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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. Good Day All Just a question: I am presently rated at 80%, and was recently by my outside PSYCH doctor with Depression Disorder and Anxiety Disorder and was wondering how this would affect my overall 80% disability rating?
  2. I didn't go through what most of you real military went through. But, I am going through alot physically now at the age of 32. I been out of the military since Aug of 2014. I only did about 3 years before getting medically separated. I just filed my first claim increase for both knees, major depression, both wrist, headaches, lower back, and left foot for several conditions. Im sooo nervous. Im soooo paranoid. I keep thinking that everything and anything will be used against me. There are days where I can't leave bed...I feel like that will be used against me. "Ohhhh...so you just want to get a check? We're taking away your benifts." There are days where I refuse to let my depression and accompanying ailments beat me and I try to work somehow to ease the financial burden on my wife. "Oh....you're working...let me take away your benifits. Im not looking for a free ride. Im just trying to be wise. I hear the stories from many veterans about how bad their condition gets in 10 years. Then they are left high and dry and can't work, and can't improve themselves, and people end up leaving their life cause of the burden. I have a Va rep filing for an increase in my conditions. My C&P is not dated yet...but Im sooo anxious and paranoid thinking that everything will be used against me to take the little I do make a month to contribute towards my wife paying bills. Please share some, or direct me to some experiences of people filing their first claim increase stories...and leading to c&p . Please help me understand this process better. My va rep says I have a shot at 100 percent. Im so worried. I have red and met people who have been screwed. I can't take yet another thing going bad. I think i'll kill myself if it does.
  3. Hello All, Put in 1 claim for anxiety and depression and 1 for ptsd(noncombat). Had QTC exam today.. Doctor said I have signs of ptsd but dont meet full criteria for it. Definitely have anxiety and depression. But he couldnt say if my issues are more of the ptsd or the depression, but I needed to continue counseling. So is this good or bad?
  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. First of all wanted to start this out by saying thank you to all the members on this site. I have been doing all my own research and very often arrived here. Today I decided it might be better to get direct contact instead of lurking in the shadows. The short version is that I have not been able to find work after separating, I'm currently on unemployment to keep myself out of debt while I figure this all out. I was in school for a few months and while I was struggling a bit I did my best to push through which was kind of working out for awhile. Eventually I started getting to the point where I could only manage to push myself to get to class and landed right back in bed afterwards. This effect snowballed and now I have just been medically withdrawn from university after missing 2 weeks of class. Those two weeks I could not get out of bed almost the entire time, I have been taking my meds and everything but sometimes depression just decides its going to mess your life up and you don't have the will or energy strong enough to overcome and keep going. But back to the point, the VA awarded me 30% for depression, anxiety and insomnia combined into one rating. Trying to figure out how I am going to get by and what I can do to survive brought me to the vets group on campus where one of the other guys after hearing what was going on suggested trying to get my rating increased and possibly seeing if I am eligible for individual unemployability. After reading how the VA scores depression I believe I might be in the 70% range but I'm not sure how to go about this. I've got the NOD paperwork but didn't want to fire off half cocked. I look to you all for some help with this as time and again I've seen this community help each other navigate the labyrinth that is the VA. My question here is multifaceted, which I will break down for easier reading and responding. 1. When filing a NOD should I go for DRO or traditional? 2. What evidence should I include with this to increase the likelihood of conveying my situation properly? 3. Should I talk to my doctor about trying to raise my percentage or keep the two separate? 4. Should I focus on the depression or give information on insomnia and anxiety as well/ would they all go together? 5. Lastly What sort of timeframe should I expect, I've seen people saying a few months and others waiting years later. Thank you all for any help you can provide and if you need any more information or clarification I will gladly supply it. (There are other things in my disability claim but they are much minor to the mental health issues and I believe the ratings I received for the others were fair or fair enough.)
  6. I have 4 months left into the navy . I've been seeing a psychologist at Behavior Health for the passed 3 years for adhd , social anxiety , and what I thought until now ... depression . I've been diagnosed as having MMD like 2 years ago but it isn't current but every other time I have a appointment I told to fill out that questionnaire that shows I wasn't doing well mentally . Apparently my doc didn't feel the need to order any meds for depression so I trusted his judgement even though I expressed verbally and on the questionnaires I wasn't good to go . Now doing some research of want I can claim , I see the depression symptoms for 50% and they line up perfectly for what i'm going through for the past 3 years . I guess what i'm trying to ask is Do I have to be prescribe medication for depression to claim any benefit from it ? And what can I do to lock in my depression claim from here ?
  7. so my claim was submitted on 12/12/2016. I submitted for bipolar/depression (reopen) and tinnitus (new). I sent it in as an FDC with all my evidence. I checked ebenefits on 12/21/2016 and the status is already showing preparation for decision. Is this normal? I haven't even gone to a c&p exam, I haven't recieved any correspondences or anything. For the bipolar depression it is a reopen because when i first filed in 2011, I missed my appointment. After I missed my appointment, the VA sent me papers (back in 2011) saying that they see that i was treated for depression during active duty. but since i failed to show up to the appointment, it was denied. So now i've sent a ton of new evidence that supports my claim and they've reopened the case. But does the speed with which this is progressing means that i am being denied? As noted below, ebennies is showing that the va rep has already made a decision, in less than two weeks. With no exams or anything... What does this mean... Is this normal? have i been denied? Is there a phone number i can call?? im freaking out. Here's what ebenefits show: Estimated Completion: 01/24/2017 - 03/04/2017 STATUS: Preparation For Decision The Veterans Service Representative has recommended a decision, and is preparing required documents detailing that decision. If more evidence is required, the claim will be sent back in the process for more information or evidence
  8. I noticed that the VA didn't award me anything for my anxiety. I was diagnosed with PTSD, depression, anxiety and MDD all at the same time. I looked through my records and see where it's all listed. It has been less than a year since I received my award. Can anyone tell me how to go about getting my anxiety added into my disabilities. Do I file an appeal or..........
