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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. My heart goes out to all of my fellow survivors of MST ... For me, I have found I can no longer suppress and manage the daily physical and emotional affects of the sexual assault that took place on December 25, 1985 while serving on active duty. In effort to find some help, relief and hopefully someday healing I am starting the uphill journey to deal with this and try to share some of the highlights of my battle. I will be the first to admit I have no idea what I am doing and can only hope that God the father.... will guide my feet day by day. First step locating documentation of the event. A few weeks ago I was able to locate the police dept. and requested a copy of the report. I received a copy of the 15 page report this past week and it makes me emotionally and physically sick just to look at the envelope it's in. I also tried to locate medical records over the years from prior mental health therapists and physicians that would have documented my history as it related to these events, but the practices were closed or my records were no longer available due to time. April I called the VA to inquire about mental health services for MST and hesitated to start the process because the MST would not be marked in my record for all my providers to see. This was a big hurdle mentally as I have always hid this event at all costs from my providers. I am sure this did not help my physicians treat me and fully understand my ongoing medical problems especially those in which are usually brought on by some big life event which I always adamantly denied when asked. May 2nd 2017, I submitted a "intent to file". May 4th 2017, I went to a VSO rep?? to asked questions about the process to file a claim related to MST. The rep was belittling, insulting, hurtful, rude and I walked out of that office with no more information and the psychological affects were pretty devastating. At the encouragement from my daughter to go straight to the patient advocate office and file a complaint....I did just that. I found myself have a total mental breakdown just trying to give the details of what just went down and was thankfully met with support and many reassurances that I would have a team of people helping moving forward and that person would be brought in...dealt with and re-trained. I will spare you all the details. My next step is hearing from the mental health dept. to set up an appt. to do some type of baseline evaluation of my symptoms etc. as it related to MST... I guess to get an official diagnosis on record and to get me the specific therapy I need started. I will likely opt for tele-therapy once I have a few sessions onsite at the VA. That's it for now
  2. Hi, I am a victim of MST. I have a police report in graphic detail of the assault while I was serving active duty in the Army. The events (more than one) occurred 30 years ago, however, the images replay in my mind daily and to this day. I somehow managed to get through life and was married once and have three children. I have suffered internally (mentally) for years and have had a multitude of health problems including panic attacks and anxiety. I want to file for compensation, but also to get the mental help I know need through the VA I understand it there for me...if I can finally get myself to be able to talk about it with a counselor. I worked full time my entire life (now age 51) but was approved for SSD disability (civilian) for other medical conditions 3 years ago. When reading some of the blogs proving my MST is not a problem as I have the police report, however, how or what do they need to prove my suffering of panic attacks and PTSD to access if my life has been affected by the MST for compensation purposes. I have hid the MST events my entire life and even though I have taken anxiety medication on and off and even have seen a few counselors over the years I rarely talked about the MST and focused my sessions on other issues I think mostly so I didn't have to relive the events by talking about them. So again I am wondering if the proof is there for the MST what proof is needed that it had impaired my life in such a way that compensation would be awarded. I am not trying to find out how I can manipulate the system, but rather so that I can get an idea before putting myself through all the trauma of going through the application process if there is clearly no way I will even be awarded a disability rating if for example I do not have a trail of doctor's or psychiatry sessions stating I was talking about these events etc. to proved it has affected my life negatively.
  3. Hi, This afternoon I have my C&P exam for PTSD secondary to MST, with a contracted provider. I found out Friday evening after work. Fed Ex had delivered the paperwork earlier, but I didn't get a chance to see it until I got home from work. To say that I am nervous would be the understatement of the year. I am desperately trying to hold myself together. My digestive system is all out of whack. I did spend an hour on the phone last night with a wonderful person from a non VSO group. She is a Marine and has trauma history, so that made the connection pretty easy. She gave me a lot of good tips, if I could only remember them when it's crunch time. One of my biggest fears is that this will be just like my previous mental health C&P...where that examiner, a VA employee, when straight for the jugular and ignored my heaps of physical evidence. I don't know why I am even doing this. I fully expect to get more of the same....nothing. If I do get granted SC, the shock of that may well kill me...because that goes against the grain of what the VA has given me over the years....tons of grief and denials. Anyway, just wanted to write this down as some kind of therapy... No body has to read it, or respond. I'm not here anyway.........
  4. Hi, I am currently on civilian Soc. Sec. Disability and want to get feedback if my status of SSD will be held against me or exclude from being awarded compensation for MST if I file a claim? Any feedback on my SSD status being held against me in the C&P exam?
  5. Need advice. I do not have anyone helping me at this time with filing a PTSD/MST claim. I do have a VSO appt. at a local vet center in a week or so. In the meantime from what I have read you need three things to file a MST claim. 1. evidence (I have police report...check). 2. PTSD diagnosis, but you can also claim other conditions such as anxiety and depression etc...(right?). 3. Nexus letter. Please correct or add to anything above if I am missing something. My question today, is that although I just starting going to a civilian therapist a few months ago I have not disclosed my MST and have only talked about my daily anxiety, panic attacks etc....trying to deal with the problem without talking about the problem I guess. When I decided to file a claim I thought I could start going to a VA mental health counselor to get therapy while at the same time getting diagnosed officially for my claim. At this time, I do not have a document or official diagnosis of PTSD as my therapist has not told me that. I did go to a therapist years ago who said I had PTSD, but she closed her practice and I cannot locate my records. I know or guess it would have been better to have this long history of therapy for my PTSD claim, but I don't. I ended up talking to a social worker at the VA last week who is the head of the MST dept. and although I fully intended to work with therapist there for my PTSD I am already not feeling good about working with the mental health staff there (without going into any details I just need to take another route). My understanding is that I need the Nexus letter from a mental health person...right? Does the Nexus letter come from a C & P exam or can you have a civilian therapist write it?? If you can have your civilian therapist write it I figure I would disclose my MST to her and start working with her in therapy then ask her to write the Nexus letter. If I have up to a year to pull together my paperwork my therapist could write a letter a little further down the road once we discuss my issues related to my MST...right. I think I read it's best to go to a VA therapist to get a diagnosis and Nexus letter??... but I don't feel comfortable doing that. If I understood what I read here...you may not need to have a C & P exam if you have the evidence and a Nexus letter...even if it's from a civilian therapist...is that correct? Anyways...sorry this email is all over the place, but hope it makes sense. Thanks in advance for your feedback!!
