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Found 1,834 results

  1. I received the short from from Social Security and checked the box "In the last year, I have not discussed with my doctor whether I can work". This is because it is understood that I cannot, and my doctor and I don't discuss working (at least, I think) because its a given that it is permanent that I cannot. Anyhow, this seems to have triggered the long form from ssdi and I filled it out and sent it in asap. I put my psych dr's contact info and my therapist's. My question is: Should I contact my doctor or therapist in advance or just let them respond to what the SS office asks for? Thanks much!
  2. scotish1

    total and permenent

    I have received TDIU for over twenty years for Brain syndrome what they now call TBI . For first ten years all award letters included P/T checked off in letters. Then started noticing P/T was not checked , went to DAV to get it checked out they said it was a computer glitch with some TDIU folks said they would get that fixed for me. Went to DAV today five years later, still not fixed , was informed I would need a physician's letter to verify I am in fact P/T. Told him the Va docs I have seen over the years are retired. They would be the only ones to verify my Brain syndrome(TBI) for all this time . Any suggestions from some of the members how to proceed? Went back with DAV to original award letter ending, " with no future exams" they had many years of award letters with P/T checked in their system ! I also Have a commissary card for 15 years!!!! They said it did not matter, need letter from doctor??? I know you guys no more then me!
  3. Here's a conversation starter (or not)... https://asknod.org/2017/06/14/tdiu-shulkins-new-albatross/
  4. Provided one qualifies for TDIU within the 40-70 disability rule or greater........is it wiser to go for the TDIU claim first and then later on add the P &T........or do you have as equally a good chance with strong IMOs and disability factors to seek TDIU with P&T claim right at DRO Hearing. Just curious if TDUI is more likely granted if P&T is not added initially but say 6 months-1 year later? Has anyone here applied for a claim of TDIU with P&T initially?
  5. abnrgr88

    family healh plan

    Hello friends! Quick question.....I am 90% overall and TDIU 100% with an appointment scheduled at the 1 year mark. Recently i have heard (through a VSO) that my wife and child are eligible for health care. Is this so??? thanks!
  6. Yes, in some cases you can. I can’t work if I’m getting Unemployability, right? No, in fact, unemployability does not always mean that a veteran is not working. The key, however, is that all income earned from employment must be at or below the poverty level, or from a job that is considered to be “sheltered”. These types of … Continue reading
  7. Inarticulate&Distorted

    V is for Victory

    It's official! After 3 years 8 months of fighting the VA. Now at 100% TDIU P&T. Chapter 35 Bennefits will be a nice addition. I look forward to hearing your success stories too fellow Vets.
  8. I'm service connected for bilateral severe O.A hips 10%,secondary lumbar sprine,10% left and right knee 10%.My case was remanded back to R.O for further development for my increase for hips O.A and to set C&P for my throat claim. My question is if granted increase rate for my hips and granted service connection for throat would I have to file for I.U or will they simply grant it if my ratings me the criteria.
  9. Hi. Should I (does anyone??) write a timeline about my claim? Like a one page timeline or outline or my history. Example: I just sent in my Social Security Disablilty paperwork for my claim because my SSD was approved due to my damage to my lower spine(posted a few days ago) the judge approved it. I was in Voc rehab 9/2008-4/2009 withdrew from college due to physical/mental meltdown then again went back 9/2010-5-2011 and again had to withdraw because I physically and mentally crashed( I was approved to the National Honor Society). I was approved for SSD 11/23/2009 and I figured if I wrote it out on a timeline it would help the to show the VA exactly the time line since I'm thinking they are not good at that. Advice please and thank you in advance. ((A quick FYI during this time I have been consistently getting spinal injections, spine fusion surgery, quad tear surgery, take pain meds(which make it hard to impossible to think theoretically) and doing physical therapy and PTSD group n one on one at VA PTSD clinic for 3 years now which helps with my daily anxiety.)) Thanks again.
