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  1. Hello all, Let me start by saying thank you in advance for any help or information provided. Quick backstory: The first time I filed was in May of 2012(I lived in El Paso, Tx at the time), it was for PTSD, bursitis in hips, carpal tunnel, and a slew of other joint problems, however life happened and I missed a C&P exam that I was unaware of and the claim was denied at the beginning of 2013. I understand that this is my fault, but I did learn that the VA found nothing in my army records to justify a claim for any of the physical problems. The second time I filed was in Feb of 2015(I lived in Tacoma, Wa at the time), it was for PTSD. I had a C&P thru QTC at the beginning of APR 2015 and attended, however during the C&P the doc diagnosed me with major depression and anxiety rather than PTSD. Also during that C&P I was made aware that the dates for one of my deployments was incorrect and did not match the stressors I had listed and thus he did not recommend a service connection and I was denied at the end of APR 2015. It should also be noted that I received no diagnosis or treatment prior to during the claim process(I still had no idea how the VA worked and was under the impression that I needed to be service connected.) Of note on this claim I attempted to use a VSO thru DAV, however when I went to the office I was given booklet titled "Federal Benefits for Veterans Dependents and Survivors" and the representative highlighted the address of the vet center near me and the ebenefits website instructing me that I needed to file the claim there. In JAN 2018 after a low point I finally went to the American Lake VA office to see what treatment was available to me. This is when I discovered I qualified for no copay visits and partial copay of medication. I went through the intake exam at the behavioral health clinic there and have been in individual counseling sessions almost weekly as well as attending a few of the group counseling programs offered. I have also been put on various medications to combat the anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Since starting the sessions I have been diagnosed with chronic severe PTSD, chronic severe MDD, chronic severe anxiety, and chronic severe insomnia. My third and current claim I put in on 02/27/2018(I live on Joint Base Lewis-McChoord, WA). It is for PTSD, MDD, anxiety, insomnia, as well as an application for TDIU. I listed the MDD, anxiety, and insomnia as secondary to the PTSD. I included my DoD service records and my DoD payment records to show that the dates of the deployment on my DD214 were incorrect. I uploaded my medical records from the VA American Lake office just in case there was going to be any issues for them to obtain them, they were reviewed and accepted on 04/04/2018. I had the C&P in MAR 2018, while there the doc said he was recommending all issues be service connected. I filled out the 21-4192 Request for Employment Info on 04/25/2018 the best that I was able and added an attachment to it explaining that my last employment was over 8 years ago and the reasons why I haven't been employed. On 05/03/2018 I submitted a 5103 Claim Decision Request. Other Info: In FEB 2018 I requested my military medical records, when I received them the only document there was the medical exam from MEPS, the one you do prior to joining. However while in service I was treated for bursitis over a period of two years(physical therapy and medication) I had the occasional trip to sick call, and at one point had an in grown toenail removed. I filed my current claim as a new claim, however they reopened my 2015 claim instead. My ETS was in FEB 2007 after being extended 7 months due to deployment. I spent my entire time in the military at Fort Hood, TX as part of the 4th Infantry Division(the division has since relocated to Fort Carson, CO) Questions: Q. Is there a way to obtain the medical records that are missing from my file so that I am able to claim the bursitis and joint issues? Q. I am planning to move from JBLM, WA to somewhere in Iowa(Wife's decision) at the end of AUG 2018. This will change my regional office. Will it effect my claim and what do I need to do to ensure my claim doesn't disappear? Q. Will them reopening my older claim instead of accepting a new one have any effect, beneficial or not? Q. Should I request my C-File now or wait until the claim is complete? Q. Does contacting the 800 number or using IRIS to check claim status affect my claim in any way? (I'm curious where it's at because it has passed the estimated date, and the last date it seems anything was done is 04/04/2018 when they reviewed medical records.) Thanks you again for any info or suggestions able to be given. T
  2. I have been reading this form for about two months now and I’m hoping you may be able to give me some insight. I submitted an application for compensation in January 2018 for injuries I received in a long time ago. Here is a bit of the back ground. When I got out of the service in 1995 I thought I was applying for benefits, turns out it was only the Gulf war registry. I’m not trying to make an excuse for why I didn’t apply earlier, just telling you what happened. I was in a head on car crash in panama, hit by a drunk driver. I was out for 15-30 min, then spent 4 days in the hospital. The Va sent me for a C&P 3 weeks ago for adjustment disorder with anxiety, The DR. is the one who told me I was in the hospital for 4 days. I only knew what my ex-wife told me. After an hour doing the exam the DR. made a call to QTC and was requesting that I have a cognitive exam done, of course they said no, it wasn’t being asked for. 1. Should I be getting another C&P for TBI? I did submit my neurologist reports that said all my condition i.e. short term memory problems, migraines and emotional problems were a direct result of the accident, and I have the LOD report. along with the list of my meds i'm on. 2. Or will they just use what in my file and the C&P and render a decision? I do have a few other items I’m claiming, but I will post them in the correct forum. Thanks for any help you can give.
