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Found 5,835 results

  1. Everyone needs to understand these people are not our friends...I felt I was in court fighting a case..Be prepared and ready for all kinds of traps and loaded questions...they are out to stop giving IU to us veterans.and this guy said he was a vet...I noticed at the very end he wanted me to sign a statement saying how good he was.He even beat up my IMO on the record....Just "Beware"when going for these exams........
  2. A friend recently diag with cancer of lung and throat/esophagus and PTSD...VA keeps asking for proof...HEY VA you diag PTSD and now keep asking for stressors?? WHAT GIVES?? Vet is Viet Nam, medic has Bronze star"V", and another one too, some commendations too and went through the ranks pretty fast too...5 promotions during original enlistment...Have received all diagnoses from Dr and specialists, Cancer treatment regimen, including chemo(started already), radiation(started already),and all have been given to VA directly...yet the stupid computer generated letters continue, and the VA did write/tell VSO WHERE IS THE PROOF? SEND US THE SMR's TOO! SSDI approved claim in 2 1/2 weeks from start of claim to granting approval, but waiting time began last mth... He is utalizing a VSO not the same I have, but it does appear the guy is trying to push everything through fast, minus the BS the VA is putting him through too. The guy worked for the govt too up until this point too. I tried to tell them how the VA conviently looses vets papers, and how the computer keeps generating the same info out over and over...but I realize they have an enormous amount of anxiety regarding his diagnoses, on top of the unknown VA processes, and the mistrust already evidenced by the VA's actions/ or lack of correct actions. SO does anyone have an idea/or personal experience on the expedience requested on a claim with some of the diagnoses being 2 different types of cancer? I know all claims are treated on a different time frame, but have always read with terminal illinesses they are suppose to move them along faster. Here we have another vet who has attempted to deal with PTSD on his own, and the stressors have taken the ultimate toll on his body, and his health. He is being treated by private Dr's and in a private hosp too, to get things going faster. Any thoughts, comments, advice, suggestions, and prayers are so welcomed from all of my fellow hadit friend's for this genuine brave man. Thank you, halos2.
  3. I'm a Gulf War veteran with 90% S/C for various conditions. Some conditions that have been denied have been frustrating since I'm still suffering with symptoms. How can I create a Nexus for sinusitis and sleep apnea? I'm 30% for asthma and tried to create a relation between sleep apnea and asthma, but that was a no go. I was thinking trying again and tying my PTSD to that. Any thoughts? I was also shot down on sinusitis from the get go, but I thought all I had to do was tie my gulf war time to that condition. I guess I was wrong.
  4. I met with a VSO on Feb 8th 2019 and started my MST/PTSD claim. To be totally honest I am scared to death. The incidents happened during my Navy duty 88-89. I had hid it from everyone including my wife until this past December. I had went to a VSO to talk about other claims when it slipped out and I was offered help to form a claim. We filed an intent to claim in Dec 2018. She suggested I talk with my wife and make an appointment with my doctor. After sitting and having a very emotional talk with my wife and with her support I made an appointment with my personal doctor. I am very lucky to have a great doctor who sat with me and after many tears I was able to explain in detail what had happened. He diagnosed me with extreme anxiety mostly when dealing with other Males ( Authority Figures or when confronted), and PTSD/MST and prescribed an anxiety as needed. What we submitted: A two page statement from me ( Timeline form) A statement from my wife A statement from from my 20 yr old son detailing my issues with examples of my issues with male authority figures A Nexus statement from my Doctor saying he feels that my anxiety and PTSD is definitely caused by what happened while I served. The VSO said that it was the best written Nexus statement she has ever seen in her 10 years in doing Veteran claims. My Questions: After submitting a claim to the VSO how long before it shows up on ebenefits? Mine still shows as intent to file. The VSO says it has been submitted. What can I expect at my C & P exam? How can I prepare myself for the exam? This is what I dread/fear most. Is it ok if I post my journey? I also want to thank all the men and women who have submitted to the MST forum. I now know I am not alone. Being a male and reading that similar things has happened to other males and reading their journeys has prepared me to start my journey and start the healing process.