  10. If awarded IU with no PT what health benefits are dependents eligible for if any? Would ChampVa be available, or is it only for P&T TDIU?
  11. LanceJoseph

    A Win? still have questions

    My initial claim in 2010, I was granted 70% overall and 50% for PTSD. I filed a notice of disagreement and in 2013 I was giving a C&P exam for the issues below and was granted 70% but I filed another NOD for the back dating of PTSD and the fact that they completely ignored my TDIU claim. The verbage on this letter is confusing and I'm curious is they are going to back pay my TDUI to Oct 25 2013? I underlined where I was confused. If anyone could shed light on what I could possibly be expecting that would be awesome.
  12. TexasMarine

    100% SC - Bipolar Disorder

    Recently awarded 70% for Bipolar Disorder, granted TDIU, proclaimed P&T, with correct claim date determined. I must Thank all of you for keeping my hopes alive over the years, when darkness set in. I must publicly thank Bergmann & Moore, LLC of Bethesda, Maryland, for without their perseverance and capabilities, I would not have had any measure of success. Professional in every way imaginable. I can not say enough about their latest hero, Fatima. Fatima, thanks for being rational, thoughtful, knowledgeable and thorough! Mr. Bergmann and Mr. Moore, you two rock!
  13. Thanks for all the hard work everyone has done here in responding to questions, I was active duty from Dec 82 until 94, In the years that followed i had various issues arise until in 07 i was having so many problems i ended up on Total disablilty from SSA. After talking to my VA rep we filed back in Jan 09 for the following, Hearing loss, Lower Back condition, Ringing in the ears, Lymphadenopathy due to fuel exposure, Bilateral elbow condition 3rd surgery dec 09, Bilateral shoulder condition. and the big one Bilateral Dehiscence of superior semicircular canals " in short straining or extreem noise caused the bone to fracture between my brain and my ear canals, resulting in vertigo, even more hearing loss and ocular issues. Resulting in Brain surgery from Chapel Hill in april 2009 to repair one side it was so bad. I went for my QTC exam the doctor was one that had sent me to Chapel Hill in the first place ? seemed odd but i went, The QTC office returned his findings 5 times for him to rewrite what ever he was sending in, that seemed odd to me ? But the nurse i have seen since said it was all in my favor his wording, i just learned today that the ratings board has my papers now, All my issues are backed up with doctors reports and the QTC exam, My VA rep seems to think i have a good chance at TDIU with the SSA finding me unable to work and giving in to my claim in less than 30 days ? But i still have this doubt in my mind that they were wanting something else in the QTC papers was the reason for all the returns ? any input would be Great thanks in advance for all you everyone of your do on this forum. IF they in fact have my claim my QTC was back in Dec 9th 09, is 30 days a realistic time frame to hear something ?
  14. Just wondering if anyone had this happen to them and what the outcome was good or bad? My claim has been expedited for financial hardship as well. This is for DDD, Mental Health awarded at 30% and TDIU. I have had 3 surgeries in past 2 years on lower back with fusion, rods and screws. Limited motion and in the Home Bound program as I am unable to travel to DR appointments due to DDD. No C&P appointments were requested as per BVA request but case is before DRO for decision.
