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

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

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  1. good afternoon all, i am a new member on this, former US army reservist, and currently employed full time. i separated in 2009 but filed my claim in Aug 2015 (i wasnt aware as a reservist of only 6 yrs total enlistment that i could actually apply for anything). my decision finally moved in the Preparation for Decision phase two days ago, 6/21/2016. i have two questions: 1 - how quickly does it go from here?...(im guessing the answer is that there is no answer. everyone's claim is handled differently but has anyone experienced the claim to wrap up rather quickly from here?) 2 - i am trying to determine what sort of rating i may get for my mental health based off my C&P results. anyone with experience please take a look (below) and offer their opinion? thank you kindly for any assistance and response: 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: F 43.10 2. Current Diagnoses -------------------- a. Mental Disorder Diagnosis #1: PTSD ICD code: F 43.10 Mental Disorder Diagnosis #2: Unspecified Depressive Disorder ICD code: F32.9 -------------------------------------------------------- 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 ****i know by definition this summary may fall within the 30% rating, but please continue reading below****** 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: [ ] Military service treatment records [ ] Military service personnel records [ ] 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) [ ] Civilian medical records [ ] Interviews with collateral witnesses (family and others who have known the Veteran before and after military service) [ ] No records were reviewed [ ] Other: 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: [censored] 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 d. Additional stressors: If additional stressors, describe (list using the above sequential format): Stressor #4 [censored] This stressor meets Criterion A; this stressor is related to the Veteran's fear of hostile military or terrorist activity; this stessor is not related to personal assualt. 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 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, distorted cognitions about the cause or consequences of the traumatic event(s) that lead to the individual to blame himself/herself or others. [X] Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others. Criterion E: Marked alterations in arousal and reactivity associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more) of the following: [X] Hypervigilance. [X] 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 [X] Other, please indicate stressor number (i.e., Stressor #4, #5, etc.) as indicated above: Stressor #4 5. Symptoms ----------- For VA rating purposes, check all symptoms that actively apply to the Veteran's diagnoses: [X] Depressed mood [this is a 30% symptom] [X] Anxiety [30% symptom] [X] Suspiciousness [30% symptom] [X] Panic attacks more than once a week [this is a 50% symptom] [X] Chronic sleep impairment [30% symptom] [X] Flattened affect [50% symptom] [X] Disturbances of motivation and mood [50% symptom] ****the symptoms listed above fall under both 30% and 50% criteria, so i am uncertain whether they will consider both or make the decision based off the Summary at the begining of the report, which technically defines the 30% rating****** 9. Remarks, (including any testing results) if any -------------------------------------------------- Based on this examination and a review of the records, it is determined that the Veteran meets DSM-5 criteria for PTSD. It is further determined that this diagnosis is at least as likely as not (50/50 probability) a result of the identified in service stressors. The Veteran is also found to meet criteria for Unspecified Depressive Disorder. This diagnosis is determined to be at least as likely as not (50/50 probability) proximately due to or a result of the PTSD. The Veteran gives a credible account of stressors deemed consistent with his MOS, and with service in the identified combat theater. While there are no related service treatment records, post-deployment questionnaires suggest that Veteran was experiencing subjective distress at the time of his redeployment. The claimed anxiety and sleep disturbance are deemed to be symptoms of both of the current diagnoses. this ends my report. thank you again for anyone's response and assistance. [The Silent Warrior of the Army Team]
  2. 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
  3. This is how they worded it residuals of traumatic brain injury with cognitive disorder, short term memory losses/lapses, difficulty sleeping, problem solving with PTSD (to include cerebral contusion with diffuse axonal injury to bilateral frontal and temporal lo lobes. All they added was the words with PTSD which was at 70% before now 70% with the PTSD. How can they lump physical and Mental health all in one rating?
  4. How is this even possible? How do you have a TBI due to a vehicle accident state side and issues with problem solving with PTSD due which they wrote was due to terrorist activities lumped together? It makes no sense I know I have to appeal but this process is an endless pit to obsessions of searching past cases until my head explodes. Can anyone help me with this one? These two should be rated separately right?
