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      Hadit Podcast Radio Show 'Tonight'' 7:00 pm EST.   05/04/2017

      Just a Reminder for all you vets that have questions you need an answer to  please feel free to call in to the show tonight and ask your question/question's  John Basser and Jerrel Cook Will be glad to take your call. The # TO CALL 347-237-4819..After you get in just hit the number 1 Tonight they will have Hadit Elder Member Asknod  (Alex) as there guest Host and he is very Intelligent with VA  Claims and VA Related Information, if anyone can answer your questions it  is Alex. so call in to the show tonight  John & Jerrel will make * you feel at ease* you will be glad you called In...I promise ya.

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  1. Hi, I am a victim of MST. I have a police report in graphic detail of the assault while I was serving active duty in the Army. The events (more than one) occurred 30 years ago, however, the images replay in my mind daily and to this day. I somehow managed to get through life and was married once and have three children. I have suffered internally (mentally) for years and have had a multitude of health problems including panic attacks and anxiety. I want to file for compensation, but also to get the mental help I know need through the VA I understand it there for me...if I can finally get myself to be able to talk about it with a counselor. I worked full time my entire life (now age 51) but was approved for SSD disability (civilian) for other medical conditions 3 years ago. When reading some of the blogs proving my MST is not a problem as I have the police report, however, how or what do they need to prove my suffering of panic attacks and PTSD to access if my life has been affected by the MST for compensation purposes. I have hid the MST events my entire life and even though I have taken anxiety medication on and off and even have seen a few counselors over the years I rarely talked about the MST and focused my sessions on other issues I think mostly so I didn't have to relive the events by talking about them. So again I am wondering if the proof is there for the MST what proof is needed that it had impaired my life in such a way that compensation would be awarded. I am not trying to find out how I can manipulate the system, but rather so that I can get an idea before putting myself through all the trauma of going through the application process if there is clearly no way I will even be awarded a disability rating if for example I do not have a trail of doctor's or psychiatry sessions stating I was talking about these events etc. to proved it has affected my life negatively.
  2. I am 0% for Chronic Sinusitis and 0% for Allergic Rhinitis. For years I have had issues with Bronchitis and Bronchial Pneumonia. A VA physician stated that I was 'misdiagnosed' while on Active Duty. He said that I have Asthma due to Allergies in 2014. Since being treated for asthma my condition has improved. I am now doing immunotherapy (weekly allergy shots). I filed Asthma as a secondary to the Allergic Rhinitis and the VA denied the claim. I am also taking Allegra, Flonase, Singular, and Asthmanex. How can I prove to the VA that my Asthma is related to the allergies? Also, the VA refuses to perform CT of my sinuses for a higher rating.
  3. Hi guys, as the title implies, i have finally received the news that i am 100% P&T no future exams scheduled. I did this without any VSO's or any help other than that of my family writing "buddy statements". I am still involved with my treatment plan, though the depression makes it hard to even do that but i just wanted to say thanks to the people on this forum for all of the help, encouragement, and information. Previously i was at 80% for: left carpal tunnel- 10% Asthma 60% Allergic Rhinitis 10% Cystic Acne (due to jet fumes) 30% My last claimed which i filed on 12/12 and was finalized on 4/4 was for: bipolar 70% Tinnitus 10% For a combined 100% Permanent and Total. It took 7 years, but here we are. This wil definitely help me and me family, actually this will change our lives. I know thats pathetic, but my situation is extremely somber. Thanks guys.
  4. Ok guys and gals, im back after a few months with more information. So for a little background, my effective date is 12/12/16. It moved to prep for decision in 2 weeks and stayed there for a few months. then it went back to gathering evidence, at which time i recieved a phone call scheduling me for an exam on march 25. 10 minutes later they called back saying i could come in for an exam tomorrow (which was march 1st). I attended my c&p exam for bipolar/depression- and the examiner concluded the exam by telling me to go directly to MH because im not mentally healthy or stable. I have the results from ROI, i scanned them, and posted them online below. I am currently 80% disabled, none of which are MH related :-( (illness consumed my life beginning midway through my 4 years on AD) I know im crazy in the head, and this report only makes me feel worse about myself. please dont judge me, im receiving treatment as we speak. part1: part2: part3: part4: part5: part6: part7: part8:
  5. I have asked a lot of questions and i continue to ask alot of questions to learn even more. I think this may be my final question before i file. So i am currently service connected at 80% 60% asthma 30% allergic rhinitus 10% carpal tunnel 10% cystic acne (due to jet fumes) Now here's my question. Back in 2009 i began seeing a shrink for depression. ive been on pills and have gone to a counselor very often ever since. It is believed that my depression came from the 3 plane crashes that i witnessed. And another 1 that i didnt witness, but i was apart of the HR (human remains) team that shipped the 6 recovered bodies home. It is also believed that my depression has come as a result of the severe asthma and allergy pains. Recent my therapist marked me down as bipolar I, fyi. My question is, do you think i would have a better chance claiming bipolar/depression as secondary to the asthma and allergies. Or should i just say that ive been depressed from the plane crashes and hr missions. Or should i just claim depression as its own issue. please help. Thanks.