  15. Inarticulate&Distorted

    In the Trenches.....against our own people

    To list the many many Tags would have been ludicrous. My case is relatively new. I joined here last year, this place has always been great to calm burned out nerves. I sometimes don't make sense to myself let alone anyone else. But when I got out, I went tearing away from anything and everything that even REMOTELY resembled authority. People being able to control my life terrified me to the point where it has literally affected every single part of my life. I came here seeking help and I got it. So, if my story can help anyone else, and my opinions on what you can do to help your own Battle, because that's what this REALLY is, then I will feel like I have done a small and meager effort to pay it forward. My C-File isn't stuffed to the gills with medical records because I didn't serve long enough to qualify for VA Medical. My Claims were handled fairly fast compared to the average. My Story is simple, I got kicked out of the US Army Infantry, after Basic, but I did not finish my A.I.T. We were OSUT. How and why is my business, and I have completely accepted that now. I wasn't even aware I had "issues" until about 9 years after I got out of there. And, a further 6 years before I swallowed my pride and went and finally asked for the help, that I had been convinced by every Veteran I knew, that I now have. I filed my initial claim for PTSD with Anger and Depression. 5 months later they denied me without a C&P, oh gosh gee wilikers was I disappointed. But, once again, fellow Veterans pointed me the way. I went to my Second VSO, and they filled for Depression, and I was scheduled for a VA C&P Exam. Why do I emphasize the VA part, well, I had learned from reading here at Hadit that C&P exams don't show up on your VA website thingy. Which, I thought to myself, that IS kind of important, you know, so no one can "lose" your record of that particular exam. I must admit that my best decisions I have made after getting my actual 50% Service Connected decision letter last year was to continuously educate myself. Not just about me, but the VA itself. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU BRING YOUR COPYS OF YOUR PERTINENT INFORMATION WITH YOU. Sure that really friendly guy on the phone making your appointment is probably say it's not necessary to bring any documents, the Examiner will have ALL your evidence. Bullshit, don't ever leave your case DEPENDENT on ANYONE else' actions! Seriously, I took that advice from someone here, and it saved my ass. A actual Lt. Col. in the US Army Medical Hospital Diagnosed me with exactly what i was filing for. Match the Words, don't try to guess, don't try to infer. Take all your important verifying information with you. Don't leave out anything that you feel may hurt your case, if you think the VA is going to not use any excuse to take away what they give you, you are DEAD wrong. They will dig for it and hunt it down. Be honest, give them everything. But remember, you are literally not DEFENDING yourself to these Raters, you are pressing your case base on verified fact. They will work harder to rip your benefits away, than they are supposed to help you get them.Tell them something is wrong if you don't know exactly, and make them give you an examination, it is your right as a Veteran. I see too many Vets who are always asking others for help, guess what, it's up to US. DO YOUR HOMEWORK Seriously, you need to know more about your Disability's then the people who wrote the books and TREAT you for it. No one knows your Disability's like you. Because they are literally YOURS, not as a statistic or a Roster Number. Because remember, these are not minor discomforts or passing ailments. These damages are severe enough to make us DISABLED. You are LEGALLY entitled to the compensation for the damages done to you, maybe that's why the VA Denies us so consistently. No matter how many changes in Technology or public opinion, they have NEVER done it at a pace that allows most of us to barely maintain our composure and dignity. As far as the Law goes, if you have evidence, you're solid, it is not the RATER who is processing your claim wrong, it is YOU. Every "T" must be crossed, every "i" must be dotted. You have to make your case so solid,that it would literally be a breaking of the Law not to Service Connect you, or a fair Scheduler Rating, or TDIU. You have to SLAM THAT Claim DOWN ON THAT RO's desk, and CHALLENGE him to find flaw in every single interpretation of the Laws, Rules, Regulations....... Become your own greatest weapon, by realizing that you personally can't do that, you have to show it through your work, every page has to be meticulous, don't give them any reason to take the scalpel to your pages. I have a theory, based on how fast I was Denied the first Claim, how fast I was sent for a C&P for my second and winning Claim, and the fact that I was approved the DAY after my C&P exam. I personally feel, as if the moment a Rater can find a reason, and Literally the first reason, he denies and kicks out. Because I was denied without even a C&P exam. Then, when my second claim got sent up, they took one look at it, and knew they were caught out, so as soon as they got my results, they gave me 50% and expected me to be grateful for it. Never stop, always press on, continually advance, and when you can't advance, you bear down, shield up, and dig in. You are now in the Trenches of the VA, and we are literally all here because we are STILL Brothers and Sisters in Arms, against our own people. My OPINION of VSO's and LAWYERS A VSO, no matter where he works, is not gonna fight for you, oh they will file paperwork.....if you tell them what to file, you see, they just mostly don't have the balls for you, because they have balls for EVERYONE. A Lawyer, on the other hand, is motivated by Passion, and Profit. Think about it, if you were to Arm yourself with a Hypothetical Spear-like weapon, would you not want the one with the longest reach, sharpest point, and stopping power? A Lawyer, will fight, because he will look at your Claim, in whole, at ALL the FACTS, and take your case ONLY IF HE BELIEVES THE LAW IS ON YOUR SIDE AND HE CAN WIN IT! That alone, is a boost of confidence that will sustain your Hope, while unfortunately also being a two-edged sword. If he doesn't take your case, then do MORE HOMEWORK. If you can convince a VA registered Lawyer to take your case, you're fairly solid. ONCE AGAIN, MY OWN PERSONAL OPINION. Always Dig Deeper than the Surface Picture that the VA forces on you,If the Law is on your side, stand firm, and advance,Remember that you are right, and you need not defend against their No, but insist on your Yes. Good luck y'all
  16. I call the 800# they told me they can't tell me anything. The letter was sent out yesterday. I am just wondering about back pay. I stopped working in 2012. First filled for IU in 2010. Back in August I filed for increasing in disabilities. Was approved but don't know where or how much back pay to expect.