  6. hello i wanted to see what you guys think my rating for ptsd would be based off of my c&p exam for ptsd i am at 90% for other stuff and need 40% to put me over 100% 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: F43.12 2. Current Diagnoses -------------------- a. Mental Disorder Diagnosis #1: PTSD ICD code: F43.12 Mental Disorder Diagnosis #2: Major depressive disorder Mental Disorder Diagnosis #3: Male erectile dysfunction (ED) Comments, if any: ED secondary to treatment for PTSD and depression (this is consistent as a well docuemted side effects of zoloft). b. Medical diagnoses relevant to the understanding or management of the Mental Health Disorder (to include TBI): Chronic pain - see service connected conditions below 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: It is difficult if not impossible differentiate what portion of depression versus PTSD is attributable to each diagnoses. There is a high degree of overlap and comorbidity between the disorders. Erectile dysfunction is secondary to treatment for PTSD and depression. 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 deficiencies in most areas, such as work, school, family relations, judgment, thinking and/or mood 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: It is difficult if not impossible differentiate what portion of depression versus PTSD is attributable to each diagnoses. There is a high degree of overlap and comorbidity between the disorders. Erectile dysfunction is secondary to treatment for PTSD and depression. 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 ------------------ Evidence reviewed (check all that apply): [X] VA e-folder (VBMS or Virtual VA) [X] CPRS 2. History ---------- a. Relevant Social/Marital/Family history (pre-military, military, and post-military): Mr. Greene is currently married. He has one son. Grew up in Buffalo NY. He had step sibling growing up but outside of that was an only child. b. Relevant Occupational and Educational history (pre-military, military, and post-military): High school education US Army 1998-2016 5th group special forces supply 72 months deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq Recently started working as a deck hand on a boat. c. Relevant Mental Health history, to include prescribed medications and family mental health (pre-military, military, and post-military): Currently in treatment counseling and 100mg of zoloft for depression. Experiencing erectile dysfunction as a side effect from the zoloft. d. Relevant Legal and Behavioral history (pre-military, military, and post-military): No response provided. e. Relevant Substance abuse history (pre-military, military, and post-military): No response provided. f. Other, if any: No response provided. 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: Multiple combat situation (Bronze star with valor). Fear of IEDs, mortars and rockets. Does this stressor meet Criterion A (i.e., is it adequate to support the diagnosis of PTSD)? [X] Yes [ ] No Is the stressor related to the Veteran's fear of hostile military or terrorist activity? [X] Yes [ ] No Is the stressor related to personal assault, e.g. military sexual trauma? [ ] Yes [X] No 4. PTSD Diagnostic Criteria --------------------------- Please check criteria used for establishing the current PTSD diagnosis. Do NOT mark symptoms below that are clearly not attributable to the Criterion 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 Criterion 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 violence, in one or more of the following ways: [X] Directly experiencing the traumatic event(s) [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] Recurrent distressing dreams in which the content and/or affect of the dream are related to the traumatic event(s). [X] Intense or prolonged psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event(s). [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: [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] Persistent, distorted cognitions about the cause or consequences of the traumatic event(s) that lead 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. [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] Reckless or self-destructive behavior. [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] 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] Suspiciousness [X] Panic attacks more than once a week [X] Chronic sleep impairment [X] Mild memory loss, such as forgetting names, directions or recent events [X] Flattened affect [X] Disturbances of motivation and mood [X] Difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships [X] Difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances, including work or a worklike setting 6. Behavioral Observations -------------------------- Mr. Greene was early to his appointment. 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 -------------------------------------------------- PTSD and major depressive disorder would be considered a progression / worsening of the previously diagnosed insomnia disorder. This opinion is supported the presentation of Mr. Greene's symptoms as consistent with PTSD as well has his STRs that document over 70 months deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, having earned a bronze star with valor in the US Army special forces. Based on a review of the available records in VBMS, it is the writer's medical opinion that Mr. Greene's currently diagnosed PTSD is due to or a result of fear of hostile military activity from multiple combat deployments. This opinion is supported by the his exposure to threat of mortars and other explosive devices during deployment. The veteran continues to experience multiple symptoms that are consistent with combat related PTSD. NOTE: VA may request additional medical information, including additional examinations if necessary to complete VA's review of the Veteran's application.
  7. Mailed off my PTSD secondary to MST on Monday. I don't know where to go from here. My life is falling apart around me. My marriage is on the rocks, my work is suffering. I've been in therapy at my VAMC for 2 years now. I don't know if I will survive. I got a letter that the VA wants to reduce my back...I can't deal with that, and this...and I'm at my breaking point. On January 23rd my life changed forever. I had sexual assault reporting and prevention training at work a few days earlier, which triggered my memories. They had been blocked. I had always thought what happened was consensual gay sexual activity...at least that's what that predator had told me he would say if I talked. And that he would kill me and hide my body in the woods. I have been having memories drown me ever since that time....I have 37!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! years of sexual, child sexual assault, physical assault, domestic violence abuse.....how the crap am I even still alive??????? I know I can't talk about anything that didn't happen during my service years. So that limits me to 4 sexual assaults, 2 by females and 2 by same male predator. The last was a drunk female Sailor while I was on deployment. She tackled me then began assaulting me. She was drunk off her butt, and I was automatically the perpatrator...sober male Marine, versus a drunk female Sailor...who do you think is guilty??? I can't comprehend...37 years of garbage history in the last 10 weeks....I am utterly worthless
  8. Hi all, I am new here and wanted specific advice on my condition although I have read lots of other forums. This grammar will not be right, I'm sick, I'm tired, and I just want to get through this crap. I submitted a claim recently and it got denied. PTSD, partially due to MST, partially due to harassment and belittlement. I went into the service with no 'noted' conditions, although I am finding out through years of ongoing therapy i was abused as a child. Mind you, there were no "noted" abnormalities upon entry. I did say several times that at 9 i tried to hang myself...whicih i found out recently is a true memory. The denial was because the guy who did the report contradicted himself several times throughout the report and said I didn't have PTSD but I did and it was due to childhood trauma and that the PTSD I got in service was proven by XYZ that occurred in service, ultimate position,..denial. I do have a diagnoses of PTSD, I have gone through bouts of homelessness, unstable relationships, substance abuse (which I am afraid to report for fear of blame being put on use of acid and alcohol and marijuana), severe pain to include Degenerative disc disease (where my separation comes from, medically separated, honorable) IBS -almost died because I was so sick a couple of years ago and had dropped 60 lbs out of nowhere and the diagnoses was 'marijuana abuse'. severe weight gain in service, pregnancy scares, stds, body augmentation requests, sporatic marriage and divorce to a man i knew a number of weeks, poor evals and often reprimanded, the list goes on... i was called the barracks whore, i feel so much guilt and shame about it, i feel like the females were put in service so the males wouldn't terrorize the females. we were told we would be broken down to be built back up but the second half didn't happen. the only time i felt any worth was when i was sleeping with someone and 99% of the time i was so wasted i had no clue what was happening. i have put together spcific citations from the VA website of similar instances but I am going to be as thorough with this rebuttal as possible because this is stupid to have to go through again. I recently had my first baby with a husband who feels he got the short end of the stick in a wife and cps is involved because i am terrified i will hurt my 5 month old because of my anger outbursts. i cannot be alone with him. i am doing a voluntary thing with cps so i can get the healing and help i need so i can be a good mother to our son. So, what all should I include in my rebuttal?
  9. This is EXTREMELY humiliating but I don't know where else to go for anonymous help. Please be gentle, I'm not proud of my past. I had posted in the PTSD forum, but I can be more specific here since my issues stem from MST. I have some issues from my childhood, I do have a psych history including suicide attempt at age 9 (which I didn't even remember until after I was at my first duty station), verbally and possibly physically abusive step fathers (5 total), my mother walked out several times when I was a child and told my dad she didn't want me and wouldn't call me for months, my step-brother sexually abused me when we were around 7 years old, I was in a rehab center for teens for cutting myself when I was 12...I lost my virginity to alcohol induced rape at 17 and joined the marines about a year and a half later to make something of myself. I was involved in a party after boot camp when I was in my MOS school and a group of army guys passed myself and my drunk friend around at a party and had their way with us. I started having a lot of problems after that and became a heavy alcohol user and extremely promiscuous the next 4 years of my enlistment. Most of my encounters happened when I was too drunk to remember or even walk for that matter. I had been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder about 4 months into my first duty station and I never reported to my psych doctors that I was drinking like I was...most of the time I denied I drank at all. I told them about what happened as a child but would never bring up things that were happening in service out of humiliation, guilt, pain, fear that it would get back to my command and I would be reprimanded or mocked or looked down on more than I already was. I was the 'barracks whore'. I was hospitalized several times in service and often had counseling from my command, got very overweight, caught chlamydia once and begged for hysterectomy and tubal procedures which were all denied. I had a restraining order from my gysgt for homicidal thoughts towards him and got married to a man i knew for a month to get off base. After I got a medical separation for my back I ended up homeless in Denver, on acid (which I won't tell my councilors now in fear that it will hinder me getting compensation for the PTSD from MST), divorced and remarried, hospitalized a few more times, and now I am involved with CPS because we just had our first child and I am scared to be alone with him because I get so angry. I am petrified of being around men, my sex life with my husband doesn't exist, my emotional problems cause a huge disconnect in our marriage that we are fighting to keep... My C&P exam states that I have BPD not PTSD and that what I said at the exam (which wasn't much at all) was inconsistent with what was reported over the years. I feel like the 'doctor' conducting the exam did the 'Develop to Deny' trick, he was contradictory in his report, made some false statements, and denied me. I told him about the first incident in MOS school, but apparently that wasn't enough for him to think that I was affected at all. I have around 10 buddy statements ranging from family and friends that knew me prior to service to buddies that I actually served with that were BRUTALLY honest in their reports. My therapist says I definitely have PTSD, but she can't differentiate what is from childhood and what is from MST. I don't know what to do, I'm afraid anything I say will be misconstrued and that I'm ever going to get my PTSD rating. Also, for the test portion my report says, "MMPI2RF-Invalid profile (F z=1.53, Fp z=2.15, Dsrf z=1.94); clinical scales cannot be interpreted." --what the heck do those codes mean?
