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  1. Dont know if Im in the right spot, have spent hours trying to figure out how to use this site I read "6 reasons to keep pursuing va claims and appeals - AFTER you reach 100%". Im rated 100% P&T tdui from 'Nam days. but clicking on it brings "10 tips to help you keep the c and p exam in perspective". Is it hidden somewhere else, or not here at all? and man, its tough reading and understanding lots of stuff on here.... abbreviations. "secondary" conditions, one thing caused by another....code numbers, medical/technical names. there must be a bunch of lists somewhere? Im a 'regular' type guy, but lots of stuff I have read makes me feel pretty dumb trying to understand things. and now I cant recall the title of this 'forum' for this question, and I looked back, cant find the name of it anywhere, this site is so confusing.
  2. I want ask if anyone has information or knowledge of a BVA appeal that is out of the 90 day evidence phase, holding up a decision on a claim for an increase on another SC issue? I would like know if I should just wait for the BVA to make it's decision first on the appeal, before I put in for the increase for the separate issue? Forgive me if this is not the right platform for this question. All information is welcome, Thanks.
  3. I applied for TDIU and was awaiting decision. I checked Ebenifits today and the VA increased my knee from 30% to 50% and my Major Depressive Disorder from 50% to 70% giving me a 90% rating. I haven't received any decision paperwork from the VA yet to see why I was denied TDIU. Once I receive it I'll be seeking more help from all of the great people here as to what I should do next. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks
  4. I logged in to Vets.gov and saw that my claims for increase was partially granted. I don't have the details as of yet, but I was sitting at 80% for quite a while and I saw that I was I was granted an increase to 70% for PTSD as well as several other contentions went from 10% to 20%. Of course, the good people here at Hadit.com have been tremendous allies in my fight and I thank you all for your encouragement and help, especially to @brokensoldier244th and many others. I was not optimistic in my C&P exams, but I was honest and I held back a lot of things, but the examiner obviously documented well and the rater(s) for that particular piece of the puzzle did me justice and for that I am thankful. The fight isn't over. I am beginning my claims for Rheumatoid Arthritis will hopefully win that claim but we will see. Semper Fi, Sgt. Wilky
  5. I had a C&P exam this morning that went two whole hours and then some, with a mental health professional via video conference from the Cheyenne VA. She was very nice and seemed to be thorough. She confirmed what I already knew, and that was that I had PTSD, for which I have been rated 50% since 2015. Anyway, I learned that although my symptoms have gotten worse, that since I struggled to keep my job of 18 years and having not been fired multiple times throughout my "career", and since I wasn't a complete turd to my employer and to their customers, and I rarely showed up late to work and since I didn't hassle my coworkers and behave inappropriately, and since I didn't get so angry that I hit my spouse or beat my kids (despite the fact I stated quite clearly [and my wife confirmed] that I've ruined my relationship with my oldest son), and since I can brush my teeth on my own that I "probably" wouldn't qualify for the 70% requested increase. So, I found out that if I had put my employer and my family through the proverbial wringer and I didn't cost them a bunch of money, and since that I haven't yet ruined my reputation in the neighborhood or at my church, and since that I was proactive to the point that the pain made it unbearable to work anymore, so I quit, rather than force them to fire me, I can't get the help that I need. I've been fighting the VA since 2008. I'm tired. Awesome. Sgt. Wilky
  6. Do I need to file for increases and secondary conditions on two different claims? I could not find any areas to go about this on the ebennifits questionnaire backround: had a stroke during a VA spinal surgery. I have several secondaries due to the stroke.
