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Found 31 results

  1. Hello Vets Its been 5 years since I filed my appeal. I am still at 10% sc and I am asking for a rate increase and or TDIU. Since my initial decision my back issues have gotten so much worse. Constant pain in low back with muscle spasms. and now I have neck issuses causing my Right arm to go numb during sleep and throughout day. Opinions on my outcome Anyone have similar problems or can relate to my story. I'm on SSD for 5 yrs as well. One month after I was granted VA comp at 10% I was awarded SS disability unable to work.
  2. I was diagnosed with Sleep Apnea through the VA. I filed for compensation so I already know it’s going to get denied. After it’s denied, I need to know exactly how to do the supplemental claim for it. I’m already getting benefits for Insomnia which the underlining is Depression and Anxiety. So after the Sleep Apnea is denied, do I just make an appointment with my Sleep Apnea doctor and say, “Hello sir I’m just curious. I’ve been diagnosed with Insomnia which the underlining factors are depression and anxiety. Can you tell me what caused my Sleep Apnea?” Then hopefully he’ll say depression can cause it, Then I’ll say, ok I’ll go with that. Depression caused my Sleep Apnea. Thank you so much sir that’s all I needed. Everything that is said is recorded in my record anyway. Then from there I’ll file a supplemental claim and say the Sleep Apnea was caused from my depression. Right or is there another way?
  3. I was scheduled for a C and P exam recently and this is what happened and what I submitted to the VA asking to be placed in my file also. Have you seen this before and does anyone have any clue as to why a doc would act this way? Does this make sense? I have no idea what the outcome will be yet. The claim is in preparation for decision now. On 6/28/2019 I showed up to an appointment with xxxxxxxxxxx in Horn Lake, MS for a VA requested C and P exam for what I was advised to be Anxiety and depression that was setup through VES contracting. Upon entering the room the doctor advised that I was there for a C and P exam for anxiety and depression and explained that the reason they do these exams sometimes is to be sure veterans are not lying about their claims. This struck me as an odd way to begin an exam and then the Dr. proceeded to look over my C-File and advised that it appeared that I had someone else's records that had served from somewhere around 1958 to 1964 and asked if that was me. I of course stated no. I was not even born yet. She then went on to say that sometimes these files are put in our veterans records by the VA accidentally. I asked if that is what they base my claim on and she stated that there were disagreements in my file about dates by raters and that this file was causing confusion. She stated that she would let them know that they should remove it. After the appointment I called the VA and spoke to an operator that stated that the record mentioned above was never in my file and she had no idea what the doctor was talking about. As the appointment continued it seemed as if the Dr. was continuing to try to discredit anything wrong with me by asking if I thought I had biological depression and could have had it all my life. I advised her that I had a great childhood and after joining the service I started noticing my anxiety and depression becoming worse. The doctor also advised that I must have made my previous boss mad and that is why I was fired which should have nothing to do with why I am at a anxiety and depression C and P exam 2 years later than the termination. The doctor also asked if I was mad because I was released from the military when I stated that to my knowledge I was released from the service due to sleep apnea, anxiety and depression. I stated life goes on. Which it does. We are soldiers and we learn to keep going no matter how much it hurts emotionally or physically, or at least we try even though appointments like this one remind me that evidently, possibly not everyone has our best interest at heart. I miss the people I served with as an M1A1 Tanker. I miss serving and I love my country even though my body is worn because of it. I do not regret serving by any means. I feel as though this exam was more of an inquisition and have had more anxiety due to the unsettling nature of the exam since it unfortunately. Thank you for taking the time to read this if you do. I just wanted someone to hear my side. I am attaching the C and P request also to this letter so that you will have their information also.