  3. I am submitting a claim for anxiety. My wife wrote a letter where she has included the following to show my military connection and timeline. I have been retired for 19 years (20yr Marine 0331) and have not submitted a claim for this prior to now. I am rated at 10% for migraines and service connected for back pain but rated at 0% for that. I do not have my military medical records although I requested them back on January 2nd. I know they will take a long time to get. I was seen by a clinical psychologist at the VA clinic and her diagnosis says "Adjustment disorder with mixed emotions r/o Trauma-related stressor". She is sending me to classes and recommended on-line options as well. Any suggestions? My husband served 20 years in the Marine Corp where he was exposed to many conditions that he tries, unsuccessfully, to deal with to this day. He suffers from impaired short and long term memory. He retains only highly learned materials while forgetting to complete simple tasks. This started very early in his military career when he studied long hours for promotion boards. He was trained to memorize and recite. He is suspicious of everyone and everything. Again, this is due to his military training, be aware of your surroundings at all times and be prepared for the worst. He sees the world as a completely dangerous place. He is easy to anger and very irritable. In his military career he was trained to do things at the drop of a hat, always ready to react at a moment's notice. When things don't move at the pace he thinks is appropriate he has difficulty dealing with it. “Little” things easily anger him. He suffers from lack of concentration. If the subject doesn't interest him he zones out. He was taught in the military to focus on the relevant and ignore the irrelevant. This makes it nearly impossible for him to concentrate on learning new things, i.e. new jobs. He served as a drill instructor at both Parris Island and San Diego. During those 4 years he trained many young Marines who later served in combat. He has expressed to me many, many times the feelings of anxiety and guilt he continues to have knowing that some of those young men were either injured or killed. He feels that he should have been there with them instead of on the drill field. His 20 years of training dictate his life to this day. He has a difficult time functioning in the “civilian” world. His nights are restless and his days are frustrating. He sleeps with a CPAP machine to control his breathing. He frequently gets up to check and recheck doors and windows. He is not comfortable in social situations unless he is surrounded by his military buddies. He can not work around other people unless they share the same military background. He believes that if he asks for help it is a sign of weakness. When he was on active duty he did not go to sick call or ever ask for help because he did not want to be labeled a “sick bay commando”. Although most of these conditions have been present since he was on active duty, they have gotten worse over the years. Only recently did he agree to seek help.
  4. I am still active duty. Having a number of mental health issues due to my health (heart arrhythmia) and the results of an IG Investigation. No charges but substantiated claims and my next rank that I was selected for was removed. My record now has me as a FTS (fail to select - basically passed over) and I have put in to retire (27 Yrs, 1 mo). I am seeing a military shrink and military therapist, each weekly and have been doing so for the past 6 weeks. Lots of paper in my record and a variety of diagnosis - PTSD, MDD, but mainly anxiety disorder. Question: Should I ask to have more psychological testing completed and get that in my record. I am think the MMPI-2 test (567 question so it is not little test). I would think that would help establish more firmly the service connection nexus and give a stronger diagnosis. It couldn't hurt right?
  5. Hey, I'm service connected for IBS, chronic migraines, anxiety, reynaud's syndrome, and lumbosacral and cervical strain. Upon coming home from Afghanistan and while in country was treated for insomnia and many of my symptoms above progressed in the first year after returning in 2011. I was treated and diagnosed while still on AD. My rheumatologist an AD Col diagnosed me with fibromyalgia end of 2016. I filed a VA claim and told my fibromyalgia was not service related. Is it worth appealing and if granted could the VA take away my other conditions saying they are just part of my fibromyalgia diagnose? My rheumatologist wrote a letter stating he felt my fibromyalgia was service related. Any guidance on how to proceed or do nothing? Any help would be most appreciated. Regards Herb
  6. Hey folks new here I was Diagnosed with adjustment disorder with anxiety and depressed mood / occupational problem. I tried to file for benefits IDK if I did before I got out. Someone told me to go to the VA and I did they told me to go see a private doctor and then apply. I was broke within a month after I was discharged and never saw a doc for about 7 years. I finialy hit a rock bottom so I applied anyway with 17 different Ebenfits Problems. I also have not recieved a letter notifying me of the decision. I recieved a letter saying I qualified for disabled va life insurance I recieved a call from va health care welcoming me to va health care Disability Rating Decision Related To Effective Date drug abuse Willful Misconduct phobic anxiety disorder unspecified also claimed as (nervousness, bipolar disorder, memory loss, and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)) 10% Service Connected 06/09/2017 eye condition, left eye Not Service Connected sleep apnea Not Service Connected non-specific digestive complaints Not Service Connected alcohol abuse Willful Misconduct right wrist condition Not Service Connected back condition Not Service Connected nutritional deficiency Not Service Connected so After this Im Considering appealing For either more benefire or retro pay. since I dont remember If i filed for va compensation before i was discharged I know I spoke with the VA IDK how to find out if I did. I also have A VSO who wouldnt answer an email from me but ID like to know if I could get any GI Bills I was give an GENERAL(UNder honorable conditions) discharge and donno if it could get upgraded. Either way I never expected to get service connected years later im just learning about all this stuff now years later
  7. Good Day All Just a question: I am presently rated at 80%, and was recently by my outside PSYCH doctor with Depression Disorder and Anxiety Disorder and was wondering how this would affect my overall 80% disability rating?
