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Found 7 results

  1. Have an in-person BVA Hearing, Washington, next week. I'm going without representation. Looking for words-of-wisdom as to the general feeling of the conduct of the Hearing, etc. Is there an appropriate dress code? Are there certain things I shouldn't do...should do? Over-all what is the general tone of the Hearing? Formal? Informal? What is the general competance level of a Veterans Law Judge? Any other advice will be greater appreciated. Thank you.
  2. Hello HadIt Family, First a little background, in 2009 I used my Post 9/11 GI Bill to get my Bachelors. I was working full time at a job that I felt was increasing my depressive state and was constantly degraded. In 2012, I applied for VocRehab stating my current job was just making my depression worst and they made me take tests, talk with a Voc Rehab outside consultant and a counselor and they recommended I get a Masters in Accounting (my math scores were really high) because it would open the door to not work around so many people (severe agoraphobia). I got my Masters degree in 2015 and pretty much used up 48 months of chapter 33 and 31 educational benefits. After 5 months of getting my degree I had a follow up and they felt I was good to go since I was already working and I have a Masters. No help finding another job assistance or anything, it was a different counselor and she just thought I was working and was good to go so she closes my case. Fast Forward to the beginning of 2016, still working at the same place for a pretty good salary but my depression, Agoraphobia, and tyrant of a boss have become too much to bear that I leave work and go to a mental hospital. So I filed a claim in 2015 that was denied and an appeal for an increase in depression and for TDIU and am currently waiting on a DRO Appeal. My question is should I obtain the records from Voc Rehab for my appeal and will it help based on what I have said? Can I reapply for VocRehab even though I have already completed Voc Rehab? Any help or advice would be appreciated. CaliBay
  3. To be short and sweet i found out I am facing an MEB today. i am wondering what i might expect for benefits and how they work. Some ppl say you cant take va compensations if you get 30% MEB or more. others say i will have to pay back my separation pay if i take it ($90,000 maybe). and i really dont know how to judge what money i will make outside the Army. i have bad feet, ankles, knees, hip, back, left shoulder, ptsd, anger issues, migraines, sleep apnea, restles leg sleep disorder, depression. if all of these are 10-20% 140-280 % what do i do?
  4. Hello all. I would like to thank all of you for your work on this site. I am a long time lurker, first time poster. I received my C&P Results back and would appreciate any feedback. I understand that there is no way to be fully accurate when trying to guess a rating based off of this information. I am just under immense stress lately as I have watched my life fall apart piece by piece over the last few years. I had good rapport with the interviewer but don't know what to make of some of the things he wrote. Thanks in advance for your insights you all do great work here. 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: 309.81 2. Current Diagnoses -------------------- a. Mental Disorder Diagnosis #1: PTSD ICD code: 309.81 Mental Disorder Diagnosis #2: Alcohol Abuse, in Remission ICD code: 305.03 Mental Disorder Diagnosis #3: No response provided. b. Medical diagnoses relevant to the understanding or management of the Mental Health Disorder (to include TBI): No response provided. 3. Differentiation of symptoms ------------------------------ a. Does the Veteran have more than one mental disorder diagnosed? [X] Yes [ ] No b. Is it possible to differentiate what symptom(s) is/are attributable to each diagnosis? [X] Yes [ ] No [ ] Not applicable (N/A) If yes, list which symptoms are attributable to each diagnosis and discuss whether there is any clinical association between these diagnoses: Currently, no symptoms are attributed to alcohol abuse, because alcohol abuse is in remission. All symptoms are attributable to PTSD. c. Does the Veteran have a diagnosed traumatic brain injury (TBI)? [ ] Yes [X] No [ ] Not shown in records reviewed 4. Occupational and social impairment ------------------------------------- a. Which of the following best summarizes the Veteran's level of occupational and social impairment with regards to all mental diagnoses? (Check only one) [X] 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? [X] Yes [ ] No [ ] No other mental disorder has been diagnosed If yes, list which portion of the indicated level of occupational and social impairment is attributable to each diagnosis: Currently, no occupational or social impairment is attributed to alcohol abuse, because alcohol abuse is in remission. All occupational and social impairment is attributable to PTSD. 