  4. Hello everyone and thank you for accepting me in to the forum. Last year I filed a new claim for Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Major Depression. For the past 3 years, I have been seeing a civilian psychiatrist for my anxiety and depression. She had already diagnosed me with GAD and Major Depression, and I have been on anti-anxiety medications, antidepressants, and sleep medication. I was on differing types of the same medications since coming out of the service, but it wasn't until about 3 years ago, that I admitted to myself that I needed mental help, and that is when I started seeing my civilian psychiatrist, and that is when I first heard of GAD and Major Depression, when she said she had diagnosed me with them. It was at her suggestion, that I file a claim with the VA for GAD and Major Depression. She said she very much felt like my conditions were associated with my time in the service. When it was finally time to have my C&P exam, I was interviewed by a VA psychologist. I told her about my civilian psychiatrist, and her diagnosis for me, and the medications she had me on. I also talked to her about my time in the service, me being overseas in the Gulf War, and me being in a humanitarian mission in Ecuador. I told her about my friend who was with me during basic training. And how he was shot and killed right in front of me, in a horrible accident, during one of our live ammunition training exercises. I told her how all this had affected me from those moments on, all the way until now. At the end of our meeting, she told me that she felt like my condition was more PTSD, rather than Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Major Depression. At the time I didn't think anything of what she said; that is until I was sent my denial letter. In my denial, it stated that my 2 claims for GAD and Major Depression, was changed to GAD (to include PTSD) and Major Depression (to include PTSD). So the VA psychiatrist did what she said she would. She essentially changed what I had claimed, and added (to include PTSD) on each of my 2 claims. So, for the basis of PTSD, there has to be a proven stressor. The VA used what I had talked to the psychiatrist about the death of my friend during boot camp, as my stressor. The VA said they searched records during the time I was at boot camp, and found no incidents related to what I was saying. So, because the VA psychiatrist took it upon herself, to change my claimed conditions from GAD and Major Depression, to GAD (to include PTSD) and Major Depression (to include PTSD), now it was up to me to prove a stressor, because with claims associated with PTSD, you must prove your stressor. I knew from talking to other Army buddies of mine, how difficult it could be sometimes to find old records of deaths. The death of my friend during boot camp happened in 1962 at Ft. Jackson, SC. My civilian psychiatrist never suggested to me that I had PTSD. She always said it was Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Major Depression. If I had wanted to file a claim for PTSD, I would have done so. But I knew how difficult it would be for the VA to search for and find any record of the death of my friend at boot camp. So I filed GAD and Major Depression, because I was told those claims did not require a specific stressor (exact time, place, person, etc). I was told that GAD and Major Depression, could be claims based on your entire military career, with everything you've done and everything you've experienced, all amounting to intense anxiety and depression. So that is why I claimed GAD and Major Depression, over that of PTSD. But because the VA psychiatrist took it upon herself to change my 2 claimed conditions, and added the words (to include PTSD) to each of my claimed conditions, it was not just GAD and Major Depression any longer; it includes PTSD, which requires a specific and provable stressor. I had a stressor, and very specific one - the death of my friend during live ammunition exercises during our time at Ft. Jackson, SC boot camp in the summer of 1962. But the VA said neither they nor the JSRRC could find any record of that taking place. If my 2 claims had remained what they were suppose to be, simply GAD and simply Major Depression, I do not think I would have been denied. But because the VA psychiatrist added PTSD to each of my conditions, the VA asked for my stressor, the VA and JSRRC said they could find no record of my stressor, so my claims were denied. I believe I would have been approved if not for the VA psychiatrist adding PTSD to my 2 claimed conditions. So with all that said (and I apologize for the length of it), is there any hope for me, if I appeal my denial? And do any of you know how I would go about appealing it? Would I simply say to the VA that I disagree with the VA psychiatrist adding PTSD to my 2 claims, when I never claimed PTSD myself?; that that was her decision entirely. I have had a VA Disability Representative for the past couple of years, but he was utterly useless. He never answered my calls or emails. He basically never helped me at all. I did most all myself over eBenefits. But now, since I've had this recent denial, I have considered hiring a VA Disability Law Firm to take my case. I've spoken with 2 so far. They both told me I had a very strong case and that I could win. But they also said they couldn't take my case because of their huge client load. I think it was simply that they could probably win my case, but there wouldn't have been much in the line of backpay, so they wouldn't have gotten much compensation for their work for me. So I guess I will continue searching for other VA Disability Lawyers, or I may have to appeal my denied claim myself over eBenefits. Could any of you, please help me with this? I have read many questions on here regarding GAD and Major Depression, but I haven't come across one yet, where they filed a claim for GAD and Major Depression, and then the VA psychiatrist during the C&P exam, decided to change the claim (to include PTSD), thereby changing the criteria for acceptance, by now making me prove a specific stressor, instead of it she had just left my 2 claimed conditions alone, without including PTSD to them, then no specific stressor was required - it would simply go by your overall experiences while in service. I am a 20 year Veteran by the way, with most of my time served in the National Guard. But I was activated numerous times during my 20 years, including during the Gulf War. It isn't my fault that the death of my friend during boot camp, isn't something the VA or JSRRC can locate in records. If the VA psychiatrist had just left my 2 claimed conditions alone, instead of tacking on (to include PTSD), then the VA wouldn't have even had to search for a specific incident, they would have just based my conditions on my overall military experiences. Thank you for any help, assistance, or advice you might be able to give. Donald
  5. 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.