  9. 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.
  10. Hello all. I am looking for some thoughts on how much of an impact a VA psychiatrist note in my record. I am filing for aggravation of mental conditions the pre-existed prior to service. I had a special waiver signed prior to joining where the military doctor granted me permission to enter because I had been taking lithium trials. The psychiatrist note from 2016 therapy session that states "In brief, -------- has contended with depression, anxiety, and anger as far back as teenage years. There were aggravating circumstances during his time in the Army (1988-96), though he was not in combat, and for quite a period of time alcohol misuse exacerbated his symptoms, but he says today he's been sober since 2011, when he went through treatment in the VA hospital. He doesn't attend AA; he just knows he's better off not drinking. -------- has contended with hostility and paranoid perceptions and ideation for many years. When it's been bad he'll use Abilify to counteract those symptoms. I have been seeing the VA doctors for mental health problems since 2009 and have an extensive history in my VA records of meds and groups etc. Do I have a nexus? I have been appealing this for years. Happy to provide more info if needed. Thank you
  11. 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??
  12. Sort of Long I joined the United States Marine Corps Reserve in July of 1986, and received an honorable discharge in July of 1994. For approximately 45 days in early October of 1986 until late November of 1986, I was stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC with the Warehouse Unit (3051) for training (ACDUTRA). Several years after my separation from service in approximately 1993, I really began to experience the effects of consuming the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. My mood changed drastically and I began to have major panic attacks. At one point in 1995 I was even taken by ambulance to the hospital for shortness of breath and the fear that I was having a massive heart attack. During this same year, I was formally diagnosed with suffering from Bipolar Disorder and Manic Depression. The strange thing about it is that I have never suffered from any psychological issues prior to my service at Camp Lejeune and do not have a family history of any psychiatric disorders. Over the next nineteen years, I took medication and occasional psychotherapy for my psychiatric condition. In spite of this my condition never really improved to the point that I felt normal. Since approximately 1992, I have had literally dozens of jobs. This is true, because my psychiatric condition makes it nearly impossible to hold down a job for any considerable amount of time. I have real trouble concentrating and focusing on things for long periods of time. Due to my educational background, I have been afforded some really good and high paying jobs like the Social Security Administration and school teaching. However, because of my lack of ability to focus, I am unable to sustain meaningful employment for more than a few months at a time. The stress of the workload and my inability to handle authority make it very difficult to remain on any job for very long; as a result, I ultimately quit. I reason that I can do better working alone and for myself and that I’ll earn a lot more working for myself, but that never seems to manifest either. I would say that most of my family members and close friends believe that there is seriously something wrong with me. I have been out of work for a year and a half and drive for Uber from time to time to earn money for gas and auto insurance. I prefer to spend most of my time alone and have pretty much cut off all contact with friends. I no longer have good health insurance like I did when I was married. Since it is difficult for me to maintain employment, I don’t have regular insurance coverage. As a result, I have not the taken much needed psychiatric medication for approximately four years. Consequently, my alcohol consumption has increased greatly and I weigh more than I ever have in my life. In my heart of hearts, I truly believe that my condition is the direct result of my exposure to the contaminated water that I consumed while at Camp Lejeune, NC. According to the EPA, the levels of PCE, TCE and other chemicals at Camp Lejeune were at least 1000 times higher than normal. Apparently the Marine Corps was aware of this situation and did nothing to correct it. Hundreds of thousands of Marines and their families have been victimized by this situation. In 2012, President Obama signed into law the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-154), which guarantees those veterans who served at Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987 for a minimum of 30 days and suffer from any of fifteen identified conditions, free treatment through the VA. I content that I suffer from Neurobehavioral Effects, which is one of the identified conditions. Depression falls within the realm of Neurobehavioral Effects. Perhaps there is a “light at the end of this long tunnel,” because, a Veterans Law Judge, in his appeal letter stated that my service record confirms that I was stationed at Camp Lejeune for training, which falls within the range of subjects identified as potentially exposed to VOCs during my service and that my VA treatment record shows that I have a history of depression and that I have received treatment from the VA for such. Aside from this I also show a history of being treated for years by outside psychiatrist. As a result, I will be afforded the elusive P&C examination as part of my case; I am finally going to receive the due process that I deserve. I keep getting denied! What would you do?