  17. Not shure if I should download and send in the no employment questionnaire or not just over a year now and nothing received in My mail yet? Thanks in advance for advice and suggestions : ) I have read pros and cons about taking it upon Myself and just sending in the Tdiu questionnaire when one is not received - looking for a little insight here - thanks.
  18. I have a question. Does anyone know of any "case law" on 38 CFR 4.16, the part on "marginal employment?" I had a long email discussion with my former attorney regarding TDIU. She was considering coming back on my claim. But I want my TDIU claim back to 1987 when I first submitted it. I worked, part time, in a sheltered environment following giving up on rehab. I gave a shot at trying to get jobs I thought I might be able to do by working extra time off the clock. Jobs that required a lower skill level than I have when I'm functioning. She is now refusing to come back on the claim because she believes (personally apparently, no case law cited) that if you are getting charity money in connection to a job it counts as "a substantially gainful occupation" if the pay is near, at or above poverty level. My part time employer made a statement in writing to the VA that made me realize I wouldn't have made it as a Hotel Night Auditor which is a low paying low bookkeeping skill job that I had been applying for in addition to part time jobs. After 3 years I gave up the part time job because of increased charity. It made me feel like a beggar on behalf of the VA. My employer's statement said he had twice moved part of my work to another employee. Also that the most difficult thing for him to deal with was my being unable to function on demand when he needed me at times. I was employed to work a specific client's, famous actor, books. Out of charity, the statement said, they agreed to pay me 4 days per week to do a 3 day per week job. I was unable even keep up the 3 day a week job working an extra 16 to 30 hours over the 32 hours I was on the clock. And I knew the job was really a 3 day per week job or even less because at times, when I was clicking, I could catch up a great deal of work. The work didn't change in quantity or complexity. I just changed in functioning level because of enervations, partial and complex partial seizures that were untreated.
  19. QUESTION: Will/can a 100% TDIU P&T award get removed if my service connected disabilities reach or top 100% ? I ask this because I am +5yr into my appeal process and have received a "partial award" from the VA, as the rest of my appeal moves forward. I was given an increase to 70% TBI to qualify me for 100% TDIU which started last year. Already have 10% Tinnitus. Still on appeal is: MDD -- Arguing for 70% but probably will get 50% Sleep Apnea -- OSA with CPAP required to be rated at 50% My lawyer is inferring that I would be in jeopardy if I try and get +100% Scheduled award disability. I have also heard from a fellow poster (I referred to same lawyers) who informed me that after getting his early/easy disability award, this firm dropped him on his appeal moving forward. In other words, they took the easy money/award and ran on the tougher stuff. What my lawyer currently predicts my disabilities totaling at 94% (70-BTI, 50-MDD, 50-OSA,and 10-Tinnitus) which rounds DOWN to 90% award. He does not want to appeal further, apparently. My lawyer's inference that my 100% TDIU would be in jeopardy if I continue to pursue my scheduled appeal status, just does not sound right to me, but how can I know for sure?