  6. I have a question. As it stands I am currently at 80% but things have gotten so much worse for me physically. Well lets just say i just left the mental health clinic again after a two week stay. So i am considering filing to have some things service connected and recieve the other 80% i need to be at 100% Now it is my understanding that if i provide all of my medical records and nexus letters and other necessary items with my claim, that this can expedite the process. Is this true? Or is it easier/better to just let the va locate my records. In the past that normally took a year (to locate the records, schedule and attend my C&P, and receive my results). So i really wonder is it going to at help speed up the process if i were to get my records and then send all of that in with my claim?? somebody said it can take months for the nprc to mail out records, which would pretty much put me in the same situation as letting the va locate the records on their own.
  7. back in 2011 I filed for a plethora of disabilities that i received during my time in the air force as a load master. I was given an 80% rating. One of the claims was for depression an ptsd. However, I missed that c&p appt (i forget everything) and i obviously was not given a rating. However, I was sent a letter that says: "You were denied service connection for depression/anxiety/stress because you did not report for the scheduled exam in order to determine if the current disability began on active duty and to obtain sufficient information for evaluation of the disability. Although there is a record of treatment in service for anxiety/depression/stress, no permanent residual or chronic subject to service connection is shown by the service medical records or demonstrated by evidence following the service." Now this was sent to me in 2011. Since then ive received a ton of treatment but ive also have had some unfortunate events happen as a result of the depression, anxiety, anger etc (jail, a stint at the mental health clinic, even a broken hand twice on two separate occasions on 2 separate faces, and few more incidents. i am working so hard on controlling my frustrations with the world and i am taking my meds and getting counseling - i hate living like this because i physically cant control it. And i was never like that prior to 06' my join date). so my question is what exactly does that quote from the va mean? does it mean that they recognize i was treated for depression during active duty but due to me missing the appointment, they need more information? And if i were to file a claim for depression and ptsd - and i were to receive the 80% I need in order to be rated 100%, how would the back pay work? Would the date go bak to my initial 2011 date? Or would they back pay me from the current date of filing? Sorry for the long post - thanks for the help. Also am i correct in saying that they would only be paying the difference between the 80% pay and the 100% pay right??
  8. Well it is finally my turn to be happy on here!!! I have waited for a long time to get my VICTORY and I just got the call that I had been waiting for. My other thread "Squeaky Wheel Gets Oiled..." has been on going and great thread I started about my journey. The DRO just called me and told me what she was granting me. Now I need to know about calculations of back pay??? May 2013 was my initial claim. She granted me 80% as of May 2013, however, I have had three decisions during this time. June 2014 - 40% (IBS 30%, Tinnitus 10%, Left ankle 10%, Anemia 0%) November 2014 - 60% (IBS 30%, Tinnitus 10%, Left ankle 10%, PTSD/MST 30%, Eating Disorder 0%) January 2016 - 70% (IBS 30%, Tinnitus 10%, Left ankle 10%, PTSD/MST 50%, Eating Disorder 0%, 0% left ankle scar) She is also giving me 100% temp conv. rating from January to May 2016 for my right foot surgery She is also giving me SMC-S for January to May 2016 - How much is that? My total rating as of September 2016 is 90% I was granted the following back to May 2013 by the DRO today: Right 5th Metatarsal Fracture - 20% (Moderate/Sever) Morton's Nueroma Left Toe - 10% Right ankle sprain - 10% 0% for additional scars to foot and toe Increased to 10% for left ankle scar bi-lateral she said I was given 4.8% to round me to 90% overall So how do I calculate this LOL
  9. So just a general question that I have not actually had a firm answer on. I was given a letter stating my award for 50% disability from the VA. They are reviewing new claim items for a new rating but here is the question. I received my retroactive pay of 836.13$ on July 15. Now, is that the start of my monthly payments or single payment for the time being. My claim filed May 3, and if it's back pay then that's for June from what I understand. So again, with he retroactive pay, will I get paid again starting Aug 1?
  10. Good day all, i know eBenefits is less credible than my 2yo girl, but mine at least has shown some consistency. Couple questions... mine is moved to PDA. How can I tell what I'm getting or how disappointed I will be, other than waiting for the official BWE/BBE? EBenefits, since updating this morning to PDA shows an appointment request was made but no details? Would this be related to closing out my claim or possible that only part of my claim is being worked on while the other is being deferred? any advice/guidance/insight would be appreciated. Thank you all!!