  5. We briefly discussed 38 CFR 3.156 on last night's SVR show. 38 C.F.R. § 3.156© provides that “if the VA receives or associates with the claims file relevant service department records at any time after the VA first decides the claim, the VA will reconsider the claim, including the issue of awarding an effective date back to filing of the original claim”. This can become a powerful tool for any vet who querstions their EED. As I mentioned at SVR I would give some examples of how this important regulation works as to the significance of part 'C' of 3.156: "As service records which were not of record at the time of the November 1995 rating decision were, at least in part, the basis of the award of service connection for PTSD in the February 2004 rating decision, the governing regulation makes clear that the award of service connection should be effective on the date entitlement arose or on the date VA received the previously decided claim, whichever is later. 38 C.F.R. § 3.156©. For all the foregoing reasons, the Board concludes that an effective date of September 27, 1995, but no earlier, for the award of service connection for PTSD, is warranted." 15 years more retro http://www.va.gov/vetapp/wraper_bva.asp?file=/vetapp10/files3/1026694.txt The following case the veteran was diagnosed with PTSD from a personal assault in service. She successfully received a better EED at the VARO level under 38 CFR 3.156 © but appealed that EED to the VA and succeeded: "Service medical records dated in November 1989, and received by the RO in May 2003, document that the veteran reported a history of depression, frequent trouble sleeping, and nervousness prior to discharge from service. Military personnel records in 1988 and 1989 reflect poor performance reviews. Subsequently, in a rating action of April 2004, the RO assigned an effective date of May 9, 2003, for the grant of service connection for PTSD; the RO granted service connection for PTSD based in part on the new service medical records. CONCLUSION OF LAW The criteria for the assignment of an effective date of December 1, 1989, for the grant of service connection for PTSD have been met. 38 U.S.C.A. § 5110 (West 2002); 38 C.F.R. § 3.400(q) (2) (2007); 38 C.F.R. § 3.156© (as amended, effective October 6, 2006). ORDER An effective date of December 1, 1989 for the grant of service connection for PTSD is granted." http://www.va.gov/vetapp/wraper_bva.asp?file=/vetapp07/Files4/0732603.txt Many years more retro because the veteran was right in appealing the initial EED. Also this summation of Mayhue by Veteranslaw.com might help someone too:as every advocate often needs to consider the ramifications of a potential 38 CFR 3.156© possibility. US CAVC decision: “ Mayhue v. Shinseki, 24 Vet.App. 273 (2011) (Mayhue clarifies two important principles: 1) To verify alleged stressors in PTSD claims, the VA must undertake its duty to assist. For example, the VA frequently asks the veteran to provide details of the claimed in-service stressors within a three-month period; Mayhue requires the VA to look at the claims file to see if this information already exists in the veteran’s claims file rather place the burden on the veteran to recall 40-year old events relating to the Vietnam Conflict, and 2) if a veteran requests a TDIU rating or submits evidence of unemployability, while the underlying claim is pending, the VA must consider all the evidence dating back to the filing of the underlying claim in assigning an effective date for a TDIU rating); see also Shipley v. Shinseki, 24 Vet.App. 458 (2011). Note: Be on the look out for the potential applicability of 38 C.F.R. § 3.156© which provides that if the VA receives or associates with the claims file relevant service department records at any time after the VA first decides the claim, the VA will reconsider the claim, including the issue of awarding an effective date back to filing of the original claim). “ http://www.veteranslaw.com/content/law-update
  6. 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.
  7. Hello folks! I have recently submitted a claim with the VA to reopen my previously denied PTSD, depression diabetes and sleep apnea secondary to pain, medications, weight gain and depression and TBI and TBI residuals with headaches. I got a call yesterday from VES and I have never heard of them. Anyone have input on them? It looks like the only C&P they ordered was for TBI. Any reason why they wouldn't ask for a C&P for the other claimed conditions? Thanks for any and all help!
  8. 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.........
  9. I was just rated 70% for PTSD bringing my total disability to 90%. I have worked very part-time as a bus driver but have been let go due to the meds I'm on and my PTSD. I am planning on applying for IU and SSDI. Is there one I should be applying for first or can they be applied for at the same time? Any thoughts and comments are very much appreciated!