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 ------------------ In order to provide an accurate medical opinion, the Veteran's claims folder must be reviewed. a. Medical record review: ------------------------- Was the Veteran's VA e-folder (VBMS or Virtual VA) reviewed? [X] Yes [ ] No Was the Veteran's VA claims file (hard copy paper C-file) reviewed? [ ] Yes [X] No If yes, list any records that were reviewed but were not included in the Veteran's VA claims file: If no, check all records reviewed: [X] Military service treatment records [ ] Military service personnel records [ ] Military enlistment examination [ ] Military separation examination [ ] Military post-deployment questionnaire [X] Department of Defense Form 214 Separation Documents [X] Veterans Health Administration medical records (VA treatment records) [ ] Civilian medical records [ ] Interviews with collateral witnesses (family and others who have known the Veteran before and after military service) [ ] No records were reviewed [X] Other: MTR - govt and nongovt, VA documents and forms, b. Was pertinent information from collateral sources reviewed? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, describe: Buddy or lay statement from who was Veteran's ex-girlfriend, 2. History ---------- a. Relevant Social/Marital/Family history (pre-military, military, and post-military): Relevant social history, birthplace, (mostly) happy childhood memories, (-) homeless currently, (-) rent currently, (+) own currently, (#0) of household occupants in addition to Veteran, (-) close friends, Veteran states that he feels estangement from others, he reached out to one of his military friends two weeks ago, this was the first tome to do that for one year, Veteran used to be active on Facebook, but he is no longer active on facebook, he began experiencing the idea that his thoughts were being communicated in a certain way by others, (-) attend social activities, (+) hobbies or interests, Video games, all kinds, grand theft auto, mad and football, wrestling, Veteran used to be an avid sports fan, he used to know the lines of college and professional football teams, he does not do that anymore, Relevant marital history, (S) civil status, he used to have a girlfriend, they were together for 3 years, he used to yell and scream at her, he states that it took everything within him to keep from hitting her, but he never hit her, she left and she did not come back; Veteran states he never assaulted his ex-girlfriend prior to their breakup; alternatively, he states that he choked his girlfriend in the heat of the moment 2 times, but she did not pass out, (#0) number of marriages, (#0) number of divorces, (#1) number of childrren y/o son, Veteran's son's mother does not allow Veteran's son to have unsupervised visits with Veteran, Relevant family history, (-) emotional or mental problems, (+) heart disease, PGF has CAD and h/o CABG, (+) both parents living, (-) close to them, he rarely talks with them, (#1) siblings living, 1 sister, (-) close to her, they have not spoken for 2 years Pre-military, Veteran states he killed his first animal at 10 y/o, which was a deer, and he gutted and cleaned it at that age. Post-military, Veteran states that he carries a gun wherever he goes. He was closer to his family and other people pre-military and military. Post-military, he has become distant with family and friends. His parents live inand have a home there . Post-military, after finishing his contract work in which he mostly worked on military instillations for the federal government, he lived with his parents for 2 months in He moved f to to go to College in 2012. He did not start having problems from symptoms of PTSD until after he finished his contract work, which was more like being in, rather than out of, the military, and began living more as a civilian. b. Relevant Occupational and Educational history (pre-military, military, and post-military): Relevant occupational history, (-) currently working outside the home, (2012) year last worked outside the home, (F) P = part time, F = fulltime, (security) type of work, (nothing) current source of income, Veteran indicates that he has used up his savings and now he is behind on many of his bills, (+) emotional or mental symptoms associated with occupational problems, Veteran was fired from his last two jobs, Relevant educational history, (+) learning difficulties, (-) learning disabilities, (he has two years of college) level of education, (+) emotional or mental symptoms associated with educational problems, difficulty concentrating, Veteran graduated from HS at 18 y/o. He went to college for one year. He worked seasonal work, restaurant work, cabinet factory, met a woman, had a son, was in and out of legal troubles, and entered the USA at 23 y/o. He was discharged from the USA at 27 y/o. He worked for as a regional supervisor for 5 years. . ; Veteran states