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Found 5,835 results

  1. Hello All, I have a question that i have asked several times and never really get a straight answer... (maybe there isn't one) I was rated 80% disabled and 70% of that is for PTSD/MST w/ MDD, Anxiety, Opioid use disorder, Alcohol use disorder and Stimulant use disorder, 30% right ankle and 10% Tinnitus and was later granted Individual Unemployability by the VA. I must give credit where credit is due and say that VA was very good with my claims and I am grateful that I was fortunate enough to get a rater that gave a crap about disabled veterans. I am now curious if anyone has any knowledge concerning if or when my IU could possibly become Total and Permanent. I'm sure its different for many people but i have been told some strange things concerning this. I did hear some valid statements like because i am 43 y/o they won't even consider making it permanent until i'm 55. I hear that PTSD for mental disorders will never become permanent because you may someday be cured... I could go on and on of things i have come across but i'm sure there is someone looking at these forums that will possibly have some first hand knowledge. Any information will be greatly appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to read my post. Respectfully, Chris P
  2. I applied in 2016 for High Blood Pressure, Sleep Apnea and Diabetes and was denied “not service connected”. In 2017 I applied for PTSD and was approved for “Service Connection” I reapplied in 2018 for the previous denials, as a secondary to PTSD. Again I was denied because they stated the conditions occurred prior to my service connection for PTSD. Not sure what to do at this point. Appeal?
  3. Any help will be appreciated... I am rated 30% for right leg issues and 10% for Tinnitus. I was recently rated 70% for PTSD/MST... (Total combined 80%) This past week my Individual Unemployability was granted rating me 100%. This is the part that gets me confused, my Psych Dr., my therapist and the C&P Doctor diagnosed me with several more disabilities. I know about pyramiding and only being able to be rated for one mental disorder but do the VA Raters even take them into account or are they only allowed to look at the C&P Doctors findings concerning the PTSD/MST? I know my PTSD/MST was rated 70% by itself. It seems crazy to me that with all the other disorders that were granted, they don't appear to be considered at all for the 70% rating. Can anyone shed some light on this for me?? My Decision letter stated the following: "Evaluation of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder with Alcohol Use Disorder, Stimulant use Disorder and Opioid use Disorder, also claimed as Anxiety, Depression and Cocaine Addiction is Granted with an evaluation of 70%. I hope this isn't a silly question... I may not be seeing the obvious but i figured i'd ask you guys... Thank you
  4. I filed a claim sometime in early October for an increase of my PTSD, a foot injury, as well as put in for 2 new conditions and one secondary condition. While I am largely very happy with how the claims for my physical disabilities has gone (my examiner told me within the first 5 minutes he was going to connect me for all the new stuff and that I rated an increase for the foot issue - after that I just had to actually do the C&P! My PTSD exam and resulting DBQ however were not nearly as smooth as my other C&P's had gone. Honestly I was actually kind of shocked when I finally got around to pulling it off myhealthevet and reading it. A big reason I was so surprised is that as far as "evidence" goes I've been piling it up over the last year. To get to how this all went down I have to run it back a little bit and explain my situation. I ran into a rough time around February of last year...... So I had my big sob story all typed up and then chickened out. Sufficed to say that I lost everything. Not only did I lose my wife and kids, I lost the dream property we had worked so hard to get to. I just walked away from it, I couldn't bring myself to walk back into the cabin. I literally just left everything I'd worked for the last 6 years of my life at 9,000 feet on the side of a mountain and just walked away. Sufficed to say I crashed and burned really hard. For about 3 weeks I spent every waking moment doing everything I could to make the pain go away, up to and including multiple attempts at OD'ing. I finally was able to get my wits together, did some searching online and ended up in a VA domiciliary program in Texas. While I've never identified myself as a drug addict, I definitely needed some help getting the wheels back on so the first thing I did was enroll myself in a 45 day substance abuse program. After that I was able to put in 3 1/2 months of inpatient trauma treatment, followed by 2 months of inpatient PTSD treatment. It's been about 9 months but I'm glad I did it, I honestly don't think I would have made it through to the New Year if I hadn't come here. Anyhow, after 9 months of inpatient therapy which included almost 6 months of trauma/PTSD treatment, daily group meetings, twice weekly counselor/psychologist one on ones, and intensive medication programs to help me through everything, I kinda thought I had a decent chance of getting an increase from 30%. I've tried for increases in the past but I haven't been the most consistent person over the years. I have a hard time following through on treatment and in addition to that due to having a non-combat trauma I haven't had a very easy time getting the VA to accept my diagnosis, at least on the disability side. The treatment side has no issue with it. Anyhow, like I said I had hope because in the past I had been told that I wasn't getting increases in my rating because I wasn't following through on treatment and because of that it made it difficult for me to build much of a case. Everything was simply my word as to how things were, or how I was getting by, but I didn't have anyone respectable to back me up about the things that I was going through and the troubles I have. So this leads me to my most recent C&P/DBQ. I've cut out a decent amount of personal information and trauma narrative stuff, but the meat and potatoes should be in there for anyone that's familiar with these things. I've been service connected since 2004 and my trauma is most definitely legitimate. I really hope there's a possible sunny side to all of this. I've done a massive amount of googling over the last few days and I've seen posts where people say that just because the examiner says one thing doesn't mean that's the direction the rater is going to go with things. I'm really discouraged right now. I've had a very contentious relationship with the VA for a long time. I have a very hard time trusting the VA anymore. I've had some very bad caregivers who were telling me one thing to my face while shredding me in their notes after I'd left (We have access to those you know....) One LCSW in particular went out of here way to push a personality disorder diagnosis on me, essentially getting the diagnosis put in my chart by filling up my psychiatrist with a lot of crap; all the while telling me how much she was trying to help me. Now here I am again. I feel like I'm really getting the short end of the stick by the VA and in particular this examiner, after I did have a pretty awesome doctor for my physical C&Ps and lord knows I'm not the first one to get the un-greased by the wonderful VA. That being said I'm just frustrated because I've really put in so much effort into my recovery and treatment. I'm working the DBT, mindfulness and challenging beliefs far more than I'm comfortable with, but I'm doing it. Anyhow I went from erasing my sob story to writing a whole new one. Thanks for taking the time to read through this and pass on any info/experience/ideas you might have. Thanks in advance, OGG The following is an excerpt from another thread I started about a DBQ for my back that ended up digressing a little. I figured there's no reason to type it all out again new so I just copy and pasted the "important" parts. Review Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Disability Benefits Questionnaire SECTION I: --------------------- 1. Diagnostic Summary -------------------- Does the Veteran now have or has he/she ever been diagnosed with PTSD? [X] Yes[ ] No 2. Current Diagnoses: ------------------- Mental Disorder Diagnosis #1: PTSD Mental Disorder Diagnosis #2: Cannabis Use Disorder, In Early Remission, In a Controlled Environment Mental Disorder Diagnosis #3: Alcohol Use Disorder, In Early Remission, In a Controlled Environment Mental Disorder Diagnosis #4: Inhalant Use Disorder, In Early Remission, In a Controlled Environment Alright I'm definitely not proud of the huffing. All I can say is that my life had fallen to pieces. My wife took my kids and left me while I was getting the car fixed overnight. She filed false abuse charges against me to keep me from the kids. I'm no saint but I never abused my wife or my kids. Up until this moment I hadn't had a drink in 5 years... I just smoked pot - which I was prescribed. Also I think this would be a good time to put what my actual working diagnosis list for a little bit of contrast. This list was pulled straight off my myhealthevet file and reflects 9 months of inpatient treatment. I can't help but feel like this lady was snowballing me. Yes there's some overlap. What's the difference between PTSD and Chronic PTSD? I don't know. Why do I have 2 types of insomnia DX'd? I don't know that either. #1)Chronic post-traumatic stress disorder (SCT 313182004) #2)Posttraumatic stress disorder (SCT47505003) #3) Anxiety (SCT 48694002) - symptom of PTSD #3) Depressive disorder (SCT 35489007) - symptom of PTSD #4) Insomnia (SCT 193462001) - symptom of PTSD #5) Psychophysiologic insomnia (SCT 425832009) - symptom of PTSD #6) Cannabis dependence (SCT 85005007) #7) Alcohol dependence (SCT 66590003) 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) I have a problem with this part. Just how is she going differentiate between my various diagnosis which all are attributed to the PTSD? (besides the substance abuse issues) 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 have a problem with this as well. I haven't been able to work in 6 years. I've tried but it always ends up being a failed attempt. I usually end up getting myself too worked up about social situations, get too depressed to get out of bed, get fired for being late because I have serious sleep problems which sometimes lead me to not being able to wake up for my alarm, etc etc. In addition I barely go out. Hell I went out of my way to move 10 miles from the closest power poll 9,000' above sea level just to find myself some peace. I can't handle large groups, I psych myself out when I'm out at night, I see danger and trouble everywhere. Anyhow back to getting smeared. 