  13. Hi, sorry if my message seems like a downer but my depression and anxiety is bad right now and i have questions that have me in panic mode. So im currently at 80% 60% for severe allergies rhinitis/sinusitis I developed and the rest split between asthma and cystic acne. here's my deal. i witnessed a b2 bomber crash (its only happened twice so you can probably guess my base). When i say i witnessed it i mean i was actually out working on the flightline during the crash. And i dont know why or how but iv been screwed up every since then. ive been off and on antidepressants, im afraid to be in front of windows, ive gotten in trouble for violence, and more. But it gets worse, the pain from the allrgies and asthma is sickening - literally. i can't sleep longer than 4 hours, headaches, constant shortness of breath, no energy, EVER, dont want to leave the house and so much more. All of that caused my depression to go overdrive - i have no friends, my family cut me off. havent been able to hold a job in over 3 years. I seriously thought about suicide and cant say the idea is fleeting at this point. It was so bad that i was forced to stay in the mental health clinic for 4 days. a few weeks ago I need help - do you think i would be able to file a claim for major depression, ptsd, headaches, and chronic fatigue syndrome, and do you think it would possibly help me get to 100% - as that would improve my life so much right now. Im capable of working,i want to work, ive tried to work. but the jobs im skilled in i cant work because of the asthma and sensitive allergies/sinuses.. The hospital says the headaches are probably caused from the sinus infections i keep having, as i type im on antibiotics for a sinus infection, the mri shows that my right sinus cavity is extremely inflammed and filled with "stuff" as the dr. put it.. I caught strep throat 5 times last year. Thank you - and sorry for the sad posts - im just not feeling to well right now.
  14. Please, welcome new VET2VET podcast episode: https://youtu.be/waV5t0HPtbM Today we are joined by Thomas Wendel, DAV National area supervisor for West Cost Region. Thomas E. Wendel served in the U. S. Marine Corps from 1983 until 1997. Since 1999, Tom has worked assisting veterans in processing various entitlement claims on the local, state and federal levels; first in Clare County as a county service officer and then when he came to work for the Disabled American Veterans in 2000. In 2008 he was promoted to the position of supervisor of the DAV Service Office in Detroit and later he was promoted to the position of supervisor of the DAV National area for West Cost Region. DAV is America’s largest, most effective veterans service organizations dedicated to the needs of those injured, ill or wounded in service. We have more than 1,300 Chapters in communities nationwide to help make sure veterans from all generations and their families get the benefits and support they deserve. Today, nearly 1.3 million veterans belong to DAV, and we encourage you to add your voice to the cause. Our programs and free services help all veterans get the health, disability and financial benefits they earned. Take advantage of our benefits claims assistance, medical transportation and employment resources. Your local DAV Chapter is a great way to connect with fellow veterans in your area. ★ JOIN US IN OUR COMMITMENT TO YOU AND OUR FELLOW VETERANS ★ ▶ facebook.com/VETOVET2 ▶ itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/vet2vet/id1077206523?mt=2 ▶ twitter.com/VETOVET2 ▶ youtube.com/c/VETOVET2 ▶ plus.google.com/u/0/+VETOVET2 ▶ goo.gl/app/playmusic?ibi=com.google.PlayMusic&isi=691797987&ius=googleplaymusic&link=https://play.google.com/music/m/Iiqawbuzg7eviiyqm6xz7kju62m?t%3DVET2VET ▶ feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:198832065/sounds.rss ▶ soundcloud.com/vet2vet ▶ stitcher.com/s?fid=80842&refid=stpr ★ LIMITED LIABILITY CLAUSE ★ THE INFORMATION AVAILABLE THROUGH THE VET2VET MAY INCLUDE INACCURACIES OR ERRORS. CHANGES ARE PERIODICALLY ADDED TO THE INFORMATION HEREIN. VET2VET MAY MAKE IMPROVEMENTS AND/OR CHANGES OF THE CONTENT AT ANY TIME. ADVICE RECEIVED VIA VET2VET SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON FOR PERSONAL, MEDICAL, LEGAL OR FINANCIAL DECISIONS AND YOU SHOULD CONSULT AN APPROPRIATE PROFESSIONAL FOR SPECIFIC ADVICE TAILORED TO YOUR SITUATION. IF YOU ARE DISSATISFIED WITH ANY PORTION OF VET2VET, YOUR SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE REMEDY IS TO DISCONTINUE CONSULTING VET2VET.
  15. So here it is going on 4 years since I was honorably discharged from the military. Since I have been out, I seem to hit these depressing slumps of missing the military, wishing I could go back in (unable to go back in on account of a medical issue), having adjustment issues to not having the structure in my life as well as I am always "military minded" about how I deal with stress, people, other issues. I expect everyone have the same mentality from my family to my friends. I was treated once for anger issues while in the military, but this depression crap has me completely off the wall at times. I lose control when people make simple mistakes as well as ask me what I consider to be simply self explainable question. Am I even able to explain this to a VA Counselor or psychiatrist and have it service connected? Any input or advice is welcome positive or negative it is appreciated.
  16. I tore both of my shoulders had surgery that is S/C already. At the time of me filing for VA claim I had no idea about secondary conditions (just learning bout it). Both Shoulders I have these Symptoms experience: Chronic PainPain Pain Diisorder (believe if I push or grab stuff) Cause Depression Cant Sleep (get well since suregery over 2 years ago) What is the best way to file the secondary injuries? Can I file for each shoulder all those symptoms I experience? Basically trying to understand the best way to file this so I dont get screwed by the VA.