  5. Moderator, you might want to Pin this somewhere, as this seems to be a recurring trend. I have given out this information to others, but I will post it here so that others can find it rather than searching through the forum. First and foremost, claiming and getting sleep apnea secondary to PTSD or Mental disorder is not easy. I have personally seen more lost than won, however, it can be obtained and I myself have personally received it. If you had sleep apnea diagnosed while in active duty, it is usually a slam dunk........for the rest of those trying to get it, it could require a lot of work. I suggest trying to get it both direct and secondary service connected. It is easier to get sleep apnea as a direct service connection obviously, however, most Veterans do not get it diagnosed while in service. Best way to get that resolved is through buddy statements. I suggest getting 3-4 (I personally had 7-8) or more. Do not have them only say that they saw you snoring.......that is great and all, but that is not a symptom of sleep apnea.......it is incidental. They would need to say that they saw you gasping for air, choking, etc. Preferably roommates. If you were deployed, it would be easy to have many people saying that they saw/heard this as you would have more than likely been in an open bay setting at some point in time. You can also have your spouse write up a statement. This all needs to be during active duty periods of times and dates need to be included. M21-1 reference III.iii.2.E.2.b "Types of Evidence VA May Use To Supplement or as a Substitute for STRs" allows for buddy statements to act as STRs for medical evidence.........if they are certified "buddy" statements or affidavits.............having them written on VA Form 21-4138 solves this issue as it has the appropriate verbiage written near the bottom. Under M21-1 reference III.iii.1.B.7.a and 38 CFR 3.200, it meets the certification criteria..........problem solved. From my experience, getting all of the buddy statements needed can take longer than you originally anticipate....plan ahead. Now, for secondary criteria. Have you ever been diagnosed with alcohol abuse (it is frequently written as "ETOH")? If so, has it been attributed to your mental disorder or did it exist prior to that and is it considered willful? If you have been diagnosed with alcohol abuse, and it is attributable to your mental disorder, guess what, alcohol consumption is attributable to sleep apnea. would suggest that you start doing your own academic research. You might be able to locate peer-reviewed academic journal articles (those are the types of articles that you want to submit) through https://www.researchgate.net/. If not, another alternative is using a college database to search academic journals through. Ah, but you need to be a college student to use the database to search academic journals through. One might make an argument that you could register for classes at a local community college (you can even register online nowadays without even stepping foot on campus) and even register for "late start" classes, and have access to the aforementioned database immediately (hint hint, look in the academic journal Chest); one could easily find within a 60 minute search at least 5 appropriate and recent journal articles clearly establishing a link between specific mental disorders and sleep apnea; there is a clear link between PTSD, anxiety disorders, depression, and especially schizophrenia. One might make an argument that you could simply then disenroll from the classes that you enrolled in by the date specified in order to get a full refund, thereby being charged nothing. Save the academic journal articles as pdf files, and create a work cited page (bibliography) for them in APA format (google is your friend.) You now have a choice........... Submit your claim with the buddy statements, mental health notes from a private provider, and evidence that you have and go with either a VA exam or vendor exam (whichever is given) or you can get an IME and IMO from private providers. If go the latter route, I would schedule one with a sleep specialist, why, because sleep apnea is their specialty. Pulmonologists also fall within this scope as well, though I suspect that you will have better luck finding a sleep specialist believing there to be a link between mental disorders and sleep apnea. You will get a Sleep Apnea DBQ and an IMO. Make sure that you have your C - File first as an examiner is required to have access to it and state that they have seen it on the DBQ for it to acceptable proof to the VA. I would also get one from your psychologists/psychiatrist (Make sure that they are a psychiatrist or a psychologist.....if a psychologist, they need to be PsyD or Ph.D., or under the observation of a Ph.D.). Make sure before you solicit those medical opinions, that you acquire "buddy statements" from 3-4 (or even more) people with whom you served. Roommates would be best, or people who slept in close proximity to you.........again, this is only if you believe that sleep apnea developed while you were in Active Duty service. Make sure that they are written on VA Form 21-4138. Make sure they say that they witnessed clear symptoms of sleep apnea i.e. gasping for air, choking sounds, moments where they visibly or auditorily could determine that you ceased breathing etc. Remember, you will want the sleep specialist and the psych professional to have your academic journal articles and buddy statements. Once you have all of them, solicit your medical opinions from the two aforementioned providers. Ideally, you would love for the IMOs to say that they believe that you could be both direct service connected for sleep apnea or secondary due to mental disorder, possibly even say that the mental disorder and sleep apnea aggravate one another (which there is medical evidence to support.) If you opt to go the route of getting the private IMO and IME, you will obviously submit those with your claim, and all medical records from private providers pertinent to sleep apnea and your mental health treatment, buddy statements, academic journal articles, and a nicely written statement written by yourself on a VA Form 21-4138 talking about the issue at hand and summarizing everything concisely. Mention everything that you are providing that you wont to be considered for the claim, and when the issue first manifested.
  6. So I pretty much have my statements together. I feel pretty confident especially since I do have a CAB. However, I am already diagnosed with Chronic PTSD by my psychiatrist who works for the VA. I am also being treated by him with medication. And it helps me out alot. Will the doctor who I see during the examination judge me off of how he see's me in my current condition and say I am fine even though I am medication to help with PTSD? I typed up a very lengthy paragraph in the remarks section of the 21-0781 and stated two incidents like directed. Surely they wouldnt judge on my current well being because I am being treated. Also it has been 1 year and 3 months since I got out, and I have been on medication for about 2 and a half months. Also, one of my parents committed suicide a day after I got back from deployment. I was on the fence about bringing this up, but I would be lying through my teeth if I brought up all the things that happened since I was 19 and didnt bring this up. Will this hurt my case in any way?