  6. 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?
  7. I am concerned the "Diagnosis and Rationale" section are going to be the stumbling block for a DRO; in MY opinion, they are contradictory. The examiner wrote out a DBQ that I would have paid an independent examiner to write. The wording the examiner used could not have been any more favorable to my claim, at all! If I had chosen the words to use in my behalf, I would have fallen short of her submitted DBQ. However, the examiner left the diagnosis and rationale sections open to intrepretation. Does any one here on this forum have insight that will be helpful in explaining what I am seeing? Basically, am I looking at a blanket denial, or is there the possibility of a "reasonable doubt" situation? The following is a cut and paste from a C&P for mental health. I am not currently rated for any service-connected disability. I also have a current VHA psychiatrist diagnosis which matches the C&P examiner's diagnosis (Major Depressive Disorder). I read the request for the recent C&P, the rater did request two separate issues to be addressed: 1) Does the Veteran have a diagnosis of PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder, or other mental disorder that was at least as likely as not (50 percent or greater probability) incurred in or caused by the claimed stressors?2) Does the Veteran have a diagnosis of PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder, or other mental disorder that clearly and unmistakably existed prior to his military service, and that was at least as likely as not (50 percent or greater probability) aggravated beyond its natural progression by the claimed stressors?"Taken as a whole, in this examiner's opinion, the evidence available at this time is most supportive of a diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder With Anxious Distress, and is insufficient to determine whether this condition was incurred during the Veteran's military service, or was aggravated by it. To make such a determination would require evidence regarding his pre-military history which has direct bearing on the question of the onset and etiology of his mental health difficulties, and which was not available to the present examiner." I claimed 3 stressors, applied for PTSD, or other MH diagnosis. The DBQ was well written, addressing each of the stressors. The examiners tied each of the stressors to DSM-V. Then, as part of her narrative, she included the following: "Consequently, for the purpose of the present examination, the claimed stressors are considered to be corroborated. For the purpose of this examination, the claimed stressors are also considered to be sufficient to cause PTSD as specified by DSM-5 diagnostic criteria, a clinical judgment which is inherently and unavoidably subjective to some extent."However, instead of a PTSD diagnosis, she chose "Major Depressive Disorder with Anxious Distress." Now, I am most concerned about her "Diagnosis and Rationale": She used the same wording to answer both of the rater's questions. "OPINION: It is this examiner's opinion that the Veteran DOES NOT have a diagnosis of PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder, or other mental disorder that was at least as likely as not (50 percent or greater probability) incurred in or caused by the claimed stressors. RATIONALE: The evidence available is insufficient to determine whether the Veteran's diagnosed mental disorder was incurred during his military service. To make such a determination would require evidence regarding his pre-military history which has direct bearing on the question of the onset and etiology of his mental health difficulties, and which was not available to the present examiner."