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: Symptoms of PTSD and substance use contribute to social and occupational impairment. However, symptoms of PTSD have not increased in severity since the veteran's last C&P exam in 2013. A quick side note A: I've been in a treatment facility for almost a year now, I'm pretty sure my "substance abuse" isn't contributing to my issues. I smoked cannabis medicinally and I don't even drink. Why do I smoke pot because it helps with my PTSD as well as a laundry list of other issues. That being said I've been "clean" for a year now. So... now that she's basically said I barely have PTSD, and my troubles are simply because I'm a drug addict, let's get on to the next section. 3. PTSD Diagnostic Criteria -------------------------- Please check criteria used for establishing the current PTSD diagnosis. The diagnostic criteria for PTSD, are from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5). The stressful event can be due to combat, personal trauma, other life threatening situations (non-combat related stressors.) Do NOT mark symptoms below that are clearly not attributable to the Criteria A stressor/PTSD. Instead, overlapping symptoms clearly attributable to other things should be noted under #6 - "Other symptoms". Criterion A: Exposure to actual or threatened a) death, b) serious injury, c) sexual violation, in one or more of the following ways: [X] Directly experiencing the traumatic event(s) 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).d [X] Recurrent distressing dreams in which the content and/or affect of the dream are related to 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 to the individual to blame himself/herself or others. [X] Persistent negative emotional state (e.g., fear, horror, anger, guilt, or shame). [X] Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities. [X] Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others. [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] 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] The duration of the symptoms described above in Criteria B, C, and D are more than 1 month. Criterion G: [X] The PTSD symptoms described above cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. Criterion H: [X] The disturbance is NOT attributable to the physiological effects of a substance (e.g., medication, alcohol) or another medical condition. That last one is my favorite! Not only does she say that my disturbances are NOT attributable to substances be it medication or drugs nor are they attributed to another medical condition. She also manages to manages to assess me with 20 out of 24 possible sub-criteria or disturbances in the diagnosis of PTSD. I'm sure I'm reading into this wrong and I can't look at things like this but that certainly feels like more than 30% disabling. I dunno. 4. 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] Mild memory loss, such as forgetting names, directions or recent events 6. Other symptoms ---------------- In this section she just goes about telling whatever version of my life story she could piece together from old treatment records. Spends a lot of time on the fact that I smoke pot, that I didn't have a relationship with my father and various other fun facts that do a lot to distract you from the lack of a cohesive narrative or making any of what she wrote mean anything as far as the DBQ goes. She doesn't list a single "other symptom" like the line below talks about. She just kinda makes me out to be a flaky loser. Does the Veteran have any other symptoms attributable to PTSD (and other mental disorders) that are not listed above? [ ] Yes [X] No....... 7. Competency ------------ Is the Veteran capable of managing his or her financial affairs? [ ] Yes[X] No At this point she pulls out some more fun facts from my medical record. She says that "I frequently go on spending sprees", and brings up how when I was 25 and got my first backpay check and I blew it on fun stuff like a car, and a computer and whatnot (I was single going to university at the time). What this cluck of a woman doesn't see in her precious computer is that other than my time here at the VA facility I'd been able to support my wife and two kids on my 50% SC. Trust me there's no spending sprees going on there. 8. Remarks, (including any testing results) if any: -------------------------------------------------- Psychological Testing: A test of response bias specifically related to PTSD symptoms was administered to the veteran during this examination to assess the credibility of his self report. The name of this measure is withheld in this report in order to protect the integrity of the test. This test was specifically standardized on a sample of veterans applying for financial remuneration for a claim of disability resulting from PTSD. The veteran's score on this test was below the established cutoff, indicating that his performance was consistent with individuals responding in a valid manner. As such, he did not appear to be intentionally exaggerating signs and symptoms of PTSD or attempting to appear worse off that he actually is. Ahh what a finish eh? I think she should spend less time worrying about my credibility and a little more about hers. Well, last but not least let's hear her final word on the subject: Signed: 10/30/2015 13:35 11/03/2015 ADDENDUM STATUS: COMPLETED PTSD is less likely than not a result of military duties. /es/ Her Name Goes Here, PSYCHOLOGIST Signed: 11/03/2015 15:22 So yeah that's essentially where I'm at. I'm just hoping that whoever rates my PTSD takes what she says with a grain of salt and also takes time to look at the 1200 pages of treatment records I've added to my medical record in the last year as well as the weakly psychologist appointments, 20 page typed trauma narrative, the countless notes that were put in on my behalf. I hope they also see the weekly PCL-5s averaging between 65 and 72, the by weekly CAPs averaging around 66, the PHQ9 score of 23, the gad-7 score of 20 - All of which were administered by a Doctor or LCSW. Yah I've got this one too; World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0 Cognition: 75 Mobility: 12 Self-care: 70 Getting along: 83 Life activities (household): 100 Life activities (work/school): 85 Participation: 79 Summary: 70 *Range is 0 to 100 where 0 indicates no disability and 100 means full disability I realize I'm probably putting too much hope into all of this. I know that the disability tests and rating exams probably don't amount to anything as far as determining anything with the VA. If the particular examiner is up on their stuff they might know the significance of the WHODAS 2.0 or put stock in the CAPs screening but really they don't have to look at them at all. Hopefully at the very least I can use all I've put together to apply for SSDI. If you've gotten this far thank you so much for reading my rant and hopefully pulling out the important bits from what I did post of my DBQ. Hopefully I haven't over edited it but I just didn't think what she wrote was particularly applicable to the questions that the DBQ was asking and I generally feel she was just trying to prove out whatever she had come to believe based on small glimpses of my medical record. I really wish I had been afforded the opportunity to address some of the conclusions she was making about me and the picture she was painting.
  5. I recently received a letter from the BVA remanding an appeal to the St. Petersburg Regional Office. These action by the BVA were both confusing and frustration. An increase for PTSD and Individual Employability was remanded. BVA directed the RO to do the following: 1. The RO should review the record, including all evidence received since the most recent issue of sates of the case in XXX 2012 and XXX 2015. If any benefit sought on for which a notice of disagreement has been filed remains denied, the appellant and representative if any should be furnished a supplemental statement of case and given the opportunity to respond thereto. 2. Inasmuch as the issue of entitlement to TDIU is deemed to be " inextricably intertwined " with issues of higher ratings for PTSD and Coronary Artery Disease, the RO should take appropriate adjudicative action on those actions and thereafter any appropriate adjudicative action on the matter of entitlement to TDIU. This claim should be afforded expeditious treatment. The appeal was remanded because of VA Generated evidence, A C and P examination for which there was no wavier of Area of Original Jurisdiction. Note: I believe the there is very strong evidence to support an increase for PTSD and the Claim for TDIU. Question: 1. Is there a likelihood that the RO will issue a partial or full grant with this remand of will RO issue SOC and return appeal to BVA? 2. How long does these remands usually take? 3. Does the remand add weeks, months or years to a decision? I appreciate any input on this matter. At this point I am both frustrated and confused. Some of the issue on appeal go back 10 years. BVA did reopen appeal for sinusitis which is a good thing because I have had this condition for years. Respectfully Thanks....