  10. Hello Fam, I am extremely new to claims, so please be nice :). I have searched the message board but still have a few questions on this process. Yesterday was my first out of three C&P exams. First was mental health, next will be audio, and last will be TBI. I spoke with the assessor for a little over an hour and at the end of the session the assessor stated they are submitting me for 100% PTSD social and occupational and the report should be submitted within 48 hours. This morning I contacted my C&P evaluation agency and they stated that after the last eval has been completed they will submit to the VA within a few days. This is all I really know so far. As I continue my search in what I need to know I have a few questions for you generous souls. 1. What does 100% social and occupational PTSD mean? Does this have anything to do with TDUI or UI? 2. If I receive claims from the other two exams will this bump me above 100%? Is this good/bad? 3. After I receive my claim how often do the PTSD re-xams take place? 4. The C&P agency stated that after they submit the VA should have my letter of disability in around a month. What happens next after I get this letter? Is this when the compensation starts? Thank you all for the time you have taken to read this. Please let me know if you have any questions for me. -OMA
  11. Some exams are just for the fun of it for VA. I am getting sooooooooooooooooooooo frustrated right now I can just scream!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Put in claim for anxiety and another claim for Ptsd (didnt know they rated under one) ONLY after speaking with VA psychologist the first time. He eventually recommended me to speak with VA Psychiatrist for medicines to help me. Now i am seeing both of them I personally sent in my medical records with dates and hospital stay of stressor/ Buddy statements, etc. Went for exam with contractor. Spent 2 hours with him, he stated that he couldnt decide if I suffered from Ptsd with anxiety disorder and depression or more anxiety and depression. As I looked back at my sessions, I have been diagnosed with as Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Adjustment DO with depression from psychologist, but never PTSD. From VA Psychiatrist it states Insomnia, other trauma related anxiety, mood disorder, panic disorder, but AGAIN, never has written ptsd. First time ptsd was said to me was during the c&p exam by the VA contractor BUT, I am assuming the doc for the Ptsd wasnt clear enough in his wording because after all these months claim went back to gather evidence for a medical opinion and/or 2nd ptsd exam. I had requested my C-file and C/P notes in February, I am told they are behind and it could be 3-6 months before I get them. What on God's green earth could possibly be the hold up now?
  12. 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!!
  13. Hi everyone! Hope all is well. I just wanted to stop in and say hello. I haven't been on here since late last year. Life is going good. As most know my story and it was a doozy, I finally got everything I deserved! Overall 90% and I couldn't be happier. It took a lot of hard work and sleepless nights and a lot of C&P exams and fighting the VA but I prevailed. I was thankful for this sight b/c without it I would have never met a great guy that helped me with the final phase of my rating. I am now just waiting on an EED for my contentions but I am really not really worried about it and if it happens great and if not, I am good. Don't give up EVER!
  14. I got out after returning from Desert Storm in 1991. In 1996 I had a stroke. I was seen at the VA Hospital in Durham NC and for 4 weeks they took great care of me. I recently was denied that it was service connected and I was wondering if anyone else ever had a stroke after returning and is there anything else I can do about it?