he was a distinguished soldier during basic training. He became the best mechanic while in stationed in Germanny. He was a leader and NCO in the Ranger battalion. He did not get DUIs and he did not get into fights. Veteran states that he laughed at the PTSD symptoms checklist when he first came back from his deployment to Iraq. but now he cannot get a job due to such symptoms. He has not been able to hold down a job for the past 3 years. c. Relevant Mental Health history, to include prescribed medications and family mental health (pre-military, military, and post-military): Relevant mental health history, (-) mental health care before military service, (-) mental health care during military service, (+) mental health care after military service, (#0) previous suicide attempt(s), (#0) previous hospitalization on psychiatric ward(s), (#0) previous court orders for involuntary treatment, (+) currently seeing a provider for the purpose of medication management, (-) currently attending individual psychotherapy and/or group therapy, he used to go to groups, he lost his driver's license, therefore he has not been going, because it is difficult getting there, (+) h/o severe emotional trauma, (-) h/o head trauma, (-) h/o evaluation for TBI, (+) current emotional or mental problems, (+) mood often blue or sad, (+) anger, (+) h/o ever experiencing seven or more days of manic excitement (i.e., abnormally, discretely, and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood), decreased need for sleep, racing thoughts, or pressured speech, Veteran states that he has gone for many days without sleeping, he would keep busy because he was unable to sleep, he used to self-medicate insomnia by drinking alcohol to the point of blacking out, he has h/o anxiety and paranoia, racing thoughts, increased goal directed behavior (in terms of playing a video game), agitation (in terms of pacing around the apartment), he was not talking faster or more than usual, no significant change in self-esteem or grandiosity, no significant distractability, (+) behavior for the purpose of pleasure with potentially painful consequences (alcohol problem), (+) h/o of hallucinations, he used to have these when he was drinking alcohol, he used to have alcohol hallucinosis, he has been sober since June 2015, (+) h/o delusions, he has h/o delusions of reference, Prescribed medications, List, propranolol, sertraline, and trazodone; he was remotely taking aripiprazole and valproate, he was taking quetiapine when going through inpatient treatment for alcohol abuse, he has h/o risperidone and risperidone-associated akathisia, (+) adverse events with one or more of these, his sleep is too deep with trazodone, then he has disturbing dreams, then he cannot wake up out of these disturbing dreams, because his sleep is too deep, (-) beneficial effects with each of these, propranolol was previously helpful while he was on risperidone to decrease the akathisia associated with risperidone, sertraline is not yet producing a beneficial effect, Family mental health, Please see above under "relevant family history." d. Relevant Legal and Behavioral history (pre-military, military, and post-military): Relevant legal history, (+) symptoms associated with legal problems, (+) h/o arrests for assault, battery, or violence, (+) h/o arrests, convictions, or sentencing (to jail or prison), (-) currently on parole or probation, (-) current conservator or guardian, (+) h/o DUI, #1, Relevant behavioral history, (+) symptoms associated with behavioral problems, Veteran states that he does not talk with anyone, he does not do anything, he enrolled in school, he cannot deal with that anymore, he dropped out of College, he cannot deal with the people there, he believes he is viewed by others as a time bomb, after he was arrested for eluding an officer. (yesterday) last time to be in a heated argument with another person, (June, 2015) last time that to be in a physical altercation with another person, (poor) quality of sleep generally, Pre-military: Veteran had reckless driving charges and assault with a deadly weapon charges prior to USA service. He was charged with reckless driving. He ended up doi of house arrest for reckless driving. He took assault with a deadly weapon to a jury who did not find him guilty as charged. It was determined that he was defending himself, and he was absolved of any wrong doing. Military: Veteran has one negative counseling statement for missing formation one morning due to oversleeping when they had a power outage, when his roommate was on leave, but other than that he did not have any other LOCs, no LORs, no Article 15s, and no other non-judicial or judicial punishments. Postmilitary: Veteran was arrested in 2013, and he was placed in a mental health safe cell while in jail, because he drove off from a traffic stop away from an officer. He was initially written up for felony eluding, but the charges were plea bargained