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Found 67 results

  1. 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.
  2. I have been reading this form for about two months now and I’m hoping you may be able to give me some insight. I submitted an application for compensation in January 2018 for injuries I received in a long time ago. Here is a bit of the back ground. When I got out of the service in 1995 I thought I was applying for benefits, turns out it was only the Gulf war registry. I’m not trying to make an excuse for why I didn’t apply earlier, just telling you what happened. I was in a head on car crash in panama, hit by a drunk driver. I was out for 15-30 min, then spent 4 days in the hospital. The Va sent me for a C&P 3 weeks ago for adjustment disorder with anxiety, The DR. is the one who told me I was in the hospital for 4 days. I only knew what my ex-wife told me. After an hour doing the exam the DR. made a call to QTC and was requesting that I have a cognitive exam done, of course they said no, it wasn’t being asked for. 1. Should I be getting another C&P for TBI? I did submit my neurologist reports that said all my condition i.e. short term memory problems, migraines and emotional problems were a direct result of the accident, and I have the LOD report. along with the list of my meds i'm on. 2. Or will they just use what in my file and the C&P and render a decision? I do have a few other items I’m claiming, but I will post them in the correct forum. Thanks for any help you can give.
  3. My husband is a purple heart disabled veteran with a current rating of 50% (due to shrapnel injuries from mortar blast). He was in Iraq from ’04-’05. He has just started talking to the VA about filing new claims for PTSD, TBI and a knee injury. While speaking with the VA social worker, she informed him he was diagnosed with PTSD in 2007 and TBI in 2013. He was never informed of these diagnoses at that time. Everything we read online says that there is no way to get an earlier effective date other than the date of his most recently filed claim (March 2018). Looking for advice if anyone has been successful in winning an EDD due to never being notified of the diagnosis? Any other advice you can share while going through this process? Thanks so much in advance for your help.
  4. 2010 - Discharge 40% memory problems, status post head injury 30% Major depressive disorder with history of Insomnia 2011 added seizure disorder to memory problems, status post head injury. (remained at 40%) 2012 I had a diagnosis of seizures because they showed up on two sleep studies and one EEG. I did not have a "frequency" to report because they were nocturnal seizures. They added seizures 10% only because I was prescribed medication for seizures. 2015 had a C&P for possible PTSD. PTSD denied and they basically increased my Major Depressive Disorder to 70% but dropped off the memory problems, post status head injury. They explained that they combined them. What is your thoughts on me being able to challenge this now that it is years later? I really thought that my depression had increased to 70% and TBI remained at 40%. It reads that way on ebenefits and my 90% rating did not change.
  5. Is TBI and Post Concussion Syndrome the same ? Will both fall under TBI?
  6. Looking for recommendation for an attorney for a TBI claim that is well documented with an neuro psych exam. I am service connected back to 2008 but I believe I was low balled at 40% for TBI. Generally describing the results, the Exam notes severe and moderate in the results for memory and other cognitive and executive function. I asked for a reconsideration based on the difference in the test results and the VA schedule criteria on my own but got denied and gave up. I should have kept at it but I think getting an attorney is the only way I am going to make any progress. So here I am doing what I should have done a few years ago. Does anyone have a recommendation for an attorney that handles TBI CUE? I found some TBI articles posted by Hill & Ponton out of Florida. So many out there. Thanks
  7. I have a question about proving my particular TBI and nexus. Looking for any help. All advice is welcome. Thanks in advance. No in-service diagnosis of TBI Was a passenger in an auto-accident while on active duty, was unconscious for an unknown amount of time (likely 5-10 minutes), and both myself and the driver (who was also active duty) experienced what I now understand to be symptoms of TBI following the accident. Did seek medical attention for several weeks following the incident, and the auto accident is documented there. However, I was only seeking help for an eye and vision issue that persisted after the accident. We never even discussed other symptoms, just the eye issues. There was no diagnosis of TBI and I was never even evaluated for it. I plan on having a sworn statement from myself and the driver, and possibly a coworker/room-mate at the time, entered into the claim detailing the event and what followed. I have a photo of the front of the wrecked car, and another of the front with me and the driver kneeling in front of it, but they are not dated and I'm not sure if/what weight it has as evidence. I have been trying to get some record of the accident, particular one listing me as a passenger, but thus far it's been fruitless. I have reached out to all law enforcement agencies I believe would have covered that jurisdiction and they could no locate any record of the accident, though having more information for their search to begin with might help (such as the date and exact location). The driver of my vehicle was not at fault and therefore not cited, which seems to make it harder to find. The driver has contacted the auto insurance company he had at the time, but they no longer have any records. My currently-pending research is focused on obtaining vehicle history for his car, as well as his driver's record. He is fully cooperative in this endeavor. Knowing the above information, and given any experience you've had with scarcely documented events or similar claims, any advice on proving the event and TBI? Is there any evidence I already have that should be emphasized? Is there any evidence which could be harmful, or assertions I should avoid making that might muddy the waters? Is there evidence I don't seem to be considering that might be worth seeking out?