  7. Hello, I am currently rated at 90% with a 50% rating for MDD. I have a remand for increase dated back to 2015. I just recently had a telehealth C&P exam for this increase. I feel like it went very well. It lasted over an hour with a civilian provider. I was very surprised because at the end of the exam she told me, "I truly feel like you deserve an increase for your mental health." Does that seem like a positive sign? I wouldn't think that a provider would say that, especially in a C&P exam. Also, if my appeal was remanded back to 2015 when I was 80% and I get an increase that raises me to a higher rating of 90% or even 100%, will I be entitled to back pay for the difference from 2015 to present? Thank you all for your service and I hope you guys can help give me some guidance on these questions. Stephen
  8. Got out of military 2004 (medical discharge) 2005 VA gave me 0% 2009 fought and got 20% 2010 fought and got 30% 2012 fought and got 40% 2013 fought and got 70% 2014 fought and denied claim 2015 fought and denied reconsideration of claim 2016 fought and submitted appeal 2017 hurry up and wait 2018 appeal changed to new ama 2019 ama appeal denied 2019 changed to bva appeal 2020 BVA appeal decision from judge November 2020 awarded 80% INTERESTED TO SEE WHAT THE NEXT 15 YEAR BATTLE WILL HOLD Regardless. I never in a million years thought I'd one day be 80% 12k to doctors independant exams 1k in plane tickets 40 plus doctors visits Physical therapy xs 2 Hundreds of hours reading and learning on hadit War is Hell...But victory is oh so sweet
  9. Hello everyone, Happy labors day to all, so my question was i my current disability is rated at 50% since last years, since then i haven't seen any improvement myself, I haven't work much or able to keep a stable job, my last job was at home depot for prob 2 months as a greeters around the end of 2019, I just submit all my disability for an increase on may 2020 and my case just close on September 3rd 2020, when to only 1 C&P exam where the doctor just ask me about my injury and how it feel about it, if i pull any muscle or tears any thing, i told the doctor it just hurt when walk or stand, some flare up sometime on my knee. so i limited myself to mostly sit or lay on bed, can't keep a job for long. She told me so you disable then and just told me the exam is finish. No extra check up/exam, No xray or mri. I know my case is complete and the letter should be here soon, but my question is how likely for me to get an increase? if so how much could i percent should i expected? I heard from someone that if i get approve most likely my ebenefits rating should have changes before my letter arrived, if it doesn't chance til my letter arrive that mean most likely is a denied letter. left hip and thigh strain with limited flexion 0% Service Connected 01/30/2019 right hip and thigh strain with impairment 0% Service Connected 01/30/2019 left hip and thigh strain with impairment 0% Service Connected 01/30/2019 right knee strain with stress fracture residuals of pain and limited ROM 10% Service Connected 05/23/2019 left hip and thigh strain with limited extension 10% Service Connected 01/30/2019 back condition Not Service Connected right ankle status post stress fracture 10% Service Connected 10/29/2018 left ankle status post stress fracture 10% Service Connected 10/29/2018 right hip and thigh strain with limited extension 10% Service Connected 01/30/2019 right hip and thigh strain with limited flexion 0% Service Connected 01/30/2019 left knee strain with stress fracture residuals of pain and limited ROM 10% Service Connected 05/23/2019
  10. I have a few questions I'm looking at trying to increase my Narcolepsy rating and I'm trying to figure out what all i will need. I already have 10 people that i work with whom are retired military and military members that have told me that they will write statements to me falling asleep at work 5 to 7 times a day along with my wife's statement. i was told that i dont need a Nexus letter when trying to increase a rating, so what would i have my Neurologist that's been treating me the past 8 yrs. last question is when i was going through my VA appointment's (all done by civilian doctors) i had not noticed a mistake until last year, the mistake is when i was asked about the minor seizures i told the doctor i experience between 5 to 7 a day but last year i noticed that he had put 5 to 7 a week. the difference from 40% to 80% disability. I understand i should have reviewed the paperwork after receiving my disability letter in 2009, and I'm not looking to get back pay just want to get the rating i should have gotten with the right wording that should have been put in the report. this is so confusing and i dont have the money for one of these law offices to take my case. So I'm hoping with all the knowledge in this group i will at least get steered on the right track.
  11. According to this, we may get a Cola in 2021 after all! Remember, we only have to show inflation for 3 months out of 12: July, August, and September. I noticed lots of stuff is going up. People are charging more because of Covid 19. https://www.fool.com/investing/2020/07/25/good-news-you-might-get-social-security-cola-2021.aspx If you like charts, MOOA explains how Cola is calculated based on only the summer and fall. https://www.moaa.org/Content/Take-Action/COLA-Watch
  12. I have 4 C&P exams this Friday. All for increases. (Migraine, PTSD/depression/anxiety/chronic pain/agoraphobia, bilateral foot pain and knee pain increase [including VA issued knee brace and civilian issued AFO foot brace]). Should I have my wife ad adult kids who both witness and suffer from my mood swings, depression, anxiety and antisocial like living on a daily basis? They can also talk about my constant leg pain and migraines. I also want my supervisor to do one regarding my migraines that have me leaving work early, alot. But that is a touchy subject, because I don't want me asking him to affect my employment. Also I hide a lot from them, to keep my job, like just suffer with headaches and migraines at work. Or fake my way through the day, pretending to want to be around people.