  20. After 34 years, I was finally competently diagnosed with TBI on My Nexus dated 4-9-16, and I finally had a medical Root cause for most all of my misery since about the 3rd day of my job in the Service. Now, I have got my first VA TBI meeting next week: maybe an hour meeting or less. I was not told to bring anything, but I am going to be prepared to unload it all with notes, since I walk into rooms and don't know why half the time due to a fading short term memory. If there is any reference to indicate what to expect, I'd appreciate the link. If I try to prepare for everything, I just get bogged down and accomplish little. I guess after the first meeting, it could go in any direction as complicated as the brain is. But I figured at the first meeting should be pretty routine, even if it also adapts to the Vet's particular syndromes. Also, I've got a current TBI claim with many secondaries and TDIU in the process. SO I don't want to screw that up as bad as my life for the last 34 years (almost to the date) courtesy of the US Army. Thanks if anyone knows, cares, and has a chance to respond!
  21. If I graduate from a Voc program I know I'll lose my TDIU? But will I just go back to 90% since its work that isn't strenuous to my TBI residuals? I spend 6 years getting TDIU and now I realize I might not be able to survive on the income alone it could just be my anxiety but I don't want to put my family out of our home so I have to push myself to do something .
  22. What's up Fellow Vets, I am new to this site and I wanted to explain my case and get advise. I was medically discharged from the Army in 2004 due to a diagnosis of asthma (30% disability). I never had any kind of respiratory problems until I arrived in Germany in 2003. I started experiencing difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, excessive snoring, dry mouth, fatigue, ect. After several trips to the doctor and several tests, the Army doctors diagnosed me with having asthma. I never had asthma so all the symptoms i was experiencing were new to me. Fast forward to 2017, I was having trouble with the hormones in my body. I was experiencing ecessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, memory problems and loud snoring (ask my wife). After several tests and appointments, it was requested by my doctor that I have a sleep study performed. I didnt know why I would need this test but reluctantly, I agreed and took the test. After the test, I was diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnea with an AHI 77.5. Moderate is 5 and severe is 10+. So it turns out that the symptoms i was experiencing while in the army were of both asthma and severe OSA. The doctors in the Army never even mentioned or tested me for sleep apnea. I had a DBQ done at the VA Hospital in which i am being treated. In the DBQ, the Dr states: a. Describe the history (including onset and course) of the Veteran's sleep disorder condition (brief summary): Veteran reports excessive daytime fatigue and sleepiness, unrefreshing sleep ,snoring and frequent awakening. He had a sleep study at Northport VAMC on 8/11/2017 whihc showed severe obstructive sleep apnea with AHI 77.5 events per hour. He had a CPAP titration study on 8/23/2017 which showed improvement to AHI of 12.9 events per hour. He just got his CPAP machine yesterday. As of now, he gets about 4 hours of sleep per night. He does not restorative sleep. He does find himself falling asleep during the day. Does the Veteran's sleep apnea impact his or her ability to work? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, describe impact of the Veteran's sleep apnea, providing one or more examples: he is tired throughout the day. His poor sleep has led to foggy thinking and poor short term memory. I just went on ebenefits and submitted a claim for sleep apnea and Unemployability. Do you think i have a valid claim?
  23. May 2016 I was awarded 70% ptsd along with in increase in lower back rating with total of 90% which was effective 1 June 2016. I was notified may of 2017 and in June of 2017 I filed for TDIU on the PTSD and lumbar back increase. I received notification today that I was awarded TDIU with an effective date of 1 June 2017. My question: I believe my effective date should be 1 june 2016 the effective date of my ptsd effective date. My file show I was let go from work in feb 2016. any help would be greatly appreciated.... NOTE: i was just diagnosed with moderate to sever sleep apnea. I need help trying to get a nexus letter to file claim for secondary to PTSD. Any help would again be greatly appreciated.