  8. Hello everyone, This question feels incredibly silly, but it's stumping me. Would like to claim Migraine headaches due to TBI Not currently rated for TBI Not (currently) seeking anything related to the TBI other than migraines Are the migraines secondary to TBI, or Are the migraines directly service connected with TBI being the in-service event? If the migraines are secondary to TBI, how does one ever get a current diagnosis of TBI, seeing as it's an event sort of thing? Or, how do you work around this? In other words, if I broke a bone ten years ago I wouldn't be able to get a current diagnosis of broken bone, thus there is no "broken bone" disability. I would claim the actual disability that exists today, but referencing the broken bone incident as the alleged in-service event and cause. I imagine this is how it works with TBI; claim the current disability but reference the TBI as the in-service event and show nexus between them. Or, am I way off? Thank you in advance!
  9. Has anyone on this site put in a claim for SMC-t? Do you know of anyone who has been awarded it? I am the sister of a pre 9/11 veteran who has been rated at 100% for TBI P&T. I am his full time caregiver and have been appointed his fiduciary. I also have helped him with his claims...and have done well, until this one. I do my best to give him a high quality of life, but need to hire because his body is fit, but his memory and cognitive skills are in constant decline. He is a textbook case for SMC T because, in addition to the first 2 requirements, his VA neurologist has also filled out the forms to state that "Without regular in home care the veteran would need to be placed in institutional care". That is a major requirement for an SMC T. We submitted the claim for an SMC T 2015 and they granted him A&A at the L 1/2 rating, which we didn't realize is also required to qualify for SMC t...actually SMC L or higher. We submitted the SMC t claim again April 2016 and they denied it based on R2 criteria. After not knowing what to do about that and not getting any help from the local VSOs (they aren't familiar with this SMC T) a pro bono attorney offered assistance, so we took it. The decision board came back with a "We got your new claim...we can give you an answer within 30 days or you can have up to a year to submit more evidence." I have NO IDEA what that really means or what to do...So, I submitted for the extra time. Now, I need some guidance. Should I have people we know write up some buddy letters to explain how much help the vet needs in his daily life? Should I hire one of those VA lawyer firms that take 20% of whatever award is granted? Do any of you know of anyone who has worked on an SMC t? The last report I read was from Dec of last year when the congressional coding was recommended to be changed in order to make the criteria more clear and the "open". The charts show that as of 2011, when the Fast Letter first went out, only 120 or so veterans have been awarded this SMC. So, that's why I am hitting brick walls! We appreciate any help. Thank you!!
  10. Please provide advice on a good veterans organization or law firm with experience and a good rep. I filed an appeal, but am not sure if it was done correctly, so I elected to take the option of sending in more evidence to support the claim. Now, I have time but need an expert to help me succeed. The veteran is pre 9/11, so Wounded Warriors and their affiliate programs are not an option. We live in Austin, but are willing to travel to connect with a good representative. Thank You!
  11. My husband is in need of a criminal lawyer who helps veterans asap. He did something while ptsd symptoms were high and now needs criminal help. Before these charges were given we were working on getting him help with his ptsd, which I told him he should go get help as this will show he is trying to not make this mistake again. The VA referred me to VSO who could only refer for help with claims, not criminal. I've contacted my caregiver coordinator, social worker and the primary, with no answer. I need to get on this asap and I know there are lawyers who only work with veterans but have hit a dead end. Any help, is greatly appreciated!
