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Found 5,834 results

  1. I went online to EBenefits this morning to see if nothing changed after my C&P last month. It said claim closed and Decision letter sent. After checking around I found a 70% rating for PTSD and MDD and a 3/15/17 effective date which was when I filed my claim. I hadn't set up banking info yet so I did that. Some questions: 1. Will they mail a retro pay check since I didn't have banking set earlier? 2. I know I need to wait for the letter but is EBenefits usually accurate with the rating? 3. Is there a certain day of the month VA sends payments (Like social security is always at the start of the month) or is it the claim date each month? 4. Where can I find information on how my VA class will change? I was class 8 before (big copays). 5. I have a very good private therapist I'm paying for myself. Now that I'll have a rating will the VA pay for him or do they only cover their own therapists? Thanks for the help! JW
  2. Hello everyone, It has been a while but I finally received my C&P examination for mental health. Currently am 50% for Major Depression, seeking 70%. I went to my examination in stained sweats, faded shirt, flip flops, unshaven, and hair frizzy and not brushed. For some reason, I believe my C&P examiner was wishing I did not come so she could go to lunch early based on her reaction to my arrival and her BSing with the receptionist prior. Anyway, I feel angry after reading her assessment and would like to know what you all think. I think she checked the box for 30% which is a decrease but all the symptoms are 70% looking. It feels really bad she is trying to make me out to be a liar when she doesn't know how I really feel. I have been suicidal, I have made attempts, I have researched the best methods, made plans, etc. The closest I have come is purchasing roper, tying it in a noose, and testing out a bar at work to see if it could support me in hanging myself. But I have really been feeling like crap and feel I have to fight really hard to not let my thoughts become the truth. All things she did not ask. What do you think will happen based on the below exam results? I thank you for your time and responses. CaliBay Mental Disorders (other than PTSD and Eating Disorders) Disability Benefits Questionnaire Is this DBQ being completed in conjunction with a VA 21-2507, C&P Examination Request? [X] Yes [ ] No SECTION I: - - - - - - - - - - 1. Diagnosis - - - - - - - - - - - - a. Does the Veteran now have or has he/she ever been diagnosed with a mental disorder? [X] Yes [ ] No ICD code: F33.2 If the Veteran currently has one or more mental disorders that conform to DSM-5 criteria, provide all diagnoses: Mental Disorder Diagnosis #1: Major Depressive Disorder, severe, recurrent ICD code: F33.2 Mental Disorder Diagnosis #2: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, with panic attacks ICD code: F41.1 b. Medical diagnoses relevant to the understanding or management of the Mental Health Disorder (to include TBI): severe sleep apnea 2. 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 Depression - depressed mood, not feeling pain, poor motivation, nightmares, few friends, feel worthless and helpless. Anxiety: doesn't like to leave his house, uncomfortable in crowds, some paranoia shakes c. Does the Veteran have a diagnosed traumatic brain injury (TBI)? [ ] Yes [X] No [ ] Not shown in records reviewed 3. Occupational and social impairment - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - a. Which of the following best summarizes the Veteran's level of occupational and social impairment with regards to all mental diagnoses? (Check only one) [X] Occupational and social impairment with occasional decrease in work efficiency and intermittent periods of inability to perform occupational tasks, although generally functioning satisfactorily, with normal routine behavior, self-care, and conversation b. For the indicated level of occupational and social impairment, is it possible to differentiate what portion of the occupational and social impairment indicated above is caused by each mental disorder? [ ] Yes [X] No [ ] No other mental disorder has been diagnosed If no, provide a reason that it is not possible to differentiate what portion of the indicated level of occupational and social impairment is attributable to each diagnosis: symptoms of GAD and MDD overlap and it is nearly impossible to differentiate between disorders. 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): The veteran has been married for 25 years, and they have 4 children ages 17, 12, and 7. His father lives at their home, but he is self-sufficient and assists caring for the children. His spouse works at Kohls. b. Relevant Occupational and Educational history (pre-military, military, and post-military): He works for the Federal Government as Transportation Specialist at the GS-11 pay grade. He stated that his supervisor has made a verbal accommodation for his mental disabilities to let him come and go as he pleases including arriving late and leaving early for work for appointments. He states he does not know exactly what he does at work but feels like a government worker that is unqualified for his position and got lucky to obtain his current job. He states he answers email correspondence all day and surfs the Internet. He stated that his duties are not really defined and much of his job requires little effort mentally or physically. He creates spreadsheets in Excel and analyzes financial data for travel. He works from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. He stated that he has used his all of his vacation and sick time because of his disability. He was out of work on FMLA for three months to receive mental health care and has returned in May 2017 with difficulty adjusting. c. Relevant Mental Health history, to include prescribed medications and family mental health (pre-military, military, and post-military): He stated that he was feeling better during for two months in a 12-month period. Since he returned to work, his depression has increased and has frequent panic on a daily basis. He stated that he feels paranoid that someone is out to get him. He feels like he is worthless at work even though his managers have never told him his performance is poor. He does not recall periods of remission and stated that he only remembers all the bad things that have happened to him. He uses a CPAP machine but states he rips it off his face every night due to nightmares. He has always had nightmares of when his daughter passed away and escorting human remains off of military cargo planes. He estimates waking up every hour to check on his children to see if they are still alive. He self-admitted to a Mental Health Hospital for 3 months. He was suicidal and very depressed. He has not seen a Therapist but he has spoken to his Psychiatrist. Nightmares: never decreased, nightly or every other night. His nightmares are of the same theme. No exercise Medical records review: DBQ from private provider Statement from veteran Treatment records from Private Hospital Treatment records from Mental Hospital These records are consistent with a diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Many medications have been tried. He is at low risk of suicide at this point. Current Medication: Wellbutrin Abilify Prozac d. Relevant Legal and Behavioral history (pre-military, military, and post-military): None e. Relevant Substance abuse history (pre-military, military, and post-military): He drinks occasionally and states he is a “light weight” in consuming alcoholic beverages. Sometimes he inhales CO2 from whip cream to get a temporary high. f. Other, if any: No response provided. 3. Symptoms - - - - - - - - - - - For VA rating purposes, check all symptoms that actively apply to the Veteran's diagnoses: [X] Depressed mood [X] Anxiety [X] Chronic sleep impairment [X] Flattened affect [X] Disturbances of motivation and mood [X] Suicidal ideation 4. Behavioral observations - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - No response provided. 5. Other symptoms - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Does the Veteran have any other symptoms attributable to mental disorders that are not listed above? [ ] Yes [X] No 6. Competency - - - - - - - - - - - - - Is the Veteran capable of managing his or her financial affairs? [X] Yes [ ] No 7. Remarks (including any testing results), if any: - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - This 45-year-old veteran still struggles with depression and anxiety. I cannot diagnose him with PTSD because it appears to be secondary to MDD. He has not seeked therapy other than admitting himself to a Mental Health Facility. The veteran has been advised to get help for his symptoms and he has not complied. There doesn't appear to be any changes in his mental health status. The fact that this veteran continues to work without incident suggests that he may be functioning better than what he is showing. I recommend that this veteran receives intensive therapy and be re-evaluated after a year of consistent treatment.
  3. I am rated at 30% for PTSD and I have other things pending but after returning as a door gunner in Desert Storm, I started having severe headaches and TMJ. Both have been diagnosed and DBQ done by my medical Dr stating more likely than not related to the PTSD. I have an upcoming C&P exam with QTC for my diagnosed Bruxism, related to PTSD. I have broken several teeth from grinding at night and just broke another crown that they will see on Monday when I go in. Anyone else ever dealt with this or have any advice? I sleep with a mouth guard but I am on my 3rd one right now after chewing threw the first two. I also have been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea and sleep with a prescribed CPAP machine.. Any advise is appreciated. Semper Fi!