  10. Who decides what is or isn't MST? Must both victim and perpetrator be Military? How do we initiate this conversation? I have a therapy session next Monday, would that be the best place? I woke up this morning an hour before my alarm, with a sudden and horrifying realization...that ..... I can't type it in, my brain won't let me. Last week at work, I was going through annual sexual assault awareness, prevention and reporting training. This is blowing my mind right now. Oh man............
  11. I have a few questions that I hope this site can answer. Back in 2000 I joined the army national guard and was sent to AIT while there and living in the barracks we had what i guess is called hazing going on. I was the new guy who already had a unit patch, rank and a list of ribbons so i was already out of place in the barracks. At first stupid stuff like being called a FNG or a NUG and lifting my bunk off the ground while i was in it and slamming it to the ground, or a tossed bunk or my lock pooped and my locker tossed. Yes it pissed me off but nothing worth crying to the drill sergeants about. After a few weeks a couple of my class mates where standing around and laughing looking at pictures and one calls me over and ask me if i knew what Tea Bagging was i honestly had no clue and said making a cup of tea. Then the kids shows me a Polaroid picture of me asleep in my bunk and another male placing his private parts on my face. I was told that this had happened many times. I went down to the office and proceeded to inform our Senior drill sergeant/acting first sergeant who tell me he will look into it. I leave think of i reported shit is going to hit the fan. Instead the Senior Drill sergeant came upstairs into our bay and tells everyone to gather round. I was thinking her we go.. Instead he yells out that he understands some teas bagging on going on and that it was just gay to let another man put his bare nuts on your face and that he better not see any of that stuff going on. I was shocked and freaking out because I am not gay never was and never will be. After this i began getting threatened and call a blue falcon i was woken up one night to chem light being poured in my mouth and other night having actual pubic hair sprinkled over my face. Other times buckets of water would be thrown onto me in my bunk i was to hyper vigilant that if they could not get close enough to me to mess with me they would throw boots or other objects at me. I called and talked to my home unit PSNCO and told him what was going on and refereed me to contact our home SGM in charge of all training which i did. He told me to avoid them and he was making some calls. The next day i got called over to the base national Guard liaison SGM who proceeded to yell at me to suck it up and stop whining and that if i was such a xxxxx i never should have joined the Army. Again i reported it and WTF is going on. I left and called my home SGM and told him what had happened and he just said WTF and told me to keep my head down and avoid them at all cost that there was not much he could do from where he was. In the middle of all this i had slipped on some heavy ice and went down a flight of stairs and was on a profile and going through rehab for my knee and lower back. One mourning i got my Sick call slip signed before the battalion went on there run at 0400. The rule was no one is allowed up in the barracks during PT period which meant i had to go into the day room until my scheduled therapy time. I was the only on a profile at the time so it was just me. I screwed up and fell asleep and over slept (at this time i was barley sleeping so i crashed hard.) I woke up and saw the time was 0800 and freaked out ran up stairs changed uniforms and caught a cab to school. A few hours later one of our Drill Sergeants came and pulled me out of class and asked me why i missed my rehab appointment and i told him the truth. The next day at lunch time i was called into the office where the SR DS handed me a counseling statement and saying that i had forged a sick call slip to get out of PT. I said i never forged a slip and he said that i had filled out a slip and had them sign it and that i did not use the slip for it intended purpose and i was getting a AR15 i asked to see JAG and was told i would be taken within 3 days. 3 days went by and i asked one of the DS when i would be going to JAG and was told opps we forgot to schedule you. That afternoon i was called over to the SGM NGB Liaisons office again. Where he proceeded to yell at me for getting into trouble and pulled out another counseling statement and began writing that i had supposedly gotten 3 AR15's and that he was chaptering me out on a chapter 14. I said that i had not even received 1 yet that the only thing i got in trouble for i have not seen JAG for so 3 was impossible. At this point tons of yelling lots of curse words and a demand to shut the hell up and just sign the document i once again asked to see JAG and was told i would be scheduled. A few more days go by and i get called into the commanders office where he wants me to sign my chapter papers and i once again say i have not even seen JAG yet. He tells me it does not matter i am just being sent back to my unit with a Under Honorable Conditions and that as long as i do not get into any more trouble for 6 months it will convert to full Honorable. I get back to my unit and they place me on none reporting status and tell me to go to the VA for MH and to finish rehabbing my knee and back. I got turned away from the VA with them telling me that they had not received my medical files and that i did not have enough concurrent active duty time to qualify for services. I tell my unit and they hook me up with a civilian doc who ended up doing surgery on my knee less then a year later. During my recovery after surgery i get a letter in the mail that i was discharged from the National Guard and in the signature box just said soldier not available. I called my unit and they were just as shocked as i was and said that there was nothing they could do about it now. Years have gone by and i was diagnosed with severe anxiety and PTSD. This is the tricky part the Doctor who diagnosed me was a civilian i saw at his private practice but he also worked full time at a VA CBOC. I honestly tried to live in denial of what happend and began drinking and did some dumb things and that is all on me. I hit pretty low and began seeing a shrink who helped me quite drinking and helped me with some coping tools like caring a calendar around so i would stop forgetting stuff. About a year my counselor who was also a vet told me to apply to the VA for PTSD and i told him that i had tried back in 2002 and was denied because they could not locate any of my medical files or service files. I was told by a bunch of VFW guys that because i did not complete the training that i would never get approved anyway that i was technical never a soldier. MY counselor told me things have changed and to file again. So i did on my own we don't have and VSO's out where i live and they only come through once a month and they only alot 30 mins for you anyway. I am embarrassed that what happened to me did. I was supposed to be a soldier and stronger then that a defender to the weak how was i so weak that it happened to me. I chocked up my fear and filled out the 781 and sent it in. I submitted all my doctors and just last week got a letter in the mail telling me that what i wrote on my 781 was not enough they needed more. Also calling the 800 number they still can not find my medical file so that's a major problem. So i sit down a write out a 7 page explanation of before during and after and resubmit it. Can someone please tell me how this will work out and if denied then what. I was told that if they can not find proof they will not even give me a comp and penn appoint and just deny me. I do not know if i am strong enough to do a appeal and have to go tell my story in a court room... Can some please walk me through this process and help turn the crazy down in my brain a little bit please?