  11. To be short and sweet i found out I am facing an MEB today. i am wondering what i might expect for benefits and how they work. Some ppl say you cant take va compensations if you get 30% MEB or more. others say i will have to pay back my separation pay if i take it ($90,000 maybe). and i really dont know how to judge what money i will make outside the Army. i have bad feet, ankles, knees, hip, back, left shoulder, ptsd, anger issues, migraines, sleep apnea, restles leg sleep disorder, depression. if all of these are 10-20% 140-280 % what do i do?
  12. Good evening, I am currently going through the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression program (CBT). I witnessed a boat overturning off the coast of Africa while we were patrolling for Pirates. I had the symptoms of depression for a awhile but they have come to light in January. I asked to see someone back in January and I have been since then. I see a couselour once a week and she has me the CBT program. I have talked to my psychiatrist and he prescribed me 50mg Zoloft but its not working to me. Is my counselor trying to steer me away from PTSD? I don't go to the beach, I don't swim anymore and I get angry at the smallest things with my wife. I answer some questions on the defensive and im always isolating myself from my wife. during my event I had a child tossed to me from a RHIB and he slipped through my hands and I seen him sink right under the ship. I then tried to help people onto the boat and locked eyes with a woman who had no energy left to hang on with and sinked. Are these signs of PTSD or just depression?I dont know if after the program do I apply for PTSD or depression cna someone tell me what I should expect?
  13. Okay, I retired at the end of 2012 and was smart enough to have my disability paperwork submitted with my clearing. October of 2013 I received my first determination letter stating I qualified for 60%. Nice, but they completely 0'd me on three issues so I immediately filed an appeal with the findings at the end of November 2013. The VA claimed they received my appeal in March of 2014, according to the website. It took until Jul/Sept 2015 for my first appointments to occur to justify or dispute the findings. I received an extra bump in my account this month (ending June 2016) which caused me to log in to eBenefits and see what it might have been. Good news is, I received my upgrade in disability from 60% to 80%. So, based on the 2016 VA Compensation tables with a spouse and two kids, I will increase to $1839.48 from $1275.09. (http://militarybenefits.info/va-disability-rates/), which is a difference of $564.39. Now I received a lump sum of $3477.92 which is approximately 6.16 months of the difference I should have recovered. By MY calculations, my backdated pay should be from my initial request. I say this because initially they rated my three issues as "Service Connected" but at 0%. Now that my appeal was accepted and those three items were given appropriate ratings, the backdate for my pay should be the initial date of submission. That initial date was 1 January 2013. So January 2013 to July 2016 should be 41 months of backpay, am I right? With the 6 months I received at the end of June, I SHOULD still receive 35 months of backpay at $564.39 a month, yes? If I am missing something or not understanding something, please drop me a response. Also, how would I go about energizing the VA to make this backpay occur? Thanks. Papa Weave
  14. Dear Veterans, I just received another denial letter from the VA for my Left Knee and Sleep Apnea service connection. I'm currently working with a VA Claims Specialist in Long Island, New York to help me with the claims process. He has told me we will have to file a Notice of Disagreement / De Novo Review for the Left Knee and Sleep Apnea. He also advised me this process could take up to 1-2 years. This is unfortunate and I want to make sure the VA has everything they need to give me the proper decision. I've attached pictures of my original claims from July 2013, and the decisions I've received for Sleep Apnea and my Left Knee condition in May 2016. I originally submitted my Left Knee claim right before I got out in July 2013 and I was denied. I dislocated my Left Knee cap in 2012 while in service. Since 2013 my knee has gotten worse, I've attended many months of physical therapy and I recently had surgery in March 2016. My knee is now worse after the surgery, I'm unable to run and I'm still in physical therapy. All of this is coming out of pocket because the wait times were too long for physical therapy at the VA Hospital, and I didn't trust the VA with surgery. I was unable to submit the surgery to the VA because I received surgery after I submitted. I've submitted two (2) lay statements, a physical therapy report, and VA examination which was requested by the VA. The VA examination explained that I couldn't stand up for more then 15 mins without pain and that my knee would lock up making it difficult to walk. I was diagnosed with Sleep Apnea in October 2013, just 3 months after I got out in July 2013. I submitted the claim a few months after because I wasn't sure about the claims process. I've submitted two (2) lay statements from Marines I deployed, lived and served with. I also have the doctors report from the VA hospital sleep study. With all this evidence I was still denied the claim. When I spoke to the VA rep on the phone they told me they didn't have my lay statements, however, the VA Claims Specialist I'm working with said this wouldn't matter because I was diagnosed within a year of discharge. I'm currently 50% with Anxiety and Depression and I have a special purpose claim for Erectile Dysfunction. Furthermore, the Left Knee claim is coming up as (New) on eBenefits even though I originally submitted in July 2013. Once I receive a decision will they back date the claim to July 2013 or from when the new claim was submitted? I appreciate all the help and suggestions you can offer. Semper Fi