  13. Welp, Just found out they closed my claim. Surprise surprise, nothing changed EXCEPT they reduced my GERD from 60% down to 10%! WHY and What the?! So apparently that random C&P without my knowledge played a significant part. So my questions are the following: 1. Should I reopen my claims or file an appeal? 2. How do I go about getting ALL of my C&P claim notes, especially whatever was said from this C&P without my knowledge? 3. Should I even attempt to ask for the much qualified for increase on other areas of my body, that have gotten worse, or fight this last round of let downs? I try to explain to everyone when you retire or get out and become a veteran, your own company (the VA) treat you like used tissue. Nobody has any use for used tissue...tossed to the side.
  14. I just discovered that a C&P exam was held without me even knowing about it on August 16th. I just happened to see it in my Blue Button VA medical record download today. I have submitted a few claims last year. One in May and another in October. The VA combined my claims and back dated them to May 2018. The estimated completion date has jumped around 4 times. In July it jumped to an estimated completion date of 9 May 2019. At the beginning of August it jumped to 22 May 2019. It's still in the "Evidence gathering, review, and decision" phase. Does anybody know why they did a C&P without notifying me? Does anybody know what this means regarding my increase requests for the following? - VA exam for sleep apnea (Increase) -I'm trying to service connect my sleep apnea- I submitted Statements in Support of claim dating back to 2007. - VA exam for headaches (Increase)- I've been hospitalized twice in the past year diagnosed with hemiplegic migraines. They mimic strokes and can mess you up just like strokes. And exertional headaches. The worst headaches ever. I originally submitted a claim for TIA and stroke and got a 'not service connected'. Got the migraine diagnosis after they denied the claim, after the 2nd "stroke" episode. - 4138 and MTR for esophageal (Increase)- Not sure what this is for., but I di have a disc replacement in my neck....and my GERD is the weapon of demons.
  15. I filed for an increase recently to my 40% rating. In August 2009 my rating was increased from 20% (awarded in 1994) to 1) ankylosing spondylitis /spine thoracolumbar 20%, 2) ankylosing spondylitis/knee 10% 3) ankylosing spondylitis/cervical spine 10%. Since then my range of motion has gotten worse and I have been prescribed prednisone and two years ago Humira. They had rated me under arthritis and range of motion. I went for a C&P in May and saw my new rating on Eben: 1) NEW: (dated 4/27/18) ankylosing spondylitis /spine thoracolumbar spine 10%, 2) UNCHANGED ankylosing spondylitis/knee 10% 3) NEW (dated 5/21/17) ankylosing spondylitis/cervical spine 30%. I filed my intent to file in 4/2017. I haven't received the notification or documents in the mail yet but I am confused, my thoracolumbar spine is worse than in 2009 with worse range of motion. The VA has no way to determine it improved, from the arthritis aspect the joints do not get better and for ankylosing spondylitis I was prescribed Humira which is a step up from prednisone. There was nothing to indicate I improved. Also I have been told by some my rating is bad because they failed to rate the ankylosing spondylitis as an active disease in addition to the general range of motion for arthritis.
  16. ok so ,,,, if you read back on some of my posts you will see the issues i was having with the va, long short.. i was : 20bilat 20bilat 20bilat 20bilat and 40 = 76.4 PAYS 80 NOW IM, 40 bilat 20bilat 20bilat 20bilat and 40. = 83.4 PAYS 80
  17. according to 38 C.F.R. §§ 4.40 and 4.45 i believe i should be increased from 10% to 20% please look at these codes then look at the DBQ from Dr i provided you will see the flare up measurements. Code 5252: If the hip is limited in how far forward (flexion) it can move the leg, then it is rated under this code. If it cannot move the leg more than 10°, it is rated 40%. If it cannot raise the leg more than 20°, it is rated 30%. No more than 30° is rated 20%, and no more than 45° is rated 10%. Code 5253: All other limitations of hip motion are rated under this code. If the hip cannot swing the leg out to the side (abduction) more than 10°, it is rated 20%. If it cannot move the leg inward across the other leg (adduction), it is rated 10%. If it cannot rotate the leg outward (toes point off to the sides) more than 15°, then it is rated 10% DBQ+PG7.pdf this is the page that shows flare ups decrease motion ... the other is page for decreased motion for repeted use over time. please note that the 3 repeated uses was stated no. but these others state yes.