  7. I filed a claim in october of 2018 for ptsd and TDIU, long story short I tried to do everything myself and didn't have the proper diagnosis so I was service connected for anxiety based on having a medical marijuana card diagnosis for anxiety but the rating was 30% and I much worse off then that. So I obtained a referral from the va to a fancy psychiatrist from the university of north florida's behavior health department and was diagnosed with ptsd, bi polar 1 and panic disorder. I used this new medical evidence as my supplemental claim evidence and filed it April 16, 2019 after receiving my letter March 20, 2019. My claim is now at Pending Decision Approval with an estimated completion date of july 2, 2019 which is super fast from all I have read. My question is, Am I going to be awarded tdiu with the evidence I submitted if they adjust me up to 70% which I think it will . Or if they award 70% for ptsd on this new supplemental claim will i have to re-apply for tdiu again? Or would that all be considered in the final review of the entire claim? Thanks for any help. 1-22 1BCT 4th I.D. "Regulars by God"
  8. I’m in final review for about 40 days after spending almost 5 years in legacy. Peggy says almost done but no date. They have everything since 5/1. I thought ramp was quicker .I opted in 5/13. I get close then it gets sent back. No one know anything.All you can do is wait
  9. Hello everyone and thank you for accepting me in to the forum. Last year I filed a new claim for Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Major Depression. For the past 3 years, I have been seeing a civilian psychiatrist for my anxiety and depression. She had already diagnosed me with GAD and Major Depression, and I have been on anti-anxiety medications, antidepressants, and sleep medication. I was on differing types of the same medications since coming out of the service, but it wasn't until about 3 years ago, that I admitted to myself that I needed mental help, and that is when I started seeing my civilian psychiatrist, and that is when I first heard of GAD and Major Depression, when she said she had diagnosed me with them. It was at her suggestion, that I file a claim with the VA for GAD and Major Depression. She said she very much felt like my conditions were associated with my time in the service. When it was finally time to have my C&P exam, I was interviewed by a VA psychologist. I told her about my civilian psychiatrist, and her diagnosis for me, and the medications she had me on. I also talked to her about my time in the service, me being overseas in the Gulf War, and me being in a humanitarian mission in Ecuador. I told her about my friend who was with me during basic training. And how he was shot and killed right in front of me, in a horrible accident, during one of our live ammunition training exercises. I told her how all this had affected me from those moments on, all the way until now. At the end of our meeting, she told me that she felt like my condition was more PTSD, rather than Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Major Depression. At the time I didn't think anything of what she said; that is until I was sent my denial letter. In my denial, it stated that my 2 claims for GAD and Major Depression, was changed to GAD (to include PTSD) and Major Depression (to include PTSD). So the VA psychiatrist did what she said she would. She essentially changed what I had claimed, and added (to include PTSD) on each of my 2 claims. So, for the basis of PTSD, there has to be a proven stressor. The VA used what I had talked to the psychiatrist about the death of my friend during boot camp, as my stressor. The VA said they searched records during the time I was at boot camp, and found no incidents related to what I was saying. So, because the VA psychiatrist took it upon herself, to change my claimed conditions from GAD and Major Depression, to GAD (to include PTSD) and Major Depression (to include PTSD), now it was up to me to prove a stressor, because with claims associated with PTSD, you must prove your stressor. I knew from talking to other Army buddies of mine, how difficult it could be sometimes to find old records of deaths. The death of my friend during boot camp happened in 1962 at Ft. Jackson, SC. My civilian psychiatrist never suggested to me that I had PTSD. She always said it was Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Major Depression. If I had wanted to file a claim for PTSD, I would have done so. But I knew how difficult it would be for the VA to search for and find any record of the death of my friend at boot camp. So I filed GAD and Major Depression, because I was told those claims did not require a specific stressor (exact time, place, person, etc). I was told that GAD and Major Depression, could be claims based on your entire military career, with everything you've done and everything you've experienced, all amounting to intense anxiety and depression. So that is why I claimed GAD and Major Depression, over that of PTSD. But because the VA psychiatrist took it upon herself to change my 2 claimed conditions, and added the words (to include PTSD) to each of my claimed conditions, it was not just GAD and Major Depression any longer; it includes PTSD, which requires a specific and provable stressor. I had a stressor, and very specific one - the death of my friend during live ammunition exercises during our time at Ft. Jackson, SC boot camp in the summer of 1962. But the VA said neither they nor the JSRRC could find any record of that taking place. If my 2 claims had remained what they were suppose to be, simply GAD and simply Major Depression, I do not think I would have been denied. But because the VA psychiatrist added PTSD to each of my conditions, the VA asked for my stressor, the VA and JSRRC said they could find no record of my stressor, so my claims were denied. I believe I would have been approved if not for the VA psychiatrist adding PTSD to my 2 claimed conditions. So with all that said (and I apologize for the length of it), is there any hope for me, if I appeal my denial? And do any of