down to a misdemeanor. Veteran has pending charges. He has a warrant out for his arrest. This is for criminal speeding (99 mph in a 45 mph zone). e. Relevant Substance abuse history (pre-military, military, and post-military): (+) tobacco during past 30 days, (today) when last used, (-) alcohol during past 30 days, (July 2015) when last used, he got out of treatment June 8th, he relapsed in July, for 2 days, (+) h/o alcohol problem or alcohol abuse, (-) illicit drugs during past 30 days, (prior to March, 2014) when last used, he has not used spice (synthetic MJ since prior to his first inpatient treatment program, (+) h/o inpatient or outpatient treatment for alcohol or illicit substances, 2 times, (+) currently attending AA, NA, or other support groups, Veteran does not believe that he suffers from alcoholism, Veteran smoked a joint of MJ when he graduated from HS, he did not smoke MJ during the military, and he smoked MJ less than 6 times after the military. He drank alcohol 2 times during HS, he was a social drinker during college and the military, while in Germany, and he became an alcoholic after the military. He was drinking a lot with his friends, at the time of his deployment to Gerrmany, from dusk until dawn. Other times, he could drink until 2 AM, go to sleep, wake up at 5 AM, go to PT, and be fine, while in the regular Army battalion, but he was not able to keep that lifestyle while in the Ranger battalion, because they put him through too much. Veteran does not like talking with anyone about anything, even the weather. Veteran feels uncomfortable when in large groups of people. This triggers intense urges for drinking alcohol. Living with his emotions and feelings is more difficult without alcohol than with alcohol. 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: 1. Military Combat Trauma (Veteran observed traumatic events as experienced by others, including seeing a person get his face shot off, seeing people with their heads cut off, and seeing a dead body, he claims he saw a US missile hit a minivan carrying an entire family,) Does this stressor meet Criterion A (i.e., is it adequate to support the diagnosis of PTSD)? [X] Yes [ ] No Is the stressor related to the Veteran's fear of hostile military or terrorist activity? [X] Yes [ ] No Is the stressor related to personal assault, e.g. military sexual trauma? [ ] Yes [X] No b. Stressor #2: No response provided. 4. PTSD Diagnostic Criteria --------------------------- Please check criteria used for establishing the current PTSD diagnosis. Do NOT mark symptoms below that are clearly not attributable to the Criteria A stressor/PTSD. Instead, overlapping symptoms clearly attributable to other things should be noted under #7 - Other symptoms. The diagnostic criteria for PTSD, referred to as Criteria A-H, are from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5). Criterion A: Exposure to actual or threatened a) death, b) serious injury, c) sexual violation, in one or more of the following ways: [X] Witnessing, in person, the traumatic event(s) as they occurred to others Criterion B: Presence of (one or more) of the following intrusion symptoms associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after the traumatic event(s) occurred: [X] Recurrent, involuntary, and intrusive distressing memories of the traumatic event(s). [X] Recurrent distressing dreams in which the content and/or affect of the dream are related to the traumatic event(s). [X] 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). [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 external reminders (people, places, conversations, activities, objects, situations) that arouse distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings about or closely associated with the traumatic event(s). Criterion D: Negative alterations in cognitions and mood associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more) of the following: [X] Persistent and exaggerated negative beliefs or expectations about oneself, others, or the world (e.g., "I am bad,: "No one can be trusted,: "The world is completely dangerous,: "My whole nervous system is permanently ruined"). [X] Persistent, distorted cognitions about the cause or consequences of the traumatic event(s) that lead to the individual to blame himself/herself or others. [X] Persistent negative emotional state (e.g., fear, horror, anger, guilt, or shame). [X] Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities. [X] Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others. [X] Persistent inability to experience positive emotions (e.g., inability to experience happiness, satisfaction, or loving feelings.) Criterion E: Marked alterations in arousal and reactivity associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more) of the following: [X] Irritable behavior and angry outbursts (with little or no provocation) typically expressed as verbal or physical aggression toward