  17. Please, welcome new VET2VET podcast episode: https://youtu.be/9paX1-FyCaI Today we’re talking about SERVICE CONNECTION. When we talk about service-connecting a medical condition, disease, injury or illness to military service, we are talking about proving the relationship between the two. 1) Direct Service Connection 2) Service Connection by Aggravation 3) Presumptive Service Connection 4) Secondary Service Connection 5) Service Connection due to Injury Caused by Treatment in the VA Healthcare System 6) Special Service Connection Rules for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder ★ JOIN US IN OUR COMMITMENT TO YOU AND OUR FELLOW VETERANS ★ ▶ facebook.com/VETOVET2 ▶ itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/vet2vet/id1077206523?mt=2 ▶ twitter.com/VETOVET2 ▶ youtube.com/c/VETOVET2 ▶ plus.google.com/u/0/+VETOVET2 ▶ goo.gl/app/playmusic?ibi=com.google.PlayMusic&isi=691797987&ius=googleplaymusic&link=https://play.google.com/music/m/Iiqawbuzg7eviiyqm6xz7kju62m?t%3DVET2VET ▶ feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:198832065/sounds.rss ▶ soundcloud.com/vet2vet ▶ stitcher.com/s?fid=80842&refid=stpr ★ LIMITED LIABILITY CLAUSE ★ THE INFORMATION AVAILABLE THROUGH THE VET2VET MAY INCLUDE INACCURACIES OR ERRORS. CHANGES ARE PERIODICALLY ADDED TO THE INFORMATION HEREIN. VET2VET MAY MAKE IMPROVEMENTS AND/OR CHANGES OF THE CONTENT AT ANY TIME. ADVICE RECEIVED VIA VET2VET SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON FOR PERSONAL, MEDICAL, LEGAL OR FINANCIAL DECISIONS AND YOU SHOULD CONSULT AN APPROPRIATE PROFESSIONAL FOR SPECIFIC ADVICE TAILORED TO YOUR SITUATION. IF YOU ARE DISSATISFIED WITH ANY PORTION OF VET2VET, YOUR SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE REMEDY IS TO DISCONTINUE CONSULTING VET2VET.
  18. Hello all, I am starting a new thread about my issue, I was dangerously close to hijacking somebody else's thread. Background, C&P exam, Nov 2nd, 2015 for depression secondary to chronic pain. DX as MDD reoccurant, with SI, in June of 2015, by VA MH dr. I asked him if depression can be caused by chronic pain, he said most definitely. Many depressed Vets have chronic pain issues. So then I filed the claim for depression secondary to chronic pain. I fell down stairs during boot camp in 11/92. Many issues with back and knee pain from that point. VA SCd me for painful knee condition, bilateral. And Low back strain/pain, residual pain from L ankle injury, tinittus and hearing loss, all dated to my EAS of 11/98. So, now I have chronic established. C&P examiner ignored all my evidence, and opined that one minor leg injury, in his opinion, can't lead to depression. I don't know how he, in is uninformed mind, can say that the other VA docs and ROs thought my one minor leg injury led to those contentions being SCd 17 years ago. RO told me on the phone that she will not over rule the examiner, since he must know what he's talking about....so she willfully ignored my evidence as well.
  19. Hey everyone! I just wanted to update you all on my claim filing status. Today, I received from FEDEX a pkg with 3 envelopes containing my appts from QTC C&P Exams! On Friday, tomorrow 03/25, I have a exam for my claim filing for an increase of TBI w/ residuals & depression. Then, next Friday for PTSD. So part of me is surprised, scared and excited all at the same time because it's been a while since I been to a C&P exam. I'm just glad its moving along after having submitted my claim about a month ago 02/12/16. It's in the "gathering evidence" stage, with the VA needing my records from my VA treating facility with a 04/15/2016 deadline. So, with my c&p exams getting underway. I'm hoping the claims process for increases for tbi; depression & new claim for ptsd non-combat/personal assault & tdiu all become wrapped up by the minimum time given being in June, this summer. I appreciate all the ongoing support and inclusion I have received from ALL of you. I will keep you all posted too. Brian Semper Paratus
  20. Please, welcome new VET2VET podcast episode: https://youtu.be/sTH3p-WwXn0 The way VA defines The word "permanent" slightly differently. For that matter, the word total doesn't mean total when discussing a disability. These are just terms to VA. There really isn't a protected rating. Any rating can be modified by VA at any time, depending on the circumstances. How do you know if your benefit is P & T? What is IU? What is substantially gainful employment? Are there any other eligibility requirements? How is the way VA decides total disability different from other agencies? TDIU awards may be permanent or they may be temporary. If I get a 100% rating, should I continue fighting the VA for benefits? SMC compensation Can you think of any other scenarios were a Veteran might want to keep filing to VA after they reach a 100% rating? ★ JOIN US IN OUR COMMITMENT TO YOU AND OUR FELLOW VETERANS ★ ▶ facebook.com/veterantoveteran/ ▶ itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/vet2vet/id1077206523?mt=2 ▶ twitter.com/veterantovetera/lists/vet2vet ▶ youtube.com/channel/UCebXFpogeJ9r4EqRyxHriYQ ▶ plus.google.com/u/0/+VETOVET2 ▶ goo.gl/app/playmusic?ibi=com.google.PlayMusic&isi=691797987&ius=googleplaymusic&link=https://play.google.com/music/m/Iiqawbuzg7eviiyqm6xz7kju62m?t%3DVET2VET ▶ feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:198832065/sounds.rss ▶ soundcloud.com/vet2vet ▶ stitcher.com/s?fid=80842&refid=stpr ★ LIMITED LIABILITY CLAUSE ★ THE INFORMATION AVAILABLE THROUGH THE VET2VET MAY INCLUDE INACCURACIES OR ERRORS. CHANGES ARE PERIODICALLY ADDED TO THE INFORMATION HEREIN. VET2VET MAY MAKE IMPROVEMENTS AND/OR CHANGES OF THE CONTENT AT ANY TIME. ADVICE RECEIVED VIA VET2VET SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON FOR PERSONAL, MEDICAL, LEGAL OR FINANCIAL DECISIONS AND YOU SHOULD CONSULT AN APPROPRIATE PROFESSIONAL FOR SPECIFIC ADVICE TAILORED TO YOUR SITUATION. IF YOU ARE DISSATISFIED WITH ANY PORTION OF VET2VET, YOUR SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE REMEDY IS TO DISCONTINUE CONSULTING VET2VET.
