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Found 21 results

  1. Currently rated 10% for GERD and applied for an increase. Had my primary civilian doctor look over my medical records and asked if she would fill out a DBQ. Luckily she did because I know how some doctors would not. Anyone have any guess on if I could be getting an increase or not? Also, does anyone know if I will be scheduled for a C&P as well? It's no problem if I have to go but I just figured with a DBQ then it could easily be fast tracked without having to schedule a C&P since I had already been service connected. Thanks!
  2. I am currently rated at 50% for PTSD and just had my C&P exam for an increase. Below is my current C&P results. Also I suffer from Major Depression and Erectile Dysfunction due to my medication. Could these two items be filed as secondary since the examiner did not list them in my C&P exam.Any input would be appreciated on to what my outcome may be. Thank you SECTION I: ---------- 1. Diagnostic Summary --------------------- Does the Veteran now have or has he/she ever been diagnosed with PTSD? [X] Yes[ ] No 2. Current Diagnoses -------------------- a. Mental Disorder Diagnosis #1: PTSD, moderate to severe, chronic Comments, if any: The trauamtic event was learning that a close friend of his killed two older female civilians. PTSD also causes secondary panic attacks 2-3 times per week. 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? [ ] Yes[X] No c. Does the Veteran have a diagnosed traumatic brain injury (TBI)? [ ] Yes[ ] No[X] Not shown in records reviewed 4. Occupational and social impairment ------------------------------------- a. Which of the following best summarizes the Veteran's level of occupational and social impairment with regards to all mental diagnoses? (Check only one) [X] Occupational and social impairment with reduced reliability and productivity b. For the indicated level of occupational and social impairment, is it possible to differentiate what portion of the occupational and social impairment indicated above is caused by each mental disorder? [ ] Yes[ ] No[X] No other mental disorder has been diagnosed 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 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) [X] 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? [X] Yes[ ] No If yes, describe: On 11/25/2014, Dr. XXX conducted a C&P Initial Evaluation for PTSD and diagnosed the veteran with PTSD with panic attacks. 2. Recent History (since prior exam) ------------------------------------ a. Relevant Social/Marital/Family history: Mr. XX is currently married to his wife of 10 years. He describes the quality of his current marriage as, "loving - but my wife puts up with me." He reports his irritability and anger can stress his wife. He adopted his wife's 14 year old daughter. He reports he has no friends of his own, but he reports he is friendly with many of his wife's friends. He tends to avoid crowds and group social activities. He is quite close with his parents. His main hobby is drumming and working on computers. Overall his social support is limited. He reports that the primary effect of his psychiatric symptoms on his social relationships are tension and distance caused by irritability, rage (including yelling, swearing, and very occasional violence towards inanimate objects - like punching a hole in the door), withdrawal, and emotional numbing. b. Relevant Occupational and Educational history: Mr. XXX highest level of education is some college. He served in the Airforce. He is currently employed as a cyber security analyst at XXX a telecommunications company called XXX. He has worked at XXX since 2011. In 2012, he was written up for "going off on a customer." He reports he works from home or calls in sick 4-5 days a month due to feeling stressed. He reports during times of stress he impulsively loses his temper when talking with customers or makes careless mistakes. He is a lead, and he has five other analysists who report to him. c. Relevant Mental Health history, to include prescribed medications and family mental health: Mr. XXX denied history of psychiatric hospitalization, receiving out-patient therapy, receiving any type of psychopharmacological treatment, or prior suicide attempts. He has been referred to a psychiatrist by his PCP but he is not currently engaged in therapy. He receives medication management from his private PCP, and he is currently maintained on a regimen of Zoloft, hydroxyzine, prazosin and diazepam. d. Relevant Legal and Behavioral history: No arrests. Received an article 15 in the military after he learned of the murders. e. Relevant Substance abuse history: No response provided. f. Other, if any: No response provided. 3. PTSD Diagnostic Criteria --------------------------- Please check criteria used for establishing the current PTSD diagnosis. The diagnostic criteria for PTSD, are from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5). The stressful event can be due to combat, personal trauma, other life threatening situations (non-combat related stressors.) 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 #6 - "Other symptoms". 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 [X] Learning that the traumatic event(s) occurred to a close family member or close friend; cases of actual or threatened death must have been violent or accidental; or, experiencing repeated or extreme exposure to aversive details of the traumatic events(s) (e.g., first responders collecting human remains; police officers repeatedly exposed to details of child abuse); this does not apply to exposure through electronic media, television, movies, or pictures, unless this exposure is work related. Criterion B: Presence of (one or more) of the following intrusion symptoms associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after the traumatic event(s) occurred: [X] Recurrent, involuntary, and intrusive distressing memories of the traumatic event(s). [X] Recurrent distressing dreams in which the content and/or affect of the dream are related to the traumatic event(s). Criterion C: Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after the traumatic