  6. I am in the process of putting together a claim package for mental health issues related to MST. Try as I might, I cannot find a VSO with experience in my situation. It's taken me years to accept that I need help and that I need to address this once and for all, so when I say that I cannot handle doing this twice (submitting a sub par claim and then doing appeals) I really mean it. From day to day, I vacillate between thinking my problems are actually other people's inability to cope OR feeling like there is no point to me and that I'm a burden.If it weren't for the whole not being able to pay bills and risking alienating my kids for all eternity, I'd be perfectly content letting the world turn while I hang out at home and being maladjusted and mean. In my perfect world, there would be a check list of things to submit for a fully developed claim. On this checklist, there would be a list of key phrases or high points that would help sway the decision makers into awarding adequate compensation. I haven't been able to find anyone that has had success doing this with a case like mine. I have police reports from the MST. I have trauma counseling records and AD medical records that clearly state a d/x for PTSD related to rape on X date. My counseling sessions identified dissociation behaviors, PTSD, and anxiety. One doctor even noted that I was combative and stated that I wished harm on my attackers. Obviously, the Navy handled this clear cut case of rape, with evidence and my complete cooperation, like they do any scandal. They buried it and came after me. That might be a secondary stressor, but I've been warned that claiming a secondary stressor could hose up everything and to keep my mouth shut? kind of amazing that the advice that is meant to help, sounds a lot like the advice that sent me careening out of control all those years ago. Anyhow, I survived, got married, got out, and went in and out of counseling. Over the years, I've been diagnosed with PTSD, Chronic Depression, Chronic Adjustment Disorder, Agoraphobia, Generalized anxiety Disorder, and Dissociation Disorder. I don't trust military medicine or the government, so most of my counseling was done through non-profit organizations and women's shelters. They're so secretive, that I felt it'd be safe to tell them what I went through and my statements wouldn't end up in the Navy's summary of Mishaps... again. So, I don't really have records of those, except for prescriptions that were reported to Tricare. I do have my civilian medical records. It has page after page of doctors complaining that I broke down, was combative, emotional etc, etc. I do have a few sessions with shrinks at MTFs in the last couple years. They were not keen on actual diagnostics, they just gave me the pills I asked for. I'm shopping shrinks to assess me and give diagnosis. I'm not sure I need a nexus letter, but I'm thinking it wouldn't hurt. I have a letter from my ex boss describing how my work performance plummeted over the years and how he made accommodations to keep me on. I also have a letter from me, describing my bad days and my rituals to get through them. My husband and his best friend were witnesses to the fallout of my rape, in terms of the military's response to me. They can verify in statements that I did report it and go into counseling. They can also verify that I'm socially isolated and very codepenedent on them to meet new people or get involved in activities. I don't have a single friend that they didn't make for me, first. I do not know how to people. I don't have friends from work. I don't have "my own" friends from church. I don't even have people who like me well enough, and include me in things, without my husband and his best friend acting as intermediaries. oh, I also have the most recent sentencing transcripts for the ringleader of my attackers. The judge stated that he felt this dude was unrepentant and a monster. He cited his past sex crimes, "both in the record and that didn't make it to trial" and his history of convincing others to help him conceal his crimes. If that's not a shout out from the bench, I don't know what is. Anyhow, I guess my question is, has anyone here done a fully developed MST claim with multiple bullet points for anxiety, phobia, ptsd, and depression, and get 100% or at least, a high enough rating to qualify for unemployability? Without having to go through appeals and lawyers? Was a police report enough, even if the military dropped it? Should I give the C&P my evidence, letters, and my personal statement too? I'm sure I have 1000 more questions, but I'm mostly looking for someone who has done what I'm trying to do.
  7. A 2001 VA funded study finds that PTSD patients damage teeth through involuntary grinding, clenching. http://www.sdm.buffalo.edu/news/20010308_ptsd.html " As if persons with posttraumatic stress disorder didn't have enough to worry about,..."
  8. TBird, Can I get consent to plug a friend's book here. It is a book that helps disabled vets deal with PTSD. Much, if not all his proceeds are going back to disabled vets. After retiring from the Navy (EOD), started and eventually sold a successful business to devote his time and resources to help vets. He start a retreat in VA. I can give you the name, if it helps. I'm intentionally leaving detailed info out until I get permission. I was hoping I could add the link here.
  9. We've all read the rating schedule a thousand times. It's surprisingly unhelpful, while being so plain. I'm waiting for a rating for (complex)PTSD due to MST. Also have ocd, anxiety, and depression. I'm a hot mess most days, with a side of soup sandwich. Thanks to my overwhelming mistrust for the system, I'm having a hard time being patient and not fixating on this. "Will it be 70, will it be 100? If I fit both, they have to err towards the higher..." and on and on. My current hang up is the hygiene thing. Is that like getting smelly and gross? Or would weird stuff like bathing half dressed (yes, clothes on under the shower) and only once a week or so, using wipes to stay fresh, neglecting oral hygiene, would those fall into that criteria? Those are my normal weeks. Bad ones, I'm frozen in place and there are no attempts at hygiene. If the stars align, I get a normal... if not thorough shower, usually once a month. That requires a good few days to lead in, my husband to be unobtrusively near by, and occasionally, still some pharmaceutical aids. I'm mortified to even see this written here. It gets even worse. I'm not sure what qualifies as grossly innapropriate behavior, but lots of people have readily told me I'm guilty of that. Thanks
  10. Finally got my Sleep Apnea DBQ and Nexus Letter back from my doctor. E-Benefits is showing Disabilities Claimed: sleep apnea to include due to aggravtion by ptsd (New) I had my military treatment records, C&P Report for PTSD, VA Claims File for the doctor's review, but he said that he wasn't comfortable stating that he reviewed these documents since it would take him several days. Just wanted to see what everyone's thoughts are on my DBQ & Nexus letter that doesn't state that he reviewed my VA documents or military treatment records. Thanks! OEF 21B Sanitized Sleep Apnea DBP and Nexus Letter_27 JUL 15_Redacted.pdf
  11. Hello all. I had a c&p exam for my ptsd/mst claim on 1/19/17 at the VA Outpatient center in Fort Worth and just got the results back today. I was quite shocked by the notes. I feel that the c&p psychologist did not review the merits of my case properly and just opined hat I was exaggerating my symptoms based on a 15 question "MENT" test which consisted of me differentiating between happy, angry and sad faces. She also asked me to remember 5 items after 5 minutes (which she gave me the answer after I couldn't remember 2 of them). She asked me nothing about my symptoms or about the events of the trauma. She picked what parts of my VA medical records she included in the report (i.e., sleep disturbance). I feel like I have been shafted. She is basically refuting the diagnosis given by my TWO VA psychiatrists, VA psychologist and my VA social worker. I waited over 25 years to file my sexual assault claim due to me being extremely embarrassed and unable to bring myself to talk about the events that occurred while I served as a submariner in the Navy. The assault happened in 1988; back before don't ask, don't tell. Needless to say I was traumatized and afraid of being kicked out. Nonetheless, I was medically discharged a year later due to asthma brought on by anxiety and panic attacks while onboard my duty station. So, now I am at the point where I am finally seeking help and I spend 20 minutes with a c&p psychologist who seems to be indifferent about my condition. I almost feel like I should have just retreat back to my home in silence instead of being treated like a liar!!! What can I do about this? Here is my c&p exam: LOCAL TITLE: COMP & PEN MENTAL HEALTH/PSYCHOLOGY EXAM STANDARD TITLE: PSYCHOLOGY C & P EXAMINATION CONSULT DATE OF NOTE: JAN 19, 2017@09:30 ENTRY DATE: JAN 19, 2017@11:27:37 AUTHOR: EXP COSIGNER: URGENCY: STATUS: COMPLETED Initial Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Disability Benefits Questionnaire * Internal VA or DoD Use Only * Name of patient/Veteran: 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 2. Current Diagnoses a. Mental Disorder Diagnosis #1: No Diagnosis Comments, if any: Psychological