  21. I am 40 percent service connected for Spondy 20% knees 10% patellofemoral.. I am also being treated for Anxiety, Depression, insomnia, fatigue at the VA. I have been diagnosed with Generalized anxiety disorder, and Major Depressive disorder (mod) In my records it references that this is because of my Chronic pain.. I also have a Note/letter from my VA MD that says my "Anxiety/Depression is "most likely" caused by my Chronic pain syndrome from my Service connected disabilities" is this sufficient to get these rated? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you
  22. Just had my C&P last week. And, I've been trying to figure out if I will get the compensation benefits and at what percentage?..I was hoping some of my service family could help me with..Appreciate any input you guys or girls can give me. Thanks!! Initial Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Disability Benefits Questionnaire * Internal VA or DoD Use Only * Name of patient/Veteran: Taylor, David G. 0507 SECTION I: ---------- 1. Diagnostic Summary --------------------- Does the Veteran have a diagnosis of PTSD that conforms to DSM-5 criteria based on today's evaluation? [X] Yes [ ] No ICD code: 309.89 2. Current Diagnoses -------------------- a. Mental Disorder Diagnosis #1: Other Trauma- and Stressor- Related Disorder ICD code: F43.8 Comments, if any: This is the DSM-5 diagnosis which applies when symptoms characteristic of a trauma- and stressor-related disorder cause clinically significant distress or impairment, but do not meet the full criteria for any other specific disorders within this category. In Mr. Taylor's case, criteria are met for categories A. (stressor), B. (intrusive symptoms), and C. (avoidance symptoms), but not catagories D. (Negative alterations in cognition and mood) and E. (Marked alterations in arousal and reactivity). Mental Disorder Diagnosis #2: Unspecified Depressive Disorder ICD code: F32.9 b. Medical diagnoses relevant to the understanding or management of the Mental Health Disorder (to include TBI): No response provided. 3. Differentiation of symptoms ------------------------------ a. Does the Veteran have more than one mental disorder diagnosed? [X] Yes [ ] No b. Is it possible to differentiate what symptom(s) is/are attributable to each diagnosis? [X] Yes [ ] No [ ] Not applicable (N/A) If yes, list which symptoms are attributable to each diagnosis and discuss whether there is any clinical association between these diagnoses: Mr. Taylor's Other Specified Trauma- and Stressor- Related Disorder includes situational symptoms which are activated by situations like thunderstorms. These symptoms are reported to include intrusive thoughts/fears/memories and accompanying states of anxiety. Mr. Taylor makes efforts to avoid encountering triggering stimuli. The Unspecified Depressive Disorder includes symptoms of sad and depressed moods, decreased energy and motivation, interpersonal withdrawal, feelings of hopelessness, and anxious distress. c. Does the Veteran have a diagnosed traumatic brain injury (TBI)? [ ] Yes [X] No [ ] Not shown in records reviewed 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 with occasional decrease in work efficiency and intermittent periods of inability to perform occupational tasks, although generally functioning satisfactorily, with normal routine behavior, self-care and conversation 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? [X] Yes [ ] No [ ] No other mental disorder has been diagnosed If yes, list which portion of the indicated level of occupational and social impairment is attributable to each diagnosis: The symptoms related to Mr. Taylor's Other Specified Trauma- and Stressor- Related Disorder are situationally circumscribed and seem to be mild or transient in nature. Symptoms of the Unspecified Depressive Disorder are more pervasive, resulting in occasionally diminished social and occupational functioning. 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 (hard copy paper C-file) reviewed? [ ] Yes [X] No If yes, list any records that were reviewed but were not included in the Veteran's VA claims file: If no, check all records reviewed: [X] Military service treatment records [X] Military service personnel records [ ] Military enlistment examination [ ] Military separation examination [ ] Military post-deployment questionnaire [X] Department of Defense Form 214 Separation Documents [X] 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): Mr. Taylor was born and raised in Buffalo, NY. Family consisted of his mother and a brother five years older. Mr. Taylor's father was not involved in his upbringing. Growing up, "We weren't rich... single mom... towards (my) teenaged years she got addicted to some things... got pretty bad... brother was older, so I was kind of there by myself a lot." "I had a godfather that kind of watched me when my mom was working... He was there, which is more than what I could say about my dad..." Father had 15 children- "You can see why he wasn't around... came around to high school graduation... boot camp graduation... I forgave him... just the type of person he is... I have all these other siblings... call me when they need some money... Only time I talk to them is when I go visit... got a little sister who will call me once in a blue moon..." Relationship with his brother- "We're working on it... He was a little abusive... beating me up... one time I had to come at him with a knife... I was always doing the chores... wasn't really the best brother to have... Think he was probably a littl e jealous... He always had problems in school... I was kind of the smart one... He apologized to me... We're working on it..." First marriage- 1995-1997. From that relationship, "I had a daughter and a son (both are currently in Buffalo), same mom..." "My daughter, she's 20... pregnant now... with a man that's older than I am... I think it's because I wasn't there... looking for a father figure (Mr. Taylor is visibly, audibly sad, no longer making eye contact)... My daughter, that's awreck... She's staying over there with the guy... He's trying to control her... I talked to her about stuff, but kind of late, like 16, 17... Her mom and her got into it and her mom said she had to go... but too young to go... I just want to be there for her when she needs someone... If I was there, it could have been a little different..." "My son, I'm still working on him... I think he's a little mad... thinks I abandoned him... wasn't my choice... couldn't financially help him... I flew him down a couple summers ago... apologized to him for not being there... told him my thoughts... I got to be honest with myself, I could have done more for him..." "I was married (second) for about seven, eight years... two kids in that