  18. I am currently rated at 10% for tendinitis in my left ankle. My question is, if my leg needs to be amputated for a reason other than the tendinitis in my ankle, will I get the rating(I believe 40%) for amputation even though the tendinitis is not the reason it has to be amputated? In other words I' 10% for my ankle. My lower leg above the ankle (not service connected) causes a below knee amputation, the service connected ankle is now gone, to I get service connection rating for it being gone?
  19. Currently rated 10% for GERD and applied for an increase. Had my primary civilian doctor look over my medical records and asked if she would fill out a DBQ. Luckily she did because I know how some doctors would not. Anyone have any guess on if I could be getting an increase or not? Also, does anyone know if I will be scheduled for a C&P as well? It's no problem if I have to go but I just figured with a DBQ then it could easily be fast tracked without having to schedule a C&P since I had already been service connected. Thanks!
  20. My is I filed for Increase on my Service Connected Disabilities. Service Connected Disabilities: Osteoarthritis Left Knee: 10% Osteoarthritis Right Knee: 10% Depressive Disorder: 70% Claim: Increase Osteoarthritis Left Knee: Reason for Increase 1) Total Left Knee Replacement: A) Temporary Total Disability B) Umemployability Secondary (New): A) Hip Condition B) Back Condition Increase Osteoarthritis Right Knee: Reason for increase Secondary (New): A) Hip Condition B) Back Condition C) Ankle My Question is will the VA consider this as Duplicate Claims? Can the VA overrule and consider that the Secondary conditions are Bilateral and I can not make a Duplicate entry. I consider since both Knee's are rated at 10% because one is worser than the other. My Left is the one that has been replaced and will be ( or should be rated differently ) rated under replacement and not under plain Osteoarthritis. As a Secondary Condition I added Hip and Back Ankle as the Service Connected Disability has affected my healing. I asked for Increase or my Right Knee as it is not for ( Flexion - Extension - Pain ) all the 3 separate ratings possible under osteoarthritis. I then listed as Secondary Conditions ( Hip - Back - Ankle ) because although it would be considered a duplicate they are rated seperately. Can I make them separate conditions as my left side affects the left side of my hip and back from the Left Knee. And then the right side is differently because it affects the right ankle and hip and back differently on that side. Can they be Rated Separately? Or can the VA Deny them as Duplicates?
  21. History, Going on for over 12+ years since left the militray .First raiting 50% Went for increase this was from my DBQ C&P .. Thoughts all? See below Is this 70 (most would say 70). could it sway 100%? If you think 100% do you believe sched or temp? I did not apply for IU but I am told they have to consider it anyways. The doctor also used some verbage that was interesting It is not possible to differentiate what portion of each symptom is attributable to each diagnosis because all of the veteran'schronic PTSD and bipolar symptoms have been chronic, progressive, biologically and behaviorally interactive, and thesymptoms are concurrent and overlapping. The veteran’s alcohol abuse is in remission but was a result of maladaptive copingand dealing with the PTSD an bipolar symptoms.Per DSM-5 Individuals with PTSD are 80% more likely than those without PTSD to have symptoms that meet diagnosticcriteria for at least one other mental disorder (e.g. depressive, bipolar, anxiety, or substance use disorders) (p 280)It is not possible to differentiate what portion of the impairment is attributable to each diagnosis because all of the veteran'schronic PTSD and bipolar symptoms have been chronic, progressive, biologically and behaviorally interactive, and the symptomsare concurrent and overlapping. The veteran’s alcohol abuse is in remission but was a result of maladaptive coping and dealingwith the PTSD an bipolar symptoms. [X] Occupational and social impairment with deficiencies in most areas, such as work, school, family relations, judgment, thinkingand/or mood. 3. PTSD Diagnostic Criteria Please check criteria used for establishing the current PTSD diagnosis. The diagnostic criteria for PTSD, are from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5). The stressful event can be due to combat, personal trauma, other life threatening situations (non-combat related stressors.) 