  8. For Starters, I want to thank anyone who takes the time to read this and give me a little perspective. I just got my final C&P results after a series of claims. Currently I am 94% combined rating if I include my Sleep apnea claim (The Dr. wrote it was medically neccesary to use the CPAP, so I do expect the 50%. This C&P below was conducted to separate my anxiety disorder from my TBI disorder. Currently I have a 70% rating for Anxiety with residuals of TBI. I was wondering if anyone could read this and tell me if they think I can expect a separate rating for TBI memory loss based on the Dr's opinion stating that my issue is 80% anxiety and 20% TBI (see note 2b below). If I can get at least a 10% for TBI in addition to the 70% for anxiety, It should push me over the threshhold of 100% schedular. The only edits I made to this was to remove names. Again, thank you for your time and expertise 70% Anxiety (Trauma with TBI residuals) 50% Sleep Apnea 20% Degenerative Disc Disease 20% Upper Neuropathy Right / 20% Upper Neuropathy Left 10% Lower Radiculopathy Right / 10% Lower Radiculopathy Left 0% TBI Migraines LOCAL TITLE: COMP AND PEN NOTE STANDARD TITLE: C & P EXAMINATION NOTE DATE OF NOTE: JAN 28, 2019@14:30 ENTRY DATE: JAN 30, 2019@11:11:26 AUTHOR: *********** E EXP COSIGNER: URGENCY: STATUS: COMPLETED Mental Disorders (other than PTSD and Eating Disorders) Disability Benefits Questionnaire Name of patient/Veteran: ***** Is this DBQ being completed in conjunction with a VA 21-2507, C&P Examination Request? [X] Yes [ ] No SECTION I: ---------- 1. Diagnosis ------------ a. Does the Veteran now have or has he/she ever been diagnosed with a mental disorder(s)? [X] Yes [ ] No ICD code: 300.00 If the Veteran currently has one or more mental disorders that conform to DSM-5 criteria, provide all diagnoses: Mental Disorder Diagnosis #1: Unspecifed Anxiety disorder, chronic, severe disorder. ICD code: 300.00 Comments, if any: Vet had been seen initially on 2/11/18 for Mental Health C+P exam done by Dr. *****(which proposed "Anxiety disorder, NOS" then, while f/u C+P exam on 2/16/14 had proposed Other specified trauma and stressor related disorder(as vet had been in IED blast in 2006 - see Mental Disorder diagnosis #2 below. Unspecified anxiety disorder is synonymous with Neurosis - which vet is already 70% SC for, in combination with residuals of TBI apparently). I am therefore not intending to change his Neurosis condition now, but Unspecified anxiety disorder is most accurate diagnosis consistent with DSM-V, as I see it now. Mental Disorder Diagnosis #2: Cognitive disorder due to Closed Head iInjury(CHI), due to 6/1/2006 "double-attacked anti-tank mine" IED blast. ICD code: 294.9 Comments, if any: Vet was in 2nd Iraq combat deployment - out of 3 tours he served there - when 6/1/06 IED hit his heavy equipment vehicle(which vet had referred to as 'palitizing loading system'). b. Medical diagnoses relevant to the understanding or management of the Mental Health Disorder (to include TBI): Vet is already 0% SC for migraine headaches. Comments, if any: Vet is already SC for migraine headaches. Vet is already 20% SC for Intervertebral DIsc Syndrome, 20% SC for Paralysis of musculospiral nerve(x2), 10% SC fo paralysis of sciatic nerve(x2). Vet also apparently had a 2/15/18 sleep study done that indicated a mild sleep apnea condition. 2. Differentiation of symptoms ------------------------------ a. Does the Veteran have more than one mental disorder diagnosed? [X] Yes [ ] No b. Is it possible to differentiate what symptom(s) is/are attributable to each diagnosis? [X] Yes [ ] No [ ] Not applicable (N/A) If yes, list which symptoms are attributable to each diagnosis and discuss whether there is any clinical association between these diagnoses Symptoms(i.e., anxiety, sleep problmes) are due to Unspecified anxiety disorder, while symptoms(memory problems, headaches) are due to Cognitive disorder due to CHI. c. Does the Veteran have a diagnosed traumatic brain injury (TBI)? [X] Yes [ ] No [ ] Not shown in records reviewed d. Is it possible to differentiate what symptom(s) is/are attributable to TBI and any non-TBI mental health diagnosis? [X] Yes [ ] No [ ] Not applicable (N/A) If yes, list which symptoms are attributable to TBI and which symptoms are attributable to a non-TBI mental health diagnosis see 2b above. 3. Occupational and social impairment ------------------------------------- a. Which of the following best summarizes the Veteran's level of occupational and social impairment with regards to all mental diagnoses? (Check only one) [X] Occupational and social impairment with deficiencies in most areas, such as work, school, family relations, judgment, thinking and/or mood b. For the indicated occupational and social impairment, is it possible to differentiate which impairment is caused by each mental disorder? [X] Yes [ ] No [ ] Not Applicable (N/A) If yes, list which occupational and social impairment is attributable to each diagnosis About 80% of vet's current occupational and social impairment is due to Unspecified anxiety disorder while about 20% is due to Cognitive disorder due to CHI. c. If a diagnosis of TBI exists, is it possible to differentiate which occupational and social impairment indicated above is caused by the TBI? [X] Yes [ ] No [ ] Not Applicable (N/A) If yes, list