  8. Hello Eveyone, here is a copy of my C & P exam for increase on migraines. I also filed a FDC for the hemifacial spasms that can be caused by migraines and aggravate migraines as well. tell me what you guys think. The examiner add HTN and anxiety in his remarks. Why?? Was the Veteran's VA claims file reviewed? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, list any records that were reviewed but were not included in the Veteran's VA claims file: vbms If no, check all records reviewed: [ ] Military service treatment records [ ] Military service personnel records [ ] Military enlistment examination [ ] Military separation examination [ ] Military post-deployment questionnaire [ ] Department of Defense Form 214 Separation Documents [ ] 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 [ ] Other: 1. Diagnosis ------------ Does the Veteran now have or has he/she ever been diagnosed with a headache condition? [X] Yes [ ] No [X] Migraine including migraine variants ICD code: 784.0 Date of diagnosis: 2009 2. Medical History ------------------ a. Describe the history (including onset and course) of the Veteran's headache conditions (brief summary): CO- "patient not aware when headache and migrains strated but got got worst in basic training, also in Germany after she delivered her daughter with migrains". \ Frequency of headache and migrains-18 per month. Prostrating attack frequency-5 per month. Work:- Computer private sector-full time for past three years. b. Does the Veteran's treatment plan include taking medication for the diagnosed condition? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, describe treatment (list only those medications used for the diagnosed condition): Meloxicam.Sumatriptan. 3. Symptoms ----------- a. Does the Veteran experience headache pain? [X] Yes [ ] No [X] Pain on both sides of the head [X] Other, describe: sharp b. Does the Veteran experience non-headache symptoms associated with headaches? (including symptoms associated with an aura prior to headache pain) [X] Yes [ ] No [X] Nausea [X] Vomiting [X] Sensitivity to sound [X] Other, describe: dizzy,eye twitches,concentration problems . c. Indicate duration of typical head pain [X] 1-2 days d. Indicate location of typical head pain [X] Both sides of head 4. Prostrating attacks of headache pain --------------------------------------- a. Migraine / Non-Migraine- Does the Veteran have characteristic prostrating attacks of migraine / non-migraine headache pain? [X] Yes [ No b. Does the Veteran have very prostrating and prolonged attacks of migraines/non-migraine pain productive of severe economic inadaptability? [X] Yes [ ] No 5. Other pertinent physical findings, complications, conditions, signs and/or symptoms ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- a. Does the Veteran have any scars (surgical or otherwise) related to any conditions or to the treatment of any conditions listed in the Diagnosis section above? [ ] Yes [X] No b. Does the Veteran have any other pertinent physical findings, complications, conditions, signs and/or symptoms related to any conditions listed in the Diagnosis section above? [X] Yes [ ] If yes, describe (brief summary): HTN,Anxiety 6. Diagnostic testing --------------------- Are there any other significant diagnostic test findings and/or results? [ ] Yes [X] No 7. Functional impact -------------------- Does the Veteran's headache condition impact his or her ability to work? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, describe the impact of the Veteran's headache condition, providing one or more examples: Slows her prodoctivity. 8. Remarks, if any: ------------------- PE: BP-136/75 -HEENT-normocephlaic,EOME,PERLA,no facial drops or tongue deviations,cranial nerves II/XII gorssly normal. -Neck-Supple, no JVD or carotid bruits. Current level of headache and migrain severity:- moderate to sever based on subjective reporting by patient.
  9. Hello All, Put in 1 claim for anxiety and depression and 1 for ptsd(noncombat). Had QTC exam today.. Doctor said I have signs of ptsd but dont meet full criteria for it. Definitely have anxiety and depression. But he couldnt say if my issues are more of the ptsd or the depression, but I needed to continue counseling. So is this good or bad?
  10. I noticed that the VA didn't award me anything for my anxiety. I was diagnosed with PTSD, depression, anxiety and MDD all at the same time. I looked through my records and see where it's all listed. It has been less than a year since I received my award. Can anyone tell me how to go about getting my anxiety added into my disabilities. Do I file an appeal or..........
  11. I have asked a lot of questions and i continue to ask alot of questions to learn even more. I think this may be my final question before i file. So i am currently service connected at 80% 60% asthma 30% allergic rhinitus 10% carpal tunnel 10% cystic acne (due to jet fumes) Now here's my question. Back in 2009 i began seeing a shrink for depression. ive been on pills and have gone to a counselor very often ever since. It is believed that my depression came from the 3 plane crashes that i witnessed. And another 1 that i didnt witness, but i was apart of the HR (human remains) team that shipped the 6 recovered bodies home. It is also believed that my depression has come as a result of the severe asthma and allergy pains. Recent my therapist marked me down as bipolar I, fyi. My question is, do you think i would have a better chance claiming bipolar/depression as secondary to the asthma and allergies. Or should i just say that ive been depressed from the plane crashes and hr missions. Or should i just claim depression as its own issue. please help. Thanks.
  12. Hello all. I am looking for some thoughts on how much of an impact a VA psychiatrist note in my record. I am filing for aggravation of mental conditions the pre-existed prior to service. I had a special waiver signed prior to joining where the military doctor granted me permission to enter because I had been taking lithium trials. The psychiatrist note from 2016 therapy session that states "In brief, -------- has contended with depression, anxiety, and anger as far back as teenage years. There were aggravating circumstances during his time in the Army (1988-96), though he was not in combat, and for quite a period of time alcohol misuse exacerbated his symptoms, but he says today he's been sober since 2011, when he went through treatment in the VA hospital. He doesn't attend AA; he just knows he's better off not drinking. -------- has contended with hostility and paranoid perceptions and ideation for many years. When it's been bad he'll use Abilify to counteract those symptoms. I have been seeing the VA doctors for mental health problems since 2009 and have an extensive history in my VA records of meds and groups etc. Do I have a nexus? I have been appealing this for years. Happy to provide more info if needed. Thank you
  13. My file was stuck in appeals for over two years in San Diego, and they transferred it to Pittsburgh, since I am overseas. Any advice on preparing for the DRO Hearing, whenever I get one.