  4. Hello Hadit members, it has been a while since I posted. I believe that my last post was regarding an Earlier Effective Date NOD that I filed in 2015. I received the SOC last year, submitted my Form 9 this year, returned it and am now waiting to be certified to the BVA. A little background: https://community.hadit.com/topic/63190-70-service-connected/#gsc.tab=0 https://community.hadit.com/topic/63830-what-evidence-is-needed-for-an-eed/?tab=comments#comment-386303&gsc.tab=0 I sent a letter requesting a discharge upgrade in 2015 at the same time that I submitted the NOD. However, I did not file the proper form and never got a response. This year, due to another process that is going on, my General Under Honorable - Personality Disorder discharge came up again. At that moment, I realized that although its seems that I have not been affected by the stigma attached to that reason, when it comes to official business, it does harm veterans. The same day that I submitted the Form 9 for my appeal, I took the initiative to make copies and submit almost identical paperwork to the Board of Naval Corrections to have my discharge upgraded. On June 11th, “in the interest of justice” a decision was made and I am now an honorably discharged veteran (characterization). The narrative is being changed to Secretarial Authority and the reinlistment code was changed to RE-1J (Eligible to reenlist but elected to separate). I did not receive the letter because it was sent to my old address, but after many calls, bad numbers and full mailboxes a wonderful lady took the time to speak to me and personally forwarded me the information last week. I just want to say that I have spent countless hours online here at Hadit and other sites, reading BVA cases, reading WARMS, 38CFR’s, speaking to other veterans and watching Chris Attig and other videos on YouTube to get a good understanding of how the various processes work. I have decided that if I win this EED appeal then I will believe that I am able to help other veterans with their claims. I have done my share of sharing websites, videos and posting information on social media but I do not have the confidence to help on a larger scale. I am afraid that I will mess something up. Will I ever be a VSO? Probably not but at least I will be able to guide someone in the right direction. I just wanted to write this to encourage others to never give up and keep fighting for what’s right. I know that we all have had struggles with the VA but do not give up. It took me over 21 years to get service connected and over 26 years to get up the nerve to apply for the upgrade. Please please do not give up. I have been a member of Hadit for almost 10 years and although I do not post much I am always on or sending others this way for help. Love and hugs, txcooper aka 1994 and counting
  5. Mailed off my PTSD secondary to MST on Monday. I don't know where to go from here. My life is falling apart around me. My marriage is on the rocks, my work is suffering. I've been in therapy at my VAMC for 2 years now. I don't know if I will survive. I got a letter that the VA wants to reduce my back...I can't deal with that, and this...and I'm at my breaking point. On January 23rd my life changed forever. I had sexual assault reporting and prevention training at work a few days earlier, which triggered my memories. They had been blocked. I had always thought what happened was consensual gay sexual activity...at least that's what that predator had told me he would say if I talked. And that he would kill me and hide my body in the woods. I have been having memories drown me ever since that time....I have 37!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! years of sexual, child sexual assault, physical assault, domestic violence abuse.....how the crap am I even still alive??????? I know I can't talk about anything that didn't happen during my service years. So that limits me to 4 sexual assaults, 2 by females and 2 by same male predator. The last was a drunk female Sailor while I was on deployment. She tackled me then began assaulting me. She was drunk off her butt, and I was automatically the perpatrator...sober male Marine, versus a drunk female Sailor...who do you think is guilty??? I can't comprehend...37 years of garbage history in the last 10 weeks....I am utterly worthless
  6. Good Evening Everyone! Okay I have a few questions regarding my Disability claim as well as my husband. First let me start off by listing all my service connected disabilities: 1.) PTSD-100% 2.) 60% Asthma 3.) 50% Migraines 4.) 50% Endometrosis with IBS 5.) 10% Eczema 6.) 10% Rt. Knee 7.) 10% Left Knee 8.) 0% scar left breast 9.) 0% hernia 10.) 0% rt breast scar I'm currently rated 100% SMC S and I'm paid at the housebound rate. I'm a little confused. Another veteran told me I should be rated L or L1/2 because I was getting paid the housebound rate prior to Migraines and Asthma being increased from 10% to now 50% and 60%. Is this true? I read on one forum (can't remember where) that I should receive the letter S and 3 K's which ultimately equals L. Just confused. Also, my husband was medically retired due to Lupus. He's currently rated at 100% for Lupus and 100% for Depression. I recently applied for Aid & Attendance because with two kids and my own disabilities (no family within 2 1/2) its extremely hard. When he has flares he can't do anything. He has flares anywhere from 2 to 3 times a month lasting anywhere from5 to 7 days. His civilian dr filled out the Aid & Attendance form and explained how bad he needed this benefit. Well of course the VA denied it. They stated Aid & Attendance is for someone in regular need of assistance. They also stated since he can walk with a cane 25 ft he doesn't need it as well. I'm really at the end of my rope with the VA. To add insult to injury, when I filed a claim for his kidenys (he has stage 3 kidney failure) they said that falls under Lupus. I understand if I opened a claim regarding back, joint or neck pain, but Kidney failure! We have a two young kids and we will make due, but I can't make it to my MST meetings unless I have someone here with my husband. Sorry, folks I had to vent. Please help
  7. My apologies in advance if this question has been asked before. I searched the site and could not find the answer. I am 80% but rated at 100% IU. 70% PTSD and 30%Recurrent Shingles I want to try working again as I have difficulty maintaining employment due to my PTSD. My Psychologist and Psychiatrist also suggested that I try working again as well as it may improve my mental health and assist in me overcoming anxiety and social phobias. I've lost 5 jobs in the last 11 years due to exacerbation of my symptoms. I will be requesting an ADA accommodation due to my PTSD. (I have been applying for a position at the local VA hospital. ) I am a Registered Nurse and I usually make a descent hourly wage. Does an accommodation under the ADA qualify as employment in a protected environment?
  8. I was awarded 70% PTSD, 10% Tinnitus, and P&T Unemployability June 2013. A couple days ago I get a VA Form 21-4140 (Employment Questionaire ) from the RO. I did do some part time work last year which amounted to around $4000.00 total. I did this to help supplement my disability income so as to help pay the debtors . I did the work on the up and up and claimed the income on the IRS grab ("Render unto Caesar.......), so as not to get in any trouble with them. Do I have anything to worry about? My wife says I should just quit locating and doing odd jobs. I don't want to jeopardy losing the benefit as it does help me to keep the wolves at bay. Anxiously awaiting your advise. Ralph
  9. I was diagnosed at 70% for "Adjustment disorder with depressed mood and insomnia". My doctors have told me that i have PTSD, so I'm filing a new claim with VA. Can I be back paid to when I was diagnosed with the above disability, since I've really had PTSD this whole time?
  10. 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!
  11. Hello everyone, I served in OIF at the onset of the war from 3/2003 - 4/2004 as a front line medic.I also did a tour in 2008. I am currently 70% PTSD/Major Depression, 20% Cervical Radiculopathy and receiving 100% IU P & T as of 5/2013 but have been receiving 100% IU for my PTSD since 2/2010 . I also receive 80% CRSC for both of those conditions since 2013. I was denied service connection for asthma/COPD and Sleep Apnea. Since 2013 new information, and I assume evidence, has come out to establish burn pits as a cause for COPD and that sleep apnea can be a secondary condition to PTSD. My question is 1. Should I attempt to get these two conditions service connected with the goal of a 100% scheduler rating rather than IU or will that most likely adversely effect what I have now? 2. Is sleep apnea secondary to PTSD and COPD linked to burn pits, combat related? So I can keep my CRSC or possibly get it increased?