  12. My VA poly trauma rep said they want me to go to Richmond VA for this inpatient program that sounds amazing. I also was told I can go at anytime even in one year so I have time for the birth of my son and adjust for another 8 months give or take. Has anyone have any experience with this program I was told all my doctors feel it's the best way for helping my individual independent living circumstances. In my head I'm thinking they tell me most of my residuals aren't going to get better but livable maybe I should fill out the P and T paperwork? This place they tell me is ways to minimize my damage that I could do to myself from my residuals. Hate being scatter brained
  13. 1970-74 weighed 130 in and 134 out, I had 4 yrs USAF Jet Engine Mechanic experience – much exposure to JP4, Jet Exhaust, PD-680 degreaser, carbon soot, noise, etc. I don’t have much medical information in my service records package, but I do have several pages of upper respiratory sickness, sore throats and earaches from one USAF base. None of my other medical records from other bases were in my service file. While in-service I married for the 1st time, we lived off base and thanks to my wife I was pretty good at getting to work on time. She would complain that I kept her up half the night with my snoring and would go back to bed after I would leave. She also described the loud outbursts and would try to put a pillow over my head to muffle the sounds – eventually she even bought some earplugs. The marriage didn’t last very long and we divorced in less than a year. After the divorce I moved back into the barracks, I was always tired and difficult to wake up and often fall back asleep. I eventually received an Article 15 for repeatedly being late for rollcall, and a reduction in pay scale for several months. Prior to entering service I had lived with my older sister Kathy and her husband. I did not exhibit the typical SA symptoms, I snored and I physically did not fit the profile. They told me I it got much worse after I got out and that I sometimes scared them when I would quiet down and suddenly let out a loud gasping/snoring sound… which sometimes woke me up too. I remarried in 85 and this was the first time I was told I may have sleep apnea. My wife Laura has a medical background and told my doctor what goes on at night and he made arrangements for me to have a sleep study done. It was confirmed and I received my first CPAP machine and have been using one ever since. My weight then was 203lbs. In 2006 I had this mysterious bout of ITP, of which I was hospitalized and transfused with platelets for several days. Aftercare was 6 months of prednisone, many needle sticks, bone marrow aspiration and finally tapering off they prednisone for 3 more months. In 2010 I had several significantly blocked arteries and underwent CABG dbl bypass at the San Francisco VAMC. During the surgery the urologist came out of the OR and ask my wife if I had any known bladder problems, which I didn’t, but their concern was that I was passing blood through my urine. He advised to follow up with urology once I recover and have it worked up. I had a cystoscopy and everything looked fine. In 2012 I put in a claim for IHD 60%, DMII 10%, MMD 70%, ED $125, Hearing Loss 0% and Tinnitus 10%, I was awarded, using VA funny math it was 90% scheduler with 100% compensation for TDIU plus SMC. At one of my recent psych visit I confided in something I never told anybody, not my wife, nor friends (not that I have many, quite the loner) or anyone else. Back in my last year of service I was sexually assaulted by another male, I was so ashamed I stuffed it for 40 yrs, but it just came out. I have been in several PTSD clinics and they helped me to realize I was a victim, that my assailant was a perpetrator, purposefully got me drunk and assaulted me in my sleep. Dec 2013 my wife gets annoyed with the VA doctors because they are all ignoring that some of my blood work always come back a little under the lower range so they blow it off. Via her pushing I get a Hem/Onc consult and it is discovered that I have an Ultra Rare illness called Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria (PNH), is a rare acquired (not hereditary), life-threatening disease of the blood. The disease is characterized by destruction of red blood cells (hemolytic anemia), blood clots (thrombosis), and impaired bone marrow function (not making enough of the three blood components). It is closely associated with AA & MDS, all are bone marrow failures diseases. Benzene is known to be a toxic chemical which causes bone marrow failure illnesses. My illness is stable so it is in watch & wait state. I’m followed by Hem/Onc once a month to evaluate blood labs and I was prescribed Folic Acid for now. Jan 2016 it is discovered that I have L/carotid artery blockage at 80%, and R/carotid at 60%. I am supposed to have CEA on the left one but first wanted to consult with a well-known PNH specialist in New York NYU to discuss risks of thrombosis. He wants me on an intravenous medication call eculizumab (Soliris tm $$$,$$$ per year) prior to surgery for the carotid artery. Part of his workup for new patients is to check for venial clots with a Head MRI, Abdomen MRI and Lower extremity Doppler studies. No clots found, but I apparently had a chronic lacunar infarct of the left caudate head (stroke) that apparently was asymptomatic. The report also indicated that Scattered areas of white matter signal abnormality in a configuration most suggestive of chronic small vessel ischemic disease. Not sure what that means but it sounds interesting… Now here are my questions: Should I leave well enough alone with my TDIU award or file some additional claims? PTSD due to MST or should I file for increase in MMD PNH due to toxic chemical exposure (Agent Orange, PD680, Carotid artery due to IHD Chronic small vessel ischemic disease in the brain due to IHD Exacerbated my non-SC Sleep Apnea due to PTSD (central & OSA) previous reports only show OSA I am revisiting this since I saw the post on this site that the VA doctors can no longer hide behind not filling out a DBQ because they were told not to. I’m sure I’ll still need to get IMO for the non-SC items.
  14. Update: My claim status went to prep for notification on Friday, Dec 30 and this morning it disappeared and moved to historical claims as completed. Nothing has changed, disabilities and AB8 letter are still exactly the same. I would assume this means my claim for TDIU was denied, however I also had a dependent claim added in which also closed at the same time (opened as a separate claim when my daughters started college, but the system automatically rolled it into my then open claim)...I would think that at least there would be the addition of my dependents, which should be more administrative than speculative, and added to the award on my AB8 letter? Or will the letter just show the base rate? Or maybe I got denied for that too (under what circumstances would I be denied for ALL 3 of my full time college dependents, all under 20 years old, all my kids)? I know many get to see their updates in their AB8 before they get the BBE or retro, it seems most who don't see the change in ebenefits are denied? Oddly today I am not having a meltdown but almost a sense of relief, even if denied, at least I'm not in purgatory and can take the next steps for appeal or whatever, thanks very much to you all here for helping me maintain some kind of perspective and plan. Tomorrow may be different though, but I'll take that small victory in sanity for the moment. Telling myself to wait for BBE...I wonder if I could submit my ebenefits activity history as evidence for anxiety/OCD
  15. Hello, I was wondering if anyone could help... I was denied ptsd for 2009 mst claim for not enough evidence. I just found out in my old claim that my va records were "not available" they said that they had requested the info from me, but that was false I never received any paperwork other than my denial. In July 2013 the VA sent me a letter to reopen my case if I had any new material evidence. I found my VA treatment records myself from both Fl and NY sent that in and uploaded to ebene account. I also sent a letter from my current private psychiatrist. My questions are: 1. My new claim closed two days ago but I never had C&p exam? 2. On ebenes it only has private dr. Letter as new evidence and nothing has changed as far as VA letter benefits ab8 letter, I think they are going to deny me again and it is just tearing me apart that no one can give me any information on my file? What should I do next to help myself?? Thank you!!!!
  16. May 2016 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 [ ] Military service personnel records [X] Military enlistment examination [ ] Military separation examination [X] Military post-deployment questionnaire [X] Department of Defense Form 214 Separation Documents [X] 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 [X] Other: VHA medical record (CPRS) and VA e-folder (VBMS records) were reviewed. There was no physical C-File available as all documents were available in e-folder per C&P exam instructions. 