which impairment is attributable to TBI and which is attributable to any non-TBI mental health diagnosis see 3b above. SECTION II: ----------- Clinical Findings: ------------------ 1. Evidence Review ------------------ Evidence reviewed (check all that apply): [X] VA e-folder [X] CPRS [X] Other (please identify other evidence reviewed): Vet broiught a 4 page typed letter 1/12/19 done by himself describing in detail his current ongoing issues("I did not want to forget to tell you something important"), and vet admits it took him severalhours to complete(and which he kept revising many times). He brought a 2 page letter dated 1/27/19 done by his wife ******, a 2 page typed letter dated 1/17/19 done by mother ********, and a 1 page typed letter dated 1/27/19 done by vet's friend/combat comrade(served together in Iraq) named *******, and all 4 letter were reviewed by me. Evidence Comments: CPRS was reviewed by me and included my(***** MD) 12/5 18 Review TBI C+P exam report, as well as 5/16/14 C+P exam report done by Dr *****(sa well as Initial 2/18/11 MH C+P exam aslo done by Dr. ******. VBMS was reviewed by me and included vet's Army DD-214 signed b ***** which included MOS(88M30) Mortor Vehicle Operator,as well as E-6 discharge rank. His medals included CAB - among others, and he had Iraq combat dates of 1/03 - 7/03, 8/05 - 8/06, and 3/08 - 6/09 - for his 3 seperate Iraq combat tours. 2. History ---------- a. Relevant Social/Marital/Family history (pre-military, military, and post-military): Vet is married ****(and they have 2 sons(around ages 5 and nearly 7). b. Relevant Occupational and Educational history (pre-military, military, and post-military): Vet has been working in his current Passport Agency job since 2015(was at an administrative clerk(for a different agency) before that. c. Relevant Mental Health history, to include prescribed medications and family mental health (pre-military, military, and post-military): Vet has been on sertraline 150mg since 9/10/18 - it takes the "edge" off my problems, but he apparently has been having some sexual side effects(delayed ejaculation) related to that . d. Relevant Legal and Behavioral history (pre-military, military, and post-military): Vet has had no legal problems(and no jail time) since the 5/14/16 C+P exam report date. e. Relevant Substance abuse history (pre-military, military, and post-military): Vet has had no alcohol misuse disorder problems sicne 5/16/14. He has used no street drugs since 16/14. f. Other, if any: No response provided. 3. Symptoms ----------- For VA rating purposes, check all symptoms that actively apply to the Veteran's diagnoses: [X] Anxiety [X] Suspiciousness [X] Panic attacks that occur weekly or less often [X] Chronic sleep impairment [X] Mild memory loss, such as forgetting names, directions or recent events [X] Impairment of short- and long-term memory, for example, retention of only highly learned material, while forgetting to complete tasks [X] Disturbances of motivation and mood [X] Difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships [X] Difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances, including work or a worklike setting [X] Obsessional rituals which interfere with routine activities 4. Behavioral observations -------------------------- Vet was totally genuine at the 1/28/19 Review Mental Health C+P exam. 5. Other symptoms ----------------- Does the Veteran have any other symptoms attributable to mental disorders that are not listed above? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, describe: Vet admits to having anger difficulties, 'spacing out' at times, and general feeling of being confused/overwhelmed. He reports having lost his social "filter" abilities. He reports previously having been very "easygoing" prior to the military. Vet still gets nervous if seeing sandbags lying on the side of the road - left by construction crew(as that is what he looked for over in Iraq as being a potential IED.) He has to reorganize plates/trays a certain way, either at home or when leaving a restaurant, respectively. He denies having any suicidal thoughts("No, I'm addicted to life, I love breathing".). 6. Competency ------------- Is the Veteran capable of managing his or her financial affairs? [X] Yes [ ] No 7. Remarks (including any testing results), if any: --------------------------------------------------- Vet owns a pistol. He does not hunt - only tried it once, but did not get anything then. He denied having any current active suicidal or homicidal ideation.
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. 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?
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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.
  15. 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?
  16. 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..........
  17. 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.
  18. 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
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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?
  22. 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!!!
  23. 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 :)
  24. 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
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