  24. All, I competed my C & P exam for TDIU claim for PTSD and Lumbar DDD. I am uploading the notes from my C & P exam for PTSD. The examiner stated I do not know why you are here because your last C & P was in March. If anyone has experience with interpreting the notes I would appreciate your help. I did delete her extensive notes about what I said about my family and events.... My previous C & P exam was 70% for PTSD and total rating of 90% 40 lumbar ddd and radiculopathy, 10% for each knee, 10% for tinnitus. Also I was just diagnosed with Moderate to severe Sleep apnea.... but I have not filed for disability. I would have to get a nexus letter from doc stating secondary to PTSD. If I am denied TDIU I will start that process.... I would like any advice on the results below and also what should I do with sleep apnea claim... I also have High BP... not sure if I should submit Sleep apnea claim and try to go for SC 100% Thanks in advance for your "time and your help" Is this DBQ being completed in conjunction with a VA 21-2507, C&P Examination Request? [X] Yes [ ] No SECTION I: ------------- 1. Diagnostic Summary ------------------------------ Does the Veteran now have or has he/she ever had a diagnosis of PTSD? [X] Yes [ ] No 2. Current Diagnoses ------------------------------ If the Veteran currently has one or more mental disorders that conform to DSM-5 criteria, provide all diagnoses: a. Mental Disorder Diagnosis #1: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder ICD Code: F43.10 Mental Disorder Diagnosis #2: Major Depressive Disorder ICD Code: F33.9 b. Medical problems relevant to the understanding or management of the mental health disorder(s): Physical health problems that he described as affecting his day-to-day functioning or requiring the use of daily medication or medical devices include back pain and sleep apnea. Just got a CPAP yesterday. Please see his medical records for additional information about his physical health conditions. 3. Differentiation of Symptoms ------------------------------ a. Does the Veteran have more than one mental disorder diagnosed? [X] Yes [ ] No b. Is it possible to differentiate what symptom(s) is/are attributable to each diagnosis? [ ] Yes [X] No [ ] Not applicable (N/A) If no, provide reason that it is not possible to differentiate what portion of each symptom is attributable to each diagnosis and discuss whether there is any clinical association between these diagnoses: These conditions can co-occur, and there is some overlap in their symptoms and associated features, which precludes attribution of certain specific difficulties to JOHN DOECONFIDENTIAL Page 22 of 68 one condition or another without resorting to speculation. Consequently, these conditions cannot be fully differentiated from each other. c. Does the Veteran have a diagnosed traumatic brain injury (TBI)? [ ] Yes [X] No [ ] Not shown in records reviewed Comments: Not applicable. d. Is it possible to differentiate what symptom(s) is/are attributable to each diagnosis? [ ] Yes [ ] No [X] Not applicable (N/A) 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 [X] No [ ] Not applicable (N/A) If no, provide reason that it is not possible to differentiate what portion of the indicated level of occupational and social impairment is attributable to each diagnosis: As these conditions cannot be fully differentiated from each other, their associated functional impairments cannot be differentiated without resorting to speculation. 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 and Virtual VA) [X] CPRS [X] Other (please identify other evidence reviewed): VistaWeb or JLV JOHN DOECONFIDENTIAL Page 23 of 68 2. History ------------------------------ Relevant Family and Social History: Relevant Mental Health History: EVALUATION AND TREATMENT HISTORY EMOTIONAL AND BEHAVIORAL PROBLEMS: SUICIDAL OR SELF-INJURIOUS IDEATION OR BEHAVIOR: Other Relevant History: None reported. 3. 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) JOHN DOECONFIDENTIAL Page 26 of 68 sexual violence, in one or more of the following ways: [X] Witnessing, in person, the traumatic event(s) as they occurred to others [X] Learning that the traumatic event(s) occurred to a close family member or close friend; cases of actual or threatened death must have been violent or accidental; or, experiencing repeated or extreme exposure to aversive details of the traumatic events(s) (e.g., first responders collecting human remains; police officers repeatedly exposed to details of child abuse); this does not apply to exposure through electronic media, television, movies, or pictures, unless this exposure is work related. Criterion B: Presence of (one or more) of the following intrusion symptoms associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after the traumatic event(s) occurred: [X] Recurrent, involuntary, and intrusive distressing memories of the traumatic event(s). [X] Intense or prolonged psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event(s). [X] Marked physiological