you know how I would go about appealing it? Would I simply say to the VA that I disagree with the VA psychiatrist adding PTSD to my 2 claims, when I never claimed PTSD myself?; that that was her decision entirely. I have had a VA Disability Representative for the past couple of years, but he was utterly useless. He never answered my calls or emails. He basically never helped me at all. I did most all myself over eBenefits. But now, since I've had this recent denial, I have considered hiring a VA Disability Law Firm to take my case. I've spoken with 2 so far. They both told me I had a very strong case and that I could win. But they also said they couldn't take my case because of their huge client load. I think it was simply that they could probably win my case, but there wouldn't have been much in the line of backpay, so they wouldn't have gotten much compensation for their work for me. So I guess I will continue searching for other VA Disability Lawyers, or I may have to appeal my denied claim myself over eBenefits. Could any of you, please help me with this? I have read many questions on here regarding GAD and Major Depression, but I haven't come across one yet, where they filed a claim for GAD and Major Depression, and then the VA psychiatrist during the C&P exam, decided to change the claim (to include PTSD), thereby changing the criteria for acceptance, by now making me prove a specific stressor, instead of it she had just left my 2 claimed conditions alone, without including PTSD to them, then no specific stressor was required - it would simply go by your overall experiences while in service. I am a 20 year Veteran by the way, with most of my time served in the National Guard. But I was activated numerous times during my 20 years, including during the Gulf War. It isn't my fault that the death of my friend during boot camp, isn't something the VA or JSRRC can locate in records. If the VA psychiatrist had just left my 2 claimed conditions alone, instead of tacking on (to include PTSD), then the VA wouldn't have even had to search for a specific incident, they would have just based my conditions on my overall military experiences. Thank you for any help, assistance, or advice you might be able to give. Donald
  10. Curious what to do with this piece of information. I was going through my c&p's and the one I had in Aug 2018 that bumped me to 100% has this line in it. "He reports breathing difficulties, diagnosed - Obstructive Sleep Apnea. " I was using my CPAP when my original C&P in 2013 was done. My record has all sorts of references to it, including the VA issuing me on and way. I have the Sleep Study results in my hands. So what paths are open to me? in the 2013 standards being issued a CPAP w/ an SC (PTSD) related condition should have given me a 50% rating. Today's standards say I need the medical opinion to state' "he will die without it" or other such magic word nonsense. what is my most likely path to getting it rated and possibly retro pay?
  11. Hi, I have been rated at 30% for PTSD since 2005 (60% total). In 2015 I lost my job and after a year social security found me eligible for social security disability benefits based on PTSD. I have not worked since. In 2018 I filed a claim for increases on several things but not for PTSD. At the same time, I was trying to get the VA to add depressive order to my list of service-connected items as I had the diagnosis for it. The VA then re-evaluated me for PTSD and said I was still at 30% and denied all my increases. I had never told the VA or the rater about social security finding me disabled due to PTSD. I appealed the VA decisions regarding the increases they denied me and now the VA is requesting my social security disability findings so, I went ahead and sent them in through ebenifits. The VA sent me a letter stating that " we completed your request for a higher level review, and discovered an error in our duty to assist in gathering evidence in support of your claim". What are the chances that the VA will raise my PTSD to 100% upon finding out that I cannot and have not been able to work because of the problems I have from PTSD . Also, is the VA supposed to address these kinds of issues if the find them? thanks for any thoughts. I never wanted to mess with my PTSD rating for fear of the VA screwing up as usual and that is why I never asked for an increase or told them about the social security disability based on PTSD.
  12. I first found this forum after I started my claim Aug 7, 2018. This was 10 years after my discharge. I had done everything I could to stay away from the military after my experience and had never even been to the VA before this year. I prepared my claim myself and was concerned I would be denied. I posted my c and p exam results here October 31, 2018 and members commented on their thoughts of success or failure, and said I would get about 50%. I then took my exam results to the Veteran rep here at my local unemployment office who told me ultimately I would be denied and should appoint a representative and prepare for appeal. I choose the DAV and left with my spirits a little crushed, but after reading people stories here I knew I had to remain hopeful. Nov. 29, 2018 I received an email from the DAV with the Decision that had been made even before I could see it. The email stated I had been service-connected at 70% PTSD permanent, also approved for TDIU and Dependent Education, but Ebenefits still said pending approval. So again I came to the forums for assistance and posted a copy of the email. I was met with congratulatory responses and assurance that the email was legit. @GeekySquid then messaged me a ton of information about benefits that were now available to me. It was from that information I was able to start the process of getting my life back on track. Im currently working with VR&E also known as Voc Rehab, to go back to school. Geeky told me they would give me hard time but to be persistent and it paid off my counselor has approved my long term goal of a Masters Degree. I can not put in words how thankful I am for this forum and its Members.