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”. Criterion A: Exposure to actual or threatened a) death, b) serious injury, c) sexual violation, in one or more of the following ways: [X] Directly experiencing the traumatic event(s) Witnessing, in person, the traumatic event(s) as they occurred to others 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 event(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 No criterion in this section met. Page 6 of 8 Contractor: VES 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] Recurrent distressing dreams in which the content and/or affect of the dream are related to the traumatic event(s). Dissociative reactions (e.g., flashbacks) in which the individual feels or acts as if the traumatic event(s) were recurring. (Such reactions may occur on a continuum, with the most extreme expression being a complete loss of awareness of present surroundings.) [X] Intense or prolonged psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event(s). Marked physiological reactions to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event(s). No criterion in this section met. Criterion C: Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after the traumatic event(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). No criterion in this section met. 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: Inability to remember an important aspect of the traumatic event(s) (typically due to dissociative amnesia and not to other factors such as head injury, alcohol, or drugs). 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”). Persistent, distorted cognitions about the cause or consequences of the traumatic event(s) that lead to the individual to blame himself/herself or others. [X] Persistent negative emotional state (e.g., fear, horror, anger, guilt, or shame). [X] Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities. [X] Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others. Persistent inability to experience positive emotions (e.g., inability to experience happiness, satisfaction, or loving feelings.) No criterion in this section met. 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] Irritable behavior and angry outbursts (with little or no provocation) typically expressed as verbal or physical aggression toward people or objects. Reckless or self-destructive behavior. [X] Hypervigilance. Exaggerated startle response. [X] Problems with concentration. [X] Sleep disturbance (e.g., difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless sleep). No criterion in this section met. Criterion F: [X] Duration of the disturbance (Criteria B, C, D and E) is more than 1 month. Veteran does not meet full criteria for PTSD Criterion G: [X] The PTSD symptoms described above cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. The PTSD symptoms described above do NOT cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. Veteran does not meet full criteria for PTSD Criterion H: For VA rating purposes, check all symptoms that actively apply to the Veteran's diagnoses [X] Depressed mood [X] Anxiety [X] Suspiciousness [X] Panic attacks that occur weekly or less often Panic attacks more than once a week Near-continuous panic or depression affecting the ability to function independently, appropriately and effectively [X] Chronic sleep impairment [X] Mild memory loss, such as forgetting names, directions or recent events Impairment of short and long term memory, for example, retention of only highly learned material, while forgetting to complete tasks Memory loss for names of close relatives, own occupation, or own name Flattened affect Circumstantial, circumlocutory