  12. Well I guess I should have known they would do this. My accident was TBI was 2006 my deployment was 2009. The physiatrist said she couldn't tell the difference between the two even though there 3 years in between my deployment and my TBI/coma. My VA primary doctor tells me to bring the 7 MRIs from 2007 and then the video of my friend dieing from an IED in IRAQ IN 2006. At first they told me it was depressive disorder in 2014 and then PTSD in 2016 but lumped it as a TBI residual. If it was a residual of my TBI I have no memory of my accident so how is this possible? I have in my lumped residuals is amenesia from my accident about 4 months of lost memories or out in a coma for one of those months? I do remember my deployment and the long days of being on high alert on fire guard and driving a Humvee on the base the same way my friend did in 2006 except I was the driving in the Humvee this time. I have another C&P Saturday for my TBI the second in 5 months. Is it possible I can get it un lumped from my TBI it is totally two different issues?
  13. I was recently diagnosed with Narcolepsy after experiencing sleep issues over the last 12 years. 12 years ago I was injured by a hand grenade (close Proximity) and am currently service connected %70 for mostly shrapnel wounds allover my body, nerve damage, and an additional %10 for PTSD. I do not have a service connection for a TBI and did not know what TBI was at the time of checking out and filing a claim with the VA. Over the last 12 years I have had issues with sleep and sought treatment during that timespan. I was referred to a new sleep doctor who tested me for Narcolepsy as well as Apnea, which came back positive for Narcolepsy. His opinion was this diagnosis' onset was from the blast along with other symptoms of PTSD, depression, etc. I was however tested for TBI in 2005 and it came back negative, however there was no claim made for this when I got out. My question is, should the Narcolepsy be service connected through a new TBI test (if it comes back positive), or another route such as PTSD?
  14. My doctor has opined that my head injury has caused my insomnia and is exacerbated due to night shift. Minus staying up for 3 days at a time sleeping for 2 then back on that schedule my supervisors said I am an amazing worker. But HR deemed me a safety of flight and not allowed to work on aircraft at night anymore. My job is not a oud to make reasonable accommodations due to union contract. So now being in aviation it is hard finding any form of jobs during the hours my doctors both opined forcing me to resign from my last job and be unemployed. I just had Veteran Evaluation Services and a HR VA rep tell me it looks like they are trying to increase my % so TDIU would be moot I am currently 90% and will have a raise in % on my headaches which is currently at 0%. How can you get Permanent and total for a TBI that has been service connected and rated for over 6 years at 70%? I have been connected for both headaches/migraine and TBI as a separate rating I have been to the ER and two different doctors for pain killers for headaches they occur every morning until I take the meds, is it possible if they combined the two it will make it 100%?
  15. Hello HadIt Community, TL:DR Skip down to bold section “So that brings us to today….” I've been a bit of lurker on the forums, searching and researching information already presented, hence the lack of postings. I was not quite sure where to post this, in the “Appeals” section or the “Disability and Claims” section.” I decided on the “Appeals” section due to the fact that the claim was already submitted and decided on, and so the next step logically would be an appeal. Moderators, if it needs to be moved, please move it to the correct section. I know that there is a lot of postings, questions, and information in regards to sleep apnea and trying to get it service connected, namely to PTSD and/or TBI. I hope that by sharing my path/progress it will help others who are in a similar situation. I am SC for TBI (70%), PTSD (50%), Mechanical neck pain syndrome (10%), tinnitus (10%). Total combined rating with fuzzy math puts me at 90%. This path of medical issues and nuances began in 2007 when I was in the Marine Corps, and it has taken my up until this year to really get most of my issues addressed and sorted. What delayed the entire process would be attributed to not knowing the secondary effects to injuries. Certain things were obvious (a head injury has secondary consequences like memory issues), but other things (namely the PTSD) were not. The VA, for me, has done an excellent job in diagnosing things, as well as the therapy afterwards. I know that this is not the case for everyone, but I was persistent and proactive towards trying to learn about myself and the changes I was going through and had been through. Not having considered PTSD as a problem for me (denial maybe?), I had attributed everything (headaches, poor sleep, attention problems, behavioral changes) to the head injury. Turns out that a lot of the symptoms of TBI are shared with PTSD, making treatment harder. Is the poor sleep because of the head injury or the PTSD? If the memory and lack of focus because of the head injury or the PTSD, etc. It took me a year and a half, after 6 months of initial therapy, to go through the medicine trial run. Try different medications, see if I feel any different. If I do, do I feel better? Once the right medicine is found, then it’s about finding the best dosage for me. Because everyone is different, and we are all wired differently, no 1 