people or objects. [X] Reckless or self-destructive behavior. [X] Hypervigilance. [X] Exaggerated startle response. [X] Problems with concentration. [X] Sleep disturbance (e.g., difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless sleep). Criterion F: [X] Duration of the disturbance (Criteria B, C, D, and E) is more than 1 month. Criterion G: [X] The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. Criterion H: [X] The disturbance is not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance (e.g., medication, alcohol) or another medical condition. Criterion I: Which stressor(s) contributed to the Veteran's PTSD diagnosis?: [X] Stressor #1 5. Symptoms ----------- For VA rating purposes, check all symptoms that actively apply to the Veteran's diagnoses: [X] Depressed mood [X] Anxiety [X] Suspiciousness [X] Panic attacks that occur weekly or less often [X] Chronic sleep impairment [X] Difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships [X] Inability to establish and maintain effective relationships 6. Behavioral Observations -------------------------- Appearance - attire is summertime casual, grooming is average, and presently, the veteran does not appear to intermittently be in distress as he intermittently discusses his taaumas. Behavior - eye contact is intermittent, and speech is of unremarkable rate, rhythm, volume, prosody, and articulation. Speech contains profanity in many sentences. Comportment suggests that the veteran gets along adequately with this writer. Affect is neutral. Thought processes are logical, linear, and goal-oriented. Presently, the veteran does not have a formal thought disorder. Thought content is without homicidal ideation or suicidal ideation. Perceptions - the veteran presently does not appear to be responding to internal stimuli. Insight is fair. Judgment is fair. Psychomotor activity - Veteran becomes agitated when talking about his experiences in Iraq. Muscular observation shows absence of focal motor deficits. Cognitions are grossly intact. Abstractions demonstrate at least average capacity for logical reasoning and systematic thought. 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 -------------------------------------------------- REQUESTS AND FINDINGS A. CLAIM TYPE - ORIGINAL, DBQ PSYCH PTSD Initial, the following contentions need to be examined - PTSD, The VARO has verified the veteran's combat service and the veteran has the following combat medals Combat Action Badge, Veteran is a y/o divorced, unemployed EA who served in a Ranger battalion while serving in the USA and experienced military combat while serving in Iraq. Veteran served in the USA from 2003 to 2007. He was in the motor pool division of the Ranger battalion. He observed traumatic events as experienced by others, including seeing a person get his face shot off, seeing people with their heads cut off, and seeing a dead body. He claims he saw a US missile hit a minivan carrying an entire family, because the US forces wanted to kill one enemy combatant inside the minivan. Veteran saw a VAMC on 10/01/2014, who diagnosed him with and treated him for PTSD. Veteran experienced military combat stressors. Currently, at night he has dreams, in which he cannot get his gun to shoot, because it will not fire. During the day, he has uncontrollable thoughts. He visions someone getting shot. Either he is shooting at the person getting shot or groups of people are shooting at the person getting shot. He hears someone getting shot. He states that it makes a very distinct sound. Thunderstorms, trigger he to "lose it," whereby he becomes diaphoretic, comes to, and finds himself on the floor in the prone position, after he has pulled his ex-girlfriend to the floor with him. He has trouble sleeping for one week following such events. Firecrackers on the 4th of July trigger he to "lose it," whereby he finds he has pulled his son to the ground with him, causing abrasions to his son's B/L knees. Veteran states that he avoids people, because when they find out that he is an Iraq War veteran, then they have a tendency to talk with him and ask him questions about his experiences. He states that he hates it when they state that they understand, and he states that they do not understand, because they were not there. Veteran voices his suspiciousness and states that as soon as groups of people at AZU, where he was in school, and groups of people where he has been employed find out that he has issues, then people talk about him and he is talked about. Veteran states that people make jokes as to when would he be going postal and start shooting up the office. He states that he knows that others are talking about him, because when he goes into a room, then everyone stops talking. Veteran states that once people become uncomfortable with someone, then they plot and scheme. Veteran used to be a baseball player, where he learned that being calm and controlled worked to his