Testing A test of response bias specifically related to PTSD symptoms was administered to the veteran during this examination to assess the credibility of his self-report. The name of this measure is withheld in this report in order to protect the integrity of the test. This test was specifically standardized on a sample of veterans applying for financial remuneration for a claim of disability resulting from PTSD. The veteran's score on this test was significantly above the established cutoff, indicating that his performance was not consistent with persons diagnosed with PTSD but was consistent with the test performances of disability claimants simulating symptoms of PTSD. As such, there is reason to suspect symptom exaggeration and a response style indicative of attempts to portray himself as worse off than he actually may be with regard to PTSD symptoms. Based on the Veteran's scores, additional testing was performed to further evaluate the possibility of overreporting or exaggeration of mental health symptoms. A second test of response bias was given that was specifically designed to assess the credibility of reported psychopathology symptoms of response bias related to mental illness. Each item on this test was designed to evaluate constructs and behaviors useful in identifying overreporting. This test was developed and validated using both simulation and known-groups designs to identify individuals attempting to overreport symptoms of mental illness. In addition, the validity of this exam has been generalized across various racial/ethnic groups, genders and settings. The Veteran's total score on this measure was above the cutoff, indicating that his responses were not consistent with persons diagnosed with any mental illness. In addition, the Veteran's scores on this interview indicate that his behavior was inconsistent with his reported symptoms and he endorsed very extreme and uncommon symptoms, symptom combinations that are both unlikely and inconsistent with common mood and psychotic disorders, and he had a tendency to endorse severe and unusual psychotic symptoms. He also endorsed an unusual course of illness that is inconsistent with the course of most psychiatric disorders recognized in clinical practice. It is possible that the veteran suffers from a mental illness. However, I am ethically unable to provide a diagnosis at this time given the veteran's response pattern of overreporting on three objective, reliable and valid psychological tests. Providing a diagnosis would require this examiner to resort to mere speculation and would violate the American Psychological Association's (APA) Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. b. Medical diagnoses relevant to the understanding or management of the Mental Health Disorder (to include TBI): Deferred to a physician 3. Differentiation of symptoms a. Does the Veteran have more than one mental disorder diagnosed? [ ] Yes [X] No c. Does the Veteran have a diagnosed traumatic brain injury (TBI)? [ ] Yes [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] No mental disorder diagnosis b. For the indicated level of occupational and social impairment, is it possible to differentiate what portion of the occupational and social impairment indicated above is caused by each mental disorder? [ ] Yes [ ] No [X] No other mental disorder has been diagnosed c. If a diagnosis of TBI exists, is it possible to differentiate what portion of the occupational and social impairment indicated above is caused by the TBI? [ ] Yes [ ] No [X] No diagnosis of TBI SECTION II: Clinical Findings: 1. Evidence Review 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): Family - Veteran was raised in a "normal" environment by his mother. "I wasn't that close to my father." Veteran has two brothers and two sisters. Veteran's mother was a kindergarten teacher and his father was a "mobile home constructor". Veteran denied any childhood medical/mental health problems. Veteran denied a family history of mental illness. Marital - Veteran has never been married. His last relationship ended around October of 2016 due to his "agitation." "She wanted to talk about stuff and I didn't want to discuss issues with her." Veteran has three sons (ages 16, 20 and 22). "My oldest two sons I don't really talk to since they're gone-one is overseas and the other I think moved up North. I call them every now and then and try to reach them but I hardly get in contact with them. I have a close relationship with my youngest son. He keeps me going." Social - "I had a lot of friends growing up but over the years they sort of fell to the wayside. I had friends going into the military and in boot camp but after sub school I stayed to myself. I had some associates but I didn't want to make any friends after sub school. Currently I have a few associates but I wouldn't call them friends." Prior to the military, the veteran enjoyed running track, playing football, singing in the choir and being in the art club ("I was the cartoonist for the school paper."), science and chess club. "During the military I didn't have any activities other than working on my rating. After I got out I got into oil painting, swimming, cycling and home renovation. I can no longer cycle or swim because of my back and respiratory issues. I haven't attended church in three years and my mother is now a pastor." b. Relevant Occupational and Educational history (pre-military, military, and post-military): Educational - Veteran earned a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering in 1995 and a Master's Degree in Biomed Engineering in 2009. Veteran informed that he was a good student and denied a history of suspensions, expulsions or learning problems. Occupational - Veteran's job history prior to the military includes custodian and lawn care (self-employed). Veteran serve in the Navy from July 13, 1987- May 16,1989. Veteran was a college student from 1990-1997 and 2004-2009. Since being discharged from the military the veteran has worked as an RF engineer/consultant (1997-2004: "I got into an argument with my supervisor because he always wanted to include me on projects he was working on and I thought that was inappropriate. I thought he had an interest in me even though he didn't say it outright. He wanted to go out and do stuff outside of work hours."); and bioengineer/prosthetic designer for the Department of Commerce (2010-March of 2016: "I got in several arguments because of space and eventually withdrew and stopped producing. I had to share a small space with a coworker and he was constantly rolling back in his chair asking me questions and tapping me on the shoulder so it finally came to a head."). Occupational problems reported include poor social interaction ("Shouting at people and avoiding contact with guys in the office. I worked better with females."), difficulty concentrating ("Because I was focused on not being in a vulnerable position. I missed deadlines or didn't finish tasks because I couldn't focus. I asked to have my own office but you can't have one as a junior engineer."), difficulty following instructions ("If men tried to get close to me because it reminded me of sub school and the threat of not being advanced or promoted."), forgetfulness, and increased absenteeism ("In 2015 I couldn't deal with the office so I started working from home but my supervisor didn't want me to sever myself from the office totally. I had anxiety about going back and sharing an office with another male. I felt better working by myself because I was more productive."). In regards to reprimands, the veteran informed that he was written up for poor work performance, absenteeism, being AWOL and conflicts with his officemate. "The conflicts with my officemate led to me being fired." Veteran informed that he has applied for one job since being fired. When asked if he was a productive and reliable employee he stated, "As long as I was alone and no one was being touchy with me." Veteran denied the following occupational problems: assignment of different duties and tardiness An October 5, 2016 MH OUTPT NOTE states, "He is unemployed and uses income from renting rooms to pay living expenses." An October 5, 2016 MH Attending note states, "Lost his last job as a biomedical engineer in March 2016 after "tussling" with an older man in his office who would repeatedly come up behind him and touch/pat his shoulders which reminded him of his Navy experience...Owns home and rents out rooms for income." c. Relevant Mental Health history, to include prescribed medications and family mental health (pre-military, military, and post-military): Mental Health Veteran began mental health treatment at the North Texas VA in August of 2016 and is compliant with his medication regimen of risperidone, prazosin and sertraline despite feeling "groggy and spaced-out." Veteran denied a history of psychiatric hospitalizations. An October 12, 2016 SLEEP TELEPHONE NOTE states, "I called the patient and explained their sleep test results in detail. I explained him that the study did not show significant sleep apnea despite his sleeping on his back. He is unable to sleep on his side due to his shoulder problems...Encouraged the patient to lose weight." A November 2, 2016 MH PTSD INDIVIDUAL NOTE states, "Veteran believes that gay men are going to hurt him. He also informed worker that he has experienced a lot of fear and worry this Halloween with people who are transgender, to the point that he is not sleeping for fear they will break into his home. Veteran is worried that he may have to "barricade" his home with bars on the windows." A November 3, 2016 MH Attending Note states, "Updates that since last appt, his GF ended their relationship, "she said I was over agitated." Last week, he describes an incident at a restaurant when a transgendered person was standing by him, he turned and saw the person, got so upset that he ran out of the restaurant and vomited. Since last week has felt progressively worse. "It's harder to tell which people to stay aware from.. it's a whole new ballgame with transgendered [people]...I don't know who my enemy is." He states he needs to set a perimeter on his house, put bars on his windows/doors, and update his security alarm. Reports poor sleep, gets out of bed 3-4x/night to check doors/windows and frequency of NMs has increased. Appetite is low. Feels that he cannot focus, "I'm constantly thinking how to avoid these people." Reports hearing male voices talking outside of his windows so he fears they will break in (reason for "setting perimeter"). When he is in public he has thoughts of "I need to get them before they get me" when he passes male strangers. Has not had any violence but does say he has had verbal arguments (told someone in the Wal-Mart line to back up and they argued with him, for example)...