2012(I lived in El Paso, Tx at the time), it was for PTSD, bursitis in hips, carpal tunnel, and a slew of other joint problems, however life happened and I missed a C&P exam that I was unaware of and the claim was denied at the beginning of 2013. I understand that this is my fault, but I did learn that the VA found nothing in my army records to justify a claim for any of the physical problems. The second time I filed was in Feb of 2015(I lived in Tacoma, Wa at the time), it was for PTSD. I had a C&P thru QTC at the beginning of APR 2015 and attended, however during the C&P the doc diagnosed me with major depression and anxiety rather than PTSD. Also during that C&P I was made aware that the dates for one of my deployments was incorrect and did not match the stressors I had listed and thus he did not recommend a service connection and I was denied at the end of APR 2015. It should also be noted that I received no diagnosis or treatment prior to during the claim process(I still had no idea how the VA worked and was under the impression that I needed to be service connected.) Of note on this claim I attempted to use a VSO thru DAV, however when I went to the office I was given booklet titled "Federal Benefits for Veterans Dependents and Survivors" and the representative highlighted the address of the vet center near me and the ebenefits website instructing me that I needed to file the claim there. In JAN 2018 after a low point I finally went to the American Lake VA office to see what treatment was available to me. This is when I discovered I qualified for no copay visits and partial copay of medication. I went through the intake exam at the behavioral health clinic there and have been in individual counseling sessions almost weekly as well as attending a few of the group counseling programs offered. I have also been put on various medications to combat the anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Since starting the sessions I have been diagnosed with chronic severe PTSD, chronic severe MDD, chronic severe anxiety, and chronic severe insomnia. My third and current claim I put in on 02/27/2018(I live on Joint Base Lewis-McChoord, WA). It is for PTSD, MDD, anxiety, insomnia, as well as an application for TDIU. I listed the MDD, anxiety, and insomnia as secondary to the PTSD. I included my DoD service records and my DoD payment records to show that the dates of the deployment on my DD214 were incorrect. I uploaded my medical records from the VA American Lake office just in case there was going to be any issues for them to obtain them, they were reviewed and accepted on 04/04/2018. I had the C&P in MAR 2018, while there the doc said he was recommending all issues be service connected. I filled out the 21-4192 Request for Employment Info on 04/25/2018 the best that I was able and added an attachment to it explaining that my last employment was over 8 years ago and the reasons why I haven't been employed. On 05/03/2018 I submitted a 5103 Claim Decision Request. Other Info: In FEB 2018 I requested my military medical records, when I received them the only document there was the medical exam from MEPS, the one you do prior to joining. However while in service I was treated for bursitis over a period of two years(physical therapy and medication) I had the occasional trip to sick call, and at one point had an in grown toenail removed. I filed my current claim as a new claim, however they reopened my 2015 claim instead. My ETS was in FEB 2007 after being extended 7 months due to deployment. I spent my entire time in the military at Fort Hood, TX as part of the 4th Infantry Division(the division has since relocated to Fort Carson, CO) Questions: Q. Is there a way to obtain the medical records that are missing from my file so that I am able to claim the bursitis and joint issues? Q. I am planning to move from JBLM, WA to somewhere in Iowa(Wife's decision) at the end of AUG 2018. This will change my regional office. Will it effect my claim and what do I need to do to ensure my claim doesn't disappear? Q. Will them reopening my older claim instead of accepting a new one have any effect, beneficial or not? Q. Should I request my C-File now or wait until the claim is complete? Q. Does contacting the 800 number or using IRIS to check claim status affect my claim in any way? (I'm curious where it's at because it has passed the estimated date, and the last date it seems anything was done is 04/04/2018 when they reviewed medical records.) Thanks you again for any info or suggestions able to be given. T
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