  14. I have seen my new psych 4 times total and each time he has added new meds, or increased the dosage of existing ones. appt 1: sertraline 50mg. (Now @100) appt 2: Seroquil (quetiapine fumarade) 50mg (Now @100). appt 4: bupropion 100mg. Long story short I don't want to take All of these. At my old VA I was prescribed 1 pill, Adderall, for 8 years. It did not fix my issues, but it made me happen when I took it. New VA, new Psych stopped the adderall and gives me these pills that make me feel zombified during the day and also haven't fixed my issues. I'm still angry at random and distrust people, still have days where Im so sad with my life I want to jump in a lake, still hear bad voices, still sleep 4 hours a night. I feel even worse than before. Has anyone else had a similar reaction to this combo? I mentioned this at my last appointment; brain fog for hours after waking, pysically drained, sad and sexually useless (I dont know how to make new relationships, and all my old ones are gone). Saying that got me the Bupropion rx, my issues written off with lines like "worry it will get better eventually." Instead of seeing me as an individual I think my doc has blind faith in his own personal process. My next appointment is in 2 weeks and Im worried that when I bring this stuff up I'll get another pill added to the regimen. My personal beliefs are that all these meds aren't working on me. Maybe I'm missing something about myself, something I can't see that is the root cause of my problems. That plus my scholiosis (I seen the x-ray from PMRS and it horrified me). Seroquil does keep me asleep - first few nights it knocked me out but no longer does that. I still stay up late, and wake feeling slow and weak. More than once my arms were shaking to the point where it was effecting my morning pages (writing 2 freehand pages each morning as therapy - these are actually fun and helpful). It felt like extreme fatigue. As far as the other 2 meds they have had literally no effect on my mood, the sertraline Ive been taking 3 months already. Welbutrin doesnt lift the brain fog. Coffee is more helpful. Thank you, if you read this lengthy post. I now realize how much this topic has been bothering me and I think that Had-it is the best place to get it out. Can't wait to read responses.
  15. Hey Vets. Monthly troll here. Currently 0% Service Connected for ADHD. My 2nd go-round I got a bit smarter and claimed MDD, Tinnitus, I/U, ADD with bipolar disorder (2ndary), and Anxiety Disorder. Claim submitted May 15 2016. Just did C&P on July 23 2016. The following is going to be info from my VA records, and I'm scared I did it wrong again - currently in a homeless vet program and sick of being broke/retarded at life. As of today: Active Problems: Cannabis dependence in remission (SCT 191839003) Schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type (SCT 38368003) Legal problem (SCT 22268004) Adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (SCT 444613000) Recurrent major depression (SCT 66344007) Homeless single person (SCT 160700001) Active Medications: ---- SERTRALINE HCL 100MG TAB - (ACTIVE) FLUTICASONE PROP 50MCG 120D NASAL INHL - (ACTIVE) QUETIAPINE FUMARATE 50MG TAB - (ACTIVE) AMOXICILLIN 500MG CAP - (ACTIVE) SODIUM FLUORIDE 1.1% (FL 0.5%) DENT GEL - (ACTIVE/SUSP) Old Meds -- Dextroamphetamine for ADHD Clonidine(Blood Pressure) Trazadone(Sleep) METHYLPHENIDATE (ADD) CITALOPRAM HYDROBROMIDE HYDROMORPHONE 2MG/ML INJ 1M : DIATRIZOATE MEGL ALBUTEROL 90MCG 2007-TRAZODONE (depression/mood/sleep) 2007-MIRTAZAPINE 2007: Last year of active duty service. No combat tours. Assigned to a recruiting station, a decade younger than every other Marine in my office. Was often critized for mistakes in job performance. Sometimes I would take breaks and cry in my car because I was so unhappy with that present situation. Sept 2007: Talk to a psych once 2 months before discharge about my emotional issues and depressed state. No diagnosis. Sept 2008: Diagnosed with Depression. Was taking a med called Citalopram or something. 5 days later had a suicide attempt and was in the VA ward for 3 days. Was officially diagnosed with MDD less than 1 month after I left service. Now: Went for my C&P for Tinnitus. She said I had high frequency hearing loss. They didnt provide me hearing protection (ran out) during grenade throwing which was initial issue. It effects my sleeping and sometimes have to have people repeat things. C&P for MDD: Explained what I have above about my final duty station, my suicide attempt. Also added: 10 years of not being able to hold a job, quit/get fired for stupid reasons, dont show up cause I dont feel right. I lay in bed for weeks at a time not feeling like doing anything. I DO take care of my appearance. Feel hopeless and useless to society Cannot make functional relationships with others. Distrust others automatically. Avoid others at all costs. Hear voices saying 'its ok to die, the world doesnt need you,'. Will continue updated once I re-log on this library computer. What do you guys think/predict/belief?
  16. Hello again----- Just more of a question/input than anything, but would love to hear anyone's personal experience if you have dealt with Pittsburgh Appeal process. Try to make this short.... I developed an anxiety disorder while I was on active duty. I didn't apply for it on my initial claim in 2009 cause of the "stigma" (I know, silly on my part) However my generalized anxiety disorder got worse and worse, by this time I was on 3 times a day benzos, FMLA, seeing a psych at the VAMC as well as weekly sessions at the Women's Clinic... I applied for the anxiety claim in 2013, over a year later I was granted 10%. Due to moves and life changes, I put in my NOD (asking for a DRO De novo) I believed that having FMLA (missing more than a day or two of work a week due to panic attacks would constitute a higher rating??) My Appeal has been in since June 2015 (so just at a year...) Has anyone dealt with Pittsburgh in regards to appeals, especially a DRO De Novo? What was your wait time? What was your outcome? Someone told me they were working on 2012 and EARLIER appeals?!!! Thanks again for any input!!!