+ MST in Navy- unwanted taunts, suggestive remarks and genital contact and kissing from supervisor." A December 5, 2016 MH ATTENDING NOTE states, "Updates writer that he has spent ~$3000 since last visit adding bars to the outside of his first floor home window and installing a security system with cameras. Reports he still plans to add more cameras to monitor his roof because "maybe someday deterred by the barricade downstairs might want to get in up there." Reports vague AH of hearing footsteps on his second floor when he is down on the first floor. Denies hearing voices from upstairs or outside his window like he endorsed last visit. Reports nighttime is the hardest for him because "that's when they are outside...the enemy, the transsexuals." Denies actually seeing anyone outside of his house at night. Reports he is comfortable with certain people coming up to his house, like the mailman, but states he is not comfortable when strangers come up. States he is not aggressive but tells them to go away. Does not take his gun with him to the front door. States he now feels better with his house more protected. Is able to watch movies and enjoy them during the day. His security system is on his phone app and he checks it every 3 hours. At night he "secures the perimeter" every 2 hours, has an alarm set." d. Relevant Legal and Behavioral history (pre-military, military, and post-military): Behavioral - "In 2005 I grabbed a guy that was dressed like a female. We were meeting for a date but his profile said he was a female. Two months ago a person behind me in line was transgender. I pushed him to the side and ran outside." Legal - Veteran denied a history of legal problems. e. Relevant Substance abuse history (pre-military, military, and post-military): Substance Abuse - Veteran denied a history of substance abuse. 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: MST February-April of 1988: CPRS states, "A male teacher began touching him during class and stepped over lines trying to get too close that made him feel very uncomfortable. Veteran says there was never genital contact because there was touching and kissing on the part of the instructor." Veteran's stressor statement states, "One trainer would come up behind me and massage my shoulders. He also grabbed my waist and pressed himself against me. I could feel his erect penis against my buttocks. He also made sexual innuendos and jokes. He also asked me if my nipples were hard because I was glad to see him. He then said, 'I bet you have a nice sized tool'. He then touched my left nipple and kissed my neck. When I confronted him he stated that if I didn't cooperate, I may not pass through with my classmates. He then grabbed my crotch and said, 'Pass or no pass. You make the determination.' My relationship with my long time high school sweetheart ended that summer (June of 1988) because I withdrew fro the relationship and was too ashamed to confide in her." Please note that this last statement is in contrast to the statement provided by his former girlfriend who stated that the veteran "mentioned that a sexual assault happened to him during training that changed him and that he needed time to work through it." 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 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. Veteran's treatment records, buddy statement and stressor statement were reviewed. However, there are no markers in the veteran's STRs or personnel records which the VBA has confirmed. 4. PTSD Diagnostic Criteria No response provided. 5. Symptoms No response provided. 6. Behavioral Observations MENTAL STATUS EXAM - Appearance, Behavior, and Speech Veteran's appearance and dress were appropriate for the exam. His speech was normal in rate and tone. Veteran's response to the evaluation was guarded but engaged. Rapport was easily established with the Veteran who put forth a conscientious effort to answer all questions to the best of his ability. Thought Process - There was no evidence of loose associations, flight of ideas, circumstantial, or tangential thought process. Veteran completed similarities and interpreted proverbs accurately. Thought Content - Veteran denied having any obsessions or suicidal/homicidal ideations. However, delusions regarding the security of his home and transgenders were reported. "Transgenders are trying to get back at me because I grabbed the transgender that I was supposed to go on a date with. His profile said he was female. I have to hone in and decipher whether someone is male or female because my initial problems came with my sexual assault in training so I've distanced myself from males who are the enemy. The transgender caught me off guard and now they're trying to trick me. It's a whole new ball game." Perceptual Abnormalities - "I keep hearing my instructors voice in my head. Especially if I get around someone who has to make choices that involve me. I keep hearing 'pass or no pass' which is what he said to me. I hear a human voice outside my windows. When I go look there's nothing there so I don't know if they've run away or what. That's why I put up security cameras." Mood and Affect - Veteran's mood was "indifferent" and his affect was flat. Sensorium and Cognition - Sensorium was clear. Veteran was oriented to time, place and person. Immediate memory was good as he was able to repeat five of seven numbers forward and six of seven numbers in backwards sequence. Recent memory was fair as he recalled two of three items after five minutes. Remote memory was fair as he recalled the names of the last three presidents, the name of his high school, his youngest son's birthday, and his first job. Veteran was unable to recall the name of his elementary or junior high school nor his siblings or two oldest sons birthdays. In regards to concentration, Veteran spelled world forward and backwards and completed simple mathematics, serials 3's, and serial 7's. His intelligence appeared to be average. Judgment and Insight - Veteran's insight is good as he understands the outcome of his behavior and the choices he makes. His judgment is impaired but he informed that he would return a library book to the library if found, pull over for the police, and return a wallet he found to the owner. 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 Financial: "My brother pays any bills that I can't pay online." NOTE: VA may request additional medical information, including additional examinations if necessary to complete VA's review of the Veteran's application.
  12. My husband is a purple heart disabled veteran with a current rating of 50% (due to shrapnel injuries from mortar blast). He was in Iraq from ’04-’05. He has just started talking to the VA about filing new claims for PTSD, TBI and a knee injury. While speaking with the VA social worker, she informed him he was diagnosed with PTSD in 2007 and TBI in 2013. He was never informed of these diagnoses at that time. Everything we read online says that there is no way to get an earlier effective date other than the date of his most recently filed claim (March 2018). Looking for advice if anyone has been successful in winning an EDD due to never being notified of the diagnosis? Any other advice you can share while going through this process? Thanks so much in advance for your help.
  13. Have a question. I was investigated by the IG. No charges filed, but were substantiated. This ended the career. I have developed several mental health issues because of this. Long story on the investigation that I do not want to get into but looking for advice. 1. Can I put in for PTSD on this? 2. Or should I put in for MDD/Anxiety? This condition has led me to a couple of suicide attempts, and massive other health issues. I am seeing a shrink and therapist weekly. This issue will affect the rest of my life and all future employment opportunities. The investigation was such BS and over something that is so small that I get so angry and depressed over it. What is the best strategy for approaching this to the VA.