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): Pre-military: Veteran was born in Weslaco, Texas and raised in Alamo, Texas. He was raised by both parents and grew up with a brother. Veteran described his childhood as "okay, my mom was a stay at home mother, my dad worked, and was also an alcoholic, always talking down to me and hitting my older brother when he was drunk." Veteran reported that he got along with other children and teachers while growing up. He participated in baseball and football while in school. Military: Veteran reported that he got along "pretty good" with other soldiers. Post-military: Veteran lives with his spouse and two children, seven year-old son and one year-old daughter. Veteran and his wife have been married since 2005. He described his relationship with his wife as "married, have our ups and downs." Veteran described his relationship with his children as "nice." He spends most of his time with his daughter. His hobby is to "coach a travel selected team for softball." He stated he spends time with friends "on the weekends" barbecuing. b. Relevant Occupational and Educational history (pre-military, military, and post-military): Pre-military: Veteran obtained a high school degree from Pharr-San Juan-Alamo High School. He reported that his grades were average and denied having any learning or attention problems. Military: Veteran served active duty in the Army from April 17, 2002 to April 16, 2005. MOS: 92F, Petroleum Supply Specialist. Rank at Discharge: E-3. Discharge: Honorable. Veteran was awarded the Army Lapel Button, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon. Veteran served in Southwest Asia from February 7, 2004 to August 24, 2004. Post-military: Veteran completed a certificate for medical assistant in 2015 from Southern Careers Institute. Veteran is current unemployed; he was last employed February 2015. Veteran stated he was a heavy equipment operator for the city of Donna from December 2014 to February 2015. He stated he was fired because his "director told [him] [his] position was no longer needed." He denied having disciplinary problems at this job. c. Relevant Mental Health history, to include prescribed medications and family mental health (pre-military, military, and post-military): Pre-military: Veteran denied mental health history including hospitalizations for mental health problems. Veteran reported that his father was "always drinking alcohol." Military: Veteran stated that he was diagnosed with depression "January 2004." He reported that he was hospitalized for two weeks at John Randolph hospital in Virginia. Veteran reported, "When I came back from my tour in 2004, I woke up one morning and decided to cut my wrist with my Gerber knife. Then I realized what the hell I was doing, I drove myself to the local hospital in Virginia." Veteran denied seeing anyone wounded, killed or dead during deployment when he completed September 2, 2003 Post-Deployment Health Assessment. He did endorse feeling like he was in great danger of being killed. Veteran denied having little interest in doing things, feeling depressed, nightmares, avoidance behavior, hypervigilance, and feeling detached from others. He reported that his health in general was "very good." According to Report of Consultation from John Randolph Medical Center dated January 19, 2005, Veteran was "admitted to psychiatric services with depression." According to the Behavioral Health Initial Assessment from John Randolph Medical Center dated January 15, 2005, "He is in the process of getting divorced from his wife who lives in Texas. He said that he has been feeling stressed since this past weekend and yesterday he held a knife in his hand and wanted to hurt himself. He reported feeling depressed, having decreased energy, decreased appetite, decreased sleep. He has been having some flashbacks and nightmares about the war in Iraq." Post-military: Veteran is prescribed Buspirone and Fluoxetine; he stated he is compliant with psychotropic medication. Veteran attended primary care mental health integration initial appointment on January 19, 2016. He then attended mental health initial evaluation on February 10, 2016. Veteran attended VPTT Consult on February 23, 2016. He was no-show to follow-up appointment for VPTT on May 2, 2016 and May 9, 2016. Veteran denied current auditory and visual hallucinations. He denied current suicidal and homicidal ideation, intent, or plan. Nonetheless, he was provided with Veterans Crisis Line information. Veteran was instructed to monitor symptoms, including emergence of suicidal or homicidal ideation, and to utilize this number, call 911, or go to nearest ER at closest hospital, in case of mental health emergency. d. Relevant Legal and Behavioral history (pre-military, military, and post-military): Pre-military: Veteran denied legal and behavioral history. Military: Veteran reported he lost rank "for being late so many times." He denied receiving Article 15s. Post-military: Veteran denied legal and behavioral history. e. Relevant Substance abuse history (pre-military, military, and post-military): Pre-military: Veteran denied substance use including alcohol and cigarettes. Military: Veteran reported that he drank alcohol "like every weekend." He stated that he smoked cigarettes "just the weekends probably like six or seven cigarettes." Veteran denied use of other substances. Post-military: Veteran reported that he drinks "2 - 3 beers a week." He stated he is no longer smoking cigarettes. Veteran denied use of other substances. f. Other, if any: No response provided. 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: Veteran reported that he served in Kuwait and Iraq. He denied engaging in direct combat. Veteran reported, "We were, I was doing guard duty one night and we heard the patriotic missiles, there were SCUD missiles coming in," "cause we were near Camp Virginia," "and we had to put on MOPP [mission oriented protective posture] gear" "because there was blood pathogen in the air." He stated, "one of my friends getting killed" "something I heard about." "We saw some dead bodies on our way back from Iraq," "we were 50 miles close to border line, coming back to Kuwait." Does this stressor meet Criterion A (i.e., is it adequate to support the diagnosis of PTSD)? [X] Yes [ ] No Is the stressor related to the Veteran's fear of hostile military or terrorist activity? [X] Yes [ ] No Is the stressor related to personal assault, e.g. military sexual trauma? [ ] Yes [X] No 4. PTSD Diagnostic Criteria --------------------------- No response provided 5. Symptoms ----------- For VA rating purposes, check all symptoms that actively apply to the Veteran's diagnoses: [X] Anxiety [X] Disturbances of motivation and mood [X] Difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships 6. Behavioral Observations -------------------------- Veteran was alert and oriented x3. Dress was casual but appropriate. Attitude was cooperative and polite. Speech was clear, coherent, and relevant. Mood was "pretty good." Affect was consistent with mood and topics discussed. Thought processes were logical, linear, and goal-oriented. Thought content was WNL, with no signs or reports of A/V hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, or homicidal ideation/plan/intent. Veteran denied current suicidal ideation/plan/intent. Memory appeared intact. Judgment appeared adequate. 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 -------------------------------------------------- Please note that level of impairment is only based on Unspecified Trauma-and Stressor-Related Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder, in partial remission. Veteran has physical impairments, which were not assessed today. NOTE: VA may request additional medical information, including additional examinations if necessary to complete VA's review of the Veteran's application. /es/ MARIA T Artiaga, PsyD Supervised Psychology Staff Signed: 05/31/2016 11:28 Receipt Acknowledged By: 06/05/2016 16:22 /es/ DESI A. VASQUEZ, PHD SUPERVISORY PSYCHOLOGIST ------------------------------------------------------------------------- November 2016 2nd C&P Exam Initial Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Disability Benefits Questionnaire * Internal VA or DoD Use Only * Name of patient/Veteran: Edgar Sandoval SECTION I: ---------- 1. Diagnostic Summary --------------------- Does the Veteran have a diagnosis of PTSD that conforms to DSM-5 criteria based on today's evaluation? [ ] Yes [X] No If no diagnosis of PTSD, check all that apply: [X] Veteran's symptoms do not meet the diagnostic criteria for PTSD under DSM-5 criteria [X] Veteran has another Mental Disorder diagnosis. Continue to complete this Questionnaire and/or the Eating Disorder Questionnaire: 2. Current Diagnoses -------------------- a. Mental Disorder Diagnosis #1: unspecified trauma-and stressor-related disorder ICD code: F43.9 Mental Disorder Diagnosis #2: persistent depressive disorder ICD code: F34.1 b. Medical diagnoses relevant to the understanding or management of the Mental Health Disorder (to include TBI): deferred to medical 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? [ ] Yes [X] No [ ] Not applicable (N/A) If no, provide reason that it is not possible to differentiate what portion of each symptom is attributable to each diagnosis and discuss whether there is any clinical association between these diagnoses: symptom overlap 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? [ ] Yes [X] No [ ] No other mental disorder has been diagnosed If no, provide reason that it is not possible to differentiate what portion of the indicated level of occupational and social impairment is attributable to each diagnosis: symptom overlap 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 ------------------ Evidence reviewed (check all that apply): [X] VA e-folder (VBMS or Virtual VA) [X] CPRS 2. History ---------- a. Relevant Social/Marital/Family history (pre-military, military, and post-military): He was born in Weslaco, Texas and raised in Alamo by his biological parents. He has one brother. He stated that his father was an alcoholic and would "talk down at [him]." He was also physically abusive. He got along with peers and teachers and played sports in school. The veteran was living with his wife, daughter, age two and 8-year-old son, but they separated and he is now living with a friend. He visits with his children regularly. He stated that he was arguing and irritable with his spouse and that he was "swearing" in front of his children. "I was getting mad for no reason." His mother died in a nursing home with stroke (09/2016) and his father died of "alcoholism" (10/2016). He stated the symptoms of depression have increased since they died. "The whole world's on top of me." He continues to coach softball with teenage girls on the weekends. Relationships were good in the military. b. Relevant Occupational and Educational history (pre-military, military, and post-military): He graduated high school with average grades. There were no learning or attentional problems. He worked part-time at a department store during his teenage years. He was active duty Army (2002-2005) with highest rank SPC and rank at discharge of PFC due to disciplinary problem. Discharge was honorable. He received GWOT, NDSM, Global war on terrorism expeditionary medal. He was in Southwest Asia (2004). Post-military, he received a certificate for medical Assistant (2015). He has been unemployed since February 2015 after having productivity problems in a position as heavy equipment operator. c. Relevant Mental Health history, to include prescribed medications and family mental health (pre-military, military, and post-military): He did not report pre-military mental health issues or family history of psychiatric problems, though his father drank heavily. Records indicate he was admitted to John Randolph Medical Center in January 2005 with "depression." Recent VA records show he has been receiving mental health treatment for trauma-related disorder and depression since January 2016. He has received both group and individual therapy. The veteran stated that symptoms of depression have been increased since his parents died 1-2 months ago. Currently, he reports symptoms of depression including feelings of guilt, decreased pleasure and interest in activities, decreased energy, irritability, tiredness, and problems sleeping. He stated that he feels guilty for not being with his parents anymore or with his family. He reports symptoms of trauma- and stressor- related disorder including occasional distressing dreams or intrusive memories, reactions to cues in the environment (seeing people with Middle Eastern clothing"), decreased interest in activities, irritability, hypervigilance, and problems sleeping. Medications: Buspirone, lisinopril. d. Relevant Legal and Behavioral history (pre-military, military, and post-military): none e. Relevant Substance abuse history (pre-military, military, and post-military): 6-pack of beer per month. f. Other, if any: No response provided. 