  15. I've been reviewing a lot of posts on here advising what to do while waiting for a Comp. Claim to be decided. One thing I noticed was that it's recommended to get your C-File. Which is good to hear because I put in for that first. The weird thing is the time tables though. According to eBennies,I put in my Privacy Act Request 10/14/15 and the estimated completion date is 10/24/16 - 6/20/17!! Whereas, the Comp. Claim was entered 12/22/15, was changed from "Under Review" to "Gathering of Evidence" today with estimated completion date of 5/19/15 - 9/23/15! Definitely, not complaining about my Comp. Claim moving along quicker than expected! What I don't understand though, why is the Privacy Act Request going to take 1 - 1.5 years, compared to, the up to 9 months for the Comp. Claim? How can they decide Compensation quicker than sending me my C-File?! WTF? If anyone has any information to add some clarity to this concern; it'd greatly be appreciated! Thanks
  16. Hey gang, I know that some people have gotten a jump on decisions by seeing updates to their AB8 benefit verification letters. I'm one of the guys who's been stuck at Pending Decision Approval, so I like to at least have multiple things to click when I'm on ebennies. My question is regarding the effective date on the AB8. If my current claim is denied, will the effective date on my AB8 change, or will it remain the same as my previous award? If anyone has any insight, I'd appreciate your thoughts! Thanks! Pending Decision Approval
  17. Hello! Excuse me if I posted this in the weong section but I have hit a hicup in my claim process. Yesterday my claim changed status to preperation for notification. Then today it changed again. It went to Review of Evidence but in the notes it says the notification letter was sent. Also under disabilities it now says I have a rated 90 percent. So my question is, do I just need to wait for it to update? Is it possible this is some famous ebenny glitch? Also my estimated completetion date changed from 3/29 to 6/06-10/20. Did it actually go back to review of evidence even though it says notification sent AND it now shows I have a rating on my profile? Any advice is appreciated! Thank you!
  18. Folks: Over the last couple of days I've been trying to learn about the tax implications of my VA Disability retro payment and new disability pay that I received last July? Currently, I'm at a 90% Disability Rating and it when I got the VA letter, I saw that I was already put in for concurrent receipt due to the fact that I receive a military pension already. Anyway, I guess I'm supposed to make some kind of "election" with DFAS and I totally missed that? I guess that I have 1 year from the time that I got my first award letter so I am still good. Right now, I've been working on putting my tax package together for accountant and read that "Concurrent Receipt" is not totally tax-free? The good news is that I have a great tax accountant who will figure things out and spent almost none of the retro..so if I take a big tax hit...the money is there to cover it. Anyway, If someone could explain the basic "DFAS Election Steps" for someone with a regular active duty 22 year pension and advise what's the smartest DFAS election to make with the best advantages with compensation and taxes. Also, I may be at 100% when my NOD is adjudicated but that going to be a while? Godspeed Rootbeer22
  19. I'm new. Please forgive me if I am breaking protocol by creating a new post, but i looked and could not find anything specific enough to answer my question. Any help is appreciated. I'll try to be short. I am currently 50% rated for MDD. My first claim however was for a back injuries suffered while in service. I was a paratrooper in the 82d ABN during the gulf war and was in the Towel Stadium shooting at Ft Bragg in 1995. I was treated for psych issues while in service due to the event. I did complete my service and ETS'd honorably. I was offered 30% disability for my back during outprocessing, but told that if I accepted that I would only be able to work so many hours and with a rating that small and those few hours I "probably won't be able to support a household." It was a scare tactic used to get me to turn down the disability, and it is hurtful to think about. I filed my first claim in 2010 because my back had gotten to a point that was seriously effecting my ability to work. That claim was denied because, 'although your current treatments and diagnosis are similar to