  17. Hello:) Pretty new to this site, but have read some great advice, and support, so I will ask for some input for my appeal. Back story... I filed for anxiety in 2013 (I should've claimed it in my separation exam in 2009-- but didn't want that "stigma"...silly I know) Claim closed in mid 2014. They rated me 10%... Mind you, I had anxiety in service (due to a traumatic event) and was on medication for many years. I filed my NOD in the summer of 2015 ( I know.. it took me a while to file it, but I was going through other family events, either way I got my appeal in within the year mark) When I did my initial C&P with the mental health DR... I had told them I was missing some work due to this, but wasn't on FMLA yet cause I hadn't been at my job for a year, and that was a requirement... Still.. 10% I sent in my NOD requesting a DRO De Novo Review, cause by this time I had been approved FMLA and had already lost over 150 hours of unpaid leave due to panic attacks.... also since then another VA Dr. diagnosed me with a Panic Disorder and other mental health issues, not just the Generalized Anxiety Attacks first stated to me. I know appeals can take forever.... but I submitted all new paperwork, my new exams are in the system, ..... Just hoping that they can see my issue is more than a 10% rating.. it has literally taken over my life. Do you think of what I just typed would at least warrant a 30% eval? It would be great to hear any stories of success, or not such good news on your appeal with similar background.... Thank you all, and God Bless :)
  18. I am 40 percent service connected for Spondy 20% knees 10% patellofemoral.. I am also being treated for Anxiety, Depression, insomnia, fatigue at the VA. I have been diagnosed with Generalized anxiety disorder, and Major Depressive disorder (mod) In my records it references that this is because of my Chronic pain.. I also have a Note/letter from my VA MD that says my "Anxiety/Depression is "most likely" caused by my Chronic pain syndrome from my Service connected disabilities" is this sufficient to get these rated? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you
  19. Just had my C&P last week. And, I've been trying to figure out if I will get the compensation benefits and at what percentage?..I was hoping some of my service family could help me with..Appreciate any input you guys or girls can give me. Thanks!! Initial Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Disability Benefits Questionnaire * Internal VA or DoD Use Only * Name of patient/Veteran: Taylor, David G. 0507 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: 309.89 2. Current Diagnoses -------------------- a. Mental Disorder Diagnosis #1: Other Trauma- and Stressor- Related Disorder ICD code: F43.8 Comments, if any: This is the DSM-5 diagnosis which applies when symptoms characteristic of a trauma- and stressor-related disorder cause clinically significant distress or impairment, but do not meet the full criteria for any other specific disorders within this category. In Mr. Taylor's case, criteria are met for categories A. (stressor), B. (intrusive symptoms), and C. (avoidance symptoms), but not catagories D. (Negative alterations in cognition and mood) and E. (Marked alterations in arousal and reactivity). Mental Disorder Diagnosis #2: Unspecified Depressive Disorder ICD code: F32.9 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: Mr. Taylor's Other Specified Trauma- and Stressor- Related Disorder includes situational symptoms which are activated by situations like thunderstorms. These symptoms are reported to include intrusive thoughts/fears/memories and accompanying states of anxiety. Mr. Taylor makes efforts to avoid encountering triggering stimuli. The Unspecified Depressive Disorder includes symptoms of sad and depressed moods, decreased energy and motivation, interpersonal withdrawal, feelings of hopelessness, and anxious distress. 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 occasional decrease in work efficiency and intermittent periods of inability to perform occupational tasks, although generally functioning satisfactorily, with normal routine behavior, self-care and conversation b. For the indicated level of occupational and social impairment, is it possible to differentiate what portion of the occupational and social impairment indicated above is caused by each mental disorder? [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: The symptoms related to Mr. Taylor's Other Specified Trauma- and Stressor- Related Disorder are situationally circumscribed and seem to be mild or transient in nature. Symptoms of the Unspecified Depressive Disorder are more pervasive, resulting in occasionally diminished social and occupational functioning. 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 [X] 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 [ ] Other: b. Was pertinent information from collateral sources reviewed? [ ] Yes [X] No 2. History ---------- a. Relevant Social/Marital/Family history (pre-military, military, and post-military): Mr. Taylor was born and raised in Buffalo, NY. Family consisted of his mother and a brother five years older. Mr. Taylor's father was not involved in his upbringing. Growing up, "We weren't rich... single mom... towards (my) teenaged years she got addicted to some things... got pretty bad... brother was older, so I was kind of there by myself a lot." "I had a godfather that kind of watched me when my mom was working... He was there, which is more than what I could say about my dad..." Father had 15 children- "You can see why he wasn't around... came around to high school graduation... boot camp graduation... I forgave him... just the type of person he is... I have all these other siblings... call me when they need some money... Only time I talk to them is when I go visit... got a little sister who will call me once in a blue moon..." Relationship with his brother- "We're working on it... He was a little abusive... beating me up... one time I had to come at him with a knife... I was always doing the chores... wasn't really the best brother to have... Think he was probably a littl e jealous... He always had problems in school... I was kind of the smart one... He apologized to me... We're working on it..." First marriage- 1995-1997. From that relationship, "I had a daughter and a son (both are currently in Buffalo), same mom..." "My daughter, she's 20... pregnant now... with a man that's older than I am... I think it's because I wasn't there... looking for a father figure (Mr. Taylor is visibly, audibly sad, no longer making eye contact)... My daughter, that's awreck... She's staying over there with the guy... He's trying to control her... I talked to her about stuff, but kind of late, like 16, 17... Her mom and her got into it and her mom said she had to go... but too young to go... I just want to be there for her when she needs someone... If I was there, it could have been a little different..." "My son, I'm still working on him... I think he's a little mad... thinks I abandoned him... wasn't my choice... couldn't financially help him... I flew him down a couple summers ago... apologized to him for not being there... told him my thoughts... I got to be honest with myself, I could have done more for him..." "I was married (second) for about seven, eight years... two kids in that marriage... I was unfaithful, but she kind of forgave