  15. This might help any veteran or widow if the VA made a clear and Unmistakable Error regarding a SMC issue in a final VA decision. If the VA had enough documented and established medical evidence to warrant SMC consideration ( to include a prior established 100% SC award) and then an additional and separate SC disability of at least 60% was established ,but VA failed to infer and consider SMC, that means the VA committed a clear and unmistakable error. Special Monthly Compensation is established by a statute and as a benefit it is mandated to be inferred and decided on whenever the established medical evidence warrants it to be. 38 USC 1114. I filed CUE on a final 1998 VA decision in 2004. The awarded it this past week. It never went to the BVA and the VA managed to convolute the very simply issues I raised at the regional level for many years. It was set for BVA transfer in August 2010 but my AO IHD claim referenced it and they decided it in Philadelhia with my IHD claim. My CUE claim also stated they violated the Rating Schedule in 38 USC on my husband's CVA ratings and also the decision lacked any rating or diagnostic code whatsoever for my husband's fatal ischemic heart disease.3 CUEs in one. I sought proper SMC consideration as well as a properly rating on both disabilites, to include a proper diagnostic code for the IHD. As Evidence I used my husband 100% P &T SC for PTSD award letter with an EED that predated the cued decision so this was well established medical evidence. I used copy of M21-1MR Part VI, March 25,2003 Change 102, Erratum under 3.09 ISSUE and 3.10” Inferred issues and Ancillary benefits” to support the SMC mandate in 38 USC 1114. I also knew that the established evidence had to be in VA's possession for purposes of CUE and I thought that would be the problematic part of my CUE. Although the 1998 decision listed as Evidence ,a VA Central Office report,I didnt know if the Buffalo VARO had the entire medical evidence from that report so I sent it all them ,stating that all the medical evidence at time of the alleged CUE ,whether at VA Central or Bffalo VARO, was in fact “in VA's possession” at time of the alleged CUE. I reminded VA that along the veteran's 100% PTSD award , I explained why the veteran had 2 separate SSA awards and the initial award was solely for the CVA , and the next award solely for PTSD was due to a reconsideration by SSA. The IHD was a part of the 1998 decision (an award under 1151 for VA causing the veteran's death due to CVA and IHD) Even though this was an award, it also was a 'denial' of SMC consideration.They didnt even mention SMC at all in that award so I felt it was a denial of SMC. I also sent a limited amount of established med recs regarding my husband's fatal IHD which the VACO reports covered well. This was a CUE issue under Section 1151 disabilities in 2004 but I tried to keep the 1151 factors out of this post as I dont think they would apply to anyone here. The regs are the same for 1151 and SC in this SMC respect. If anyone needs, I will gladly state the legal evidence I used for the 1151 aspect -as I believe that evidence would apply to anyone's claim for CUE under SMC regarding 1151 disabilities. Basically the CUE was simple, lack of SMC consideration that was legally warranted by the established medical evidence, and CUEs made on the CVA ratings and lack of diagnostic code and rating for the IHD. In addition to the 1151 factor, this was also a widow's claim based on a claim that my husband had pending at his death under 1151 but I left out that part here because that situation doesn't crop up much at all. I found only 4 similar cases of SMC accrued at the BVA filed by widow claimants and none were CUE claims. My original CUE claims (2) were incorporated into one by VA covering the 3 separate issues I cued. The original CUEs were short and to the point legally ,all stated on one page ,with the enclosures I mentioned. Since 2004 I could hardly believe some of the crap the VA sent me over the years in order to keep denying these CUE claims. They even stated that the veteran had never asked for SMC consideration himself as one reason for denial. I asked them in turn for a copy of the specific regulation that would require the veteran to do that, for proper SMC consideration.Of course there is no regulation. I rebutted every denial and kept sending them my legal evidence (which never appeared on any evidence list they sent and was completely ignored by the RO).I should have waived further RO consideration but I believed someone at Buffalo would at some point, read the evidence and I was wrong. At this time I also was dealing with my AO DMII claim and I was iving with an illusion with that one too. Only the BVA read my evidence for that claim. The RO ignored it all there too.For 7 years. My long point here is that CUEs can succeed. The medical evidence MUST be established and in VA's possession. While sending med recs can help address and define the CUE issue , the main issue is solely the legal evidence that shows VA broke their own regs and M21-1MR regarding that established medical evidence. A CUE can be made, as in my case, by failing to apply a regulation properly and also by taking pen in and to put the wrong rating and/or diagnostic code on the rating sheet.Or worse yet- to even fail to rate and give a DC too a well established disability under SC or Section 1151 NSC. The Philly VARO under Nehmer resolved the IHD CUE issue. They then awarded the CVA rating under Section 1151. I feel that rating is still wrong and will appeal it. But I need a break from it all first!!!!!! I am hiding the decision for a few days or weeks to clear my mind. CUE claims should be fairly simple to prepare and simple for VA to decide. Of course one must read over lots of CUE info etc to make sure they have a potential CUE before they even start. But again I remind that the VA might well try to confuse and confound you enough that you give up on the CUE in frustration. Rebutt everything they say that is incorrect as to VA case law, make them cough up the proof of any fictitious 'regs' they appear make up, and fight them until you WIN!!!!!!!!! It kind of pisses me off to realise how much time fed emloyees at VA took to creatively deny the CUE issue since 2004 with bogus crap never once considering my legal evidence,when the VA had to pay me the money anyhow and it was in my bank the same day I got the award letter this week. Time that could have been better spent properly adjudicating another widows or veterans claims instead! .