  12. Yes you read it right. I got the envelope yesterday. VA cut my 100% for Prostate Cancer to 20% Then they awarded me SMC "K" for ED. So bottom line I get $96 a month more. I know that's a strange Success Story. Moved from $3143 to $3239 effective Feb. 1, 2011. 100% (70% PTSD, 30% TDIU) 60% IHD/AO Exposure 20% Prostate Cancer/AO Exposure SMC "S" SMC "K"
  13. My (one year) denial for PTSD increase in excess of the current 30% will be up in about 3 months. Rather than wait 3+ years for an appeal, would it be best to wait the one year limit out and put in a brand new claim? I realize that I would lose the difference in appeal money for a one year period which would be approx 4.5K but, claims are all they are working on right now and a new claim could be a couple of years faster than an appeal.
  14. History, Going on for over 12+ years since left the militray .First raiting 50% Went for increase this was from my DBQ C&P .. Thoughts all? See below Is this 70 (most would say 70). could it sway 100%? If you think 100% do you believe sched or temp? I did not apply for IU but I am told they have to consider it anyways. The doctor also used some verbage that was interesting It is not possible to differentiate what portion of each symptom is attributable to each diagnosis because all of the veteran'schronic PTSD and bipolar symptoms have been chronic, progressive, biologically and behaviorally interactive, and thesymptoms are concurrent and overlapping. The veteran’s alcohol abuse is in remission but was a result of maladaptive copingand dealing with the PTSD an bipolar symptoms.Per DSM-5 Individuals with PTSD are 80% more likely than those without PTSD to have symptoms that meet diagnosticcriteria for at least one other mental disorder (e.g. depressive, bipolar, anxiety, or substance use disorders) (p 280)It is not possible to differentiate what portion of the impairment is attributable to each diagnosis because all of the veteran'schronic PTSD and bipolar symptoms have been chronic, progressive, biologically and behaviorally interactive, and the symptomsare concurrent and overlapping. The veteran’s alcohol abuse is in remission but was a result of maladaptive coping and dealingwith the PTSD an bipolar symptoms. [X] Occupational and social impairment with deficiencies in most areas, such as work, school, family relations, judgment, thinkingand/or mood. 3. PTSD Diagnostic Criteria Please check criteria used for establishing the current PTSD diagnosis. The diagnostic criteria for PTSD, are from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5). The stressful event can be due to combat, personal trauma, other life threatening situations (non-combat related stressors.) Do NOT mark symptoms below that are clearly not attributable to the Criteria A stressor/PTSD. Instead, overlapping symptoms clearly attributable to other things should be noted under #6 – “Other symptoms”. Criterion A: Exposure to actual or threatened a) death, b) serious injury, c) sexual violation, in one or more of the following ways: [X] Directly experiencing the traumatic event(s) Witnessing, in person, the traumatic event(s) as they occurred to others Learning that the traumatic event(s) occurred to a close family member or close friend; cases of actual or threatened death must have been violent or accidental; or, experiencing repeated or extreme exposure to aversive details of the traumatic event(s) (e.g., first responders collecting human remains; police officers repeatedly exposed to details of child abuse); this does not apply to exposure through electronic media, television, movies, or pictures, unless this exposure is work related No criterion in this section met. Page 6 of 8 Contractor: VES Criterion B: Presence of (one or more) of the following intrusion symptoms associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after the traumatic event(s) occurred: [X] Recurrent, involuntary, and intrusive distressing memories of the traumatic event(s). [X] Recurrent distressing dreams in which the content and/or affect of the dream are related to the traumatic event(s). Dissociative reactions (e.g., flashbacks) in which the individual feels or acts as if the traumatic event(s) were recurring. (Such reactions may occur on a continuum, with the most extreme expression being a complete loss of awareness of present surroundings.) [X] Intense or prolonged psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event(s). Marked physiological reactions to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event(s). No criterion in this section met. Criterion C: Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by one or both of the following: [X] Avoidance of or efforts to avoid distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings about or closely associated with the traumatic event(s). [X] Avoidance of or efforts to avoid external reminders (people, places, conversations, activities, objects, situations) that arouse distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings about or closely associated with the traumatic event(s). No criterion in this section met. Criterion D: Negative alterations in cognitions and mood associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more) of the following: Inability to remember an important aspect of the traumatic event(s) (typically due to dissociative amnesia and not to other factors such as head injury, alcohol, or drugs). Persistent and exaggerated negative beliefs or expectations about oneself, others, or the world (e.g., “I am bad,:” “No one can be trusted,:” “The world is completely dangerous,:” “My whole nervous system is permanently ruined”). Persistent, distorted cognitions about the cause or consequences of the traumatic event(s) that lead to the individual to blame himself/herself or others. [X] Persistent negative emotional state (e.g., fear, horror, anger, guilt, or shame). [X] Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities. [X] Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others. Persistent inability to experience positive emotions (e.g., inability to experience happiness, satisfaction, or loving feelings.) No criterion in this section met. Criterion E: Marked alterations in arousal and reactivity associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more) of the following: [X] Irritable behavior and angry outbursts (with little or no provocation) typically expressed as verbal or physical aggression toward people or objects. Reckless or self-destructive behavior. [X] Hypervigilance. Exaggerated startle response. [X] Problems with concentration. [X] Sleep disturbance (e.g., difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless sleep). No criterion in this section met. Criterion F: [X] Duration