me... but I think that was more a way to get out.. I don't think I was really.. I get in so many situations I'm not comfortable... I'm not maybe the marriage type... getting married for no reason... I just left..." Current marriage of three years- "Terrible... I don't know if it's me... reason I'm here is maybe 50%... I think I moved too fast once again... When I left my first marriage, I was supposed to work on myself... I think it was more just having somebody there... She's kind of verbally abusive, and I think I allow it because... I can take a lot..." "I don't want to be a third time loser... but I think I need to be by myself... same thing over and over..." "She (current wife) thinks I'm just around now because it's comfortable... If I could afford to move, I'd have been gone... That's true... I bit off more than I could chew.... worst thing that could have happened to me... wrong relationship for me... I need to go, but I don't know how..." "My second kids... When they come over my house... feeling guilty because I left them... If I was there, they'd be living a little bit better... a little bit of order... I try to make sure when they come and see me that everything is good... got clothes... do things with them..." His current wife gets mad because they don't have more responsibilities when they visit. Friends- "I have friends... wife kind of chased them off... Now I'm embarrassed to even go... They know... certain changes... She throws temper tantrums... doesn't really have no respect for nobody..." b. Relevant Occupational and Educational history (pre-military, military, and post-military): School- "Very well... honor roll... played basketball." Pre-service work at McDonald's. Marine Corps- 1995-1999- Administrative Clerk- No deployments. Honorable discharge. "The reason why I got in... I had a daughter on the way when I was in high school... early entry program... didn't work out so well... She (wife) broke up... She was gonna go to school and come back... didn't hear from her for a while... back with her old boyfriend... caused my issues in the service... I told my commanding officer I needed to go home... try to save my marriage... I came back and they shipped me to another office... Headquarters Battalion... They were more focused on the job than some young guy focused on trying to save his marriage..." After the Marines, "A lot of call-center the first couple years... kind of moved down here because there wasn't a lot of good jobs where I'm from... I got laid off about a year ago... help desk... Carolinas' Associated General Contractors... about seven or eight years..." Currently, "I'm working at Lending Tree in Ballantyne now... going good... I'm always able to separate (work life)... from my personal life..." c. Relevant Mental Health history, to include prescribed medications and family mental health (pre-military, military, and post-military): Mr. Taylor says he took anger management classes during the service, following an altercation with his wife. No indication of any other mental health problems observed in STR, nor in military separation exam- June 8, 1999. Denies any mental health services before or after the military. d. Relevant Legal and Behavioral history (pre-military, military, and post-military): During the service, "I got some anger management classes... Me and my ex-wife had got into it.. she kind of hit me first.. reactionary thing... I hit her back... I did get arrested for that think with my first wife... got restrictions for a week or two... money taken away..." Other disciplinary action, "Here and there... I'm not good at relationships I don't think... kind of got in trouble sleeping around with a... married woman... some other rules things... over-sleeping because I was drunk maybe a couple times..." Thinks he had two or three Article 15s. "I did get caught shop-lifting... When I was young... didn't have money to buy things... (in the service) video game card... got like 30 days restriction... like $400 in pay... maybe why I never got promoted beyond E-3... Most of the things happened during the first two years... kind of settled down after that." e. Relevant Substance abuse history (pre-military, military, and post-military): Alcohol- "Usually I'm just a social drinker... lately... kind of depressed... things ain't working out like they should have... expected more of myself... I might make two or three (drinks), maybe three, four times a week..." Sometimes more. No history of alcohol treatment. No history of illicit substances. f. Other, if any: Sleep- "I guess it depends... lately either I can sleep good, real deep... or I have... since I applied for this... sleep more off and on because I'm thinking about it... some periods I might have like restless leg syndrome... wife tells me... in and out of it..." "I try to work out now... try to help me sleep a little better... This bad relationship I'm in though, don't help me with my sleep..." Mr. Taylor says he gets "a good five" hours of sleep, "Then I toss and turn... had a surgery on my thumb... bulging disc in my neck... muscle relaxers... help me go to sleep..." Depression- "I've been depressed for a while... kind of live with it... I do have thoughts of maybe, you know..." Denies suicidal intent or plan. Wouldn't act on it because of his children. "I think I'm just hard on myself... The women, I don't really have emotional attachment with... my kids, I love my kids... feel like I've failed them... guilt... probably don't do what I need to do to handle it right..." Talks about his son acting out, being disrespectful to his mother, with Mr. Taylor feeling guilty/responsible for it. "If I was there, I know that wouldn't be going on." "My confidence in myself... kind of mumbling... I lost it somehow... It's embarrassing... Everything pretty much... I think my mom had more hope for me... kind of let myself and my kids down... especially my older kids..." Anger, "I can keep it in check, cause if I don't keep it in check, I don't know where it will go... That's the reason I don't discipline my kids... one time I did it... ended up (going too hard)... that's why I don't..." Anxiety, "I think I'm... I can tell by how my nails look, how I'm doing lately... I swear it has something to do with losing my hair... I kind of go in kind of a shell too... There's kind of a compulsive thing I do... I always got a remote in my hand... constantly going back and forth (does some numerical patterns with buttons/symmetry). "If it's raining... lightning... If I see that (memory of reported stressor)... even in the car... Even though when the lightning struck, we weren't near a tree... lightning hit the ground... I always had a wariness of... lightning... staying where I'm at, or make sure if I'm getting anywhere, I don't see no puddles of water... or passing by trees or metal... I know it happens... I was right there... I'm staying there until it at least slows down..." "Ever since I started coming here, I keep replaying it in my mind... wonder if it has anything to do with what's going on..." 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: "What they said and what happened are two different things... storms... rifle range... lightning hit the surrounding tree line... I'm like... 'That's real close... don't know why we were still there.'... As we were leaving... two formations... guys (other group) right behind me... I was in the back of mine... Drill sergeant was like, 'Cover your rifles with your ponchos.'