  14. I am still active duty. Having a number of mental health issues due to my health (heart arrhythmia) and the results of an IG Investigation. No charges but substantiated claims and my next rank that I was selected for was removed. My record now has me as a FTS (fail to select - basically passed over) and I have put in to retire (27 Yrs, 1 mo). I am seeing a military shrink and military therapist, each weekly and have been doing so for the past 6 weeks. Lots of paper in my record and a variety of diagnosis - PTSD, MDD, but mainly anxiety disorder. Question: Should I ask to have more psychological testing completed and get that in my record. I am think the MMPI-2 test (567 question so it is not little test). I would think that would help establish more firmly the service connection nexus and give a stronger diagnosis. It couldn't hurt right?
  15. I'm new to this site, and somewhat novice with claims as I've ignored them since my discharge in 2012, but I have some questions that I've yet to find answers for that hopefully someone can help me with: In a nutshell, my story is I did my four years, two hellish combat tours to Afghan, got out in 2012, immediately filed my claims for a few disabilities like back and shoulder issues and got a 40% rating total. I've since not looked back as none of that concerns me. My issue now is that I was sent to a mandatory PTSD screening during one of my visits that year, and the examiner kind of went about the thing blase, and although I did tell her most of my traumatic experiences, she gave me 0% for "Combat PTSD not related to military service" as it says in their justification, whatever that means. I don't think they even attempted to listen to me as my experiences were extraordinarily traumatic and have been a detriment to my mental health and quality of life since. And yet I now have an effective date of a PTSD claim from day of discharge 6 years ago for 0%, says it right on eBenefits. I think you know where I'm going with this... After 6 years of dealing with a slew of issues related to PTSD, I decided this week to start looking into trying to re open the case. My questions for you are.... Would I be entitled to any back pay if I could prove that I've suffered from PTSD since then, and that they made their original decision in error? And if so, how could I go about receiving the exact paper work / medical records from that one specific screening I had in 2012? I've looked everywhere and I don't really know how to navigate either of these situations... Thanks a lot!
  16. Hello and TYIA for any responses and for reading my long post. BLUF: I would appreciate some insight or just plain ol speculatin on why the VA raters would submit me for a lumbar strain increase (that I didn’t submit for) while working on my current claim? Also, are secondary conditions disqualified in the 60% calculation for SMC Housebound? I know it says the 60% must be separate from the 100% condition, but how does this work if I’m on IU, with secondary conditions? I’m probably overthinking at 4am but why would they submit me for an increase for a condition when I didn’t ask them, and the increase has no bearing on the final rating due to VA math, unless it qualifies me for SMC, or they believe I should be qualified. I’ve never raised the issue of SMC and I’m still learning about it trying to figure out my claim, and I know they are supposed to do due diligence, but that’s not my first hunch since that’s why I’m still in this process. History: I filed a claim in 2015 for PTSD increase and TDIU, was granted increase in 2016 to 70% PTSD, denied TDIU. Combined, 80% with other SC conditions. BBE/VSO said I was denied increase to 100% even though I had a nexus statement from a psychologist saying total social and occupational impairment, at least as likely as not, etc., but they said because I was still employed (I was on long term disability leave but not yet “terminated” and yes they had the relevant evidence through my employer and insurance), and my VA treating provider’s opinion took precedence who didn’t feel my symptoms quite qualified me for total of course, though he‘s a CRNP versus a psychologist and I don’t think he even knows me. I thought they were supposed to take the rating and credentials that favor the Veteran but never mind me. I also survived and was approved for Social Security and life insurance premium waivers during this period without having to appeal, with the same medical information and evidence, with the same VA SC conditions, even coming from VA docs and providers. Of course I appealed the rating and TDIU denial (they can decide) in 2016. I also submitted a new claim for secondaries to PTSD, and in my fog, with that claim an increase for PTSD and TDIU, even though I already had those on appeal. I believe I read or was told somewhere (or maybe my brain made it up) that if I submitted new evidence, the raters could look back at the effective date and could EED to the original claim if the evidence shows and close the appeal. Or, they could approve me from the date of the new claim and the appeal could deal with the stuff before that. But what they did was what they are apparently supposed to do (according to Peggy and the VSOs): defer the appeal related claims to the appeal. DOH. Current Status: Early this month my claim progressed and I was granted an increase to 30% for IBS secondary to my 70% PTSD, and since I had a pre-existing 10% for nerve condition and 20% for lumbar strain, that brought me to 90%. My claim never went to complete and I never got the BBE, ebenefits bounced around from gathering of evidence to pending decision approval within days of my last C&P (I had one for PTSD and one for IBS). I’m not sure why they would give me a C&P for PTSD if they are deferring that part of my claim to appeal as I was told. Maybe they’re just giving me a checkup because my 30 appointments and inpatient stays and shock treatments over the past year weren’t enough medical evidence. I learned of the increase bc I got a small retro and my ebenefits letters and disabilities changed within days, but the claim stayed open. I found out by calling Peggy and VSO that it’s due to an increase for my lumbar strain that someone in the rating chain put in. I do have plenty of evidence in my medical records that show my back is also crap. I got sent to a C&P for my lumbar strain and now I wait in GOE. The C&P examiner, Peggy, VSOs specifically say I was submitted for an increase for my back, not a review. BTW, in ebenefiits in the disabilities section, the PTSD increase is still open, the TDIU disappeared, the IBS is rated, and the lumbar strain doesn’t appear. Yes, I know ebenefits is unreliable and I should find something else to do, but compulsively logging into ebenefits is an activity quite similar to playing a slot machine for me. Every 1 in 10000000 logins I might get a glimmer of hope, and it keeps me going lol. I Wonder: What difference does it make if I’m rated 20% or 30% for my lumbar strain? Why would this be raised since my overall rating won’t change from 90% either way? Trust me, I AM NOT COMPLAINING AND I AM GRATEFUL, anything they do (and they have been getting faster and more Vet-friendly it seems) positive for the Veteran that saves future agony and torture is an appreciated blessing. It would help in the future in qualifying for SMC, but I don’t qualify with the math now. Just wondering if they don’t have enough to do over there, because in the future I’d probably have to get another C&P. Also, I would have to have another condition at 30% for that math to work out, and I pray nothing else worsens enough for that to happen. Does “separate” mean it can’t affect the same body system or it can’t be a secondary condition? Because with secondaries, I could potentially qualify for SMC, and therefore the VA rater would be setting me up for success. Otherwise, it just seems like extra work for them when they could close my case and get their quota numbers and help another Vet...again, not complaining but whoever is on my file seems to be thorough regardless. I know they could be doing anything over there, and I’m glad they’re working on my claim, but just for s&g I’d appreciate any guesses or suggestions, and any help clarifying the SMC Housebound math thing please. Thank you all.
  17. I have been working with a VSO to file my claim. I am currently in the process of gathering information. Only thing, file for MST with PTSD or file PTSD. VSO was hung up on the sexual part of MST. Background: Was in service 1991-2000. In 1995 was involved with a female soldier, who also was involved with another male (married) soldier. After an exercise and the last night sleeping together she asked me to kill his wife. After the second time I went to CID and wore a wire twice. While the Article 32 hearing was going on she was let out of pre-trial and started harassing me, being around me. I was moved from my company to another, and ultimately to the brigade HQ (rear detachment). Brigade HQ was deployed then. Both the female soldier and male soldier were other than honorable discharged, but I was exiled for a year. Not the same after. As I was getting out in 1999 I learned that she had asked other people in the unit to kill me. I was seen at a Vet center into 2000. Same time as the Article 32, my chain of command was trying to discipline me for an Article 15/court martial. The incident was with the female soldier (before she had asked me) and was on a trumped up charge. Even had the 1st sergeant threatened me in his office about "if he could not get me on that charge he would find another". After my time in Brigade HQ I returned to almost a new unit, only 5% knew me. All I wanted was out, but he harassed me every day to change my mind and go to the promotion board. Would not even let anyone drive me to airport to PCS. It took my wife to point out that when I get harassed or witness it at work that I am affected by it. I am currently being seen for it by the Vet center I was seen at before. The vet center had listed me as PTSD and marked as military trauma. Also, I don't have anything from that time as I was not in a good place and as a 26 year old did not want the reminders in my barracks room. So if anyone knows how to get the CID or JAG records I am all ears.