events(s) occurred, as evidenced by one or both of the following: [X] Avoidance of or efforts to avoid distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings about or closely associated with the traumatic event(s). [X] Avoidance of or efforts to avoid external reminders (people, places, conversations, activities, objects, situations) that arouse distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings about or closely associated with the traumatic event(s). Criterion D: Negative alterations in cognitions and mood associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more) of the following: [X] Persistent and exaggerated negative beliefs or expectations about oneself, others, or the world (e.g., "I am bad,: "No one can be trusted,: "The world is completely dangerous,: "My whole nervous system is permanently ruined"). [X] Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities. [X] Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others. [X] Persistent inability to experience positive emotions (e.g., inability to experience happiness, satisfaction, or loving feelings.) Criterion E: Marked alterations in arousal and reactivity associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more) of the following: [X] Irritable behavior and angry outbursts (with little or no provocation) typically expressed as verbal or physical aggression toward people or objects. [X] Hypervigilance. [X] Exaggerated startle response. [X] Problems with concentration. [X] Sleep disturbance (e.g., difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless sleep). Criterion F: [X] The duration of the symptoms described above in Criteria B, C, and D are more than 1 month. Criterion G: [X] The PTSD symptoms described above cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. Criterion H: [X] The disturbance is not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance (e.g., medication, alcohol) or another medical condition. 4. Symptoms ----------- For VA rating purposes, check all symptoms that actively apply to the Veteran's diagnoses: [X] Anxiety [X] Panic attacks more than once a week [X] Chronic sleep impairment [X] Disturbances of motivation and mood [X] Difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships 5. Behavioral Observations: --------------------------- Mr. XXX was casually dressed, and was cooperative throughout the examination. His speech was fluent. His psychomotor behavior was appropriate. His affect was constricted and his mood was anxious. His insight was intact. Thought process was linear, goal directed, and future oriented. No reported hallucinations or delusions. No reported homicidal or suicidal ideation. 6. Other symptoms ----------------- Does the Veteran have any other symptoms attributable to PTSD (and other mental disorders) that are not listed above? [ ] Yes[X] No 7. Competency ------------- Is the Veteran capable of managing his or her financial affairs? [X] Yes[ ] No 8. Remarks, (including any testing results) if any: --------------------------------------------------- Veteran's PTSD and panic attacks currently cause moderate socio-occupational impairment.
  3. ok so ,,,, if you read back on some of my posts you will see the issues i was having with the va, long short.. i was : 20bilat 20bilat 20bilat 20bilat and 40 = 76.4 PAYS 80 NOW IM, 40 bilat 20bilat 20bilat 20bilat and 40. = 83.4 PAYS 80
  4. I filed for an increase recently to my 40% rating. In August 2009 my rating was increased from 20% (awarded in 1994) to 1) ankylosing spondylitis /spine thoracolumbar 20%, 2) ankylosing spondylitis/knee 10% 3) ankylosing spondylitis/cervical spine 10%. Since then my range of motion has gotten worse and I have been prescribed prednisone and two years ago Humira. They had rated me under arthritis and range of motion. I went for a C&P in May and saw my new rating on Eben: 1) NEW: (dated 4/27/18) ankylosing spondylitis /spine thoracolumbar spine 10%, 2) UNCHANGED ankylosing spondylitis/knee 10% 3) NEW (dated 5/21/17) ankylosing spondylitis/cervical spine 30%. I filed my intent to file in 4/2017. I haven't received the notification or documents in the mail yet but I am confused, my thoracolumbar spine is worse than in 2009 with worse range of motion. The VA has no way to determine it improved, from the arthritis aspect the joints do not get better and for ankylosing spondylitis I was prescribed Humira which is a step up from prednisone. There was nothing to indicate I improved. Also I have been told by some my rating is bad because they failed to rate the ankylosing spondylitis as an active disease in addition to the general range of motion for arthritis.
  5. according to 38 C.F.R. §§ 4.40 and 4.45 i believe i should be increased from 10% to 20% please look at these codes then look at the DBQ from Dr i provided you will see the flare up measurements. Code 5252: If the hip is limited in how far forward (flexion) it can move the leg, then it is rated under this code. If it cannot move the leg more than 10°, it is rated 40%. If it cannot raise the leg more than 20°, it is rated 30%. No more than 30° is rated 20%, and no more than 45° is rated 10%. Code 5253: All other limitations of hip motion are rated under this code. If the hip cannot swing the leg out to the side (abduction) more than 10°, it is rated 20%. If it cannot move the leg inward across the other leg (adduction), it is rated 10%. If it cannot rotate the leg outward (toes point off to the sides) more than 15°, then it is rated 10% DBQ+PG7.pdf this is the page that shows flare ups decrease motion ... the other is page for decreased motion for repeted use over time. please note that the 3 repeated uses was stated no. but these others state yes.
  6. I am currently rated at 10% for tendinitis in my left ankle. My question is, if my leg needs to be amputated for a reason other than the tendinitis in my ankle, will I get the rating(I believe 40%) for amputation even though the tendinitis is not the reason it has to be amputated? In other words I' 10% for my ankle. My lower leg above the ankle (not service connected) causes a below knee amputation, the service connected ankle is now gone, to I get service connection rating for it being gone?