  13. I was never diagnosed in service with OSA. I weigh 220 and I am 6' tall. I am rated at 70% for PTSD and the meds I take add to the OSA. I had my personal Dr. and the Psychiatrist I see both write letters to support that the meds I take add to and cause the OSA. My Dr filled out the DBQ and sent it in as well. I had a failed sleep study results sent in with my claim. I also have documentation I sent it that back up the fact that OSA is tied to PTSD and is aggravated by PTSD. Then sleeping with the prescribed CPAP machine adds to the PTSD. Just curious if anyone has ever won this claim? I am going to appeal but wanted to get any advise here first if someone has any to share.. not sure if there is anyone who has gone this route before and won? thanks!
  14. I have been learning a lot on the hadit forums over the past few months. I have learned quite a bit and I wish I would have found this site 10 years ago. I filed a claim about a week ago and I just realized that I made an error on the date of my stressor statement. I always remember the date I started my shift which was 17 January 1991 so that is the date I put down. I just realized that the stressful event happened later on in my shift and the date was actually 18 January 1991. Is there a way to correct this date before my claim moves farther through the process by submitting another statement with the correction?
  15. This is interesting about the LIMBIC Part of the Brain check this out! Sleep Apnea/OSA http://www.answersforsleep.com/neurological-disorders/the-ptsd-and-sleep-apnea-connection/ ................Buck
  16. I have been reading some of these blogs on MST and PTSD. I have a C & P exam on 8 July 2015. I have read some that are helpful and I am just a little nervous about this process. For one I am a Male and I disclosed it last year in July 2014. It was the hardest thing I have ever told anyone and was not completely comfortable telling my therapist either, but I had to do something because my mental state was deteriorating fast. I actually pushed the whole incedent out of my mind for along time telling myself it was no big deal. I could not tell anyone because I am a Guy this does not happen to men, so i silently suffered since 1995. I now have an exam. I have been diagnosed with PTSD due to MST and depression. I suffer from sleep distubances and night sweats. My wife tells me I scream in my sleep. I have gone to a couple MST groups and found them to be helpful. I still don't like to talk about it because I am supposed to be strong, but I have so much shame and guilt from it. I have constant anxiey and have panic attacks. I just worry about it and any guidence would be helpful.....
  17. Please, welcome new VET2VET podcast episode: https://youtu.be/waV5t0HPtbM Today we are joined by Thomas Wendel, DAV National area supervisor for West Cost Region. Thomas E. Wendel served in the U. S. Marine Corps from 1983 until 1997. Since 1999, Tom has worked assisting veterans in processing various entitlement claims on the local, state and federal levels; first in Clare County as a county service officer and then when he came to work for the Disabled American Veterans in 2000. In 2008 he was promoted to the position of supervisor of the DAV Service Office in Detroit and later he was promoted to the position of supervisor of the DAV National area for West Cost Region. DAV is America’s largest, most effective veterans service organizations dedicated to the needs of those injured, ill or wounded in service. We have more than 1,300 Chapters in communities nationwide to help make sure veterans from all generations and their families get the benefits and support they deserve. Today, nearly 1.3 million veterans belong to DAV, and we encourage you to add your voice to the cause. Our programs and free services help all veterans get the health, disability and financial benefits they earned. Take advantage of our benefits claims assistance, medical transportation and employment resources. Your local DAV Chapter is a great way to connect with fellow veterans in your area. ★ JOIN US IN OUR COMMITMENT TO YOU AND OUR FELLOW VETERANS ★ ▶ facebook.com/VETOVET2 ▶ itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/vet2vet/id1077206523?mt=2 ▶ twitter.com/VETOVET2 ▶ youtube.com/c/VETOVET2 ▶ plus.google.com/u/0/+VETOVET2 ▶ goo.gl/app/playmusic?ibi=com.google.PlayMusic&isi=691797987&ius=googleplaymusic&link=https://play.google.com/music/m/Iiqawbuzg7eviiyqm6xz7kju62m?t%3DVET2VET ▶ feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:198832065/sounds.rss ▶ soundcloud.com/vet2vet ▶ stitcher.com/s?fid=80842&refid=stpr ★ LIMITED LIABILITY CLAUSE ★ THE INFORMATION AVAILABLE THROUGH THE VET2VET MAY INCLUDE INACCURACIES OR ERRORS. CHANGES ARE PERIODICALLY ADDED TO THE INFORMATION HEREIN. VET2VET MAY MAKE IMPROVEMENTS AND/OR CHANGES OF THE CONTENT AT ANY TIME. ADVICE RECEIVED VIA VET2VET SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON FOR PERSONAL, MEDICAL, LEGAL OR FINANCIAL DECISIONS AND YOU SHOULD CONSULT AN APPROPRIATE PROFESSIONAL FOR SPECIFIC ADVICE TAILORED TO YOUR SITUATION. IF YOU ARE DISSATISFIED WITH ANY PORTION OF VET2VET, YOUR SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE REMEDY IS TO DISCONTINUE CONSULTING VET2VET.