treatments and diagnosis during service, we are choosing not to service connect them at this time. To which I appealed and was denied again. The VA has fee based me for a spinal fusion, and that seems to be some sort of acknowledgement of responsibility. After speaking with a counselor at the DVS, I was told that I was basically asking VA employees to side against the VA and needed to get a Nexus Statement from a private Dr supporting my claim. I did this 2 years ago, whereas he used the language 'almost certainly' due to my military service as a paratrooper. That claim was also denied because, 'the statement made by a previous (not most recent) QRT Dr was longer', so they chose to refer to it. I was however, awarded a 50% rating for MDD although it should have been filed as PTSD, by this same DVS employee. He said that when it reached the QRT psychologist, that she could adjust the diagnosis. She said in turn that she did not have that ability and that he had lied to me. Nonetheless, rather than appealing the back again, I filed for PTSD and several different back issues (Stenosis, Arthritis, Injury, etc) hoping that my issues would fall under any of those, as well as shoulder (arthritis) which I have been diagnosed and treated for through the VA. Today, I spoke with a DVS employee who told me "Congratulations! Your claim is being approved for award now and you should receive a letter in the mail within the week." I asked her what the ratings would be and she said that I had been rated 50% for PTSD and 20% for my back, both service connected. So, I should celebrate? My shoulder claim was denied because they were "choosing not to service connect at this time." A familiar statement. Also, isn't effectively what happened is that they simply approved the PTSD for the same rating as MDD, which will only account for the same 50% award as previous? And adding the 20% for my back to that will only elevate me to 60% total? My back is at least as impairing as my depression and PTSD. In fact, it exasperates them! I can't stand for more than a few minutes, and never without pain. I can't sit without pain. And, I am often bed ridden for days or weeks, or forced to walk with a cane- from something as simple as a small cough or sneeze. Why will they medicate and prescribe pain pills and major surgery, but not compensate? I don't want to take the flexerils, and hydrochodones, along with the mirtazapine, prazoscin, and trazodol. Now, I'm just a zombie. And, my kids don't understand why I can't play with them... or bend over to hug them. And why can't I get my own service medical records to help my case? Twice, I've requested them only to receive some letter about a fire... that occurred in the 70's?! I joined in the 90's! The last nail in the whole situation thus far is that my intend to file was filed on June 6. I even received a letter acknowledging it. But the date on the decision is Nov! Even after I faxed them over a copy of their own letter I was told that they would not be addressing the date at this point. I don't know what to do at this point. Appeal with no new evidence, but simply disagreeing with the rating? I feel like I'm being run through the wringer and it is taking such a toll on me. It affects our family as we feel constantly put on hold and waiting for next year. I feel like there is a bag over my head at this point. I am not asking for the moon. I'm not making a bunch of false claims to just get some money... I just want some help and compensation for the things that are debilitating me. Can anyone offer some experience or wisdom as to how to move forward, someone who can help, what step to take next. I just want some help. Thank you in advance. God bless.
  20. He takes his glasses off, looks at me and says "son, you're rated at 90%, you could have been rehabbing your knees for the past 4 years free of charge. Some of those DAV guys are good, but some of them are idiots" At this point, I was extremely frustrated and may have slipped out a few expletives at a louder than normal tone. He told me "son, talk to your primary physician about getting seen by a specialist and ask to get an MRI because you're knee looks somewhat okay, but I imagine an MRI might reveal something else that will explain the pain. Regardless of what happened, we'll take care of you, I know it's been a long journey, but hang in there and have faith. Also, how's your migraines? I see you're rated at 30%, but if they've gotten worse, you should file for an increase. Anyways, hang in there son and I'll make sure I put the info gathered from the exam in today" He was extremely caring and pro active, which is something that I am NOT used to with the VA. I don't have as many complaints as some you guys out there, but still, it hasn't been easy. I just wanted to share this story and hopefully I'll get the rating I deserve - since it's a bilateral diagnose, wouldn't I get a rating for each + 10%? Lord willing, if that happens, I should be pushed to 100% according to Hutsky's excel spreadsheet. That will help my family and I out so much! I am glad I am not in this fight alone and if it wasn't for a bunch of you, I would be in a darker place. Thanks - you guys don't know how much you've done for me. Brothers in arms!