  7. My is I filed for Increase on my Service Connected Disabilities. Service Connected Disabilities: Osteoarthritis Left Knee: 10% Osteoarthritis Right Knee: 10% Depressive Disorder: 70% Claim: Increase Osteoarthritis Left Knee: Reason for Increase 1) Total Left Knee Replacement: A) Temporary Total Disability B) Umemployability Secondary (New): A) Hip Condition B) Back Condition Increase Osteoarthritis Right Knee: Reason for increase Secondary (New): A) Hip Condition B) Back Condition C) Ankle My Question is will the VA consider this as Duplicate Claims? Can the VA overrule and consider that the Secondary conditions are Bilateral and I can not make a Duplicate entry. I consider since both Knee's are rated at 10% because one is worser than the other. My Left is the one that has been replaced and will be ( or should be rated differently ) rated under replacement and not under plain Osteoarthritis. As a Secondary Condition I added Hip and Back Ankle as the Service Connected Disability has affected my healing. I asked for Increase or my Right Knee as it is not for ( Flexion - Extension - Pain ) all the 3 separate ratings possible under osteoarthritis. I then listed as Secondary Conditions ( Hip - Back - Ankle ) because although it would be considered a duplicate they are rated seperately. Can I make them separate conditions as my left side affects the left side of my hip and back from the Left Knee. And then the right side is differently because it affects the right ankle and hip and back differently on that side. Can they be Rated Separately? Or can the VA Deny them as Duplicates?
  8. In July of '15, I appealed a denial of service connection for a R shoulder condition. I submitted actual copies of a shoulder injury from my Navy medical record, along with evidence of surgeries in 200 and 2015 done by non-VA doctors. At the same time, I filed for an increase in my cervical spine condition. Of course, nothing has happened yet, but it appears that the VA has lumped the two together as one "appeal." I submitted the paperwork under the direction of my NSO. I'm sure this question has been addressed here periodically, but I'd like a fresh opinion: As time goes by, I continue to be treated, tested, injected, etc. for both of these conditions; they are getting worse and worse and the NSO is encouraging me to go for and IU claim, but I still want to try to work. Also recently lost my wife to cancer so i'm the only income anymore. I've been told that submitting additional evidence causes your claim or appeal to go back to the beginning of the process. Is this true? Also, does the VA, when they do get around to looking at my appeal, automatically go through my record and look for information pertaining to my claim? I began using the VA system exclusively last fall, so the new information should be readily at hand. Do I have to go through and pick it out and submit it to them as supporting documentation, or will they find it on their own? If I need to submit, then it goes back to my question above; am I just moving my appeal father away from being considered? Aside from that, I recently got a favorable 10% for tinnitus. I was already at 90% and the new award doesn't push me to 100, but i guess it always helps to document it. Considering a subscription - these ads are a killer and make using the site a lot more confusing to me. Thanks for all the work you do, all of you! Jim
  9. History, Going on for over 12+ years since left the militray .First raiting 50% Went for increase this was from my DBQ C&P .. Thoughts all? See below Is this 70 (most would say 70). could it sway 100%? If you think 100% do you believe sched or temp? I did not apply for IU but I am told they have to consider it anyways. The doctor also used some verbage that was interesting It is not possible to differentiate what portion of each symptom is attributable to each diagnosis because all of the veteran'schronic PTSD and bipolar symptoms have been chronic, progressive, biologically and behaviorally interactive, and thesymptoms are concurrent and overlapping. The veteran’s alcohol abuse is in remission but was a result of maladaptive copingand dealing with the PTSD an bipolar symptoms.Per DSM-5 Individuals with PTSD are 80% more likely than those without PTSD to have symptoms that meet diagnosticcriteria for at least one other mental disorder (e.g. depressive, bipolar, anxiety, or substance use disorders) (p 280)It is not possible to differentiate what portion of the impairment is attributable to each diagnosis because all of the veteran'schronic PTSD and bipolar symptoms have been chronic, progressive, biologically and behaviorally interactive, and the symptomsare concurrent and overlapping. The veteran’s alcohol abuse is in remission but was a result of maladaptive coping and dealingwith the PTSD an bipolar symptoms. [X] Occupational and social impairment with deficiencies in most areas, such as work, school, family relations, judgment, thinkingand/or mood. 3. PTSD Diagnostic Criteria Please check criteria used for establishing the current PTSD diagnosis. The diagnostic criteria for PTSD, are from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5). The stressful event can be due to combat, personal trauma, other life threatening situations (non-combat related stressors.) 