... We were doing that... All the sudden... blue light... no sound... feel this heat on the back of my neck... several of us got down... As I turn around... see several guys down on the ground... Drill instructor is running up... eyes out of his head... 'Everybody get up to the... shelter!'... This one guy... just down... all this happened in probably no more than ten seconds... That heat... and you could smell it, like electrical burn... 'til I hear the boom, then I recognized what it was... My ears was ringing... One of the guys... He had died... hit him first, and came out and hit the people closest to him... We was in boot camp... didn't tell us anything... We went to his funeral... after that, we didn't do but ten or fifteen percent of the stuff... because it was raining a lot... lightning... We didn't do it after that... He could have been alive if we'd have left ten minutes earlier..." Does this stressor meet Criterion A (i.e., is it adequate to support the diagnosis of PTSD)? [X] Yes [ ] No Is the stressor related to the Veteran's fear of hostile military or terrorist activity? [ ] Yes [X] No If no, explain: Mr. Taylor was witness to another man being killed by a lightning strike during training. Is the stressor related to personal assault, e.g. military sexual trauma? [ ] Yes [X] No 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] 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: No response provided. 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: No response provided. 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] Chronic sleep impairment 6. Behavioral Observations -------------------------- Mr. Taylor arrived about 15 minutes early for his appointment. He was neatly and casually dressed. No abnormalities of gate or posture were noted. He was cooperative with the interview process and made good eye contact. Mr. Taylor was fully oriented. Speech was clear and coherent, quiet at times. Mood was somewhat depressed. Affective expression was mild, congruent, sad at times. Thought process was logical and goal-directed. Thought content was relevant and with adequate detail. Gross concentration and memory were adequate. Insight and judgment are in tact. There was no evidence of perceptual disturbance. There was no evidence of thought disorder or hallucinations. Mr. Taylor relates that he has thought about suicide, but denies any intent or plan. Homicidal ideation is denied. 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 -------------------------------------------------- Prior to beginning the interview, the undersigned examiner informed the veteran of the purpose of the evaluation, the role of the undersigned examiner, and the limits of confidentiality. The veteran indicated understanding of the aforementioned information. Per VA Memorandum titled Information Bulletin: Implementation Guidance for the Fifth Edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) use in Compensation and Pension Examinations, dated December 16, 2013, this examination was conducted using DSM-5 criteria. Of note, the DSM-5 no longer requires computation of a GAF score. Per 2507: "Please indicate in exam report the stressor(s) claimed by the veteran upon which a diagnosis of PTSD is based. **If a diagnosis other than PTSD is rendered, please state if that psychiatric condition is at least as likely as not (50 percent or greater probability) linked to the conceded stressor." Examiner's Response: Mr. Taylor does not meet DSM-5 criteria for a diagnosis of PTSD. However, he does currently meet criteria for Other Specified Trauma- and Stressor- Related Disorder. This includes situational symptoms including intrusive thoughts/fears/memories of the stressor event, with accompanying states of anxiety, which are triggered by situations like thunderstorms. Mr. Taylor makes efforts to avoid encountering triggering events. The Unspecified Depressive Disorder includes symptoms of sad and depressed moods, decreased energy and motivation, interpersonal withdrawal, feelings of hopelessness, and anxious distress. The symptoms related to Mr. Taylor's Other Specified Trauma- and Stressor- Related Disorder are situationally circumscribed and seem to be mild or transient in nature. Symptoms of the Unspecified Depressive Disorder are more pervasive, resulting in occasionally diminished social and occupational functioning. It is at least as likely as not (50 percent or greater probability) that Mr. Taylor's currently diagnosed Other Specified Trauma- and Stressor- Related Disorder is due to his having been witness to the lightning strike killing a fellow Marine during training. The reported stressor is sufficient for the potential development of a trauma- or stressor-related disorder. The symptoms of intrusive thoughts/fears/memories of the stressor, accompanying states of anxiety, and efforts to avoid triggers to memory of the stressor are meaningfully related to the stressor itself. It is less likely as not (less than 50 percent probability) that Mr. Taylor's currently diagnosed Unspecified Depressive Disorder is due to the lightning strike killing a fellow Marine during training. Mr. Taylor's problems with depression seem more likely due to historical and current difficulties with significant other relationships, difficulties and regret in his relationships with his children, and perhaps aspects of adverse circumstances during childhood.
  20. Hello, I am a veteran, however, this post is in regards to my spouse, who is a retired veteran. He had been awarded 90% a couple of years ago. He made an attempt to have an increase for anxiety (was 30%) and another previously rated condition (20% I believe) re-evaluated. More than likely they would have been increased as I know that the anxiety had gotten worse with several panic attacks a day. There was a letter dated mid-2015 that stated he had missed his appointments for re-evaluation and so his ratings were reduced to 0% for both service related conditions. We are currently separated, so I was unaware of the disability compensation reduction until I found the VA letters when going through his things after his hospitalization. He was admitted to ICU for almost a week, remained in the hospital for 3 weeks, and was put in a skilled nursing facility about 5 days ago. He is still very sick. While in the hospital (regular), it was discovered that he had Hepatitis A and Cirrosis of the liver. We were told that he needs a liver transplant. I went online and conducted a chat with VA to find out how I could get the process restarted on the claims that had been reduced, but was told that I needed to have VA Form 21-0845 (Authorization to Disclose Personal Information to a Third Party) in order to do anything on his behalf. I currently have the form signed. Upon further reading, I discovered that it needed to be sent with a claim and it was recommended not to handle this through the online system because it could take a significant period of time. He currently works for the DOD as a federal worker and they are unwilling to grant any type of advanced leave. I am also thinking of seeing if I can get him moved to a VA hospital because the nursing facility are not providing the care (daily labs, close monitoring, IVs) that he requires. Any assistance that anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated.Thanking you in advance.