of the disturbance (Criteria B, C, D and E) is more than 1 month. Veteran does not meet full criteria for PTSD Criterion G: [X] The PTSD symptoms described above cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. The PTSD symptoms described above do NOT cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. Veteran does not meet full criteria for PTSD Criterion H: For VA rating purposes, check all symptoms that actively apply to the Veteran's diagnoses [X] Depressed mood [X] Anxiety [X] Suspiciousness [X] Panic attacks that occur weekly or less often Panic attacks more than once a week Near-continuous panic or depression affecting the ability to function independently, appropriately and effectively [X] Chronic sleep impairment [X] Mild memory loss, such as forgetting names, directions or recent events Impairment of short and long term memory, for example, retention of only highly learned material, while forgetting to complete tasks Memory loss for names of close relatives, own occupation, or own name Flattened affect Circumstantial, circumlocutory or stereotyped speech Speech intermittently illogical, obscure, or irrelevant Difficulty in understanding complex commands [X] Impaired judgment Impaired abstract thinking Gross impairment in thought processes or communication [X] Disturbances of motivation and mood [X] Difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships [X] Difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances, including work or a work like setting Inability to establish and maintain effective relationships Suicidal ideation Obsessional rituals which interfere with routine activities [X] Impaired impulse control, such as unprovoked irritability with periods of violence Spatial disorientation Persistent delusions or hallucinations Grossly inappropriate behavior Persistent danger of hurting self or others [X] Neglect of personal appearance and hygiene [X] Intermittent inability to perform activities of daily living, including maintenance of minimal personal hygiene Disorientation to time or place IF YOU HAVE PROVIDED ANY ADDITIONAL DIAGNOSES, OR IF THE ESTABLISHEDDIAGNOSIS HAS CHANGED IN ANY WAY, PLEASE SELECT AT LEAST ONE FROM THEFOLLOWING:A. THERE IS NO CHANGE IN THE SERVICE CONNECTED DIAGNOSIS AND NOADDITIONAL DIAGNOSES HAVE BEEN RENDERED.B. THE NEW DIAGNOSIS IS A CORRECTION OF THE PREVIOUS DIAGNOSIS.C. THERE IS A WORSENING OF THE VETERAN’S SYMPTOMS HOWEVER NO CHANGETO THE SERVICE CONNECTED DIAGNOSIS AND NO ADDITIONAL DIAGNOSES HAVE BEENRENDERED.D. ADDITIONAL CONDITIONS WERE FOUND WHICH ARE DIRECTLY DUE TO ORRELATED TO THE SERVICE CONNECTED DIAGNOSIS (I.E. A PROGRESSION).E. ADDITIONAL CONDITIONS WERE FOUND WHICH ARE UNRELATED TO THESERVICE CONNECTED DIAGNOSIS (I.E. A NEW AND SEPARATE CONDITION).***FOR OPTION E, PLEASE SPECIFY WHICH OF THE VETERAN’S SYMPTOMS AND/ORFINDINGS CORRESPOND WITH EACH DIAGNOSIS, IF FEASIBLE.***F. THE SERVICE CONNECTED DIAGNOSIS HAS RESOLVED. Answer Question 1: C. There is a worsening of the veterans symptoms however no change to the service connected diagnosisD. Additional diagnosis is alcohol use disorder in partial remission which is a new and separate conditionbut is related to the service connected conditionsAdditional Question 2: FOR OPTIONS OTHER THAN A AND C PLEASE PROVIDE YOUR MEDICAL RATIONALE. Answer Question 2: D. It is related as alcohol use disorder is often secondary to his PTSD and bipolar disorder and is currentlyin remission but was a result of maladaptive coping with his symptoms in the past and he still hasoccasional relapses./ THE VETERAN’S ESTABLISHED DIAGNOSIS IS POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDERWITH BIPOLAR DISORDER .IF YOU HAVE PROVIDED ANY ADDITIONAL DIAGNOSES, OR IF THE ESTABLISHEDDIAGNOSIS HAS CHANGED IN ANY WAY, PLEASE SELECT AT LEAST ONE FROM THEFOLLOWING:A. THERE IS NO CHANGE IN THE SERVICE CONNECTED DIAGNOSIS AND NOADDITIONAL DIAGNOSES HAVE BEEN RENDERED.B. THE NEW DIAGNOSIS IS A CORRECTION OF THE PREVIOUS DIAGNOSIS.C. THERE IS A WORSENING OF THE VETERAN’S SYMPTOMS HOWEVER NO CHANGETO THE SERVICE CONNECTED DIAGNOSIS AND NO ADDITIONAL DIAGNOSES HAVE BEENRENDERED.D. ADDITIONAL CONDITIONS WERE FOUND WHICH ARE DIRECTLY DUE TO ORRELATED TO THE SERVICE CONNECTED DIAGNOSIS (I.E. A PROGRESSION).E. ADDITIONAL CONDITIONS WERE FOUND WHICH ARE UNRELATED TO THESERVICE CONNECTED DIAGNOSIS (I.E. A NEW AND SEPARATE CONDITION).***FOR OPTION E, PLEASE SPECIFY WHICH OF THE VETERAN’S SYMPTOMS AND/ORFINDINGS CORRESPOND WITH EACH DIAGNOSIS, IF FEASIBLE.***F. THE SERVICE CONNECTED DIAGNOSIS HAS RESOLVED.Answer Question 1: C. There is a worsening of the veterans symptoms however no change to the service connected diagnosisD. Additional diagnosis is alcohol use disorder in partial remission which is a new and separate conditionbut is related to the service connected conditionsAdditional Question 2: FOR OPTIONS OTHER THAN A AND C PLEASE PROVIDE YOUR MEDICAL RATIONALE.Answer Question 2: D. It is related as alcohol use disorder is often secondary to his PTSD and bipolar disorder and is currentlyin remission but was a result of maladaptive coping with his symptoms in the past and he still hasoccasional relapses.
  15. My husband is in need of a criminal lawyer who helps veterans asap. He did something while ptsd symptoms were high and now needs criminal help. Before these charges were given we were working on getting him help with his ptsd, which I told him he should go get help as this will show he is trying to not make this mistake again. The VA referred me to VSO who could only refer for help with claims, not criminal. I've contacted my caregiver coordinator, social worker and the primary, with no answer. I need to get on this asap and I know there are lawyers who only work with veterans but have hit a dead end. Any help, is greatly appreciated!
  16. A little history this has been an issue since 2001 and a hell of a ride, so I assume since 5 years will put me at 21 years it then will be a protected status. My original claim (15 years later) was 50%. I went for an increase about 10 months after.I went for an increase for my PTSD as things were progressively going downhill. It looked as I may have been granted 100%, though they came back with a 70% with no routine future exams stipulation. It was explained by my VA contact that this means I will receive this raiting until my death as long as I do not go back to try for any increase or attempt to as that could put me back in the line for a future exam. Has anyone heard of such a thing or the VA doing that with other claims? I would think the best bet is to let sleeping dogs lie, and never ask for an increase or at least wait until the 20 year mark has passed in the event the disability continued to worsen.Thoughts?