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 #6 – “Other symptoms”. Criterion A: Exposure to actual or threatened a) death, b) serious injury, c) sexual violation, in one or more of the following ways: [X] Directly experiencing the traumatic event(s) Witnessing, in person, the traumatic event(s) as they occurred to others Learning that the traumatic event(s) occurred to a close family member or close friend; cases of actual or threatened death must have been violent or accidental; or, experiencing repeated or extreme exposure to aversive details of the traumatic event(s) (e.g., first responders collecting human remains; police officers repeatedly exposed to details of child abuse); this does not apply to exposure through electronic media, television, movies, or pictures, unless this exposure is work related No criterion in this section met. Page 6 of 8 Contractor: VES Criterion B: Presence of (one or more) of the following intrusion symptoms associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after the traumatic event(s) occurred: [X] Recurrent, involuntary, and intrusive distressing memories of the traumatic event(s). [X] Recurrent distressing dreams in which the content and/or affect of the dream are related to the traumatic event(s). Dissociative reactions (e.g., flashbacks) in which the individual feels or acts as if the traumatic event(s) were recurring. (Such reactions may occur on a continuum, with the most extreme expression being a complete loss of awareness of present surroundings.) [X] Intense or prolonged psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event(s). Marked physiological reactions to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event(s). No criterion in this section met. Criterion C: Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after the traumatic event(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). No criterion in this section met. 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: Inability to remember an important aspect of the traumatic event(s) (typically due to dissociative amnesia and not to other factors such as head injury, alcohol, or drugs). Persistent and exaggerated negative beliefs or expectations about oneself, others, or the world (e.g., “I am bad,:” “No one can be trusted,:” “The world is completely dangerous,:” “My whole nervous system is permanently ruined”). Persistent, distorted cognitions about the cause or consequences of the traumatic event(s) that lead to the individual to blame himself/herself or others. [X] Persistent negative emotional state (e.g., fear, horror, anger, guilt, or shame). [X] Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities. [X] Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others. Persistent inability to experience positive emotions (e.g., inability to experience happiness, satisfaction, or loving feelings.) No criterion in this section met. Criterion E: Marked alterations in arousal and reactivity associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more) of the following: [X] Irritable behavior and angry outbursts (with little or no provocation) typically expressed as verbal or physical aggression toward people or objects. Reckless or self-destructive behavior. [X] Hypervigilance. Exaggerated startle response. [X] Problems with concentration. [X] Sleep disturbance (e.g., difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless sleep). No criterion in this section met. Criterion F: [X] Duration of the disturbance (Criteria B, C, D and E) is more than 1 month. Veteran does not meet full criteria for PTSD Criterion G: [X] The PTSD symptoms described above cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. The PTSD symptoms described above do NOT cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. Veteran does not meet full criteria for PTSD Criterion H: For VA rating purposes, check all symptoms that actively apply to the Veteran's diagnoses [X] Depressed mood [X] Anxiety [X] Suspiciousness [X] Panic attacks that occur weekly or less often Panic attacks more than once a week Near-continuous panic or depression affecting the ability to function independently, appropriately and effectively [X] Chronic sleep impairment [X] Mild memory loss, such as forgetting names, directions or recent events Impairment of short and long term memory, for example, retention of only highly learned material, while forgetting to complete tasks Memory loss for names of close relatives, own occupation, or own name Flattened affect Circumstantial, circumlocutory or stereotyped speech Speech intermittently illogical, obscure, or irrelevant Difficulty in understanding complex commands [X] Impaired judgment Impaired abstract thinking Gross impairment in thought processes or communication [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 work like setting Inability to establish and maintain effective relationships Suicidal ideation Obsessional rituals which interfere with routine activities [X] Impaired impulse