  21. I received the notes from my C & P exam. Need your thoughts on what you think I will receive. I often have trouble with my PTSD and would like to get it fixed. I don't need the money, I would rather prefer to just be back to normal. However what can they rate me at based on the exam? 1. Diagnostic Summary ---------------------Does the Veteran have a diagnosis of PTSD that conforms to DMS-5 criteria based on today's evaluation? [X] Yes [ ] No ICD code: 309.81 2. Current Diagnoses --------------------a. Mental Disorder Diagnosis #1: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder ICD code: 309.81 b. Medical diagnoses relevant to the understanding or management of the Mental Health Disorder (to include TBI): Please See Medical Records 3. Differentiation of symptoms ------------------------------a. Does the Veteran have more than one mental disorder diagnosed? [ ] Yes [X] No 4. Occupational and social impairment -------------------------------------a. Which of the following best summarizes the Veteran's level of occupational and social impairment with regards to all mental diagnoses? (Check only one) [X] Occupational and social impairment due to mild or transient symptoms which decrease work efficiency and ability to perform occupational tasks only during periods of significant stress, or; symptoms controlled by medication b. For the indicated level of occupational and social impairment, is it possible to differentiate what portion of the occupational and social impairment indicated above is caused by each mental disorder? [ ] Yes [ ] No [X] No other mental disorder has been diagnosed c. If a diagnosis of TBI exists, is it possible to differentiate what portion of the occupational and social impairment indicated above is caused by the TBI? [ ] Yes [ ] No [X] No diagnosis of TBI SECTION II: -----------Clinical Findings: ------------------1. Evidence review ------------------In order to provide an accurate medical opinion, the Veteran's claims folder must be reviewed. a. Medical record review: -------------------------Was the Veteran's VA e-folder (VBMS or Virtual VA) reviewed? [X] Yes [ ] No Was the Veteran's VA claims file reviewed? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, list any records that were reviewed but were not included in the Veteran's VA claims file: CPRS; CAPRI If no, check all records reviewed: [ ] Military service treatment records [ ] Military service personnel records [ ] Military enlistment examination [ ] Military separation examination [ ] Military post-deployment questionnaire [ ] Department of Defense Form 214 Separation Documents [ ] Veterans Health Administration medical records (VA treatment records) [ ] Civilian medical records [ ] Interviews with collateral witnesses (family and others who have known the Veteran before and after military service) [ ] No records were reviewed [ ] Other: b. Was pertinent information from collateral sources reviewed? [ ] Yes [X] No 2. History ----------a. Relevant Social/Marital/Family history (pre-military, military, and post-military): The Veteran is age 2*. He has been in a common-law marriage for 2.5-3 years. He has a daughter age 1. The Veteran was raised by both parents. He has an older sister age 31 and a twin sister. He denied any childhood abuse. He described his childhood as great. b. Relevant Occupational and Educational history (pre-military, military, and post-military): He graduated high school in 2004, and was a B-C student. He was on the basketball team during his freshman and sophomore years. He denied any disciplinary issues in school. He joined the Marine Corps Reserves in 2005. From 2005 until 2008 he worked at the *CA. He then worked for the * Arizona *Department for two months until he transitioned into active duty status. The Veteran was on active duty from 2008 until 2009. He then was in the reserves until 2011. His highest rank was E-4 and he worked in artillery and rocket artillery. He denied any disciplinary issues in the military. He received an Honorable discharge. He has been employed since 201* at the * Department. He investigates internal affairs. This is a fulltime job. He has never been fired from a job. c. Relevant Mental Health history, to include prescribed medications and family mental health (pre-military, military, and post-military): The Veteran denied any mental health treatment prior to or during the military. He has received mental health services at the El Paso VA over the past year. His most recent appointment was in 09/13. He has never been prescribed psychotropic medication. He denied any psychiatric hospitalizations and he denied any suicide attempts. He denied any family history of psychiatric treatment. d. Relevant Legal and Behavioral history (pre-military, military, and post-military): The Veteran denied any arrests or other legal difficulties. e. Relevant Substance abuse history (pre-military, military, and post-military): From 2009 until 2012 he drank excessively, which included binge drinking on the weekends, and having five drinks a night during the week. He significantly reduced his drinking on his own in 2012. He has about five drinks a week or every other week. f. Other, if any: No response provided. 