  17. 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 2. Current Diagnoses -------------------- a. Mental Disorder Diagnosis #1: CH PTSD b. Medical diagnoses relevant to the understanding or management of the Mental Health Disorder (to include TBI): PARKINSON'S, HIGH TRYGLYCERIDE. HEARING LOSS. 3. Differentiation of symptoms ------------------------------ a. Does the Veteran have more than one mental disorder diagnosed? [ ] Yes [X] No c. Does the Veteran have a diagnosed traumatic brain injury (TBI)? [ ] Yes [ ] No [X] Not shown in records reviewed 4. Occupational and social impairment ------------------------------------- a. Which of the following best summarizes the Veteran's level of occupational and social impairment with regards to all mental diagnoses? (Check only one) [X] Occupational and social impairment with 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? [ ] 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 [X] Other (please identify other evidence reviewed): STRESSOR NOTE. Evidence Comments: TALKED WITH HIS WIFE MELINDA. SHE STATES THAT GRADUALLY HAS BECOME MORE IRRITABLE, LOOSES HIS TEMPER VERY EASILY, SNAPPS AT HIS KIDS, ARGUMENT. AT NIGHT HE IS RESTLESS IN BED, YELLING AND STARTS SWINGING HIS HANDS AND FEW TIME HE HIT HER IN THE SLEEP. WHEN HE IS OFF MEDS, HE IS MORE WITHDRAWN, LESS ACITVE PHYSICALLY AND MORE IRRITABLE. 2. History ---------- a. Relevant Social/Marital/Family history (pre-military, military, and post-military) THIS VET ARRIVED HERE FROM SIGNAL MOUNTAIN, TN, DRIVEN HERE BY HIS WIFE.HE WAS BORN IN FRANCE, HIS FATHER WAS IN ARMY. RAISED IN JASPER, TN. HE WAS RAISED BY BOTH PARENTS. HE HAS ONE BROTHER AND ONE SISTER.NO HX OF ANY KIND OF ABUSE.HE IS MARRIED FOR 31 YRS, ONLY MARRAIGE. THEY HAVE 3 CHILDREN. HE JOINED THE AIR FORCE IN 1985 AND DCED IN 2008 WHEN HE WAS DXED WITH PARKINSON'S. HE HAD 6 TO 7 YRS OF ACTIVE AIRFORCE, STATIONED IN KUWAIT AND IRAQ. HE WAS DCED FROM AIRFORCE RESERVE IN 2008. HIS RANK AT DCED WAS MASTER SERGEANT. b. Relevant Occupational and Educational history (pre-military, military, and post-military): COMPLETED HIGH SHCOLL IN JASPER. HAS BACHELOR IN ORGANIZATIONAL MANAGEMENT.HE WORKED FOR TVA IN NUCLEAR PLANT AND DID ROOT COUSE ANALYSIT. HE WORKED LAST SEPTEMBER 2016 BECAUSE OF PARKINSON's. c. Relevant Mental Health history, to include prescribed medications and family mental health (pre-military, military, and post-military): HE DID NOT RECEIVE ANY MH CARE BEFORE HE JOINED THE AIRFORCE, NONE WHILE IN AIRFORCE BUT AFTER DCED FROM AIRFORCE, HAD TO SEEK HELP AT CHATTANOOGA CLINIC.HE WAS THEN DEPRESSED, HIS MOTHER PASSED AWAY, COULD NOT HANDLE THE LOSS, HAD TO GIVE UP WORKING AND FELT HOPLESS AND HELPLESS.HE FELT LOW ELF ESTEEM.HE WAS THEN PRESCRIBED AND NOW HE IS STILL FOLLOWED BY PSYCHIATRIST AT CHATTANOOGA CLINIC.HE STILL FEELS DEPRESSED, SOME ARGUMENT WITH HIS WIFE.HE FREQUENTLY CRIES, FEELS HOPLESS AND SOME TIME GOES THROUGH MOOD SWING BUT DENIES ANY MANIC EPISODES.HE KEEP UP WAKING UP AT NIGHT, FIGHTS IN HIS SLEEP, FEW TIME HE HIT HIS WIFE IN SLEEP AND HAS HEPPENDED FREQUENTLY, FEELS GUILTY ABOUT.HIS WIFE TELLS HIM HE CRIES IN HIS SLEEP AND SCEAMING BUT HE DOES NOT REMEMBER DOING THESE. REPORTS THAT HE AVOIDS CROWD, FEELS MORE SAFE AT HOME. IF HE IS IN UNFAMILIAR SITUATION, DOES GET UNCOMFORTABLE.HE GETS FRIGHETEN IF THERE IS LOUD NOISE.VERY LIMITED SOCIAL LIFE, ONLY TIME GOES OUT WHEN HE ATTENDS THE CHURCH. d. Relevant Legal and Behavioral history (pre-military, military, and post-military): NONE e. Relevant Substance abuse history (pre-military, military, and post-military): NONE f. Other, if any: HIS OWN PHSICAL CONDITION AND LEAD TO GIVING UP JOB AND ROLE REVERSAL WHEN HIS WIFE HAS TO WORK AND HE HAS TO STAY HOME. 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: 2001, AT AIRFORCE BASE IN QUATAR, WAS GOING TO DO PURCHASE WITH HIS PRCHASING AGENT, PERSON PULLS UP AT GATE AND PULLS OUT AK 47, START SHOOTING, HE WAS ONLY THIRD CAR FROM GATE., THIS PERSON WAS SHOTTO DEATH 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? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, please describe the markers that may substantiate the stressor. MIDDLE OF ATTACK. b. Stressor #2: WHEN HE WAS STATIONED IN SAUDI DURING DESERT STORM, THERE WAS GR 1 TORNADO NEAR THE BASE, BRITISH PILOT HAD TO EJECT HIM SELF FROM 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 s tressor. WITNESSING BRITISH PILOT EJECTING FROM AIRPLANE WHEN THERE WAS GR 1 TORNADO AT BASE. 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). 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] Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities. [X] Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others. [X] Persistent inability to experience positive emotions (e.g., inability to experience happiness, satisfaction, or loving feelings.) Criterion E: Marked alterations in arousal and reactivity associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more) of the following: [X] Irritable behavior and angry outbursts (with little or no provocation) typically expressed as verbal or physical aggression toward people or objects. [X] Hypervigilance. [X] Exaggerated startle response. [X] Sleep disturbance (e.g., difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless sleep). Criterion F: [X] Duration of the disturbance (Criteria B, C, D, and E) is more than 1 month. Criterion G: [X] The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. Criterion H: [X] The disturbance is not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance (e.g., medication, alcohol) or another medical condition. Criterion I: Which stressor(s) contributed to the Veteran's PTSD diagnosis?: [X] Stressor #1 [X] Stressor #2 5. Symptoms ----------- For VA rating purposes, check all symptoms that actively apply to the Veteran's diagnoses: [X] Depressed mood [X] Anxiety [X] Suspiciousness [X] Chronic sleep impairment[X] Disturbances of motivation and mood [X] Difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances, including work or a worklike setting [X] Inability to establish and maintain effective relationships 6. Behavioral Observations -------------------------- ALERT,ORIENTEDX3,COOPERATIVE, CASUALLY DRESSED, POOR EYE CONTACT, CONSTANTLY MOVING IN THE CHAIR, VERY FIDGITY. AFFECT IS CONSTRICTED, DECREASED INTENSITY, ANXIOUS MOOD. RATE OF SPEECH NORMAL, GOAL DIRECTED. NO AH/VH OR ANY PERCEPTUAL DISTURBANCES. NOT SUICIDAL OR HOMICIDAL. NO COGNITIVE DEFICIT. 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 -------------------------------------------------- THIS VET DID EXPERINECE TRAMATIC STRESSORS AND HAS EXPERIENCED SXS OF PTSD WITH CO MORBID DEPRESSION AND UNDERGOING MH RX AT CHATTANOOGA CLINIC. NOTE: VA may request additional medical information, including additional examinations if necessary to complete VA's review of the Veteran's application. ****************************************************************************
  18. Hello, I am having my first kid in July so im sorta freaked out about finances right now. Had my C&P last week, here are the results. Also, below that are results from a private psychologist who did a DBQ for me in June of 2016. I am currently rated at 30% for Anxiety condition and 10% for tinitus. Thoughts? Electronic copy finally showed up on Myhealthevet. I'm pretty sure I'm over stressing the issue, but I have a kid coming in July/August. First child, so im sorta scared Sh*tless about finances right now. Getting atleast a picture of what I have to work with might reduce my stress. Additionally, below this last C&P result are DBQ's from May 2016 filled out by a private Psychologist. Deployed OIF 2008-2009.please help: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 Comments, if any: associated with depressive and anxiety symptoms 3. Differentiation of symptoms ------------------------------ a. Does the Veteran have more than one mental disorder diagnosed? [ ] Yes [X] No b. Medical diagnoses relevant to the understanding or management of the Mental Health Disorder (to include TBI): as in other evaluations c. Does the Veteran have a diagnosed traumatic brain injury (TBI)? [ ] Yes [ ] No [X] Not shown in records reviewed 4. Occupational and social impairment ------------------------------------- Which of the following best summarizes the Veteran's level of occupational and social impairment with regards to all mental diagnoses? (Check only one) [X] Occupational and social impairment with reduced reliability and productivity b. For the indicated level of occupational and social impairment, is it possible to differentiate what portion of the occupational and social impairment indicated above is caused by each mental disorder? [ ] Yes [ ] No [X] No other mental disorder has been diagnosed c. If a diagnosis of TBI exists, is it possible to differentiate what portion of the occupational and social impairment indicated above is caused by the TBI? [ ] Yes [ ] No [X] No diagnosis of TBISECTION II:----------- Clinical Findings: ------------------ 1. Evidence Review ------------------ Evidence reviewed (check all that apply):[X] VA e-folder (VBMS or Virtual VA) Evidence Comments: all are contained in the veteran's claims folder reviewed electroncially through