control, such as unprovoked irritability with periods of violence Spatial disorientation Persistent delusions or hallucinations Grossly inappropriate behavior Persistent danger of hurting self or others [X] Neglect of personal appearance and hygiene [X] Intermittent inability to perform activities of daily living, including maintenance of minimal personal hygiene Disorientation to time or place IF YOU HAVE PROVIDED ANY ADDITIONAL DIAGNOSES, OR IF THE ESTABLISHEDDIAGNOSIS HAS CHANGED IN ANY WAY, PLEASE SELECT AT LEAST ONE FROM THEFOLLOWING:A. THERE IS NO CHANGE IN THE SERVICE CONNECTED DIAGNOSIS AND NOADDITIONAL DIAGNOSES HAVE BEEN RENDERED.B. THE NEW DIAGNOSIS IS A CORRECTION OF THE PREVIOUS DIAGNOSIS.C. THERE IS A WORSENING OF THE VETERAN’S SYMPTOMS HOWEVER NO CHANGETO THE SERVICE CONNECTED DIAGNOSIS AND NO ADDITIONAL DIAGNOSES HAVE BEENRENDERED.D. ADDITIONAL CONDITIONS WERE FOUND WHICH ARE DIRECTLY DUE TO ORRELATED TO THE SERVICE CONNECTED DIAGNOSIS (I.E. A PROGRESSION).E. ADDITIONAL CONDITIONS WERE FOUND WHICH ARE UNRELATED TO THESERVICE CONNECTED DIAGNOSIS (I.E. A NEW AND SEPARATE CONDITION).***FOR OPTION E, PLEASE SPECIFY WHICH OF THE VETERAN’S SYMPTOMS AND/ORFINDINGS CORRESPOND WITH EACH DIAGNOSIS, IF FEASIBLE.***F. THE SERVICE CONNECTED DIAGNOSIS HAS RESOLVED. Answer Question 1: C. There is a worsening of the veterans symptoms however no change to the service connected diagnosisD. Additional diagnosis is alcohol use disorder in partial remission which is a new and separate conditionbut is related to the service connected conditionsAdditional Question 2: FOR OPTIONS OTHER THAN A AND C PLEASE PROVIDE YOUR MEDICAL RATIONALE. Answer Question 2: D. It is related as alcohol use disorder is often secondary to his PTSD and bipolar disorder and is currentlyin remission but was a result of maladaptive coping with his symptoms in the past and he still hasoccasional relapses./ THE VETERAN’S ESTABLISHED DIAGNOSIS IS POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDERWITH BIPOLAR DISORDER .IF YOU HAVE PROVIDED ANY ADDITIONAL DIAGNOSES, OR IF THE ESTABLISHEDDIAGNOSIS HAS CHANGED IN ANY WAY, PLEASE SELECT AT LEAST ONE FROM THEFOLLOWING:A. THERE IS NO CHANGE IN THE SERVICE CONNECTED DIAGNOSIS AND NOADDITIONAL DIAGNOSES HAVE BEEN RENDERED.B. THE NEW DIAGNOSIS IS A CORRECTION OF THE PREVIOUS DIAGNOSIS.C. THERE IS A WORSENING OF THE VETERAN’S SYMPTOMS HOWEVER NO CHANGETO THE SERVICE CONNECTED DIAGNOSIS AND NO ADDITIONAL DIAGNOSES HAVE BEENRENDERED.D. ADDITIONAL CONDITIONS WERE FOUND WHICH ARE DIRECTLY DUE TO ORRELATED TO THE SERVICE CONNECTED DIAGNOSIS (I.E. A PROGRESSION).E. ADDITIONAL CONDITIONS WERE FOUND WHICH ARE UNRELATED TO THESERVICE CONNECTED DIAGNOSIS (I.E. A NEW AND SEPARATE CONDITION).***FOR OPTION E, PLEASE SPECIFY WHICH OF THE VETERAN’S SYMPTOMS AND/ORFINDINGS CORRESPOND WITH EACH DIAGNOSIS, IF FEASIBLE.***F. THE SERVICE CONNECTED DIAGNOSIS HAS RESOLVED.Answer Question 1: C. There is a worsening of the veterans symptoms however no change to the service connected diagnosisD. Additional diagnosis is alcohol use disorder in partial remission which is a new and separate conditionbut is related to the service connected conditionsAdditional Question 2: FOR OPTIONS OTHER THAN A AND C PLEASE PROVIDE YOUR MEDICAL RATIONALE.Answer Question 2: D. It is related as alcohol use disorder is often secondary to his PTSD and bipolar disorder and is currentlyin remission but was a result of maladaptive coping with his symptoms in the past and he still hasoccasional relapses.
  10. Hello all, first of all thank you to all who share your stories and advice. While this is my first post, I've been stalking the forum for months as something to do during my insomnia as I wait for my decision. I have found both comfort and education here. I was hoping for some opinions, advice, or even encouragement. I realize I'm not in the worst shape compared to others, but this process has my anxiety through the roof. I am currently rated 30% SC PTSD-MST (total rating with other disabilities is 50%). My condition has progressively worsened, especially over the past few years. I submitted my FDC for PTSD increase and TDIU in May and it has been in Gathering of Evidence phase. All of my treatments have been with VA docs. My GAF scores average around 50. I obtained a favorable IMO to submit with my application. I haven't yet been scheduled for a C&P exam. Over the past several years I missed a lot of work, burned through my leave with sick days, was previously placed on both short and long term disability with my employer, all from my SC medical issues. I would appreciate based on your experience and thoughts on whether I might have a good case for increase, what my rating might be, whether I might get TDIU or P&T, how long it might take for VA to get my medical records from VA hospitals, if I will have to do a C&P exam (the thought almost triggers a panic attack), or any advice on what I can do to pass the time as I wait besides chronically check eBenefits and read every single thread on this forum. I realize I have a much longer wait ahead of me, so I figured I'd start engaging here. Thank you in advance for any help.