or stereotyped speech Speech intermittently illogical, obscure, or irrelevant Difficulty in understanding complex commands [X] Impaired judgment Impaired abstract thinking Gross impairment in thought processes or communication [X] Disturbances of motivation and mood [X] Difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships [X] Difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances, including work or a work like setting Inability to establish and maintain effective relationships Suicidal ideation Obsessional rituals which interfere with routine activities [X] Impaired impulse control, such as unprovoked irritability with periods of violence Spatial disorientation Persistent delusions or hallucinations Grossly inappropriate behavior Persistent danger of hurting self or others [X] Neglect of personal appearance and hygiene [X] Intermittent inability to perform activities of daily living, including maintenance of minimal personal hygiene Disorientation to time or place IF YOU HAVE PROVIDED ANY ADDITIONAL DIAGNOSES, OR IF THE ESTABLISHEDDIAGNOSIS HAS CHANGED IN ANY WAY, PLEASE SELECT AT LEAST ONE FROM THEFOLLOWING:A. THERE IS NO CHANGE IN THE SERVICE CONNECTED DIAGNOSIS AND NOADDITIONAL DIAGNOSES HAVE BEEN RENDERED.B. THE NEW DIAGNOSIS IS A CORRECTION OF THE PREVIOUS DIAGNOSIS.C. THERE IS A WORSENING OF THE VETERAN’S SYMPTOMS HOWEVER NO CHANGETO THE SERVICE CONNECTED DIAGNOSIS AND NO ADDITIONAL DIAGNOSES HAVE BEENRENDERED.D. ADDITIONAL CONDITIONS WERE FOUND WHICH ARE DIRECTLY DUE TO ORRELATED TO THE SERVICE CONNECTED DIAGNOSIS (I.E. A PROGRESSION).E. ADDITIONAL CONDITIONS WERE FOUND WHICH ARE UNRELATED TO THESERVICE CONNECTED DIAGNOSIS (I.E. A NEW AND SEPARATE CONDITION).***FOR OPTION E, PLEASE SPECIFY WHICH OF THE VETERAN’S SYMPTOMS AND/ORFINDINGS CORRESPOND WITH EACH DIAGNOSIS, IF FEASIBLE.***F. THE SERVICE CONNECTED DIAGNOSIS HAS RESOLVED. Answer Question 1: C. There is a worsening of the veterans symptoms however no change to the service connected diagnosisD. Additional diagnosis is alcohol use disorder in partial remission which is a new and separate conditionbut is related to the service connected conditionsAdditional Question 2: FOR OPTIONS OTHER THAN A AND C PLEASE PROVIDE YOUR MEDICAL RATIONALE. Answer Question 2: D. It is related as alcohol use disorder is often secondary to his PTSD and bipolar disorder and is currentlyin remission but was a result of maladaptive coping with his symptoms in the past and he still hasoccasional relapses./ THE VETERAN’S ESTABLISHED DIAGNOSIS IS POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDERWITH BIPOLAR DISORDER .IF YOU HAVE PROVIDED ANY ADDITIONAL DIAGNOSES, OR IF THE ESTABLISHEDDIAGNOSIS HAS CHANGED IN ANY WAY, PLEASE SELECT AT LEAST ONE FROM THEFOLLOWING:A. THERE IS NO CHANGE IN THE SERVICE CONNECTED DIAGNOSIS AND NOADDITIONAL DIAGNOSES HAVE BEEN RENDERED.B. THE NEW DIAGNOSIS IS A CORRECTION OF THE PREVIOUS DIAGNOSIS.C. THERE IS A WORSENING OF THE VETERAN’S SYMPTOMS HOWEVER NO CHANGETO THE SERVICE CONNECTED DIAGNOSIS AND NO ADDITIONAL DIAGNOSES HAVE BEENRENDERED.D. ADDITIONAL CONDITIONS WERE FOUND WHICH ARE DIRECTLY DUE TO ORRELATED TO THE SERVICE CONNECTED DIAGNOSIS (I.E. A PROGRESSION).E. ADDITIONAL CONDITIONS WERE FOUND WHICH ARE UNRELATED TO THESERVICE CONNECTED DIAGNOSIS (I.E. A NEW AND SEPARATE CONDITION).***FOR OPTION E, PLEASE SPECIFY WHICH OF THE VETERAN’S SYMPTOMS AND/ORFINDINGS CORRESPOND WITH EACH DIAGNOSIS, IF FEASIBLE.***F. THE SERVICE CONNECTED DIAGNOSIS HAS RESOLVED.Answer Question 1: C. There is a worsening of the veterans symptoms however no change to the service connected diagnosisD. Additional diagnosis is alcohol use disorder in partial remission which is a new and separate conditionbut is related to the service connected conditionsAdditional Question 2: FOR OPTIONS OTHER THAN A AND C PLEASE PROVIDE YOUR MEDICAL RATIONALE.Answer Question 2: D. It is related as alcohol use disorder is often secondary to his PTSD and bipolar disorder and is currentlyin remission but was a result of maladaptive coping with his symptoms in the past and he still hasoccasional relapses.