  16. I served in Desert Storm/Desert Shield in 90 - 91 as a door gunner on a CH-53. I received my combat aircrew wings with one star. I recently applied for benefits for PTSD after struggling for years with alcohol and destructive behaviors. Divorced, remarried, etc.. and having all the symptoms but not knowing what to do about it. So I got a rating of 30% thanks to my (outside the VA) Psychiatrist. I have been diagnosed with TMJ after breaking 4 teeth at night while sleeping and I am on my 3rd mouth guard. I chewed through the first two. I am taking meds for Migraines and was denied for headaches the first time I applied. I have them every 2-3 weeks and they put me in bed. My Dr also sent me for a sleep study which recommended a CPAP? machine which he has ordered. So how do I tie all of this together for an appeal in the next two months? I have until May of this year to appeal anything and want some advice on how to best get this done. Lots of great info here but really tough to do this stuff not knowing exactly what to do. Thanks in advance for any and all help. This is a great site and I am glad it is available! And did I post this in the right place?
  17. Went to prep for notification today.When should my AB8 update?Also my arthritis secondary to low back condition disappeared?I know they were talking about combining the PTSD and low back claim.
  18. 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.
  19. Submitted CUE to Los Angeles RO on 5/6/15. Evidence included- 7/21/2004 VA Form 21-4138 stating I was homeless with no mailing address at the present time 10/21/2004 Denial Decision letter mailed to address I had told VA I no longer lived at. 01/19/2005 2nd mailing of denial decision letter sent to the same wrong address again. This time RO handwrote in "C/O New Directions" but sent the letter to the same wrong address. 08/31/2004 Social Work Progress Note from VAMC stating place, address and phone number of new address in Santa Barbara I could be located at 11/10/2004 VAMC Los Angeles inpatient progress note stating I was returning to Santa Barbara. 01/19/2005 VAMC Los Angeles discharge summery note stating I was again returning to Santa Barbara Rescue Mission. 21-4138 Stating VA failed to follow proper mailing procedures and did not provide me with appellate rights. That I later, in 2012 won service connection for PTSD with Bipolar Disorder, and that effective date of 4/13/2012 was clear and unmistakable error, as well as the other contentions of that 2003 claim remained appealable. So folks, do you think I've rebutted the presumption of regularity with this CUE claim?
  20. I've searched for a couple hours and can't find anything related to the difference between a 100% P&T schedular rating and TDIU. Isn't the compensation the same? A couple of people said I should be TDIU due to my 70% PTSD/depression, but I'm already 100% P&T, so what would be the difference/benefit other than reduced income from not working?
  21. Under Explanation his letter informs me of a reduction in my PTSD disability rating from 50% to 30%. It lists the reasoning for this decision. They noted all these items as reasons for the reduction but never explained how they arrived at their decision other than "the overall evidentiary record shows":... No where do any of these terms show up in any evaluation in my medical records. I've appealed it. How do they get away with manufacturing this type of evidence? Of course they did not give me due process, I had no predetermination hearing. In my NOD I stated, "To date I have not received this predetermination hearing. I believe this may have been offered in correspondence somewhere, but the confusion of proposed vs. an actual reduction may have clouded the issue. In any event, if I am entitled to a hearing, I request one be scheduled." Do you think I have a case?
  22. I finally have a PTSD rating of 50%...first time submission. It looks like they just went down the list of physical injuries and clicked a box that states "non service connected." I will be refilling those for sure. What I am concerned about is the pay. I had an SSB payment during the drawdown in 1992. I still have my contract that states I would only have to repay the money if I retired from the Army Reserve (which I did) and it will start at the time that I begin drawing my retirement. I noticed in other forums where the VA is recouping the money for the Army BEFORE it is actually due. Now, I read in the VA regulations that they can only recoup for the disabilities prior to my end date in 1992 so any disabilities after that the VA is not responsible to recoup. Has anyone dealt with this? I don't have my actual brown envelope yet so I am a bit nervous of how this is going to work out.