3. Stressors ------------a. Stressor #1: "It was March or April 2009 and we were on Delaram post in Afghanistan. We were eating and we heard a loud bang and then another one. It was close to nighttime. A suicide bomber killed himself and killed a Marine in doing so. We saw it after it happened. I was terrified about dying there." Does this stressor meet Criterion A (i.e., is it adequate to support the diagnosis of PTSD)? [X] Yes [ ] No Is the stressor related to the Veteran's fear of hostile military or terrorist activity? [X] Yes [ ] No Is the stressor related to personal assault, e.g. military sexual trauma? [ ] Yes [X] No b. Stressor #2: :" This was on Delaram post in May 2009 in Afghanistan. There was a warrant officer, a big stout guy. He was leaving to go home soon. He went out on a convoy and got blown up by an IED that he was disarming." Does this stressor meet Criterion A (i.e., is it adequate to support the diagnosis of PTSD)? [X] Yes [ ] No Is the stressor related to the Veteran's fear of hostile military or terrorist activity? [X] Yes [ ] No Is the stressor related to personal assault, e.g. military sexual trauma? [ ] Yes [X] No c. Stressor #3: : "This was the first mortar attack. It was in February or March 2009 in Afghanistan. I had just finished my shift. I put on my kevolar. Everybody started running. It was fear of the unknown. Anyone could die at any time. " Does this stressor meet Criterion A (i.e., is it adequate to support the diagnosis of PTSD)? [X] Yes [ ] No Is the stressor related to the Veteran's fear of hostile military or terrorist activity? [X] Yes [ ] No Is the stressor related to personal assault, e.g. military sexual trauma? [ ] Yes [X] No 4. PTSD Diagnostic Criteria ---------------------------Please check criteria used for establishing the current PTSD diagnosis. Do not mark symptoms below that are clearly not attributable to the criteria A stressor/PTSD. Instead, overlapping symptoms clearly attributable to other things should be noted under #6 - other symptoms. The diagnostic criteria for PTSD, referred to as Criteria A-H, are from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DMS-5). Criterion A: Exposure to actual or threatened a) death, b) serious injury, c) sexual violatrion, in one or more of the following ways: [X] Directly experiencing the tramuatic event(s) [X] Learning that the traumatic event(s) occurred to a close family member or close friend; cases of actual or threatened death must have been violent or accidental; or, experiencing repeated or extreme exposure to aversive details of the traumatic events(s) (e.g., first responders collecting human remains; police officers repeatedly exposed to details of child abuse); this does not apply to exposure through electronic media, television, movies, or pictures, unless this exposure is work related. Criterion B: Presence of (one or more) of the following intrusion symptoms associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after the traumatic event(s) occurred: [X] Recurrent distressing dreams in which the content and/or affect of the dream are related to the traumatic event(s). [X] Intense or prolonged psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event(s). Criterion C: Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after the traumatic events(s) occurred, as evidenced by one or both of the following: [X] Avoidance of or efforts to avoid distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings about or closely associated with the traumatic event(s). [X] Avoidance of or efforts to avoid external reminders (people, places, conversations, activities, objects, situations) that arouse distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings about or closely associated with the traumatic event(s). Criterion D: Negative alterations in cognitions and mood associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more) of the following: [X] Persistent and exaggerated negative beliefs or expectations about oneself, others, or the world (e.g., "I am bad,: "No one can be trusted,: "The world is completely dangerous,: "My whole nervous system is permanently ruined"). [X] Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others. Criterion E: Marked alterations in arousal and reactivity associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more) of the following: [X] Hypervigilance. [X] Exaggerated startle response. [X] Sleep disturbance (e.g., difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless sleep). Criterion F: [X] Duration of the disturbance (Criteria B, C, D, and E) is more than 1 month. Criterion G: [X] The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. Criterion H: [X] The disturbance is not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance (e.g., medication, alcohol) or another medical condition. 5. Symptoms -----------For VA rating purposes, check all symptoms that apply to the Veterans diagnoses: [X] Depressed mood [X] Anxiety [X] Panic attacks that occur weekly or less often [X] Chronic sleep impairment 6. Behavioral Observations --------------------------MENTAL STATUS EXAM: Grooming and Hygiene-[X ] Good, [ ] Fair, [ ] Poor, [ ] Other: Eye Contact-[X ] Good, [ ] Fair, [ ] Poor, [ ] Other: Orientation- Alert, Oriented to [X ] Person, [X ] Place, [X ] Date, [X ] Situation. Behavior- [X ] Attentive and cooperative, [ ] Guarded, [ ] Angry, [] Demanding Speech- [X ] regular rate and rhythm [ ] Soft, [ ] Loud [ ] Hostile Mood- [ ] anxious [X ] dysphoric [ ] agitated [ ] labile [ ] expansive [ ] happy [ ] depressed [ ] fearful [ ] other Affect- [X ] congruent and appropriate [ ] incongruent. Thought process- [ X ] coherent, logical, goal oriented. [X ] Other: Thought Content- [X ] denies suicidal ideation [X ] Denies hallucinations Insight- [X ] Good, [ ] Fair, [ ] Poor, [ ] Impaired Judgment-[X ] Good, [ ] Fair, [ ] Poor, [ ] Impaired 7. Other symptoms -----------------Does the Veteran have any other symptoms attributable to PTSD (and other mental disorders) that are not listed above? [ ] Yes [X] No 8. Competency -------------Is the Veteran capable of managing his or her financial affairs? [X] Yes [ ] No 9. Remarks, if any ------------------PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTING: MMPI-2 RESULTS: L F K HS D HY PD MF PA PT SC MA SI Raw Score: 6 24 8 26 40 32 26 26 14 33 46 22 47 K Corr. 4 3 8 8 2 T Score: 61 110 35 90 93 76 64 50 64 81 98 59 75 ? Cannot Say (Raw): 0 F-K (Raw): 16 The Veteran produced an invalid MMPI-2 profile; therefore the testing results cannot be interpreted. NOTE: VA may request additional medical information, including additional examinations if necessary to complete VA's review of the Veteran's application. **************************************************************************** Medical Opinion Disability Benefits Questionnaire Name of patient/Veteran: Indicate method used to obtain medical information to complete this document: [ ] Review of available records (without in-person or video telehealth examination) using the Acceptable