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Jester_32 posted a question in Eligibility - Veterans Compensation Benefit ClaimsHello everyone. What I want to know is if I am getting an adequate service connection percentage. I am currently getting 30% for Bi-Polar disorder. I was originally at 10% and then applied for an increase in my percentage in 2011 and it was raised to 30%. I keep seeing and hearing about vets getting higher percentages than me and it confuses me. Like my brother in law gets 20% for a bad knee and when in my mind I compare a bad knee to constant mood swings, bouts of depression, never ending anxiety, paranoid thoughts especially in social situations whether it be at work or in social gatherings, the occasional psychotic break, and constantly feeling like I'm weird or crazy, that comes with Bi-Polar Disorder, I think to myself, "Now is being 10% higher then someone with a bad knee necessarily right?" I just have problems with understanding how the compensation works and I am wondering if I am getting screwed. Some history about me is that Bi-Polar runs in my family but I did not have any signs of it before I went to Iraq in 2003 and then I had a psychotic break while in Iraq and the V.A. determined that my Illness was already there through genes and that military service exacerbated my Illness. As you probably know Bi-Polar illness is a lifelong condition and it feels to me that it is steadily getting worse as I get older. I have been able to hold down a janitor job for almost 3 years full time but have had to take several sick days because of the stress of working and being around people all day. I'm actually worried that having a stable job for that long would actually screw me if I applied for another increase to my SD of all things. It's not like a Janitor job is a high stress environment for most people but it is the max that I can handle. So, I will be stuck in this job and pay level possibly for the rest of my life or possibly get fired for calling in sick to much and I could never be able to make a higher income even though my I.Q. is 131 and I am a hard worker. So with that all being said should I apply for an increase again to my SD?
This is what I would tell any veteran who had symptoms or events in the military involving psychological distress or a post service diagnosis of PTSD. Stay in therapy. Get a service officer and file a claim that results in the adjudication of every post service diagnosis of a mental condition. If the veteran is diagnosed with PTSD file a claim for PTSD. If the veteran has a dual diagnosis of PTSD and Major Depression, file a claim for PTSD and major depression. Make sure each individual diagnosis is adjudicated. If later the veteran is diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder file yet another claim for schizoaffective disorder. Psychiatric symptoms need to be evaluated by a clinician. It is not the job of the service officer to play doctor. The service officer should file the claim and let the doctors figure it out. Also, consider that service officers will ask you if there are any treatment records or notes in your personnel file. If you say no they just might throw you out of there office. It happened to me. The problem is that doctors could have noted things and not even told you. File the claim and get the SMR and personnel file and read them before saying no to any potential records. After getting thrown out of the service officer’s office I got my SMR. When I got my treatment notes my angioedema had been diagnosed in the military and I did not even know it. Read BVA cases. Go to the BVA decision search site. Type in the name of a post service diagnosis and start reading cases. These claims can get complex. Multiple diagnoses, changing diagnoses, not properly supported diagnoses etc. Both the VA and the service officers are capable of dropping the ball. The BVA is full of decisions showing the diagnostic histories and logic used to win and lose claims that were denied by the regional offices.
I have current diagnosis and medical evidence in my smr and two nexus letters with the magic va words. I am wondering why I have not recieved a C & P, my claim is 2 years old this month.
I am still waiting for my BBE, but I have read on here that appeals can take years. My ptsd and bi-polar are so bad, i havent been able to work in over 2 years.. i am getting worse and my claim had all the information in my service record of break downs, mind jumping around not able to focus and a nexus letter for bi-polar. Ptsd, I had worked security duty during 911 and after, in Naples italy. My biggest one was being shot at down town and I had a buddy statement to back this up but wames not given a CP exam. I have two civilian doctors i have been seeing who gave me ptsd diagnosis. I'm glad i won 50%, but i really cant work.. hell i have a hard time just making it through the day. I know some of you have been there.. i hope someday to snap back.. anyway, i have a social security claim in on appeal from alj.. At least wife, is active duty and sticking by me. Its hard when you're with someone who wont leave the house hardley at all and forget about walmart.