VBMS 2. History ---------- a. Relevant Social/Marital/Family history (pre-military, military, and post-military): Veteran was last evaluated April 2, 2016. No history of emotional or psychiatric disorders/ predisposition during childhood years. Brother has been discharged from the military due to Schizophrenia. Veteran has been living in the country since July 2016. He met a gf last August and decided to move in together in October. Vet said his gf is generally good for her. She provides the care he is wants and uses it as rationalization why he is staying with her. He admits that he has some doubts why she is putting up with him and suspects that she might have some ulterior motives (e.g. getting a better life in the US). "I don’t mind, our relationship is neutral, she gets benefits and so do I." -Vet endorsed trust issues. Vet has a tendency to check her phones, he made her quit her job because of fear that if his gf is not by his side, she may be doing some other business that will put their relationship at risk. Vet admits that he doesn't trust her fully yet he is considering marrying her. Vet is expecting a child with her. Vet denied any close heterosexual relationship with anyone in the past. He had commercial sex to satisfy his need. He had one "relationship" back in 2014 but did not turned out well. He felt "used" for investing on her and it was not reciprocated. Veteran said he has problems with relating to others. "other people don’t listen... i don’t know how to talk to them." Vet said he cannot connect with servicemen's sense of humor, overall demeanor. He said he can act very aggressively, imposing and threatening. He has a high expectation of how things are supposed to be done and expected this on other people. When he does not get the things he expected, it frustrates him and can become very aggressive. Vet said this change of character around 2007-2009 when he was on his 2nd duty station. This kind of short temperedness was also endorsed outside of the military. b. Relevant Occupational and Educational history (pre-military, military, and post-military): Noted Veteran's educational and occupational background as contained in VAE done April 2016. Veteran said he had a job after he was fired from his job in Qatar in April 2015. Doing sandwich delivery but did not last long because he had an accident that prevented him from continuing with that work. NO other kind of productive employment since that time. Vet is into using his GI bill (a benefit he started using back in 2012). Vet is pursuing a course in Culinary since Oct 2016. Vet said he likes cooking and knows how to cook, hence his desire to pursue a course in culinary. He however said the class is alienating because of the language barrier that made him cuss inside. He finds the teachers egotistical. He is pursuing this course as a possible opportunity that he can pursue in the future like a cake online business where he just bakes and take orders online without interacting with people. He anticipates the next school year in June. c. Relevant Mental Health history, to include prescribed medications and family mental health (pre-military, military, and post-military): Index event: combat deployment in 2008. There was an explosion that hit about 100meter from him when he felt terrified. Vet is aware of his how their hostile enemies are capable off and thought his life was really in danger. Vet froze up for about a minute but then realized that they have a job to do and powered up to prepare for retaliation. He related that it was only after about a day that they were told that it was not a missile that exploded rather an airplane accident that carried missiles that happened. Index event 2: veteran wrote a statement about his experience in public showers where he received being slapped at, touched in sensitive places that he did not like. Veteran endorsed that he had to deal with it at that time since it was a common thing to happen and didn’t really want to report the incident for fear of being alienated in the unit or get somebody in trouble. Vet endorsed feeling helpless that he cannot do anything to escape/ or address the situation that he was in at that time. He endorsed feeling embarrassed and some guilt for not having the courage to do anything at that time. Veteran endorsed overly accommodated thinking about taking future assignments/duty stations seriously and got easily pissed off with other members of his unit who just tend to jerk around and not take their duties seriously. He became short tempered. Vet endorsed developing startle reactions when he sees people with their hand on their side that has the potential of accidentally hitting his crotch area. People don’t care anyone but themselves. People are selfish, everything do things for a gain. This has led him to avoid them as far as possible. Social interaction has suffered and became more reclusive. Vet said that his motivation to go out and engage in social activities is no longer there. He identifies his best friend *FRIENDS NAME* as the person he can trust. He is trying his best to make his current relationship to work for him. He has a tendency to think that his life now has somewhat been "oriented" but cannot really say if he is already focused or goal oriented. He is considering a married life and being a responsible father. He admits having some anxieties with it at this time. Vet endorsed having dreams/ nightmares about the explosion and things that happened in the military that can happen 2-3 times per week, resulting to early morning waking up and feeling relieved that he was not there. Sleep impairment is endorsed having episodes of recollections of his index event usually triggered by stresses and events and cues that reminds him of it. It used to occur about 1x/week and more current only when reminded of it. Alcohol effect can trigger it, hence he tries to avoid it. Vet said he would feel sad about it and would want to isolate himself to deal with the memory. Vet self-esteem affected because he felt he didn’t have to freeze up at that time; Made him think that he had to be very diligent in his subsequent work ever since then because of the history of freezing up in his job when it happened. Vet endorsed some doubts about his abilities.... "I’m not good enough for a lot of things;" "maybe I’m not as good enough as i thought i am". Veteran said he easily gets nervous when feeling intimidated and verbally aggressive when having a hard time convincing other people of his stand especially when knows he is right. Vet said he can get easily wound up and anxious when meeting a deadline. Vet endorsed recurrent preoccupation about what is going to happen, what is his next move. etc. Panic attacks can happen sporadically as triggered by unexpected sounds or noise, or negative news on tv. Social situations that he is unfamiliar with also triggers it. Noted treatment records from *Florida VA facility* where he is maintained on Duloxetine, Trazodone and Prazosin. d. Relevant Legal and Behavioral history (pre-military, military, and post-military): Vet used to live close to his grandfather. He reported a volatile relationship with him due to difference in opinion. Vet endorsed that police has been called multiple times to settles down his temper that has a tendency to become really aggressive. NO charges has been filed against him. Vet had a intense altercation with a girl he met when he first moved in the country around August of 2016. The altercation came to the point of his antagonist pulling out a knife to threaten him. He said he was being aggressive and loud at that time. This was no police involved. e. Relevant Substance abuse history (pre-military, military, and post-military): no problematic use of alcohol; no history of using illicit drugs except using marijuana to calm him down when he is feeling edgy and panicky. said he self-medicated. he has not smoked marijuana ever since he got into the Philippines.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: experiencing an explosion while on combat duty station in 2008 that turned out to be an airplane accident 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 [ ] NoIs the stressor related to personal assault, e.g. military sexual trauma? [ ] Yes [X] No b. Stressor #2: unwanted sexual touching in the context of traditional military humor. Does this stressor meet Criterion A (i.e., is it adequate to support the diagnosis of PTSD)? [X] Yes [ ] NoIs the stressor related to the Veteran's fear of hostile military or terrorist activity? [X] Yes [ ] NoIs the stressor related to personal assault, e.g. military sexual trauma? [X] Yes [ ] Nof yes, please describe the markers that may substantiate the stressor. Veteran developed trust issues with people and became more reclusive in dealing with social situations. Veteran developed assimilated and overly accommodated thinking as a result of his index event. He also developed inability to relate to people after the event that had occupational and social negative impact. Self-esteem and self-worth has been questioned. 