Clinical Evidence (ACE) process because the existing medical evidence provided sufficient information on which to prepare the DBQ and such an examination will likely provide no additional relevant evidence. [ ] Review of available records in conjunction with a telephone interview with the Veteran (without in-person or telehealth examination) using the ACE process because the existing medical evidence supplemented with a telephone interview provided sufficient information on which to prepare the DBQ and such an examination would likely provide no additional relevant evidence. [ ] Examination via approved video telehealth [X] In-person examination Evidence review ---------------a. Was the Veteran's VA claims file reviewed? Yes If yes, list any records that were reviewed but were not included in the Veteran's VA claims file: CPRS; CAPRI MEDICAL OPINION SUMMARY -----------------------RESTATEMENT OF REQUESTED OPINION: a. Opinion from general remarks: CLAIMS FILE BEING SENT FOR REVIEW BY THE EXAMINER. Contention: Veteran with service in Afghanistan 2008/2009 claiming numerous issues of joint and muscle pain, respiratory issues, neurological, skin, gastrointestinal, and mental issues. VA Treatment records provide contintuity of treatment. Opinion Requested: Direct service connection Are the Veteran's claimed conditions (See list) at least as likely as not (50 percent or greater probability) incurred in or caused by service in Afghanistan or exposure to environmental hazards that occurred 2008/2009. Rationale must be provided in the appropriate section below. Your review is not limited to the evidence identified on this request form, or tabbed in the claims folder. If an examination or additional testing is required, obtain them prior to rendering your opinion. b. Indicate type of exam for which opinion has been requested: DBQ Initial PTSD TYPE OF MEDICAL OPINION PROVIDED: [ MEDICAL OPINION FOR DIRECT SERVICE CONNECTION ] a. The condition claimed was at least as likely as not (50% or greater probability) incurred in or caused by the claimed in-service injury, event or illness. c. Rationale: The Veteran's PTSD is at least as likely as not (50 percent or greater probability) caused by military service. The Veteran had no history of mental health treatment prior to the military. In addition, he did not report any traumatic experiences prior to the military.
  22. I received my disability ratingon Friday the 18th of this month. Today the 22nd I received a call from a VA REP for a complete C & P exam for my rating. I went to ebenefits and it states my disability rating and the list of claimed disabilities. Under the claimed disability list is the exact same list stating pending claims. My question is why do I have to go through the same doctors visits when I have already received my rating?
  23. So.. I am new to posting here but a long time reader of this site - awesome work moderators and subject matter experts .. your efforts are much appreciated. I had a routine VA medical appointment for a general health check up in early April of this year and during that exam the doctor and I got to talking about my prior service. I mentioned to him a few things (I don't talk about my military history much with anyone) about my middle east service including intrusive dreams for years about a bomb attacks including a bomb (IED-timer) that destroyed my vehicle (unoccupied) and came pretty close to taking me out. He probed further and after answering his questions openly and honestly he referred me to the VA mental health team for evaluation. Now I have a VA medical diagnosis of PTSD secondary to my military service and a diagnosis of depressive disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder on top of that. I am prescribed anti depressants from the VA and am taking them. I am participating in group and individual therapy with a goal of diminishing my symptoms which quite honestly I have lived with seemingly forever. The VA psycologist and pychiatrist have both documented the diagnosis and nexus to my military service in my VA medical records and file. Both encouraged me to go see my VSO. I feel a bit like a dumb ass for living with these syptoms for many years and not considering my options. It surprises me that the doctors did all of this without any encouragement from me - Frankly I wasn't even looking for an increase in my disability (20%) benefits. I gathered up some buddy letters from veterans who were there and had personal knowlege and put together a binder of news articles and related military service records along with the medical stuff I have so far. I consulted with my VSO who copied my entire binder and immediately filed a claim (fast track). Some of the issues I have suffered with for many years include; sleep deprivation (nightmares, night sweats, insomnia); social isolation (few trusted friends, estrangement from family, avoidance of middle eastern people; hyper vigilance (chair/back against the wall always, forever alert, suspicious of damn near everything and everyone); little to no outside activities increasing over the years; anger outbursts, agitation and impatience among others. I am a work-a-holic often burying myself in my work and was a high achiever until my memory started to fail (mostly short term - forgetting names, dates, appointments etc). Having given that background does anyone think I can get rated for the issues I didn't ask for to begin with? Any other similar experiences having the VA push a PTSD diagnosis on a patient during a routine exam? Any help is much appreciated. MV
  24. I just wanted to see if anybody out there has been short changed by the VA IRT retrograde payments. I am 100% service connected. I filed 01 March 2015 and received my first VA disability check on 01 July2015. I received a "retrograde payment" on 11 June 2015 in the amount of $2,296, and just received $4,240 on 25 August 2015. I then received a letter form the VA stating that my only compensatable months were April and May. does this sound right to anybody? I feel like I'm being shorted 2 months of retro payments. Any help would be great.