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: Feeling that his life was threatened during deployment with danger of being killed. Does this stressor meet Criterion A (i.e., is it adequate to support the diagnosis of PTSD)? [X] Yes [ ] No Is the stressor related to the Veteran's fear of hostile military or terrorist activity? [X] Yes [ ] No Is the stressor related to personal assault, e.g. military sexual trauma? [ ] Yes [X] No b. Stressor #2: Seeing "dead bodies" when coming back from Iraq. Does this stressor meet Criterion A (i.e., is it adequate to support the diagnosis of PTSD)? [X] Yes [ ] No Is the stressor related to the Veteran's fear of hostile military or terrorist activity? [X] Yes [ ] No Is the stressor related to personal assault, e.g. military sexual trauma? [ ] Yes [X] No c. Stressor #3: Hearing that one of his SM friends was killed. Does this stressor meet Criterion A (i.e., is it adequate to support the diagnosis of PTSD)? [X] Yes [ ] No Is the stressor related to the Veteran's fear of hostile military or terrorist activity? [X] Yes [ ] No Is the stressor related to personal assault, e.g. military sexual trauma? [ ] Yes [X] No 4. PTSD Diagnostic Criteria --------------------------- Please check criteria used for establishing the current PTSD diagnosis. Do NOT mark symptoms below that are clearly not attributable to the Criterion 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 Criterion 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 violence, in one or more of the following ways: [X] Directly experiencing the traumatic event(s) [X] Learning that the traumatic event(s) occurred to a close family member or close friend; cases of actual or threatened death must have been violent or accidental; or, experiencing repeated or extreme exposure to aversive details of the traumatic events(s) (e.g., first responders collecting human remains; police officers repeatedly exposed to details of child abuse); this does not apply to exposure through electronic media, television, movies, or pictures, unless this exposure is work related. Criterion B: Presence of (one or more) of the following intrusion symptoms associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after the traumatic event(s) occurred: [X] Recurrent, 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). [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: No response provided. 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 negative emotional state (e.g., fear, horror, anger, guilt, or shame). [X] Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities. 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] Sleep disturbance (e.g., difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless sleep). Criterion F: [X] Duration of the disturbance (Criteria B, C, D, and E) is more than 1 month. Criterion G: [X] The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. Criterion H: [X] The disturbance is not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance (e.g., medication, alcohol) or another medical condition. Criterion I: Which stressor(s) contributed to the Veteran's PTSD diagnosis?: [X] Stressor #1 [X] Stressor #2 [X] Stressor #3 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 [X] Disturbances of motivation and mood [X] Difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships [X] Difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances, including work or a worklike setting 6. Behavioral Observations -------------------------- MENTAL STATUS EXAMINATION Appearance: Casual, appropriate. Behavior: cooperative. Speech: WNL Mood/Affect: WNL, appropriate to content. Orientation: Oriented to all spheres. Cognitions: WNL, not formally tested. Safety: Danger to self/others? NO Safe to return home? YES Risk Factors assessment: [NO] Patient has current thoughts of hurting or killing themselves? [NO] Patient has current thoughts of hurting or killing someone else? [NO] Patient has is looking for a way to kill themselves or has a plan? [NO] Patient has taken actions to activate plan? [NO] Patient has history of compromised impulse control? Judgment: FAIR Insight: FAIR 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 -------------------------------------------------- Please comment on the effect of the Veteran's service connected disabilities on his or her ability to function in an occupational environment and describe any identified functional limitations. Please refrain from opining on if the veteran is unemployable or employable; instead focus and reflect on the functional impairments and how these impairments impact occupational and employment activities. Comment: The veteran is able to function independently and engage in activities of daily living. He is able to drive an automobile and research jobs or prepare for job interviews. However, symptoms of depression and trauma-and stressor-related disorder would negatively impact his motivation. Problems sleeping and tiredness may negatively impact performance and productivity. Irritability may cause interpersonal problems on the job. NOTE: VA may request additional medical information, including additional examinations if necessary to complete VA's review of the Veteran's application. **************************************************************************** Medical Opinion Disability Benefits Questionnaire Name of patient/Veteran: Edgar Sandoval ACE and Evidence Review ----------------------- Indicate method used to obtain medical information to complete this document: [X] In-person examination Evidence Review --------------- Evidence reviewed (check all that apply): [X] VA e-folder (VBMS or Virtual VA) [X] CPRS MEDICAL OPINION SUMMARY ----------------------- RESTATEMENT OF REQUESTED OPINION: a. Opinion from general remarks: Does the Veteran have a diagnosis of (a) unspecified trauma and stressor related disorder with major depressive disorder that is at least as likely as not (50 percent or greater probability) incurred in or caused by (the) friend killed in action during service? b. Indicate type of exam for which opinion has been requested: DBQ PSYCH PTSD INITIAL TYPE OF MEDICAL OPINION PROVIDED: [ MEDICAL OPINION FOR DIRECT SERVICE CONNECTION ] a. The condition claimed was at least as likely as not (50% or greater probability) incurred in or caused by the claimed in-service injury, event or illness. c. Rationale: STRs show treatment for depression during service (2005). He served in Southwest Asia, feared for his life and found out that a SM friend of his was killed in service. He currently reports symptoms of depression and trauma-and stressor-related disorder, such as irritability, low energy, problems sleeping, intrusive memories, distressing dreams, reactions to cues in the environment. ************************************************************************* /es/ Paul Loflin, PhD Clinical Psychologist Signed: 11/23/2016 12:21
  17. I had submitted an IRIS inquiry to fix errors pertaining to my claim. I requested a phone call to discuss the matter. Got a call from a VA rating officer in Roanoke. Looks like my claim got farmed out from the St. Petersburg VA I informed the rating officer that I did not submit new claims for acne, or allergic rhinitis. I gave her the date,(9/12/2016), that the new claims are shown to have been submitted. I stated that I have a record of the documents submitted on that date as proof that I never filed these new claims. I mentioned that I am at the maximum rating for rhinitis, and 10% for acne and that I am not appealing either decision. She reviewed my C-file. Told me she can eliminate the new rhinitis claim. Then we discussed the acne claim. I requested that the acne claim be removed as it is an error on the part of the VA. Here's where she almost got me............ Her conversation was noticeably rambling. She said she had previously pointed out mistakes to someone upstairs, and seemed frustrated about there being no corrective action taken. Then.... she stated, " Okay, I'm going to remove the claim you have on file for the acne scars." I began to get annoyed, so I said to her, "NO, I have acne scars on appeal." "Do NOT eliminate my appeal" , I said. Finally, after a few frustrating attempts of walking her through the fact that I wanted the new acne and rhinitis claims discharged, she seemed to understand, and said she would take care of it. I requested that the VA send me a letter to document that the corrections were made, as I don't believe ANYTHING from the VA unless I get it in writing. I'm hoping the errors were fixed, and hoping this correction has shortened my time on the hamster wheel. Wait and see.
  18. 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
  19. Would anyone be familiar with a publication dealing with control of procedures regarding prescription filling? In the private sector these publications are referred to as..."DUR"..."Drug Utilization Review/Report". It's a procedure's manual of what to do in unique circumstances within the pharmacy environment...ie, prescription exceeds recommended daily dosage. Thank you.