  18. How do I submit an article? Or get someone else to help research and flesh it out? Basic start: Berta, Bronco, and other primaries, if you are listening, get your crew to contact NIH and help do an article on this. (immunoexcitotoxicity) The primary source or beginning is a concussion, even mild ones. Could be from a fall as a toddler or at any time in your life. So, PTSD is simply a symptom of a Post-Concussion Syndrome. Started harping on the organicity of PTSD in 1987 along with the writing off simple PCS as adjustment disorders. Did a fast on the Mall in DC in 1995. Was visited by a group of neurologists led by an NIU neurologist, during the American Neurology Convention, who said NIH would look into it. If the military didn't pick up anything in those induction scores or if they accepted you for duty and subsequently, because of military exposure your condition is aggravated to the point of interfering with daily life including employability, the VA owes you compensation. That is the reason Yale has won the Discharge Review Case and is on the verge of winning a class action case on claims more than a year old. Between 1995 and 1998 the number of PCS studies in the NIH Library more than quadrupled. She, (the NIH neurologist) was good to her word. Must have said something at the convention to get it started. But look at the inertia of getting something done. 2008 an article in a newspaper cause Congress to finally recognize and compensate PCS calling it TBI. But PCS also happens in just exposure to a blast. Repeated outgoing heavy artillery brought a lot of vets into the PTSD groups I attended between 1984 and 1995. PTSD was the only peg they could hang their hat on. Even mild, moderate and severe TBI had found themselves in the "Adjustment Disorder" diagnosis and couldn't find any peg to hang a compensation claim on other than PTSD between 1980 and 2008. Before that they just had to accept adjustment disorder. There is no difference between being close to an improvised explosive and an incoming RPG (simply rockets in Vietnam) But the VA appears to be on the bend of recognizing only improvised explosives, not incoming heavy artillery or continuous exposure to outgoing from your enclosed turret on a ship or camouflaged field howitzer. Well, yes, PCS causes an adjustment disorder. But as long as you are treating it as a behavioral problem instead of an adjustment to an organic problem (immunoexcitotoxicity) the necessary adjustments won't be made to even have a semblance of a normal life. And an organic treatment has no chance of being appropriately directed. It is easy for physicians to see that diabetes is an organic problem that will never cure. It can only be maintained and controlled through continuing care. But they cannot recognize that with PCS or even that it is PCS they are dealing with. Cerebral malaria also brings on immunoexcitotoxicity with the exact same problems of PCS. But those victims from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Somalia and the current wars are still "adjustment disorders" or hanging their hats on PTSD. The present pressure of having therapists put an "end date" on therapy simply doesn't recognize the problem. Some epileptic drugs help. But you won't be given them unless you get an EEG that shows something. For me the 2015 Rx for Keppra was life changing. At 74 I became more employable than I was at 34. All of my friends and family noticed a huge difference. And the VA doesn't want to confirm temporal lobe seizures (the center, I believe, for immunoexcitotoxicity) because it is a situation like diabetes, requiring continuing care and, often, ultimately compensation because of progression.
  19. I have my PTSD claim C&P scheduled for Thursday. The exam was set up by VES. The examiner is a PHd out of Las Vegas/Arizona/CA that does C&P exams. My question: Can my wife sit in the exam? She knew me before, during, and after the Army. We were married the last few years of service, and after my incidents.
  20. Greetings! I am a USMC Veteran, I have PTSD (working on getting mine service connected, but thats another issues). I was asked by a close friend of mine who served in the US Army to write a Buddy Letter for his pending PTSD claim. I'm gong to share what I have written so far, I would appreciate some feedback on any changes I need to make. My name is (withheld), and I've known the Veteran (withheld) listed above since the Summer of 1998. To say I just know him would be an insult to our bond, (withheld) is my brother, not by blood but by choice. We were forged in the same fires of hell. We met the Summer before High School and from that point on we went everywhere together, weekends and summers were spent together at each others parents home (along with our 2 other brothers - also Veterans). While we were in High School before we joined the Military (Him Army, me USMC) (withheld) was super outgoing. We would go to Tournaments for the various games we played that would range from small groups of 20 to large groups over over 200 in attendance, we would go to Movies, the Mall, the Beach, he never had issues with being in Crowded places. He always had the uncanny ability to just make every situation better and fun. He was always smiling, always enjoying himself, he never had trouble sleeping, he was an all American guy that everyone was proud to call their friend. After we enlisted and we both deployed out of country I noticed some major changes in his personality. He doesn't do well with crowded places, always has to sit with his back to a wall watching the entrances and exits, his ability to relax and just enjoy life has been stripped away from him. He doesn't sleep like he used to - nightmares, sleep disturbances, snoring, etc. He has control over his anger, but you can see it boiling inside of him. When we go places (withheld) has a happy face on, but you can see him always calculating the situation, sizing up the people around him for potential threats, and always being on guard - especially around new unknown people. Getting him to go out and do things isn't like it used to be, before it was "Hey lets go see a movie" we would get up and immediately leave to go see said movie, now its "hey lets go see a movie", and sometimes its a month before he has the energy to leave and be around people enough to see the movie His experiences overseas have altered his personality, his demeanor, and his life to a point that he is completely different person that is being forced to learn how to adjust in society without the help and support he truly needs. I hope this statement helps in you making the right decision to help (withheld) with his claim. Thank you, (Withheld) Any changes needed? is this sufficient?