marriage... I was unfaithful, but she kind of forgave me... but I think that was more a way to get out.. I don't think I was really.. I get in so many situations I'm not comfortable... I'm not maybe the marriage type... getting married for no reason... I just left..." Current marriage of three years- "Terrible... I don't know if it's me... reason I'm here is maybe 50%... I think I moved too fast once again... When I left my first marriage, I was supposed to work on myself... I think it was more just having somebody there... She's kind of verbally abusive, and I think I allow it because... I can take a lot..." "I don't want to be a third time loser... but I think I need to be by myself... same thing over and over..." "She (current wife) thinks I'm just around now because it's comfortable... If I could afford to move, I'd have been gone... That's true... I bit off more than I could chew.... worst thing that could have happened to me... wrong relationship for me... I need to go, but I don't know how..." "My second kids... When they come over my house... feeling guilty because I left them... If I was there, they'd be living a little bit better... a little bit of order... I try to make sure when they come and see me that everything is good... got clothes... do things with them..." His current wife gets mad because they don't have more responsibilities when they visit. Friends- "I have friends... wife kind of chased them off... Now I'm embarrassed to even go... They know... certain changes... She throws temper tantrums... doesn't really have no respect for nobody..." b. Relevant Occupational and Educational history (pre-military, military, and post-military): School- "Very well... honor roll... played basketball." Pre-service work at McDonald's. Marine Corps- 1995-1999- Administrative Clerk- No deployments. Honorable discharge. "The reason why I got in... I had a daughter on the way when I was in high school... early entry program... didn't work out so well... She (wife) broke up... She was gonna go to school and come back... didn't hear from her for a while... back with her old boyfriend... caused my issues in the service... I told my commanding officer I needed to go home... try to save my marriage... I came back and they shipped me to another office... Headquarters Battalion... They were more focused on the job than some young guy focused on trying to save his marriage..." After the Marines, "A lot of call-center the first couple years... kind of moved down here because there wasn't a lot of good jobs where I'm from... I got laid off about a year ago... help desk... Carolinas' Associated General Contractors... about seven or eight years..." Currently, "I'm working at Lending Tree in Ballantyne now... going good... I'm always able to separate (work life)... from my personal life..." c. Relevant Mental Health history, to include prescribed medications and family mental health (pre-military, military, and post-military): Mr. Taylor says he took anger management classes during the service, following an altercation with his wife. No indication of any other mental health problems observed in STR, nor in military separation exam- June 8, 1999. Denies any mental health services before or after the military. d. Relevant Legal and Behavioral history (pre-military, military, and post-military): During the service, "I got some anger management classes... Me and my ex-wife had got into it.. she kind of hit me first.. reactionary thing... I hit her back... I did get arrested for that think with my first wife... got restrictions for a week or two... money taken away..." Other disciplinary action, "Here and there... I'm not good at relationships I don't think... kind of got in trouble sleeping around with a... married woman... some other rules things... over-sleeping because I was drunk maybe a couple times..." Thinks he had two or three Article 15s. "I did get caught shop-lifting... When I was young... didn't have money to buy things... (in the service) video game card... got like 30 days restriction... like $400 in pay... maybe why I never got promoted beyond E-3... Most of the things happened during the first two years... kind of settled down after that." e. Relevant Substance abuse history (pre-military, military, and post-military): Alcohol- "Usually I'm just a social drinker... lately... kind of depressed... things ain't working out like they should have... expected more of myself... I might make two or three (drinks), maybe three, four times a week..." Sometimes more. No history of alcohol treatment. No history of illicit substances. f. Other, if any: Sleep- "I guess it depends... lately either I can sleep good, real deep... or I have... since I applied for this... sleep more off and on because I'm thinking about it... some periods I might have like restless leg syndrome... wife tells me... in and out of it..." "I try to work out now... try to help me sleep a little better... This bad relationship I'm in though, don't help me with my sleep..." Mr. Taylor says he gets "a good five" hours of sleep, "Then I toss and turn... had a surgery on my thumb... bulging disc in my neck... muscle relaxers... help me go to sleep..." Depression- "I've been depressed for a while... kind of live with it... I do have thoughts of maybe, you know..." Denies suicidal intent or plan. Wouldn't act on it because of his children. "I think I'm just hard on myself... The women, I don't really have emotional attachment with... my kids, I love my kids... feel like I've failed them... guilt... probably don't do what I need to do to handle it right..." Talks about his son acting out, being disrespectful to his mother, with Mr. Taylor feeling guilty/responsible for it. "If I was there, I know that wouldn't be going on." "My confidence in myself... kind of mumbling... I lost it somehow... It's embarrassing... Everything pretty much... I think my mom had more hope for me... kind of let myself and my kids down... especially my older kids..." Anger, "I can keep it in check, cause if I don't keep it in check, I don't know where it will go... That's the reason I don't discipline my kids... one time I did it... ended up (going too hard)... that's why I don't..." Anxiety, "I think I'm... I can tell by how my nails look, how I'm doing lately... I swear it has something to do with losing my hair... I kind of go in kind of a shell too... There's kind of a compulsive thing I do... I always got a remote in my hand... constantly going back and forth (does some numerical patterns with buttons/symmetry). "If it's raining... lightning... If I see that (memory of reported stressor)... even in the car... Even though when the lightning struck, we weren't near a tree... lightning hit the ground... I always had a wariness of... lightning... staying where I'm at, or make sure if I'm getting anywhere, I don't see no puddles of water... or passing by trees or metal... I know it happens... I was right there... I'm staying there until it at least slows down..." "Ever since I started coming here, I keep replaying it in my mind... wonder if it has anything to do with what's going on..." 3. Stressors ------------ Describe one or more specific stressor event(s) the Veteran considers traumatic (may be pre-military, military, or post-military): a. Stressor #1: "What they said and what happened are two different things... storms... rifle range... lightning hit the surrounding tree line... I'm like... 