reactions to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event(s). Criterion C: Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after the traumatic events(s) occurred, as evidenced by one or both of the following: [X] Avoidance of or efforts to avoid distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings about or closely associated with the traumatic event(s). [X] Avoidance of or efforts to avoid external reminders (people, places, conversations, activities, objects, situations) that arouse distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings about or closely associated with the traumatic event(s). Criterion D: Negative alterations in cognitions and mood associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more) of the following: [X] Persistent and exaggerated negative beliefs or expectations about oneself, others, or the world (e.g., "I am bad,: "No one can be trusted,: "The world is completely dangerous,: "My whole nervous system is permanently ruined"). [X] Persistent, distorted cognitions about the cause or consequences of the traumatic event(s) that lead the individual to blame himself/herself or others. [X] Persistent negative emotional state (e.g., fear, horror, anger, guilt, or shame). JOHN DOECONFIDENTIAL Page 27 of 68 [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] Hypervigilance. [X] Problems with concentration. [X] Sleep disturbance (e.g., difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless sleep). Criterion F: [X] Duration of the symptoms described above in Criteria B, C, D, and E is more than 1 month. Criterion G: [X] The symptoms described above cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. Criterion H: [X] The disturbance is not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance (e.g., medication, alcohol) or another medical condition. 4. Symptoms --------------------------- For VA rating purposes, check all symptoms that actively apply to the Veteran's diagnoses: [X] Depressed mood [X] Anxiety [X] Suspiciousness [X] Panic attacks more than once a week [X] Chronic sleep impairment [X] Mild memory loss, such as forgetting names, directions or recent events [X] Impairment of short- and long-term memory, for example, retention of only highly learned material, while forgetting to complete tasks [X] Flattened affect [X] Disturbances of motivation and mood [X] Difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships CONFIDENTIAL Page 28 of 68 [X] Difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances, including work or a worklike setting 5. Behavioral Observations --------------------------- The Veteran arrived on time for the appointment. His appearance was unremarkable, and his grooming and hygiene were appropriate. He was alert and oriented to person, place, time, and situation. The nature and purpose of the evaluation, the examiner's role in the disability claims adjudication process, and the limits of confidentiality were discussed with him. He verbalized understanding and consented to participate. He engaged well with the examiner, and his responses to inquiries were appropriate in content and level of detail. While no formal evaluation of his mental status was conducted, his cognitive functioning appeared to be adequately intact for the purpose of the present interview. His thoughts were logical, coherent, and goal-directed. His speech was clear and intelligible, and of normal rate, volume, and prosody. There was no evidence of significant expressive or receptive language impairments. There was no overt evidence of perceptual disturbances, delusional beliefs, or perseverative thoughts. His attention, concentration, and motor activity were unremarkable. His mood and affect were appropriate in nature, range, and intensity to the situation and to the topic of conversation. He was tearful throughout much of the interview. He denied current suicidal or homicidal ideation, intent, or plan. He appeared to be a reliable historian and credible informant, and there were no overt indications of malingering or of symptom overreporting or underreporting. 6. Other Symptoms --------------------------- Does the Veteran have any other symptoms attributable to PTSD and other mental disorders that are not listed above? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, describe: [X] Irritable or angry mood [X] Loss of interest or pleasure in activities [X] Appetite disturbance [X] Weight disturbance [X] Fatigue or loss of energy [X] Difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions [X] Feelings of worthlessness or guilt CONFIDENTIAL Page 29 of 68 [X] Emotional numbing and detachment 7. Competency --------------------------- Is the Veteran capable of managing his or her financial affairs? [X] Yes [ ] No If no, explain: Not applicable. 