  21. I am beyond frustrated right now!!!! My claim is now preparation for decision and my fear is that it will be denied and I will have to appeal. I filed for my non-service connected Fibro as caused or aggravated by the service connected IBS and/or service connected PTSD on an as likely as not basis. See my screen shot attached of my original claim in July 2018. I had my first C&P exam in September 2018 and it was negative based on the examiner stated there was no causation of my s/c PTSD to my Fibro. See the screen shot below. I will note that he did a separate C&P exam for Fibro and agreed I had Fibro. Never looked at aggravation and never looked at the possibility of IBS. I sent a statement in support of claim pointing this out to the rater. I get another C&P exam in December 2018 BUT by now I have THREE positive medical opinions from BOTH my RA and MH doctor. Both state my Fibro is aggravated by my PTSD and my MH doctor also states my Fibro is aggravated by my IBS. SEE ATTACHED 2 of the 3 letters. When I went to the second C&P exam, it was with the same doctor and he refused to look at the medical opinions. He also once again did not look at aggravation. Again a negative C&P exam. Then the rater asked for clarification/review of conflicting medical opinions. Here is what the rater asked, Per III.iv.3.D.3.a. and III.iv.3.D.3.d. We need clarification/review and reconciliation of conflicting evidence for claim for fibromyalgia secondary to SC PTSD. Negative MO received on 09/28/2018 (TAB A) stated that fibromyalgia was not secondary to PTSD. Received positive MO on 12/05/2018 (TAB B) relating fibromyalgia as secondary to SC PTSD and IBS. Negative MO received on 12/05/2018 (TAB D) stated that fibromyalgia was not secondary to IBS. Examination dated 12/05/2018 (TAB C) shows a diagnosis for fibromyalgia. Per reference please request clarification of conflicting MO for fibromyalgia as secondary to PTSD and IBS with rationale. This medical opinion was done last week w/o me present and once again the medical opinion was negative and doesn't address anything the rater asked. In fact, his statement is laughable. While he states he reviewed conflicting medical evidence, he sites PT notes and doesn't refute the positive medical opinions. Here is what it says: I HAVE REVIEWED THE CONFLICTING MEDICAL EVIDENCE AND AM PROVIDING THE FOLLOWING OPINION:All medical records were reviewed. Physical therapy note on 8/15/2018 by XXXXX documents diagnosis of fibromyalgia and PTSD. The exact cause of fibromyalgia isunknown but has associations with IBS, temporomandibular joint disorder, interstitial cystitis, vulvodynia, and tension headaches. Literature review reveals fibromyalgia along withits associated pain syndromes are clearly different and separable from depression and anxiety. The claimant's fibromyalgia is not secondary to the claimant's claimed PTSDcondition. The VA continues to miss the fact that I asked in my original claim either causation or aggravation. So on Monday, when I went to PFD, I sent the attached statement and uploaded in Ebenefits pointing out once again they are not looking at aggravation. My rep said if it comes back denied, which I am sure it will, we will file an NOD pointing out the fact that they are missing aggravation. MH positive opinion.pdf RA positive medical opinion.pdf
  22. I am concerned the "Diagnosis and Rationale" section are going to be the stumbling block for a DRO; in MY opinion, they are contradictory. The examiner wrote out a DBQ that I would have paid an independent examiner to write. The wording the examiner used could not have been any more favorable to my claim, at all! If I had chosen the words to use in my behalf, I would have fallen short of her submitted DBQ. However, the examiner left the diagnosis and rationale sections open to intrepretation. Does any one here on this forum have insight that will be helpful in explaining what I am seeing? Basically, am I looking at a blanket denial, or is there the possibility of a "reasonable doubt" situation? The following is a cut and paste from a C&P for mental health. I am not currently rated for any service-connected disability. I also have a current VHA psychiatrist diagnosis which matches the C&P examiner's diagnosis (Major Depressive Disorder). I read the request for the recent C&P, the rater did request two separate issues to be addressed: 1) Does the Veteran have a diagnosis of PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder, or other mental disorder that was at least as likely as not (50 percent or greater probability) incurred in or caused by the claimed stressors?2) Does the Veteran have a diagnosis of PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder, or other mental disorder that clearly and unmistakably existed prior to his military service, and that was at least as likely as not (50 percent or greater probability) aggravated beyond its natural progression by the claimed stressors?"Taken as a whole, in this examiner's opinion, the evidence available at this time is most supportive of a diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder With Anxious Distress, and is insufficient to determine whether this condition was incurred during the Veteran's military service, or was aggravated by it. To make such a determination would require evidence regarding his pre-military history which has direct bearing on the question of the onset and etiology of his mental health difficulties, and which was not available to the present examiner." I claimed 3 stressors, applied for PTSD, or other MH diagnosis. The DBQ was well written, addressing each of the stressors. The examiners tied each of the stressors to DSM-V. Then, as