advantage, but he states that he has lost the ability of being calm and controlled in order to work to his advantage. He recognizes that he has a "short fuse" and can suddenly go from neutral to angry, agitated, and combative with the right cue, as in someone older bossing him around and telling him what to do. He states "[he] wants to punch out a window over nothing." Veteran states that if he applies for a supervisor position, then he is offered an entry level position instead. He states in the past he was able to deal with supervisors, but now he cannot deal with supervisors. One of his supervisors was talking to him as though he was a child, then Veteran took his left hand, placed it across his supervisors neck, and pushed him against the wall. His supervisor "flipped out," talked about suing him, and talked about pressing charges. Then Veteran was immediately let go. He was told that they were going to consider it as though he was never hired. Veteran admits to being high strung and states that he used to be able to filter out supervisors telling him what to do kinds of stressors, but he is no longer able to do that. He states that yesterday when he took a urine drug test for a job that he would like to get, after waiting for 20 minutes and watching the receptionist doing one thing or another on the computer, he became irate and confrontational. Veteran denies suicidal ideation. He states his father's sister's husband killed himself. Veteran states that he would never do that. He would not do it on account of his mother and his son. Work impairments include being up for 3 nights at a time without sleeping, then he falls asleep while he is doing something routine, such as tying his shoes. He states that he has missed a few jobs on account of this problem. Veteran meets the following DSM 5 criteria for PTSD. 1.) Trauma, (+) Directly experiencing the events, (+) Witnessing the events as they occurred to others, (-) Learning that the traumatic events occurred to someone close, 2.) re-experiencing, (+) dreams or nightmares, (+) flashbacks, (-) illusions or hallucinations, (+) images, perceptions, or thoughts, (+) triggers cause emotional and mental distress, 3.) avoidance, (-) activities, he enjoyed American Sniper immensely, but he states that this stirred up emotions and feelings, (+) conversations, he avoids conversations with his Ranger friends, (-) feelings, (+) people, he avoids seeing his Ranger friends, (+) places, he states he does not like the VA, people came back without eyes and limbs, he came back with emotional and mental symptoms, (-) thoughts, 4. negative feelings or thoughts, (+) anhedonia, (+) decreased interest or participation in activities, (+) distorted cognitions about the cause or consequences of the events, he states that the entire Gulf War was "&$," (+) feeling detached and estranged, (-) forgetting details about the events, (+) negative beliefs about himself, others, or the world, he states that the US federal government is "&$," (+) negative emotions, 5.) Altered arousal and reactivity (+) angry outbursts, (+) irritable behavior, (+) hypervigilance, (+) exaggerated startle, (+) recklessness, (+) self-destructiveness, (-) concentration problem, if interested, then he can concentrate really well, if not interested, then he cannot concentrate very well, (+) sleep disturbance, 6.) (+) long-term duration, 7.) (+) dysfunction, 8.) (+) not due to a medical illness or substance, Veteran has decreased productivity at work, because he has emotional and mental symptoms affecting his ability to work, interpersonal problems affecting his ability to get along well with others, and authority and submission problems affecting his ability to get along well with supervisors. These problems are secondary to symptoms of PTDS. They occasionally, but not continuously, affect reliability. Otherwise, his ability to adapt to change, maintain a regular work schedule, pay attention, concentrate, and reason, show up for the job, maintain himself on the job, and complete the job are not impaired. Alcohol abuse is in remission. Functional limitations include working under a less than supportive supervisor, working around any more than 2 or 3 other people, and working indoors. B. ELECTRONIC CLAIMS FOLDER AVAILABLE, review Veteran's electronic folder in VBMS and state that it was reviewed. Veteran's electronic folder in VBMS and was reviewed. C. If more than one mental disorder is diagnosed, comment on their relationship to one another. Alcohol abuse is secondary to insomnia, which is secondary to PTSD. Alcohol abuse is in remission. D. If more than one mental disorder is diagnosed, state which symptoms are attributed to each disorder. Currently, no symptoms are attributed to alcohol abuse, because alcohol abuse is in remission. NOTE: VA may request additional medical information, including additional examinations if necessary to complete VA's review of the Veteran's application.