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) Criterion B: Presence of (one or more) of the following intrusion symptoms associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after the traumatic event(s) occurred: [X] Recurrent, involuntary, and intrusive distressing memories of the traumatic event(s). [X] Recurrent distressing dreams in which the content and/or affect of the dream are related to the traumatic event(s). [X] Marked physiological reactions to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event(s). Criterion C: Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after the traumatic events(s) occurred, as evidenced by one or both of the following: [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. 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] 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[X] Stressor #2 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] 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 [X] Inability to establish and maintain effective relationships[X] Impaired impulse control, such as unprovoked irritability with periods of violence 6. Behavioral Observations -------------------------- Veteran came in alone, appropriately dressed for the interview. Generally cooperative with spontaneous and goal directed speech. Generally calm disposition. Mood was euthymic with a wide and appropriate range of affect Logical thoughts process (+) overly accommodated thinking as well as assimilated thinking as related to experience of the two index event disturbed motivation, arousal symptoms of irritability poor to fair impulse control, some insight to symptoms influenced judgement no suicidal ideations .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 -------------------------------------------------- The current diagnosis is the better description of the etiology of the vet's symptoms rather then broader and non-specific implication of his previous diagnosis of unspecified depressive disorder. This is a progression of the previous diagnosis as more symptoms about the current diagnosis became evident. Veteran exhibited cognitive symptoms consistent to a person who has suffered a trauma in his life and developed symptoms that fulfills the criteria for PTSD based on DSM V. All evidences on record considered and was built on. Veteran's current symptoms will likely affect successful social interaction that would make a typical employment environment challenging. Other forms of productive pursuits can be considered that does not place too much emphasis on social interaction to deliver its "products," NOTE: VA may request additional medical information, including additional examinations if necessary to complete VA's review of the Veteran's application___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Here are the additional DBQ's from a private Psychologist I went to for a few sessions before leaving the country.As far as I know, he was objective, I didn't know him like a PCP or anything.Here are the items checked on one for mid-2016 from my private Psychologist I was seeing for an extended time for treatment:X OCCUPATIONAL AND SOCIAL IMPAIRMENT WITH DEFICIENCIES IN MOST AREAS, SUCH AS WORK, SCHOOL, FAMILY RELATIONS, JUDGMENT, THINKING AND/OR MOOD X The Veteran experienced, witnessed or was confronted with an event that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others. X The Veteran's response involved intense fear, helplessness or horror. X Recurrent and distressing recollections of the event, including images, thoughts or perceptions. X Recurrent distressing dreams of the event. X Acting or feeling as if the traumatic event were recurring; this includes a sense of reliving the experience, illusions, hallucinations and dissociative flashback episodes, including those that occur on awakening or when X intoxicated. X Intense psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event. X The traumatic event is not persistently re-experienced. X Physiological reactivity on exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event. X Efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings or conversations associated with the trauma. X Efforts to avoid activities, places or people that arouse recollections of the trauma. X Inability to recall an important aspect of the trauma. X Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities. X Feeling of detachment or estrangement from others. X Restricted range of affection (e.g., unable to have loving feelings). X Difficulty falling or staying asleep. X Irritability or outbursts of anger. X Difficulty concentrating. X Hypervigilence. X Exaggerated startle response. X The duration of the symptoms described in Criteria B, C and D is more than 1 month. X The PTSD symptoms described above cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning X Depressed mood X Anxiety X Suspiciousness X Panic attacks that occur weekly or less often 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 Impaired judgment X Disturbances of motivation and mood X Difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships X Difficulty adapting to stressful circumstances, including work or a work like setting X Inability to establish and maintain effective relationships X Impaired impulse control, such as unprovoked irritability with periods of violence X Neglect of personal appearance and hygiene
  19. Voiceless Veterans We arrive, angry, confused, hurt, untrusting, extremely defensive, with a strong tendency for coming off "rudely direct" and somewhat scatter brained. By the time, we finish speaking, we've likely already "pissed off" our intended receivers. Then, we receive our threat of VA police intervention, unless we comply, and speak with respect. Who are we? We are the "voiceless members" of the "highest VA risk group" known as "mentally challenged veterans". We perhaps impact the high rate of suicide, more than any other group, found among veterans, past and present. Everyone is concerned for our well fair and rightfully so. Yet..... We all witnessed a veteran act out and take the lives of five Dallas police officers. We all read about the veteran taking his life the day before thanksgivings in Tennessee. We watched again as a veteran drove his car into a crowd in New Jersey. These were all members of my group. They each acted out in horrible ways. They acted with purpose. Each were previously rejected help, by the VA! Replace the acronym "PTSD" with "HULK" and everyone will understand us better. PTSD, as in my case, has not diminished intelligence, it clouds my use of it. The CCVA, addressed the plight of the mentally challenged veteran in Clemons v Shinseki, 2009, emphasizing the inability of a mentally challenged veteran, to narrow their own claims, before a more knowledgeable and experienced VA employee. We would have hoped a ruling from the highest VA court, would have produced a wide range of assistance and protections for us mentally challenged veterans. The court declared it to be enough that a veteran apply with a mental health claim to trigger the special attention required under Clemens. What good are CCVA decisions when VBA directors have no responsibility to follow them, at least that's the way the Tennessee region applies it. Rulings are muted, as veterans in my group have no way to address them. We are threatened with police action, by the VA, defenseless before the DOJ, ignored by politicians, called crazy by caretakers, and all is well, once again, in the life of a stressed out government employee. Our lives are ripped apart, stress increased beyond belief, we end up living in a shed for years, waiting on the VA to respond. We once believed ourselves more than just a veteran, we thought we answered the call for something, more than that. We stood the ground assigned and completed our small part in the defense of our Nation. We stood for all of our nations people. We stood for our own constitutionally protected rights and believed ourselves protecting them. From one Generation to the next, less than 3% of Americans have served their country and even less during time of war, is it to much to ask for a voice? Is it to much to ask that we not be required to sacrifice everything we had worked so hard and so long for. The wars we fight are not in your neighborhood. If you let the 2% keep getting treated this way, the next one will be. I'm a Vet, too, has become an excuse, not the badge of honor it was intended to be. We stood up when you called and we came home different. Will you not stand up for what our families are loosing, because we chose to defend you? To quote the late Paul Harvey " Now you have, the rest of the story." Stand on Clemons and force the VA to address all of the material facts. Now read Bevins and six unknown narcotics agents and the new VA accountability law. This will force the VA to address the whole disability picture the first time they touch the record or they fail Clemons. Do not pursue the adjudicator, pursue the signing authority as they have a written obligation to ensure the law has been followed. The new accountability law is specifically positioned to tag these individuals for failing their signing obligation, therefore failing Clemons. My claim went from 50% to 100% based on the same medical evidence. No new exams, no bull, claim Clemons and point to your Disagreement, then let them assume liability for failing Clemons.