'That's real close... don't know why we were still there.'... As we were leaving... two formations... guys (other group) right behind me... I was in the back of mine... Drill sergeant was like, 'Cover your rifles with your ponchos.'... We were doing that... All the sudden... blue light... no sound... feel this heat on the back of my neck... several of us got down... As I turn around... see several guys down on the ground... Drill instructor is running up... eyes out of his head... 'Everybody get up to the... shelter!'... This one guy... just down... all this happened in probably no more than ten seconds... That heat... and you could smell it, like electrical burn... 'til I hear the boom, then I recognized what it was... My ears was ringing... One of the guys... He had died... hit him first, and came out and hit the people closest to him... We was in boot camp... didn't tell us anything... We went to his funeral... after that, we didn't do but ten or fifteen percent of the stuff... because it was raining a lot... lightning... We didn't do it after that... He could have been alive if we'd have left ten minutes earlier..." 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? [ ] Yes [X] No If no, explain: Mr. Taylor was witness to another man being killed by a lightning strike during training. 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 #7 - 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 (DSM-5). Criterion A: Exposure to actual or threatened a) death, b) serious injury, c) sexual violation, in one or more of the following ways: [X] Witnessing, in person, the traumatic event(s) as they occurred to others 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, involuntary, and intrusive distressing memories of the traumatic event(s). [X] Marked physiological reactions 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: No response provided. 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: No response provided. 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. Criterion I: Which stressor(s) contributed to the Veteran's PTSD diagnosis?: [X] Stressor #1 5. Symptoms ----------- For VA rating purposes, check all symptoms that actively apply to the Veteran's diagnoses: [X] Depressed mood [X] Anxiety [X] Chronic sleep impairment 6. Behavioral Observations -------------------------- Mr. Taylor arrived about 15 minutes early for his appointment. He was neatly and casually dressed. No abnormalities of gate or posture were noted. He was cooperative with the interview process and made good eye contact. Mr. Taylor was fully oriented. Speech was clear and coherent, quiet at times. Mood was somewhat depressed. Affective expression was mild, congruent, sad at times. Thought process was logical and goal-directed. Thought content was relevant and with adequate detail. Gross concentration and memory were adequate. Insight and judgment are in tact. There was no evidence of perceptual disturbance. There was no evidence of thought disorder or hallucinations. Mr. Taylor relates that he has thought about suicide, but denies any intent or plan. Homicidal ideation is denied. 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, (including any testing results) if any -------------------------------------------------- Prior to beginning the interview, the undersigned examiner informed the veteran of the purpose of the evaluation, the role of the undersigned examiner, and the limits of confidentiality. The veteran indicated understanding of the aforementioned information. Per VA Memorandum titled Information Bulletin: Implementation Guidance for the Fifth Edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) use in Compensation and Pension Examinations, dated December 16, 2013, this examination was conducted using DSM-5 criteria. Of note, the DSM-5 no longer requires computation of a GAF score. Per 2507: "Please indicate in exam report the stressor(s) claimed by the veteran upon which a diagnosis of PTSD is based. **If a diagnosis other than PTSD is rendered, please state if that psychiatric condition is at least as likely as not (50 percent or greater probability) linked to the conceded stressor." Examiner's Response: Mr. Taylor does not meet DSM-5 criteria for a diagnosis of PTSD. However, he does currently meet criteria for Other Specified Trauma- and Stressor- Related Disorder. This includes situational symptoms including intrusive thoughts/fears/memories of the stressor event, with accompanying states of anxiety, which are triggered by situations like thunderstorms. Mr. Taylor makes efforts to avoid encountering triggering events. The Unspecified Depressive Disorder includes symptoms of sad and depressed moods, decreased energy and motivation, interpersonal withdrawal, feelings of hopelessness, and anxious distress. The symptoms related to Mr. Taylor's Other Specified Trauma- and Stressor- Related Disorder are situationally circumscribed and seem to be mild or transient in nature. Symptoms of the Unspecified Depressive Disorder are more pervasive, resulting in occasionally diminished social and occupational functioning. It is at least as likely as not (50 percent or greater probability) that Mr. Taylor's currently diagnosed Other Specified Trauma- and Stressor- Related Disorder is due to his having been witness to the lightning strike killing a fellow Marine during training. The reported stressor is sufficient for the potential development of a trauma- or stressor-related disorder. The symptoms of intrusive thoughts/fears/memories of the stressor, accompanying states of anxiety, and efforts to avoid triggers to memory of the stressor are meaningfully related to the stressor itself. It is less likely as not (less than 50 percent probability) that Mr. Taylor's currently diagnosed Unspecified Depressive Disorder is due to the lightning strike killing a fellow Marine during training. Mr. Taylor's problems with depression seem more likely due to historical and current difficulties with significant other relationships, difficulties and regret in his relationships with his children, and perhaps aspects of adverse circumstances during childhood.