8. Remarks, (including any testing results) if any: -------------------------------------------------- JOHN DOE: is a 45-year-old male who was in the Army, and who had a deployment to Iraq in xxxxxxx. He has a service connection for PTSD, with a current rating of 70%. This examination was focused on his functioning since the previous examination on 3/15/2017, although information regarding prior history was reviewed and obtained where relevant to the issues in question. Please see the report of the previous examination for relevant prior history. The present examination was based on a face-to-face interview with the Veteran and review of records as indicated above. Except where otherwise indicated, historical information presented above is taken from the interview. Results of the examination indicate that the Veteran's difficulties are consistent with current diagnostic criteria for PTSD. They also indicate that he experiences symptoms supporting a diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) at this time. These are considered to be separate, comorbid conditions which share some symptoms and a common etiology. Due to the overlap in symptoms and associated features of these disorders, it can at times be difficult to determine--and clinicians may reasonably differ regarding--whether the clinical picture might be better accounted for by a single diagnosis or by multiple diagnoses. Results of the examination indicate that as a result of his mental health conditions, he is experiencing significant impairments in a number of domains, including occupational functioning. As he is no longer working, his occupational functioning is inferred from his past work history, from his current social functioning, and from the nature and severity of his current symptomatology. He has not held paid employment since February 2016, when he lost his job due to irritability and angry outbursts. He indicated a previous history of work-related difficulties due to anxiety and panic. Taken together with fatigue, problems with attention and concentration, forgetfulness, intrusive thoughts, hypervigilance, discomfort in interpersonal interactions, and a propensity for social withdrawal and avoidance as a means of coping with stress, these difficulties would significantly limit his ability to secure and maintain gainful employment. He would likely experience challenges in adjusting successfully to a work environment due to difficulty establishing and maintaining effective work relationships, as well as to reduced reliability, productivity, efficiency, accuracy, and timeliness in JOHN DOECONFIDENTIAL Page 30 of 68 attending work and fulfilling job responsibilities. ***This DBQ was completed solely for the purpose of a disability evaluation, and does not represent the results of a comprehensive clinical or forensic evaluation of this Veteran. It represents the information and impressions which could be gathered and reported within the constraints of the time allotted for interview, review of records, and documentation, and within the constraints of this mandated format. DBQs are completed in highly specialized ways that conform to the requirements of the disability claims adjudication and appeals processes. Some items may be left blank or diagnoses may be omitted where the symptoms or disorders might actually be present but, for example, cannot be attributed to a specific cause or etiology, cannot be attributed to the specific condition for which the C&P examination was requested, or cannot be linked to the Veteran's military service on the basis of evidence that conforms to the required standards. The conclusions and opinions documented on this form were based upon the information available to the examiner at the time the evaluation was completed, and may differ from those of professionals who have evaluated the Veteran in a clinical setting and/or from the findings of any previous C&P examinations. New or additional information might result in changes to the examiner's interpretations, conclusions, or opinions as documented on this form.*** NOTE: VA may request additional medical information, including additional examinations if necessary to complete VA's review of the Veteran's application.
  25. Hello I filed for IU in 2014 and it was denied I received the SOC which stated they denied me due to form 21-8940 and the examiner stated my condition had gotten worse but on the DBQ for occupational and social impairment section checked off the symptoms of someone that would only be rated at 30%. I am rated at 70% for MDD. I wrote to the RO that the DBQ was inadequate and should not be used to rate my claim. I submitted the form 8940 & a doctor's note from my treating doctor stating my condition was at least likely due to my unemployability & other supporting evidence from employers. My question is I submitted the Form 9 before I gathered all of this evidence and it is still at the RO and they are reviewing the evidence. When I called the 800# for the status they said the status of the Form 9 was in Prep for decision phase/Ready to rate. Is this information correct? Does that mean that they are making a decision on the appeal? Or the IU claim? I'm kind of confused at this point.
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