  22. Hi everyone, I started voc rehab on October 10th of 2016, my counselor put me in a program extended evaluation because I have gone to school in the past and did not work out for me. I get BAH every month while I attend to this program, I volunteer at a call center and the manager submits the hours that I volunteer to my voc rehab counselor. I am required to complete 32 hours every week. During the month of November I completed half of the hours I was required to work resulting in an over payment from the V.A. I could not attend to my place of duty some days because I had ER visits, v.a. appointments and disability related matters. My counselor told me that my best bet is to file for IU since I was not fit for school and had 4 different jobs in 2016 due to ptsd and physical disabilities (currently 80% combined) She mentioned that she was going to write a memo explaining that I am not employable, she said that her letter would carry a lot of weight in regards of the V.A. making a decision to put me in IU and to get SSDI through the SSA. My concern is how long would this decision take to get approved, I have read many posts and it seems that it can vary from 2 to 6 months sometimes 1 year. I cannot wait that long since I have a family to support and bills to pay like everyone else. I submitted an "intent to file" claim on ebenefits 3 months ago, I am putting all the evidence, mri's, doctor's notes, and evetything else that I need to increase my rating and to add other disabilities that I did not add in the past. I am going to submit the claim in a few weeks: Should I get letters from my therapists and psychiatrist stating that I am not employable to have a more solid claim? Is extended evaluation considered full time work and will this be seen like I am employable? I just sit down all day at the call center and help with paperwork and maybe call 6 individuals per day. Any inputs welcomed
  23. In July of '15, I appealed a denial of service connection for a R shoulder condition. I submitted actual copies of a shoulder injury from my Navy medical record, along with evidence of surgeries in 200 and 2015 done by non-VA doctors. At the same time, I filed for an increase in my cervical spine condition. Of course, nothing has happened yet, but it appears that the VA has lumped the two together as one "appeal." I submitted the paperwork under the direction of my NSO. I'm sure this question has been addressed here periodically, but I'd like a fresh opinion: As time goes by, I continue to be treated, tested, injected, etc. for both of these conditions; they are getting worse and worse and the NSO is encouraging me to go for and IU claim, but I still want to try to work. Also recently lost my wife to cancer so i'm the only income anymore. I've been told that submitting additional evidence causes your claim or appeal to go back to the beginning of the process. Is this true? Also, does the VA, when they do get around to looking at my appeal, automatically go through my record and look for information pertaining to my claim? I began using the VA system exclusively last fall, so the new information should be readily at hand. Do I have to go through and pick it out and submit it to them as supporting documentation, or will they find it on their own? If I need to submit, then it goes back to my question above; am I just moving my appeal father away from being considered? Aside from that, I recently got a favorable 10% for tinnitus. I was already at 90% and the new award doesn't push me to 100, but i guess it always helps to document it. Considering a subscription - these ads are a killer and make using the site a lot more confusing to me. Thanks for all the work you do, all of you! Jim
  24. Hello all, first of all thank you to all who share your stories and advice. While this is my first post, I've been stalking the forum for months as something to do during my insomnia as I wait for my decision. I have found both comfort and education here. I was hoping for some opinions, advice, or even encouragement. I realize I'm not in the worst shape compared to others, but this process has my anxiety through the roof. I am currently rated 30% SC PTSD-MST (total rating with other disabilities is 50%). My condition has progressively worsened, especially over the past few years. I submitted my FDC for PTSD increase and TDIU in May and it has been in Gathering of Evidence phase. All of my treatments have been with VA docs. My GAF scores average around 50. I obtained a favorable IMO to submit with my application. I haven't yet been scheduled for a C&P exam. Over the past several years I missed a lot of work, burned through my leave with sick days, was previously placed on both short and long term disability with my employer, all from my SC medical issues. I would appreciate based on your experience and thoughts on whether I might have a good case for increase, what my rating might be, whether I might get TDIU or P&T, how long it might take for VA to get my medical records from VA hospitals, if I will have to do a C&P exam (the thought almost triggers a panic attack), or any advice on what I can do to pass the time as I wait besides chronically check eBenefits and read every single thread on this forum. I realize I have a much longer wait ahead of me, so I figured I'd start engaging here. Thank you in advance for any help.