  20. Remember Popeye? He used to say, "That's all I can stand, I can't stand no more!" He had a can of spinach, and it was all over for the stronger Brutus. Well, the Writ of Mandamus is the can of spinach. Incidently, this is not a hypothesis for me, I filed a Writ Pro Se in 2008. Chris Attig explains why the Writ of Mandamus works: https://www.veteranslawblog.org/writ-of-mandamus/ In part: If They are Always Getting “Mooted”, Why is the Petition for Writ of Mandamus so Effective? Petitions for Writ of Mandamus at the Veterans Court are effective because nobody wants to talk about the Elephant in the Room. Here’s what the various players would have to talk about if they were to ever decide a “Writ”: VA: They’d have to demonstrate what IS a reasonable amount of time for a Veteran to wait for VA action – and then hold true to their word to avoid future problems. The VA is so scared of this argument it will move heaven and earth to take action and moot the Writ. Exhibit A: In the Veteran’s case, above, the Veteran filed for the Writ on June 5, 2014; the VA committed to gathering medical evidence, scheduling a C&P and issuing a decision on the Remand Order in 56 days – by July 31, 2o14. COURT: No Judge wants to write a decision saying how long is a reasonable period of time for a Veteran to wait for action. And most assuredly not a Judge in an Article I Court: such an action would invariably be seen as both a check – an attack, if you will – on the Executive branch by a non-Article III Court, or, as some court observers point out, encroaches on the role of Congress. Even beyond that, the Veterans Court is in, as they say, a bit of a pickle. The prospect of issuing a Writ is, to the Veterans Court, akin to what “Texting While Driving” is to the driver of an 18-wheeler – the minute you start typing, the minute you should know you are going to make a huge mess. In the Gulley decision, the Court was gentle in its denial of a Petition for Writ of Mandamus: “although the Court understands the [Veteran’s] frustration, the delay involved must be unreasonable before a Court will inject itself [into the VA’s process].” VETERAN: This poor guy doesn’t even really care – he’s just using the process because it’s there. He just wants a darn decision in his case – he may just need to make a house payment or keep the lights on another month – he doesn’t want to waste time arguing what timelines are reasonable. Especially not after wasting years dealing with dilatory and borderline ridiculous and unsupported arguments at the VBA, the BVA, and before the Office of General Counsel. From what I can tell from the limited docket available online in this case, the Veteran did exactly what he needed to: he argued just enough about how the “Board seems to have indefinitely delayed the proceeding of [the] case, no the strength of being backlogged, with no specific time frame set for deciding [the] claim”. That argument, right there, is the first domino that sets the rest falling. What do all these arguments have in common? For very different reasons, all the players in this game want to avoid a debate over what is, and is not, a reasonable amount of time for a Veteran to wait for the VA to take action. There is a Storm Brewing at the Veterans Court Over the Writ Process. In a 2014 single judge decision, Hamblin v. Gibson, the Court talked about the so-called “Writ Effect” and how the Veteran wins by losing: The Veterans Court said: “…the RO has adjudicated the petitioner’s claims at issue only after a petition has been filed, which creates a perception that incentivizes the filings of petitions and burdens the Court.” Not every Judge agrees with this conclusion. One Judge, in a dissent in the Young case a couple years back, suggested that, if a Veteran was not satisfied with a Board Referral decision, that Veteran could use the Writ Process to get “…expedited processing more quickly than a successful appeal to the Court.” (Note: A Referral Decision from the BVA is NOT a Remand Decision – the BVA refers cases back to the Regional Office when it feels it doesn’t have jurisdiction. It remands when it needs to develop more evidence to make a decision.) In other words – and I could be way off base here – there appears to be a growing schism in the Court over Writs: the Young dissent seems to encourage the very Writ process that the Hamblin Court is wanting to discourage. Some of my friends in the Veterans’ Bar have taken issue with the statement of the Veterans’ Court in the Hamblindecision: many attorneys see it as an attack on Veterans for using the legal tools available to get the relief that they need. Maybe those attorneys are right. For a system that is designed to help those that “bore the battle”, there is an awful lot of anger at Veterans at the VBA, the BVA and the VA OGC. Or maybe the Hamblin verbiage was just a shot across the bow – a warning if you will. My question is this – to whom was that “warning shot” directed? Maybe it was a warning to the Executive Branch: when the Veterans Court sees you – time and time again – issue a decision in 56 days under “threat of writ”, it is frustrated that THEIR docket is clogged with claims taking YOU 3 years. Maybe it was a warning to Congress: fixing the rules of this process is your “gig”. The Court isn’t going to exhaust its resources while you sit idly by and don’t rein in this dysfunctional system. Or maybe it wasn’t a warning at all. Courts often know their own limitations and, as suggested above, maybe this Court is aware of its own – though neither the OGC nor the Veterans Bar seem to have pieced it all together yet. But in the end, does it matter who it’s warning? Everybody seems really content with the stalemate: 1) Congress isn’t going to act; the last time a Court sent the Legislature a “hint” in a Veteran’s Writ Case that actually worked – near as I can tell – was in Hayburn’s Case in 1792. 2) The VA is never going to willingly change its own adjudication process….more than that, though, the actions it told the Hamblin Court it was taking are, largely, going to have NO effect on claims processing times and the Veterans Court won’t remember this in 2 years or 5 years or 10 years. 3) Veterans will continue to file Writ Petitions since they work What will break the stalemate is the private bar – say what you will about attorneys, but historically, we are the defenders and champions of justice. Eventually, we will push for a Judicial check and balance on the VA Hamster Wheel….. maybe a Veteran will come into Court in with a set of facts that becomes a tipping point and a Writ of Mandamus will have to issue …. or an Article III court will issue the Writ that an Article I court won’t…. or maybe someone will try to Mandamus the Veterans Court. Whatever way the pendulum swings, isn’t it time to start challenging the status quo when it comes to the Petition for Writ of Mandamus?
  21. Hi - Just want to let everyone know there is hope if your claim is stalled. They are working at the Houston RO. I got a call from DRO today, and told me I was granted IU with back pay. (PTSD/MST Rape & ATT Murder) I have my Navy retirement too, so I think this is the end of the road for me as far as claims go. I will continue to pray for adjudication with other claims. This was exhausting. Graduating in 72 days with my BS in Criminology- Thanks Voc Rehab.
  22. Hello everyone I am new to this site and I was wondering if I could get some insight about my claim. I pulled up my C&P notes on a PTSD claim that I filled and was trying to match what the doctor wrote to my benefits expectations. It seems im mixed between 10% and 30%. Is there anybody that could give their opinion on why I should expect. Thanks! 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 2. Current Diagnoses -------------------- a. Mental Disorder Diagnosis #1: PTSD Comments, if any: At least as likely as not incurred in combat tours (3 x in Iraq between 03 and 07); Purple Heart in first, and CAB in second. Cav Scout Mental Disorder Diagnosis #2: Panic Disorder Comments, if any: Recurring transient episodes of intense fear associated with breathing difficulty, palpitation, perspiration Mental Disorder Diagnosis #3: Unspecified Depressive Disorder Comments, if any: SYMPTOMS: Sadness; diminished energy and self esteem; symptoms shared with PTSD - diminished sleep, hope, concentration, interests b. Medical diagnoses relevant to the understanding or management of the Mental Health Disorder (to include TBI): TBI and others 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? [ ] Yes [X] No [ ] Not applicable (N/A) If no, provide reason that it is not possible to differentiate what portion of each symptom is attributable to each diagnosis and discuss whether there is any clinical association between these diagnoses: See shared symptoms as above c. Does the Veteran have a diagnosed traumatic brain injury (TBI)? [X] Yes [ ] No [ ] Not shown in records reviewed d. Is it possible to differentiate what symptom(s) is/are attributable to each diagnosis? [ ] Yes [X] No [ ] Not applicable (N/A) If no, provide reason that it is not possible to differentiate what portion of each symptom is attributable to each diagnosis: The question with regards to impact of any TBI will be referred to a TBI examiner to address 4. Occupational and social impairment ------------------------------------- a. Which of the following best summarizes the Veteran's level of occupational and social impairment with regards to all mental diagnoses? (Check only one) [X] Occupational and social impairment due to mild or transient symptoms which decrease work efficiency and ability to perform occupational tasks only during periods of significant stress, or; symptoms controlled by medication b. For the indicated level of occupational and social impairment, is it possible to differentiate what portion of the occupational and social impairment indicated above is caused by each mental disorder? [ ] Yes [X] No [ ] No other mental disorder has been diagnosed If no, provide reason that it is not possible to differentiate what portion of the indicated level of occupational and social impairment is attributable to each diagnosis: Depression (Prevalence of depression-PTSD co-morbidity: implications for clinical practice guidelines and primary care-based interventions. Campbell DG - J Gen Intern Med - 01-JUN-2007; 22(6): 711-8 ) and panic disorder (Co-morbid panic attacks among individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder: associations with traumatic event exposure history, symptoms, and impairment. - Cougle JR - J Anxiety Disorder - 01-MAR-2010; 24(2): 183-8) frequently co-occur with PTSD. While each co-morbidity further limits Vet's psychosocial functioning, gauging the exclusive and adverse impact of each co-morbidity on Vet's functioning separate from that of another is not feasible. 