  11. I am currently rated at 50% for PTSD and just had my C&P exam for an increase. Below is my current C&P results. Any input would be appreciated on to what my outcome may be. Thank you SECTION I: ---------- 1. Diagnostic Summary --------------------- Does the Veteran now have or has he/she ever been diagnosed with PTSD? [X] Yes[ ] No 2. Current Diagnoses -------------------- a. Mental Disorder Diagnosis #1: PTSD, moderate to severe, chronic Comments, if any: The trauamtic event was learning that a close friend of his killed two older female civilians. PTSD also causes secondary panic attacks 2-3 times per week. 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? [ ] Yes[X] No c. Does the Veteran have a diagnosed traumatic brain injury (TBI)? [ ] Yes[ ] No[X] Not shown in records reviewed 4. Occupational and social impairment ------------------------------------- a. Which of the following best summarizes the Veteran's level of occupational and social impairment with regards to all mental diagnoses? (Check only one) [X] Occupational and social impairment with reduced reliability and productivity b. For the indicated level of occupational and social impairment, is it possible to differentiate what portion of the occupational and social impairment indicated above is caused by each mental disorder? [ ] Yes[ ] No[X] No other mental disorder has been diagnosed 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 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) [X] 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? [X] Yes[ ] No If yes, describe: On 11/25/2014, Dr. XXX conducted a C&P Initial Evaluation for PTSD and diagnosed the veteran with PTSD with panic attacks. 2. Recent History (since prior exam) ------------------------------------ a. Relevant Social/Marital/Family history: Mr. XX is currently married to his wife of 10 years. He describes the quality of his current marriage as, "loving - but my wife puts up with me." He reports his irritability and anger can stress his wife. He adopted his wife's 14 year old daughter. He reports he has no friends of his own, but he reports he is friendly with many of his wife's friends. He tends to avoid crowds and group social activities. He is quite close with his parents. His main hobby is drumming and working on computers. Overall his social support is limited. He reports that the primary effect of his psychiatric symptoms on his social relationships are tension and distance caused by irritability, rage (including yelling, swearing, and very occasional violence towards inanimate objects - like punching a hole in the door), withdrawal, and emotional numbing. b. Relevant Occupational and Educational history: Mr. XXX highest level of education is some college. He served in the Airforce. He is currently employed as a cyber security analyst at XXX a telecommunications company called XXX. He has worked at XXX since 2011. In 2012, he was written up for "going off on a customer." He reports he works from home or calls in sick 4-5 days a month due to feeling stressed. He reports during times of stress he impulsively loses his temper when talking with customers or makes careless mistakes. He is a lead, and he has five other analysists who report to him. c. Relevant Mental Health history, to include prescribed medications and family mental health: Mr. XXX denied history of psychiatric hospitalization, receiving out-patient therapy, receiving any type of psychopharmacological treatment, or prior suicide attempts. He has been referred to a psychiatrist by his PCP but he is not currently engaged in therapy. He receives medication management from his private PCP, and he is currently maintained on a regimen of Zoloft, hydroxyzine, prazosin and diazepam. d. Relevant Legal and Behavioral history: No arrests. Received an article 15 in the military after he learned of the murders. e. Relevant Substance abuse history: No response provided. f. Other, if any: No response provided. 3. PTSD Diagnostic Criteria --------------------------- Please check criteria used for establishing the current PTSD diagnosis. The diagnostic criteria for PTSD, are from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5). The stressful event can be due to combat, personal trauma, other life threatening situations (non-combat related stressors.) 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 #6 - "Other symptoms". 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 [X] Learning that the traumatic event(s) occurred to a close family member or close friend; cases of actual or threatened death must have been violent or accidental; or, experiencing repeated or extreme exposure to aversive details of the traumatic events(s) (e.g., first responders collecting human remains; police officers repeatedly exposed to details of child abuse); this does not apply to exposure through electronic media, television, movies, or pictures, unless this exposure is work related. Criterion B: Presence of (one or more) of the following intrusion symptoms associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after the traumatic event(s) occurred: [X] Recurrent, involuntary, and intrusive distressing memories of the traumatic event(s). [X] Recurrent distressing dreams in which the content and/or affect of the dream are related to the traumatic event(s). Criterion C: Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after the traumatic events(s) occurred, as evidenced by one or both of the following: [X] Avoidance of or efforts to avoid distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings about or closely associated with the traumatic event(s). [X] Avoidance of or efforts to avoid external reminders (people, places, conversations, activities, objects, situations) that arouse distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings about or closely associated with the traumatic event(s). Criterion D: Negative alterations in cognitions and mood associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more) of the following: [X] Persistent and exaggerated negative beliefs or expectations about oneself, others, or the world (e.g., "I am bad,: "No one can be trusted,: "The world is completely dangerous,: "My whole nervous system is permanently ruined"). [X] Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities. [X] Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others. [X] Persistent inability to experience positive emotions (e.g., inability to experience happiness, satisfaction, or loving feelings.) Criterion E: Marked alterations in arousal and reactivity associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more) of the following: [X] Irritable behavior and angry outbursts (with little or no provocation) typically expressed as verbal or physical aggression toward people or objects. [X] Hypervigilance. [X] Exaggerated startle response. [X] Problems with concentration. [X] Sleep disturbance (e.g., difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless sleep). Criterion F: [X] The duration of the symptoms described above in Criteria B, C, and D are more than 1 month. Criterion G: [X] The PTSD symptoms described above cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. Criterion H: [X] The disturbance is not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance (e.g., medication, alcohol) or another medical condition. 4. Symptoms ----------- For VA rating purposes, check all symptoms that actively apply to the Veteran's diagnoses: [X] Anxiety [X] Panic attacks more than once a week [X] Chronic sleep impairment [X] Disturbances of motivation and mood [X] Difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships 5. Behavioral Observations: --------------------------- Mr. XXX was casually dressed, and was cooperative throughout the examination. His speech was fluent. His psychomotor behavior was appropriate. His affect was constricted and his mood was anxious. His insight was intact. Thought process was linear, goal directed, and future oriented. No reported hallucinations or delusions. No reported homicidal or suicidal ideation. 6. Other symptoms ----------------- Does the Veteran have any other symptoms attributable to PTSD (and other mental disorders) that are not listed above? [ ] Yes[X] No 7. Competency ------------- Is the Veteran capable of managing his or her financial affairs? [X] Yes[ ] No 8. Remarks, (including any testing results) if any: --------------------------------------------------- Veteran's PTSD and panic attacks currently cause moderate socio-occupational impairment.