  21. Goal- 20% to 100% Schedular Hi, I'm brand new to the forum and brand new to the VA Claims process. My husband doesn't really understand all this paperwork stuff, so I'm basically doing all the work, so he just has to show up to the C&P exams. The backstory is this, hubby intended to make a career out the military. Unfortunately, only 2 years into his Navy service, he fell 50 feet down a shaft on an aircraft carrier. He suffered a pretty serious head injury and was lucky to be alive. Within 3 months, he started having grand mal seizures. Those are the big, nasty ones where really bad things can happen. He's stopped breathing and required CPR 3 times during grand mal seizures. So the Navy decides he can't be in service anymore and they medically discharge him with a $400 a month TDRL payment. Within a couple years, his info gets sent over to VA. They really put him through the wringer. He had to undergo multiple, scary medical tests, like a head MRI, EEG, Sleep Study, CAT scan and on and on. After all this, they decide they cannot figure out the cause of his seizures and give him a lowball rating of 20%. He doesn't know any better and is exhausted from dealing with all the medical appointments, so he just accepts the 20%. Well, that was 21 years ago. Over the years, he has had many seizures, both big ones and little ones, and has had to stay on medication since being discharged 21 years ago. Once a doctor tried to wean him off and he had multiple seizures immediately. We really didn't know he could request an increase or that he could file any new claims based on old injuries. One day 2 weeks ago, his mom asked why he's getting such a low amount from VA for such a serious chronic condition. And I said to myself, "Hmm, I wonder if anything's changed at VA in the last 20 years?" Behold the power of the Internet!!!! I did a quick Google search and found out soooo much information. #1 We can request an increase. #2 According to the VA rating table, based on his frequency he should be getting 80%, not 20% #3 We can even file a new claim for old Navy injuries that are affecting him now. I really don't understand why no one tells Vets about all this!!! I think the newer discharged Vets are getting the info when they are discharged, but it just didn't happen back in the old days. So, about 2 weeks ago I really started the intense Internet research into this. I called 2 VSO's. They both told me he should be on IU 100%. So I said what does he have to give up to get that? And they said, his job. Well, we have struggled over the years with him and employment. However, he finally has a job taking care of animals that is very therapeutic for him. He loves going to work at this particular job. Plus bad things happen when he has too much time on his hands! I believe he would go into a very deep depression if he had to give up his job. My goal is to have him keep his job (and therefore his sanity) AND get him to 100% Schedular. I am hoping the kind folks here on Hadit can help me out with that. The three things that I plan to pursue are: #1 Increase from 20% to 80% for seizures. #2 file new FDC claim for TBI. Based on the 50 foot fall 21 years ago, I believe that would establish service connection. He does not have a current diagnosis for TBI, but based on the ratings for it, he has symptoms that would put him at 70%. I think 20 years ago, TBI was not recognized like it is today. Back then, they just sewed up his head and once he woke up from the concussion, sent him home. #3 file new claim for Anxiety as Secondary to seizures or as part of TBI. Looking at the ratings for it, he looks to be about 30%. However, he has no formal diagnosis of Anxiety. So, what do ya'll think? Do we have a chance in hell? Is this worth getting on the "Crazy Train" of VA? If you were me, what steps would you take and in what order?
  22. I began a claim in August 2013, after going to the VAMC for the past 12 years from time to time for what they now call "anxiety and depression". I initially went to the VARO and they initiated a claim for "anxiety due to physical assault in basic training" and "back condition". Only on my second visit to the VARO did they provide me with Form 21-0781 for determining PTSD. The VAMC according to my medical records have never used the term "PTSD" in my file as of yet. I have since gone to the DAV for representation, thanks in part to the great information on this website. I gave them my buddy statements to submit on my behalf since there was no documentation of the assault at the time. I am concerned that as of today by file has been moved to the "Preparing for Decision" phase on eBenefits webpage. They estimate my claim to be complete between Jan 2014 - April 2014 - moving the window up one month from last week. That means my claim could be complete in less than six months total time. I know I should be happy that it's not taking two years to complete, but this is almost too fast, maybe? They did the C&P for my back in October already (and have military documentation of a back condition on active duty), and I was not happy with the results when I read my records. I was unprepared and had not talked to the DAV yet, and didn't realize they rate your range of motion and not whether bending over causes you pain or not. I have never done a C&P for PTSD or anxiety. Could they be using my medical records and buddy statements and not require a C&P? Or could that still happen? I'm a bit naive on this whole process. I didn't even know there was such a thing as SC disability unless you got hurt in combat. Any help, thoughts, suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
  23. I am SC for PTSD and was told that I should claim anxiety secondary to PTSD. Does anyone know if that is a true statement. I mean anxiety is a large part of PTSD so why would I be able to claim anxiety secondary to it?
  24. I recieved a yellow envelope from the San Diego, CA RO. In it was my award letter showing my award for increased evaluation and new claims. INCREASED EVALUATION TO 80% 1. Major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder - 70% 2. Allergic rhinitis - 10% 3. Patellafemoral pain syndrome, Right - 10% (continued) 4. Patellafemoral pain syndrome, Left - 10% (continued) 5. Left shoulder tendinitis - DEFERRED 6. Entitlement to Individual Unemployability - DEFERRED *Both backdated to Aug. 24, 2010 7. Left elbow strain - denied 8. Left wrist sprain - denied 9. Left Achilles tendinitis- denied *denied because the above mentioned items are not "CHRONIC". "A disability which began in service or was caused by some event in service must be considered "Chronic" before service connection can be granted. Although there is record of treatment in service.... There is no evidence of continuity fo treatment from the date of discharge from active duty to present." They didnt pay for my dependents on this RETRO, but I already sent in my forms to update my records and can see they are working on it on ebenefits. They put in the claim for IU on their own, does this mean it has a higher probability that it will be approved? Thanks everyone for your help. Its been a long time waiting, a lot of things lost over this period of waiting. I can now begin to plan for my future with my family again. I'm waiting to hopfully hear something today from a rental I applied for so I can move out on my own with my family. Keeping my fingers crossed. Although this is only a partial descision, I am hopeful that the remaining items on my claim will be resolved in my favor. Keeping my fingers crossed. The fight is not over yet! xpertshot San Diego, CA

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