  20. I have been reading on this forum and am really nervous about the C&P exam that I have coming up this Thursday. It seems there are so many horror stories. I was triggered with PTSD summer of 2013 and had to call VA crisis line Nov 2013 when I was thinking of killing myself because I was becoming so unraveled and didn't understand why...hadn't been in the service since 1996 and didn't even know that MST existed...it wasn't until i talked to the crisis DR follow up the next day that he said it sounded like I had PTSD. I thought PtSD was just for people who saw war. I was out of on short term disability at work in Nov 2013, Dec 2013, March 2014, and haven't been able to work since June 2014. Since June 2014 I have been hospitalized 3 times for PTSD and Bipolar. The first hospitalization was at a VA facility and I was there only for the PTSD-MST. It wasn't until then that I found out that I could even get compensation for what happened to me in the military where I was gang raped. It took me until the end of Aug before I could even write a statement to file my claim. I have been suicidal since then a handful of times, disassociate, blah, blah, blah. I use to work full time, working on a Grad degree, second bachelors, and have two kids. I couldn't even keep my kids at home over christmas break and had to pay for daycare because I can't handle having them at home even though I dont' work. I even applied for the VA CWT program where they help you find a job and have a disability. They dropped me from the program saying I was "occupational maladjustment disorder". I'm concerned about the whole proof thing like many others who have posted here. I'm also afraid that they will think I am exagerating my symptoms, although my VA counselor has stated that I can't do CBT for the MST until I have sufficient coping skills which right now I do not. OK...proof...when the rape happened I was on shore duty and the perps where stationed on a submarine. When word got out they started an investigation on the submarine but nothing ever came from it. Shortly after I was asked to move off base and couple months later had to get tested for STD and turned out they left me with a parting gift. Is this enough? What I went through was so traumatic I don't know if I can take someone telling me it didn't happen. Second question. My VSO said that my statement should be enough since they should be able to pull records to cooberate my story. They have my VA hospitalization and treatment records since Nov 2013. Should I upload my hospital documents from the other two hospitalizations? My VSO thinks it will delay my claim and understands what a financial strain I am under now with not being able to work. What do you think? What can I expect? We are falling so far behind bills, I'm pulling my hair because I have gone from a someone to a nobody in a matter of a year. Anyhow any advice would help....thanks
  21. Do they qualify for a retiree ID? Do they qualify for PX & Commissary privileges? Do they qualify for state benefits for being rated 100% P&T? Even if their DD-214 states Other Than Honorable?
  22. I am only providing the information that show that a veteran with SC (Rated and Service Connected) PTSD could be eligible for the new Caregiver program that just started in May 2011. Others may be eligible and there is a lot more info out there! Hope this helps, I wanted to figure this out before applying with the wife. Here's the link to where I found the info: VA-2011-VHA-0012-0001.pdf (EDIT-since I posted this, the VA has moved the information that was attached to this link, and I have yet to find it elsewhere) Before I go further, I must say this. Although I am thankful for this benefit...I do find it backwards and unfortunate to not take care of the previous generations of veterans first. Thanks to YOU for MY freedom. Draggin' ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ A veteran or servicemember is eligible for a Primary or Secondary Family Caregiver under this part if she or he meets all of the following requirements: a) The individual is a veteran b) The individual has a serious injury, including traumatic brain injury, psychological trauma, or other mental disorder, incurred or aggravated in the line of duty in the active military, naval, or air service on or after September 11, 2001. (PTSD). c) Such serious injury renders the individual in need of personal care services for a minimum of 6 continuous months (based on a clinical determination), based on any ONE of the following 4 clinical criteria: (Only showing #2 of the 4) 2. Need for supervision, assistance or protection based on symptoms or residuals of neurological or other impairment or injury is the 2nd alternative basis for a determination that an individual is in need of personal care services. Also stated as: Need for supervision or protection based on symptoms or residuals of neurological or other impairment or injury means requiring supervision or assistance for any of the following reasons (p.26): (1) Seizures (blackouts or lapses in mental awareness, etc.); (2) Difficulty with planning and organizing (such as the ability to adhere to medication regimen); (3) Safety risks (wandering outside the home, danger of falling, using electrical appliances, etc.); (4) Difficulty with sleep regulation; (5) Delusions or hallucinations; (6) Difficulty with recent memory;and (7) Self regulation (being able to moderate moods, agitation or aggression, etc.). d) A clinical determination has been made that it is in the best interest of the individual to participate in the program. e) Personal care services that would be provided by the Family Caregiver will not be simultaneously and regularly provided by or through another individual or entity. f) The individual agrees to receive care at home after VA designates a Family Caregiver. g) The individual agrees to receive ongoing care from a primary care team after VA designates a Family Caregiver.
  23. Ok! so........i went to my VSO this morning and we reviewed all the necessary C&P's and current stuff and she called the VARO....this is what she told me. the VARO was essentially looking for a nexus(medical opinion) for the PTSD/MST which they got and has been uploaded....they rated the bladder as secondary and don't need a nexus for the secondary condition.....the PA stated in her notes that it is more than likely (50% greater probability ) that the bladder is a comorbid to the PTSD, which in VA language is apparently the same thing as secondary condition. Everything has been uploaded and they are now waiting for the DRO. I feel a lot better about things now, but you never know. So........i am hopeful that its 100%.....if not, the VSO said we will do the NOD immediately about whatever i disagree with, but they believe it will be 100%......because i am already on SSDI and it is because of military service stuff. Now we wait! thanks for all the concern. Florida Nurse
  24. Hello All, I was in the Army back in the early 80's and I was the first female assigned to an all male basic training battalion at Fort Benning, Ga. All of this (filing for disability) is new to me so I need to educate myself on MST, because back in the 80's MST was not a term used in the service (as most of you probably know). I am so thankful for this site and thankful that the VA now recognizes MST as a real problem, and that they are addressing it. I had thought of applying for disability years ago, but I really didn't think that I would be taken seriously. Are there any specific groups for MST out there ? I won't get into specifics, but the issues I faced back then still affect me today and it's been thirty years. I have only been working on the disability packet for about a week now. Looking back and facing those memories is the hardest part of applying for me. I really didn't think it would be this difficult. Again, I am so grateful that this website exists and I look forward to learning more about this topic, and maybe communicating with others who have been down a similar path. Talking to others, I imagine, will be a gift for me and I am looking forward to hearing from those who have gone through similar experiences. Thank you and God Bless You All, Sharon
  25. It's important to remember that MST is an experience. It is not a diagnosis or a mental health condition in and of itself. The claim you will file will mostly likely be for PTSD, MST is one of many causes of PTSD that our veterans face. Most likely a claim for PTSD, however it could be claim for Major Depressive Disorder MDD. Don't get yourself to wrapped up in labels while working your claim, 50% for PTSD pays the same as 50% for MDD. Remember the VA will compensate but they won't validate you. This forum was set up because when filing a claim for PTSD because of MST there are several very specific items to these claims as far what can be considered evidence and so on. My biggest concern is that some may come to this forum for some therapy work and it is not designed for that. There are other good sites out there http://www.vetwow.com and http://ptsdforum.org they deal more with the working through the trauma. We are ill equipped to help anyone work through their trauma, so if you need to do trauma work please seek a resource that has the tools to do this for you. A note about Validation versus Compensation Below: This is not meant to sound harsh, just a hard lesson I had to learn and it took me a long time. It's just the way it is. Validation you get from your therapists, your brothers and sisters here, your friends and your family. Compensation you get from the V.A. don't confuse the two, you can waste a lot of energy trying to get the V.A. to validate your feelings that you've been screwed, it's been my experience that it is not going to happen. Work on your claim for compensation in a methodical, detailed way, go to therapy, talk to your family, yell at the top of your lungs with your car windows closed. Then come back to your claim for compensation and it work it methodically, sharpening, sharpening, always sharpening your claim. The V.A. will hardly ever make you feel validated, I know sometimes we want to jam it down their throats until they get a taste of it themselves, metaphorically speaking, that is. It's a waste of energy I say. When working the claim focus on the mission at hand. The mission is to receive compensation for the disability that you incurred or was aggravated by your service. As for validation, you get it where you can, it never feels quite like anybody gets it to me, of course I'm still in therapy…so what do I know. If you really want to aggravate the V.A. help another veteran get their ducks in a row.
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