  18. Just saw on E-Benefits that my Sleep Apnea claim as secondary to PTSD was granted at 50%. For the Sleep Apnea: - No history of sleep issues while on active duty or in STRs - VA Psych requested sleep study, Sleep Study completed by VA-Outsoursed Hospital, Diag. w/mod. Sleep Apnea and issued a VA CPAP in May 2013. - My private Sleep/Pulminary Doc completed Sleep Apnea DBQ & wrote nexus letter stating "Based on my evaluation of the veteran, it is my opinion that it is at least as likely as not that Mr OEF21B's diagnosed OSA is aggravated by his service connected PTSD. I also feel that it is at least as likely as not that Mr OEF21B's PTSD is aggravated by his OSA." (17 JUL 15) Filed Sleep Apnea claim 28 JUL 15 - Sleep Apnea C&P in AUG 15 with the Veterans Evaluation Services (VES). Brought copy of DBQ and Nexus Letter as well as some of the articles linking PTSD & SA. I thought the C&P went well and the Dr. said that she would add the articles as well as my DBQ & Nexus letter to her final report. IMHO, I believe that my private doc's completion of a DBQ as well as his Nexus letter was key in meeting the requirement for service connection secondary to PTSD. I also believe that providing these along with the articles listed here in various places, and providing all of this to the C&P examiner helped. Semper Fi
  19. 100% p&t, since 2012... (ptsd)... I want to file for smc-s, but frankly, cant remember how to get the ball rolling... My c&p exam in 2011, clearly stated agoraphobia...Any suggestions, would be appreciated..Also, when approved, do you believe retro will go back to 2012.. Thank you all, again, for your input, and advice... SEMPER FI
  20. 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?
  21. I separated from active duty service in the Air Force with in 2010 and had undiagnosed non-combat military connected PTSD with alcohol use in remission (According to my VA disability paperwork which puts me at 50% for ptsd.) This was granted the beginning of last year. I recently put in to have my discharge upgraded to honorable from general and have yet to hear back from them. (E-benefits say maybe I'll hear about it early February 2018.) There were a few selfmedicated incidents with alcohol that happened while I was active duty that resulted in going into a civilian rehabilitation facility, a perscription to an antidepressant, and a lot of suicidal ideation I recently admitted in my paperwork to the review board that I was afraid to admit to my command because they would do things like write someone up for a sunburn (destruction of government property), or purposefully keep spouses apart by writing one up for something they didn't do and keep them from going during their significant others' PCS (because someone else did it to them for five years and "they turned out fine"(There was no way to prove otherwise.)). I was recently reading about medical retirement from the military. It's a little confusing. I was wondering if there was a way to submit for reconsideration and medically retire from the military after separation?
  22. I see now the VA is using ecstasy on Veterans saying it helps cure mental illness. Ecstasy causes some major brain damage. The VA Hospital forcefully did lobotomies on 2000 WW2 Veterans and ruined their lives. Roman Tritz’s memories of the past six decades are blurred by age and delusion. But one thing he remembers clearly is the fight he put up the day the orderlies came for him. “They got the notion they were going to come to give me a lobotomy,” says Mr. Tritz, a World War II bomber pilot. “To hell with them.” The orderlies at the veterans hospital pinned Mr. Tritz to the floor, he recalls. He fought so hard that eventually they gave up. But the orderlies came for him again on Wednesday, July 1, 1953, a few weeks before his 30th birthday. This time, the doctors got their way. The U.S. government lobotomized roughly 2,000 mentally ill veterans—and likely hundreds more—during and after World War II, according to a cache of forgotten memos, letters and government reports unearthed by The Wall Street Journal. Besieged by psychologically damaged troops returning from the battlefields of North Africa, Europe and the Pacific, the Veterans Administration performed the brain-altering operation on former servicemen it diagnosed as depressives, psychotics and schizophrenics, and occasionally on people identified as homosexuals. The VA doctors considered themselves conservative in using lobotomy. Nevertheless, desperate for effective psychiatric treatments, they carried out the surgery at VA hospitals spanning the country, from Oregon to Massachusetts, Alabama to South Dakota. Roman Tritz talks about the scars from his lobotomy. The VA’s practice, described in depth here for the first time, sometimes brought veterans relief from their inner demons. Often, however, the surgery left them little more than overgrown children, unable to care for themselves. Many suffered seizures, amnesia and loss of motor skills. Some died from the operation itself. Mr. Tritz, 90 years old, is one of the few still alive to describe the experience. “It isn’t so good up here,” he says, rubbing the two shallow divots on the sides of his forehead, bracketing wisps of white hair. The VA’s use of lobotomy, in which doctors severed connections between parts of the brain then thought to control emotions, was known in medical circles in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and is occasionally cited in medical texts. But the VA’s practice, never widely publicized, long ago slipped from public view. Even the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says it possesses no records of the lobotomies performed by its predecessor agency. Musty files warehoused in the National Archives, however, show VA doctors resorting to brain surgery as they struggled with a vexing question that absorbs America to this day: How best to treat the psychological crises that afflict soldiers returning from combat. Between April 1, 1947, and Sept. 30, 1950, VA doctors lobotomized 1,464 veterans at 50 hospitals authorized to perform the surgery, according to agency documents rediscovered by the Journal. Scores of records from 22 of those hospitals list another 466 lobotomies performed outside that time period, bringing the total documented operations to 1,930. Gaps in the records suggest that hundreds of additional operations likely took place at other VA facilities. The vast majority of the patients were men, although some female veterans underwent VA lobotomies, as well. Lobotomies faded from use after the first antipsychotic drug, Thorazine, hit the market in the mid-1950s, revolutionizing mental-health care. The forgotten lobotomy files, military records and interviews with veterans’ relatives reveal the details of lives gone terribly wrong. There was Joe Brzoza, who was lobotomized four years after surviving artillery barrages on the beaches at Anzio, Italy, and spent his remaining days chain-smoking in VA psychiatric wards. Eugene Kainulainen, whose breakdown during the North African campaign the military attributed partly to a childhood tendency toward “temper tantrums and [being] fussy about food.” Melbert Peters, a bomber crewman given two lobotomies—one most likely performed with an ice pick inserted through his eye sockets. And Mr. Tritz, the son of a Wisconsin dairy farmer who flew a B-17 Flying Fortress on 34 combat missions over Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe. “They just wanted to ruin my head, it seemed to me,” says Mr. Tritz. “Somebody wanted to.” Counting the Patients A memo gives a partial tally of lobotomized veterans and warns of medical complications. A note about documents: Yellow highlighting has been added to some documents. The names of patients not mentioned in these articles have been redacted, along with other identifying details. All other marks are original. The VA documents subvert an article of faith of postwar American mythology: That returning soldiers put down their guns, shed their uniforms and stoically forged ahead into the optimistic 1950s. Mr. Tritz and the mentally ill veterans who shared his fate lived a struggle all but unknown except to the families who still bear lobotomy’s scars. Mr. Tritz is sometimes an unreliable narrator of his life story. For decades he has meandered into delusions and paranoid views about government conspiracies. He speaks lucidly, however, about his wartime service and his lobotomy. And his words broadly match official records and interviews with family members, historians and a fellow airman. It isn’t possible to draw a straight line between Mr. Tritz’s military service and his mental illness. The record, nonetheless, reveals a man who went to war in good health, experienced the unrelenting stress of aerial combat—Messerschmitts and antiaircraft fire—and returned home to the unrelenting din of imaginary voices in his head. During eight years as a patient in the VA hospital in Tomah, Wis., Mr. Tritz underwent 28 rounds of electroshock therapy, a common treatment that sometimes caused convulsions so jarring they broke patients’ bones. Medical records show that Mr. Tritz received another routine VA treatment: insulin-induced temporary comas, which were thought to relieve symptoms. ‘Anxious to Start’ The VA hospital in Tuskegee, Ala., asks permission to perform lobotomies. To stimulate patients’ nerves, hospital staff also commonly sprayed veterans with powerful jets of alternating hot and cold water, the archives show. Mr. Tritz received 66 treatments of high-pressure water sprays called the Scotch Douche and Needle Shower, his medical records say. When all else failed, there was lobotomy. “You couldn’t help but have the feeling that the medical community was impotent at that point,” says Elliot Valenstein, 89, a World War II veteran and psychiatrist who worked at the Topeka, Kan., VA hospital in the early 1950s. He recalls wards full of soldiers haunted by nightmares and flashbacks. The doctors, he says, “were prone to try anything.” https://taskandpurpose.com/fda-just-designated-mdma-breakthrough-therapy-ptsd-treatment/ http://projects.wsj.com/lobotomyfiles/