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 [X] No [ ] No diagnosis of TBI If no, provide reason that it is not possible to differentiate what portion of the indicated level of occupational and social impairment is attributable to each diagnosis: The question with regards to impact of any TBI will be referred to a TBI examiner to address SECTION II: ----------- Clinical Findings: ------------------ 1. Evidence Review ------------------ Evidence reviewed (check all that apply): [X] VA e-folder (VBMS or Virtual VA) [X] CPRS 2. History ---------- a. Relevant Social/Marital/Family history (pre-military, military, and post-military): in an intact family. Had good childhood. Keeps up with parents and a younger brother who all in the same town. No conduct issues in childhood nor in service. Married for past 13 years to an LPN, and they have 2 sons - 6 and 2 yo. Good relationship within family. Reclusive outside. Living in Waverly, TN with his family since separation from service in 2009 conduct issues in childhood nor in service. Married for past 13 years to an LPN, and they have 2 sons - 6 and 2 yo. Good relationship within family. Reclusive outside. Living with his family b. Relevant Occupational and Educational history (pre-military, military, and post-military): EDUCATION: HS in 2002; associate degree in 2011. MILITARY: Honorably served ARMY from 02 to 09; E5; Cav Scout for first 5 years and then transport coord. Other details as above. Post service: Two long term jobs - first for 3 years as a storage desk clerk; got tired. Current job for past 3 years as a chemical plant operator. No negative feedback so far. c. Relevant Mental Health history, to include prescribed medications and family mental health (pre-military, military, and post-military): Connected with TVHS MH services as an outpatient d. Relevant Legal and Behavioral history (pre-military, military, and post-military): N/A e. Relevant Substance abuse history (pre-military, military, and post-military): N/A f. Other, if any: N/A 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: 3 Iraqi tours - see other details in diagnostic section Does this stressor meet Criterion A (i.e., is it adequate to support the diagnosis of PTSD)? [X] Yes [ ] No Is the stressor related to the Veteran's fear of hostile military or terrorist activity? [X] Yes [ ] No Is the stressor related to personal assault, e.g. military sexual trauma? [ ] Yes [X] No 4. PTSD Diagnostic Criteria --------------------------- Please check criteria used for establishing the current PTSD diagnosis. Do NOT mark symptoms below that are clearly not attributable to the Criterion 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 Criterion 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 violence, in one or more of the following ways: [X] Directly experiencing the traumatic event(s) [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). [X] 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). [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: [X] 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). [X] Persistent negative emotional state (e.g., fear, horror, anger, guilt, or shame). [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] 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] Panic attacks more than once a week [X] Chronic sleep impairment [X] Mild memory loss, such as forgetting names, directions or recent events [X] Difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances, including work or a worklike setting 6. Behavioral Observations -------------------------- No response provided. 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 -------------------------------------------------- No remarks provided. NOTE: VA may request additional medical information, including additional examinations if necessary to complete VA's review of the Veteran's application.
  23. Need some suggestions or guidance. If I'm rated at 80% however still working but I can't afford to quit my job due to financial circumstances. I was rated 40% for my back and the other contentions make up the other 40%. My back is constantly bothering me leaving me with a footdrop and I've exhausted all of my leave and I'm a federal employee. I've had a steady work history but my leave is always on 0 due to my sc disability. I would like some guidance as to how should I go about filing for unemployability even though I have not had a break in my work history and I can't afford to have no income coming in while waiting to see if I am approved. I've had supervisors write up the employment questionnaire stating that due to my sc disability I'm always on a negative balance. Could some one please shed some light of the situation. Any feedback is greatly appreciated.
  24. New here so sorry if i am confusing Can anyone give me some insight on if MST/PTSD claims are paid back to the service/discharge date? I just recently opened a claim for disability, part of which is a MST claim. Sadly, I was unaware I could open a claim, I was an activated navy reservist and once I was off deployment I never looked back, didnt ask questions, i just wanted to put my deployment behind me. with that being said, i dont recall or have record of ever getting a discharge physical. I have heard multiple answers which i am sure all are correct, but maybe someone can clarify why some claims are paid back to the service date and some only to the claim date. Also, I know there are appeals and such, but there is another service member that personally knows of her friend getting back paid to the date of service on her first initial claim and it was 3-4 years past her discharge date. Oh I have my claim physical and psych eval on the 28th, and i am honestly really nervous and dont know what to expect.. some pointers would be greatly appreciated thanks. USNR 2004-2008 IRR:2008-2012 ACTIVE 2006-2007
  25. . Other, if any: No response provided. 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: Rape in 1989 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: not related to military conflict Is the stressor related to personal assault, e.g. military sexual trauma? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, please describe the markers that may substantiate the stressor. there are no markers of the assault 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] Directly experiencing the traumatic event(s) 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). Criterion C: Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after the traumatic events(s) occurred, as evidenced by one or both of the following: [X] Avoidance of or efforts to avoid distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings about or closely associated with the traumatic event(s). [X] Avoidance of or efforts to avoid external reminders (people, places, conversations, activities, objects, situations) that arouse distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings about or closely associated with the traumatic event(s). Criterion D: Negative alterations in cognitions and mood associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more) of the following: [X] Persistent and exaggerated negative beliefs or expectations about oneself, others, or the world (e.g., "I am bad,: "No one can be trusted,: "The world is completely dangerous,: "My whole nervous system is permanently ruined"). [X] Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others. Criterion E: Marked alterations in arousal and reactivity associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more) of the following: [X] Irritable behavior and angry outbursts (with little or no provocation) typically expressed as verbal or physical aggression toward people or objects. [X] Sleep disturbance (e.g., difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless sleep). Criterion F: [X] Duration of the disturbance (Criteria B, C, D, and E) is more than 1 month. Criterion G: [X] The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. Criterion H: [X] The disturbance is not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance (e.g., medication, alcohol) or another medical condition. 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] Suspiciousness [X] Chronic sleep impairment [X] Disturbances of motivation and mood [X] Impaired impulse control, such as unprovoked irritability with periods of violence [X] Persistent delusions or hallucinations 6. Behavioral Observations -------------------------- The veteran was seen for 60 minutes. Her VBMS file and CPRS notes were reviewed prior to the interview. It was explained to the veteran that these exams are not full psychological evaluations, but rather evaluations for rating purposes that include questions and language dictated by the VARO. The limits of confidentiality were explained to her and she agreed to participate in the C&P evaluation. She was alert, fully oriented and cooperative. She was well groomed. Her reported mood was good, her affect was flat. Speech and thought content were within normal limits. Thought processes were logical and goal-directed. No evidence or report of delusions or hallucinations. Memory and attention appeared grossly intact. Insight and judgment were intact. The veteran denied current suicidal or homicidal ideation. 7. Other symptoms ----------------- Does the Veteran have any other symptoms attributable to PTSD (and other mental disorders) that are not listed above? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, describe: manic and psychotic symptoms are managed at this time with risperidone (IM) 8. Competency ------------- Is the Veteran capable of managing his or her financial affairs? [X] Yes [ ] No 9. Remarks, (including any testing results) if any -------------------------------------------------- The veteran's bipolar disorder, when she is noncompliant with medications or using alcohol, has contributed to severe functional limitations, loss of custody of her children, loss of her home and inability to work. She is likely able to function in a work environment that is low in stress as long as she maintains medication compliance. There is no significant evidence of a military sexual trauma. Nevertheless, her PTSD symptoms are based upon trauma experienced both prior to and during the military. She has been in treatment for PTSD since 2013. Her bipolar disorder and alcohol use disorder, both of which have contributed to severe impairment in functioning, are not causally related to the PTSD. Her PTSD symptoms, when other disorders are managed, cause less impairment and have responded well to treatment. NOTE: VA may request additional medical information, including additional examinations if necessary to complete VA's review of the Veteran's application