  12. I am currently rated at 10% for tinnitus. I filed for SC for an ankle injury, bad knees and hearing loss in April, 2010. I was SC for hearing loss and pain in knees in 2012 at 0%. I filed my NOD within two weeks of the decision and have been waiting on appeal since. I just had had my C&P for ankles, knees, and hearing on April 14th. I was told by the C&P doc to expect a letter from them by June 14th (60 days). I am not holding my breath. I have a torn meniscus, effusion in the knee, and pain. I have been issued a hinged knee brace for each knee as well as hearing aids. So I feel strongly that I should end up with at least 30% combined, hopefully 40%. My understanding of the retro pay is I should see retro for the difference in what ever combined rating percentage I end up with minus the 10% I already received, going back to the original filing date (4/2010). As I was married in 2009, but can not add my dependents until I am rated 30% or more, will I get retro for the higher amount of spouse and dependents in a second retro payment going back to the original filing date? I get that it will be the final dollar amount with dependents, minus the single amount at the new percentage - the 10% already paid. If my research is correct I should see a first payment of at least $18,671.44, granted I get at least 30%. I got this from: $407.75 (30%) - $133.17(10%) = $274.58 x 68 (months) = $18,671.44 Once my dependents are added there should be second payment of $12,240.00 I got this from: $587.75 (with spouse and 5 kids) - $407.75 = $180 x 68 (months) = $12,240.00 Any information that I am missing would be greatly appreciated.
  13. HI everyone, I am helping my dad with his recently submitted claim. He requested an increase to his 30% rating from 2003, among other things. On ebennies it has DBQ PTSD Review recommended under "evidence needed." I sent quite a bit of evidence showing worsening conditions since 2003 when I submitted the FDC in December. Will not providing one hold up the process? Does he need to submit this DBQ? If he does, will it take him out of the Fully Developed Claims for submitting new evidence? Thanks for the help as usual.
  14. HI everyone, I am helping my dad with his recently submitted claim. He requested an increase to his 30% rating from 2003, among other things. On ebennies it has DBQ PTSD Review recommended under "evidence needed." I sent quite a bit of evidence showing worsening conditions since 2003 when I submitted the FDC in December. Will not providing one hold up the process? Does he need to submit this DBQ? If he does, will it take him out of the Fully Developed Claims for submitting new evidence? Thanks for the help as usual.
  15. Sorry in advance, but this is a long one. History: currently 30% for migraines. Diagnosed with this eye condition through MRI and told it is caused by migraines. Had C&P exam for increase on migraines. then they scheduled this one. I have attached both exam. the first one is for the increase. the second one is for the secondary conditions that I feel are caused by the migraines. This last exam looks like it shot my in the head dead. please tell me you opinion. first exam no medical opinion. second exam states IMP not related. but I have an appointment with the VA opthamologist surgeon later this month. 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 56 conditions listed in the Diagnosis section above? [X] Yes [ ] No 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. [X] In-person examination Evidence review --------------- 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 have a peripheral nerve condition or peripheral neuropathy? [X] Yes [ ] No Diagnosis #1: henifacial spasm Date of diagnosis: 2014 2. Medical history ------------------ a. Describe the history (including onset and course) of the Veteran's peripheral nerve condition (brief summary): 51 Y/O female. Service connected for headaches. Pt was in the National Guard until 2003. Onset of twiching left eye in 2012. The twiching has progressed to a left hemifacial spasm at the present. b. Dominant hand [X] Right [ ] Left [ ] Ambidextrous 3. Symptoms ------ Does the Veteran have any symptoms attributable to any peripheral nerve conditions? [X] Yes [ ] No Constant pain (may be excruciating at times) [X] Other symptoms (describe symptoms, location and severity): Left facial nerve 4. Muscle strength testing -------------------------- a. Rate strength according to the following scale: 0/5 No muscle movement 1/5 Palpable or visible muscle contraction, but no joint movement 2/5 Active movement with gravity eliminated 3/5 Active movement against gravity 4/5 Active movement against some resistance 5/5 Were special tests indicated and performed for median nerve evaluation? [ ] Yes [X] No b. Does the Veteran have any other pertinent physical findings, complications, conditions, signs or symptoms? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, describe (brief summary): Pt received the first and only Botulin toxin injections March 2015 with an improvement of the spasms of 60%. it was a small dose. 15. Diagnostic testing a. Have EMG studies been performed? [ ] Yes [X] No b. Are there any other significant diagnostic test findings and/or results? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, provide type of test or procedure, date and results (brief summary): Normal MRI and CAT of the head reported by the patient 16. Functional impact --------------------- Does the Veteran's peripheral nerve condition and/or peripheral neuropathy impact his or her ability to work? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, describe impact of each of the Veteran's peripheral nerve and/or peripheral neuropathy condition(s), providing one or more examples: Data entry on a computer. Spasms distracts her concentration at work. 17. Remarks, if any: -------------------- IMP Left hemifacial Spasms unrelated to her service connected Migraines headaches
  16. my question is ,,,if a pre-existing condition that never required medication to treat pain but in service was a use of treatment then in service this medication was increased and has since service, wouldnt this be an increase of severity ? before service no pain and no need of meds during service a treatment was decided as medication and after service this medication was increased..??????