  23. To list the many many Tags would have been ludicrous. My case is relatively new. I joined here last year, this place has always been great to calm burned out nerves. I sometimes don't make sense to myself let alone anyone else. But when I got out, I went tearing away from anything and everything that even REMOTELY resembled authority. People being able to control my life terrified me to the point where it has literally affected every single part of my life. I came here seeking help and I got it. So, if my story can help anyone else, and my opinions on what you can do to help your own Battle, because that's what this REALLY is, then I will feel like I have done a small and meager effort to pay it forward. My C-File isn't stuffed to the gills with medical records because I didn't serve long enough to qualify for VA Medical. My Claims were handled fairly fast compared to the average. My Story is simple, I got kicked out of the US Army Infantry, after Basic, but I did not finish my A.I.T. We were OSUT. How and why is my business, and I have completely accepted that now. I wasn't even aware I had "issues" until about 9 years after I got out of there. And, a further 6 years before I swallowed my pride and went and finally asked for the help, that I had been convinced by every Veteran I knew, that I now have. I filed my initial claim for PTSD with Anger and Depression. 5 months later they denied me without a C&P, oh gosh gee wilikers was I disappointed. But, once again, fellow Veterans pointed me the way. I went to my Second VSO, and they filled for Depression, and I was scheduled for a VA C&P Exam. Why do I emphasize the VA part, well, I had learned from reading here at Hadit that C&P exams don't show up on your VA website thingy. Which, I thought to myself, that IS kind of important, you know, so no one can "lose" your record of that particular exam. I must admit that my best decisions I have made after getting my actual 50% Service Connected decision letter last year was to continuously educate myself. Not just about me, but the VA itself. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU BRING YOUR COPYS OF YOUR PERTINENT INFORMATION WITH YOU. Sure that really friendly guy on the phone making your appointment is probably say it's not necessary to bring any documents, the Examiner will have ALL your evidence. Bullshit, don't ever leave your case DEPENDENT on ANYONE else' actions! Seriously, I took that advice from someone here, and it saved my ass. A actual Lt. Col. in the US Army Medical Hospital Diagnosed me with exactly what i was filing for. Match the Words, don't try to guess, don't try to infer. Take all your important verifying information with you. Don't leave out anything that you feel may hurt your case, if you think the VA is going to not use any excuse to take away what they give you, you are DEAD wrong. They will dig for it and hunt it down. Be honest, give them everything. But remember, you are literally not DEFENDING yourself to these Raters, you are pressing your case base on verified fact. They will work harder to rip your benefits away, than they are supposed to help you get them.Tell them something is wrong if you don't know exactly, and make them give you an examination, it is your right as a Veteran. I see too many Vets who are always asking others for help, guess what, it's up to US. DO YOUR HOMEWORK Seriously, you need to know more about your Disability's then the people who wrote the books and TREAT you for it. No one knows your Disability's like you. Because they are literally YOURS, not as a statistic or a Roster Number. Because remember, these are not minor discomforts or passing ailments. These damages are severe enough to make us DISABLED. You are LEGALLY entitled to the compensation for the damages done to you, maybe that's why the VA Denies us so consistently. No matter how many changes in Technology or public opinion, they have NEVER done it at a pace that allows most of us to barely maintain our composure and dignity. As far as the Law goes, if you have evidence, you're solid, it is not the RATER who is processing your claim wrong, it is YOU. Every "T" must be crossed, every "i" must be dotted. You have to make your case so solid,that it would literally be a breaking of the Law not to Service Connect you, or a fair Scheduler Rating, or TDIU. You have to SLAM THAT Claim DOWN ON THAT RO's desk, and CHALLENGE him to find flaw in every single interpretation of the Laws, Rules, Regulations....... Become your own greatest weapon, by realizing that you personally can't do that, you have to show it through your work, every page has to be meticulous, don't give them any reason to take the scalpel to your pages. I have a theory, based on how fast I was Denied the first Claim, how fast I was sent for a C&P for my second and winning Claim, and the fact that I was approved the DAY after my C&P exam. I personally feel, as if the moment a Rater can find a reason, and Literally the first reason, he denies and kicks out. Because I was denied without even a C&P exam. Then, when my second claim got sent up, they took one look at it, and knew they were caught out, so as soon as they got my results, they gave me 50% and expected me to be grateful for it. Never stop, always press on, continually advance, and when you can't advance, you bear down, shield up, and dig in. You are now in the Trenches of the VA, and we are literally all here because we are STILL Brothers and Sisters in Arms, against our own people. My OPINION of VSO's and LAWYERS A VSO, no matter where he works, is not gonna fight for you, oh they will file paperwork.....if you tell them what to file, you see, they just mostly don't have the balls for you, because they have balls for EVERYONE. A Lawyer, on the other hand, is motivated by Passion, and Profit. Think about it, if you were to Arm yourself with a Hypothetical Spear-like weapon, would you not want the one with the longest reach, sharpest point, and stopping power? A Lawyer, will fight, because he will look at your Claim, in whole, at ALL the FACTS, and take your case ONLY IF HE BELIEVES THE LAW IS ON YOUR SIDE AND HE CAN WIN IT! That alone, is a boost of confidence that will sustain your Hope, while unfortunately also being a two-edged sword. If he doesn't take your case, then do MORE HOMEWORK. If you can convince a VA registered Lawyer to take your case, you're fairly solid. ONCE AGAIN, MY OWN PERSONAL OPINION. Always Dig Deeper than the Surface Picture that the VA forces on you,If the Law is on your side, stand firm, and advance,Remember that you are right, and you need not defend against their No, but insist on your Yes. Good luck y'all
  24. 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!
  25. HI, New here. Found the community through google. I'm still learning to navigate the site, so please bear with me. Searching got me in the right direction but not close enough. I was recently diagnosed with Service connected PTSD through the VA. I have not done a C&P exam yet. On the same day I was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea through a VA sleep study. I've read that there is a slim chance to connect my sleep apnea as a secondary to my PTSD. My VA psych Dr said they aggrevate each other, but a pulmonologist opinion would have more power than his. I've seen some advice from other members talking about letter templates, DBQs and supporting articles. However, I haven't been able to find them here. I've scheduled a civilian Dr. appointment with a pulmonologist in about 2 week and would like to come prepared with any information I can. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Nova
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