part of her narrative, she included the following: "Consequently, for the purpose of the present examination, the claimed stressors are considered to be corroborated. For the purpose of this examination, the claimed stressors are also considered to be sufficient to cause PTSD as specified by DSM-5 diagnostic criteria, a clinical judgment which is inherently and unavoidably subjective to some extent."However, instead of a PTSD diagnosis, she chose "Major Depressive Disorder with Anxious Distress." Now, I am most concerned about her "Diagnosis and Rationale": She used the same wording to answer both of the rater's questions. "OPINION: It is this examiner's opinion that the Veteran DOES NOT have a diagnosis of PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder, or other mental disorder that was at least as likely as not (50 percent or greater probability) incurred in or caused by the claimed stressors. RATIONALE: The evidence available is insufficient to determine whether the Veteran's diagnosed mental disorder was incurred during his military service. To make such a determination would require evidence regarding his pre-military history which has direct bearing on the question of the onset and etiology of his mental health difficulties, and which was not available to the present examiner."
  23. Hello fellow veterans! My question is this. My psychologist at a VA facility told me he does "not provide letters with regard to unemployability." Not that he opined negatively, but that he simply doesn't do it! Now PTSD programs (Cinncinnati) in their brochure say they will not provide any letters with regard to VA benefits. I have now moved to Vietnam in order to be able to live (got my ticket right before my decision that gave me 70% arghhh!) so any ideas what I can do now? I have a truly horrible work history but mostly I would quit because the stress would be too much. This was before I had any benefits to lean on, I simply lost everything and became homeless. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
  24. Hello Everyone, First of all I would like to thank EVERYONE who has taken the time to respond to my numerous questions in the past. I have had nothing but very informative and caring responses from the users on this board, and your comments have always helped me work through whatever issue it is I was dealing with at the time. Having said that I have a new question that I would like to present to the Hadit community. I am currently rated as 100% P&T for Major Depressive Disorder w/Anxiety Attacks AND PTSD, as well as SMC for other disabilities totaling approximately 60% (Sleep Apnea @ 50%, Tinnitus @ 10%, other disabilities at approx 10%). I was initially granted an award of 10% back in 1999 when I initially separated from the USMC, and I was attending Nursing School through the Vocational Rehabilitation program from around 2002-2004 when I had to drop out due to medical reasons. Shortly thereafter (approx 2005) my rating was increased to 100% P&T for PTSD and SMC was added for the additional 50%+. I did not return to my Nursing School due to the fact that I could not continue my clinical rotations while on narcotic pain meds that I am still taking today due to degenerative disc disease in my spine. I would like to add that the increase in my disability in 2005 was back dated to 1999, as it was found that these conditions existed during my time in service. I spoke with my VA Therapist about a year ago who stated that although I would never be able to work full-time ever again due to the severity of my PTSD, they did believe that I would at some point be able to pursue part-time employment at some point in the future. After much prayer and personal introspection I have realized that I believe I could pursue a career as a Patisserie/Bakery Chef decorating cakes out of my home on a part-time basis. Working out of my own home would allow me to pursue some type of gainful employment while working in an environment that would allow me to avoid the stressors and situations that aggravate/cause my PTSD and anxiety attacks. While it would be impossible to explain the nature of my disabilities, and how they keep me from being able to pursue gainful employment suffice it to say that I am unable to manage interpersonal and professional relationships with people in a working environment, and being around crowds causes severe panic attacks/feelings of being suffocated and my life being in danger. The ONLY way I can work would be in a situation where there are NOT a lot of people and I am NOT under direct supervision from an individual, AND I have a place that I can retreat to when things begin to get crazy. This is why working from home is such an ideal situation. Believe it or not, my Vocational Rehabilitation counselor was actually open to the idea of pursuing my education for the purpose of opening my own home based cake decorating business given the uniqueness of my disabilities, providing I could get signed off by my VA doctors stating that they feel I could handle the stressors of such a situation. OK...HERE IS MY QUESTION..Am I putting my 100% P&T at risk by applying for Voc Rehab? Can they take away my rating just for applying for Voc Rehab? Can I work part-time from my house and still maintain my 100% P&T rating? What are your recommendations regarding this whole situation? Once again, I thank you for your time and I realize that there are endless possibilities and answers to this question. Please answer the question to the best of your ability, and feel free to email me or ask me here should you require any further information. Sincerely Yours, Jeff Crockett
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