  25. I am currently rated at 50% for PTSD and just had my C&P exam for an increase. Below is my current C&P results. Also I suffer from Major Depression and Erectile Dysfunction due to my medication. Could these two items be filed as secondary since the examiner did not list them in my C&P exam.Any input would be appreciated on to what my outcome may be. Thank you SECTION I: ---------- 1. Diagnostic Summary --------------------- Does the Veteran now have or has he/she ever been diagnosed with PTSD? [X] Yes[ ] No 2. Current Diagnoses -------------------- a. Mental Disorder Diagnosis #1: PTSD, moderate to severe, chronic Comments, if any: The trauamtic event was learning that a close friend of his killed two older female civilians. PTSD also causes secondary panic attacks 2-3 times per week. 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? [ ] Yes[X] No c. Does the Veteran have a diagnosed traumatic brain injury (TBI)? [ ] Yes[ ] No[X] 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 reduced reliability and productivity 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 (hard copy paper C-file) reviewed? [ ] Yes[X] No 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) [X] 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? [X] Yes[ ] No If yes, describe: On 11/25/2014, Dr. XXX conducted a C&P Initial Evaluation for PTSD and diagnosed the veteran with PTSD with panic attacks. 2. Recent History (since prior exam) ------------------------------------ a. Relevant Social/Marital/Family history: Mr. XX is currently married to his wife of 10 years. He describes the quality of his current marriage as, "loving - but my wife puts up with me." He reports his irritability and anger can stress his wife. He adopted his wife's 14 year old daughter. He reports he has no friends of his own, but he reports he is friendly with many of his wife's friends. He tends to avoid crowds and group social activities. He is quite close with his parents. His main hobby is drumming and working on computers. Overall his social support is limited. He reports that the primary effect of his psychiatric symptoms on his social relationships are tension and distance caused by irritability, rage (including yelling, swearing, and very occasional violence towards inanimate objects - like punching a hole in the door), withdrawal, and emotional numbing. b. Relevant Occupational and Educational history: Mr. XXX highest level of education is some college. He served in the Airforce. He is currently employed as a cyber security analyst at XXX a telecommunications company called XXX. He has worked at XXX since 2011. In 2012, he was written up for "going off on a customer." He reports he works from home or calls in sick 4-5 days a month due to feeling stressed. He reports during times of stress he impulsively loses his temper when talking with customers or makes careless mistakes. He is a lead, and he has five other analysists who report to him. c. Relevant Mental Health history, to include prescribed medications and family mental health: Mr. XXX denied history of psychiatric hospitalization, receiving out-patient therapy, receiving any type of psychopharmacological treatment, or prior suicide attempts. He has been referred to a psychiatrist by his PCP but he is not currently engaged in therapy. He receives medication management from his private PCP, and he is currently maintained on a regimen of Zoloft, hydroxyzine, prazosin and diazepam. d. Relevant Legal and Behavioral history: No arrests. Received an article 15 in the military after he learned of the murders. e. Relevant Substance abuse history: No response provided. f. Other, if any: No response provided. 3. PTSD Diagnostic Criteria --------------------------- Please check criteria used for establishing the current PTSD diagnosis. The diagnostic criteria for PTSD, are from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5). The stressful event can be due to combat, personal trauma, other life threatening situations (non-combat related stressors.) 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". 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 [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, involuntary, and intrusive distressing memories of the traumatic event(s). [X] Recurrent distressing dreams in which the content and/or affect of the dream are related to 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] Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities. [X] Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others. [X] Persistent inability to experience positive emotions (e.g., inability to experience happiness, satisfaction, or loving feelings.) 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] Irritable behavior and angry outbursts (with little or no provocation) typically expressed as verbal or physical aggression toward people or objects. [X] Hypervigilance. [X] Exaggerated startle response. [X] Problems with concentration. [X] Sleep disturbance (e.g., difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless sleep). Criterion F: [X] The duration of the symptoms described above in Criteria B, C, and D are more than 1 month. Criterion G: [X] The PTSD symptoms described above cause 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. 4. Symptoms ----------- For VA rating purposes, check all symptoms that actively apply to the Veteran's diagnoses: [X] Anxiety [X] Panic attacks more than once a week [X] Chronic sleep impairment [X] Disturbances of motivation and mood [X] Difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships 5. Behavioral Observations: --------------------------- Mr. XXX was casually dressed, and was cooperative throughout the examination. His speech was fluent. His psychomotor behavior was appropriate. His affect was constricted and his mood was anxious. His insight was intact. Thought process was linear, goal directed, and future oriented. No reported hallucinations or delusions. No reported homicidal or suicidal ideation. 6. Other symptoms ----------------- Does the Veteran have any other symptoms attributable to PTSD (and other mental disorders) that are not listed above? [ ] Yes[X] No 7. Competency ------------- Is the Veteran capable of managing his or her financial affairs? [X] Yes[ ] No 8. Remarks, (including any testing results) if any: --------------------------------------------------- Veteran's PTSD and panic attacks currently cause moderate socio-occupational impairment.
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