  23. I am presently service connected for Tinnitus 10 % ; Bilateral Hearing Loss 80 % and TDIU 100 % P&T. Without going into a lot of discussion this was attained from 2001 through 2013. I am considering filing a claim for Heart Disease, Sleep Apnea, Hypertension, and Depression/PTSD. I feel if any of these claims prevail it will have to be secondary to my service connected hearing loss and loss of employment. I will try to explain this without having to write a book someone can give me some advice. My service connection disability had never been a factor for me until I was 48 years old and after working twenty two years in my chosen profession in law enforcement. I had never filed a claim for hearing loss mainly because my VA service rep twenty something years earlier told me they probably wouldn't be able to find my medical records and I wouldn't prevail. In 1992 at age 48 my agency demoted me, cut my salary, loss of other benefits and threaten to fire me due to my loss of hearing. I had just started wearing hearing aids so it made the hearing disability obvious. After this happened I became depressed, angry and still depressed to this day. I was ordered to see different psychologist and had to undergo weekly visits for six months. In addition I began to have hypertension problems, chest pain and marital problems. Priver or to the action related to my hearing I had never been treated for any of these problems and no hospitalization of any kind since I was very young. Before all of this I still was walking several miles a day and in excellent health. I ended up having to file suit to get my benefits back and prevailed in that regard. I have taken medicine for depression since 1992 and finally took an early retirement in November 2000 and moved back to my home state. I retired with two stents in my heart, high blood pressure, depression and frequent angina. I took a part time job as a US Marshal working in a federal court in my home state. Six months into the job I was medically terminated due to my hearing loss. In 2001 I filed my first VA claim for hearing loss. I was granted service connection with increases up until 2013 when I was granted TDIU. I had tried two different times for TDIU prior to 2013 and was denied. My depression is documented by VA medical records. Since 2001 VA has diagnosed seep apnea and issued me CPAP. I take VA prescribed meds for depression. In addition I have 15 stents in my heart, two heart attacks and quadruple by pass surgery after having a heart attack at VA medical facility in 2004. Sorry this is so long but is there anything secondary or otherwise I can hang my hat on in this information. I know I am blessed to have the TDIU but feel my heart condition and depression are both related in the chain of events over the years. I know I am not likely to die from hearing impairment but surely the heart disease will prevail.
  24. Hey everybody, just a quick update on me. On Friday I had a joint C&P exam for my R ankle and hips for secondary claims. Ankle was found Dorsiflexion of 0-5 and Plantar flexion of 0-40 Hips were found flexion: 0-40 extension: 0-20 Abduction: 0-20 Adduction 0-20 Rotation, external 0-20 and internal 0-20. Examiner opined that the ankle was at least as likely as not caused by already SC L ankle, but the hips were found less likely as not caused by current SCDs. X-rays of hips showed nothing. Ok, now hear this...he suggested/advised that I call my PCP and request for an MRI for my hips for further evaluation and treatment. Is this his way of saying that my pain and reduced ROM are for real and should be further investegated that I may then be SCd? He also said in his opinion it seems more likely that the soft tissue of the pelvis/hip region is inflammed which is causing my pain and reduced ROM. And that I may need to see a Rheumatologist for treatment. Not sure what that is implying, but I have heard of rhuematoid arthritis, is this what he may be hinting at? Ok PTII, today I had a C&P for depression secondary to chronic pain... One of my worst ever exams!!! When he was done(VA phyc) I felt that I shouldn't have even filed that claim. He was very nice and polite, but every twist and turn he kept trying to lead me outside of my AD time and the years since. He kept asking about before I went in the Marines. I kept redirecting by saying these things and symptoms all started after my enlistment began. He kept repeating the same questions over and over, waiting for me to slip up. I knew what he was doing, and yet still felt like I was the one in the wrong. Then he went on some spiel about how 30% of the general population is depressed and most of them don't have suicide ideations and such. And that most of us are biologically predisposed to things like depression. He wanted me to try to explain why I think I don't have any friends, even though I had told him that my state of mind keeps me from doing that. I went into detail about my chronic sleep impairment and drinking, and he made it sound like it's the normal thing no big deal. I told him that I did not grow up with these things in my life or family. And that they all began to manifest after I was in the Marines. I told him that on my 5th day of boot camp, when I fell down the stairs, is the initiation point. Then he said he will have re-review my record to see if he really could find some way to SC this. Funny, it was supposed to be for secondary to chronic pain. He asked about current SCDs and I told him what they were and the ratings, several of which are listed as pain conditions. Is this normal? Or am I looking at a long road of NODs and BVA land??? I sure hope all that was just his way of trying to trip me up into screwing myself by saying the wrong thing. I did have a written statement covering things I wanted to make sure were covered, and I told him that a copy of same will be submitted into evidence for my claim, to ensure nothing from it gets left out. He made a funny face at that, but said it was a good idea to be prepared like that. Anyway, thanks for letting me ramble on. Andyman