  23. How do i proceed with this claim I filed in Nov 2016 which has been denied without a C&P exam or any communication from the VA. I currently have a VSO but they are completely useless so that is not an option, (when I informed my VSO that i intended to file this claim he said to me you are already rated 70 percent so why rock the boat?). Denial Letter 4-29-17.pdf
  24. Hello all you wonderful folks! I just found some of my service medical records the other day and in it was a LOD from where I suffered a head injury while training. I had (no pun intended) completely forgot about it. I dont feel that there was ever a diagnosis provided but it did knock me out and I was out for quite some time, so I'm told. I dont really remember much after that. I was told that the doc that was seeing me said that I was out for a while ordered bed rest WITHOUT sleep and to follow up the next morning. I did not go to the hospital but I guess she was asking me several questions to which I had inconsistent responses for like what is todays date? President Obama was my response. I still get jabbed about this from my buddies that were there. It took a good day or 2 before I came around to being close to normal. I was also involved in several explosions in iraq (rockets and mortars and a parachute grenade). The parachute grenade hit next to my truck and it knocked my gunner out. We were all pretty stunned. Since all of this I have had some serious issues with MH also headaches/migraines, balance and dizziness problems, tinnitus (SC'ed), blurred vision and a twitch in my left eye that is also documented on the LOD. One of the mortar blasts forced me off the top of the MRAP and I hurt my left knee. When I came back to the states I was put on pain meds most with tylenol in them and when I would complain about headaches it never made its way into my VA records because I was told that its likely do to the high blood pressure and the knee pain. So what I am getting at is that I think I may have covered up some of the headaches with the pain meds I was on and I think this is going to make it look like they arent bad at all when in fact they are. I am not taking the pain meds anymore and this migraine stuff is for the birds. In 2011 I was also diagnosed with PTSD and depression NOS by a VA doc and have continued treatment and medication ever since but last year I was denied PTSD from the RO because my c&p doc was a xxxxxx xxx. The exam doc works for another company on the side where they fight against people going for social security based on MH contentions. I feel like he is completely inadequate at his job and isnt deserving of the position he holds so I wrote the VA and told them about it. So now I have recently submitted a claim for headaches, migraines, TBI, residuals of TBI and PTSD. I feel like if i can get them to SC me for the TBI that it would help with my PTSD claim. What are your thoughts? How should I approach this? What should I prepare for? Since there was never a diagnosis given for the head injury will the VA not provide a TBI diagnosis? Not sure if it matters but I am currently connects for left knee 20%, Right knee 10%, Radiculopalthy right side 10%, lumbosacral strain 20% and tinnitus 10% totaling 60%.
  25. Hi everyone, Since it's been a while since my last post, I'll give a quick rundown of my situation. I'm currently 80% SC for PTSD(70%) and a bi-lateral knee condition(10%), but receive 100% based on Individual Unemployability. In all the documents I've ever received, it states that my ratings are temporary due to a likelihood of improving. I believe this mainly refers to the PTSD diagnosis. While I would like nothing more than total recovery, I have travelled down all the treatment avenues and nothing has resolved me thus far :( I continue to think about retirement age and how I should prepare myself to survive. I do not work, so the only income I receive comes from the VA. Since my benefits can be diminished/reduced at any time, I worry about the future. I looked into options, specifically an IRA, but from what I gather, I'm not even allowed to contribute to one. So while my current compensation is enough to live on, I have nothing going towards retirement. It's one of the many worries I deal with daily. It worries me so much that the thought of suicide being my retirement plan doesn't sound too far off. I'm hoping for someone with experience in this area can give me some ideas. I will throw out there there I do have a savings account, but the interest rates are very low, and it's accessible to me, which doesn't make me feel any more secure because I can withdraw funds at any time if needed. I appreciate you all. LCpl