  5. Hello, I am new to this site and am happy to see that there are a lot of folks on here who know the ins and outs of filing claims with the VA. Hopefully someone will be able to offer me advice on how I should proceed. I did not know until recently the issues I've been dealing with were covered by the VA, otherwise I would've started this years ago. I'll try to provide adequate detail. Background: Navy; Honorable discharge in 2003; Persian Gulf; did just about every job imaginable on the boat. Claims and questions: Scarring/pain: service medical record contains detailed record of surgery for removal of Basal Cell skin cancer on my face, including drawing, measurement and procedure details. The nexus seems very clear. Question: How does the VA actually measure scars, and what rating should apply? My t-shaped scar runs from the inside of my right eye down the side of my nose (about 2 inches), and across under my eye (about 1 inch). My right nostril is now asymmetrical as a result of the skin pulling and settling after the surgery, and there is a small scar "pocket" on the side of my nostril. Also, the skin changes color with hot/cold, becomes irritated by sweat, tingles/throbs and is prone to sores and infections. Functional Gastrointestinal Disorder: Nexus: Record contains one instance of gastroenteritis (vomiting/diarrhea), along with "sea sickness". I have civilian medical records for multiple gastro events after leaving service, including hospitalization and surgery (the doc mistakenly diagnosed appendicitis) for gastro and non-specific gastro problems. Not in my records is that I constantly have gastro issues including dyspepsia, frequent vomiting, and bouts of constipation and diarrhea. Also, I am by definition a Gulf War vet, and I understand that this condition falls under "Special Gulf War Rules" as a "Qualifying Chronic Disability". Question: Is this adequate for nexus, or do I need an IMO? How do "Special Gulf War Rules" come into play vs. a standard claim for gastro issues? And, what rating does this condition entail? Tinnitus/hearing loss: my service record contains evidence that I was qualified in multiple weapons, and was a sonar tech. The sonar I worked on was I believe one of the loudest man-made noises on earth, and I had my bell rung more than few times when that thing went active. Question: There is no mention of tinnitus in my medical records, but is there enough evidence to establish nexus? My ears ring 24/7 and it drives me nuts to be in silence. Question: Will the VA most likely require me to take more tests? What if I'm in good shape the day of the tests? Do they understand the "flare up" nature of certain illnesses? I've obtained copies of all of my military and civilian medical records (and made more copies), and plan to meet with a VSO before submitting. I hope I have enough documentation and evidence to satisfy what the VA is looking for. I have a few other claims as well, but didn't want to post too much. I greatly appreciate any feedback on the items above, as well as any other advice that can help make my claims as painless as possible. Thank you all for your service.
  6. Hi all....I'm new so I'll give you a little background. I am 40% SC Disability for my R/L Knees, R Ankle, and G.E.R.D. I was stationed on board the USS Abraham Lincoln CVN-72 and worked on the flight deck. I' was a blue shirt who chocked and chained on night check. I've been covered in JP5 and breathed in ll those exhaust fumes too. My last rating was 2009. Since then I have been diagnosed with Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Type II Diabetes, have torn my Meniscus in my L Knee, Chronic Bronchitis (w/ possible Asthma-COPD). Now I am NOT a smoker and never have been. I have had the Auto Immune problems since being discharged from the service. No one in my family has Lupus. Does anyone think any of these symptoms could be service connected? I know my torn meniscus can be re-evaluated, but trying to decide if I should file a claim on the rest!?!?!?!? Any input would be appreciated.
  7. I just finished my last C & P exam in June. The first medical doctor I saw stated my disabilities and that I need aid and attendence for daily living. The VBA sent me on their on an application for unemployability and aid. I included this with my final records and evidence I turned in. The second doctor for rheumatology stated the same, but also stated he can trace my disease back to my military records. Does this good for me on being granted for compensation?
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