  17. A little background before I get started. I filed for compensation for my lower back condition back in 2009 and was subsequently denied. Then I applied again with new evidence and was denied again because the VA stated that my condition was not service connected and no evidence was in my SMR. I was awarded other service connected disabilities and others denied. Anyway, I appealed the denial of service connection for my back and requested a DRO to review my case. I went to my hearing in April of this year and was approved for service connection at 10%. She stated that she is not sure why they denied my claim because all of the evidence showed that I was clearly service connected. Keep in mind that I brought my own SMR to prove this during my hearing. This just tells me that they did not request it back in 2009 or review what I sent to them. So I disagree with the percentage I was rated by the DRO and I think it should be much higher. I am filing for TDIU for my migraines rated at 50% and my lower back. Should I file the NOD and the TDIU at the same time? Also do I file the NOD and request a DRO to review it again or file the NOD and ask for BVA review? Please help. Also I think that there could be a CUE for the effective date for my initial denial for my back. Not sure what to do next.
  18. I am currently service connected at 10 percent for lumbar spine degenerative arthritis. I just had a MRI and was diagnosed with spinal stenosis without neurogenic claudication, disc bulge at L2-3, L3-4, L4-5, disc protrusion at L5-S1 and mild right neural foraminal stenosis at the L4-5 and L5-S1. My question is if I ask for an increase, if approved, what percentage could I expect. Appreciate your thoughts Dick Hill
  19. i have narrowed my search of drs for my imo down to 2. ive read posts concerning verbiage for initial compensation connecting it to service. for example as least likely as not etc... however i am already sc for ptsd at 30%. i filed a nod and requested a dro hearing in person for a higher rating. i had the dro hearing and was sent for a new c&p exam. i am not happy with the drs notes from the new c&p exam? therefore i am seeking an imo to submit as more evidence. my question is what exactly am i asking the dr to state in his report? i dont want to spend the $1600 and have something thats not helpful to my claim? what im asking i guess is what questions should i ask of the drs before deciding what one to choose for the imo? i know what i need. after examining me and me telling them how severly my ptsd affects my whole life. i need the dr to honestly describe my current mh condition and the effects it has on my daily life and functioning to include impaiment with work etc.... but how do they word it. do they say in my opinion the veteran fits the requirements for such and such % disabilty? i hope i have explained what im trying to ask? thanks for any and all help tankerjoe0
  20. I have a new question? I have an appeal in for a increase in my SMC rate in the mean time they gave me a increase for my depression to 70% I am 100% P&T off post traumatic brain and seizure disorder I also because of this have balance problems and because of several falls have been issued a power chair ramp and lift. I now have A&A on my last increase the said they made a gross mistake in the SMC award which went from L to Between L&M. I am bed and house bound my kids hired a nurse to come in three days a week my daughter does everything for me. Here are my other ratings 70% depression 40% paralysis of sciatic nerve 40% DDD DJD lower back 40% nerve loss to my legs 20% broken pelvis 20% hearing loss 20% loss of upper right radicular group which the state rated 70% the VA rated this without a C&P exam 20& upper DDD DJD to the neck 20% limited thigh flexion 20% tendon inflammation 10% nerve damage to RT foot 10% nasal deviation my question is should I wait for my appeal to go through which my VA rep said could take five years or should I put a new claim in on the 100 plus 70 % stat is.
  21. I am new here 1st post been getting information off from here since i filed my intial clam 2 years ago and was awarded the 50% sc for ptsd. I tried to use my Vet Officer at the VA here in Lafayette but he wasnt helpful, at all. I havent worked since i got out in July of 2008 until recently i have had 3 jobs and lost them all im listing in the most recent order ( installing satellites i lost it for blowing up on a gas staion owner who is of middle eastern decen i was off my medication so i could function, before that fireworks job that i lost because someone broke in at night and i slept through it because of my meds, and the first one i lost for a confrontation with the boss). So my girlfriend has been forced to go back because i am unemployable. So i am going to file for an increase and TDIU and send them in at the same time. I have the paper work from the approval of my first claim i can post. I was 11B in OIF 06-08 here is a link to the events that took place http://angryskipperassociation.org/demon_company_honor_roll.htm I havent been going to shrink because i was working when i did go my girlfriend had to drive me b/c i dont drive since coming home, but i have a baby now and im at home with her on the days i can handle, sometimes we have to take her over to the sitter because some nights i wont get anysleep at all i just lay in the bed, i take my medicine and ill go to sleep but i wont be able to function and ill have to get her to the sitter anyway. So its like im damned if i do and damned i i dont. I definitly think i'll get the increase but im not sure about the TDIU or even if i should try. Any and all advice appreciated.
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