chemical will react the same way for everyone. At times, it felt that nothing was really working, and it didn’t help that the trial period takes time for your body to adjust to the new drugs. But with an open line of communication with my psychiatrist made it easier to track changes and make the changes so that I felt better. For me, it’s been a night and day difference. Looking back and remembering how I felt, it was almost as if my brain was in a constant fog. I was awake and aware of things, but almost as if things were in a dream-like state. I don’t know how else to describe it, but it felt like the drag I had on my mind and shoulders was eased. There are still bad spells and moments, but that is where the discipline and focus really comes into play. It hasn’t been easy, and I can’t even begin to imagine how it is for those who have a bigger challenge than I. But what I do know, is that you need to be wanting to make things better for yourself. It’s a bit of a process. Therapy isn’t the easiest, as you need to revisit certain areas in your life that you don’t want to. It takes time, and you feel quite low during certain times. In some ways, it allowed me to learn more about myself, and what I needed to do and go through to make myself better (know yourself and seek self-improvement…). But it gets better, I promise. Biggest takeaway from disability claims with the VA, is to make sure you have your paperwork in order BEFORE you submit things. At the beginning I did not know what I had, how the VA system worked, or anything at all. So my first claim consisted of: neck pain, lower back pain, headaches, memory problems. Very broad and generic symptoms. They were denied, but through the intake process, I did learn that I should talk to the VA clinic, namely the poly-trauma area to have my TBI assessed. From there, it was evaluation after evaluation to try and get an answer as to why I was having problems. TBI led to tinnitus and neck problems. TBI therapy then lead to depression screening which led to PTSD screening. PTSD screening then led to therapy. Once those two main areas (TBI and PTSD) were stable enough for me, I started to address other issues, namely sleeping problems. Headaches every day when I wake up, cold sweats every other night (changing sheets couple time a week….), nightmares. I had attributed all those symptoms to the head injury, but that was when I had learned that it could be partially the head injury, and partially the PTSD. More research lead to asking for a sleep study done. I figured that if there is something going on while I sleep, maybe it’ll show up on the results and give me a better idea to what’s going on. Having a better idea, it would allow me to attack the problem from a different angle. I found that throughout the entire VA process (starting in 2007), the best way to tackle things is to focus on it like a puzzle. Define the problem, get a better idea of what it is, and this then leads to knowing how you can attack it head on. I don’t know what exactly I was expecting out of the sleep study, but I certainly did not think that I would have an issue with breathing while I sleep. I had assumed that my combination of injuries was manifesting itself while I was sleeping (my most relaxed state). Long story short with my sleeping habits from the past, the sleep study showed that I had mild sleep apnea, namely obstructive sleep apnea. CPAP machine was then issued. Now to me, that didn’t make any sense at all. I don’t fit the OSA poster-boy, at all. Overweight? Thick neck? Older? I’m 28, 6’, 165 lbs. But I had some answers. My shallow breathing would cause decreased oxygen intake which causes an increase in CO2 in my blood. Heart pumps faster, fight/flight response starts, body is working harder to supply blood to muscles, cold sweats start to try and dump CO2. Then I wake up and I have to go use the bathroom, 1-2 times per night. I just figured I was well hydrated…haha… With the answer of sleep apnea of the obstructive kind, I started to research causes for it, and correlations to different injuries. One thing leads to another and there are correlations between head injuries and PTSD. So at that point (more answers…yay), I go back to VA research and learn that there can be claims filed for OSA. Since I was diagnosed with OSA outside of service, then I would need to either prove it happened while I was in (no evidence, so scratch that), or have a secondary connection to a service connected disability. Seeing that I was SC for TBI and PTSD, that would be the route I would take. What this meant was that I would need to present information to the VA showing a correlation between the injuries, and have the weight of a doctor behind it. I made sure to file an Intent to File notice so that my date was locked in for retroactive pay. With this date locked in, I needed to go about finding information on IMOs. Researching and learning, I decided to go with Dr. Anaise and get an Independent Medical Expert Opinion. $1500 later I had a nice sizeable book with him stating (and with evidence too) that he opined that it is more likely than not that my sleep apnea is secondary to my service-connected PTSD, TBI and tinnitus. With my new information and medical opinion in hand, I submitted a Fully Developed Claim, since I had no more information to submit (IMO from private doctor, and the VA had all my medical records including the sleep study). 6 months of waiting and checking eBennies (torture….) and it finally finished and showed that a decision had been made. Paperwork comes in the mail and the claim is denied… Frustrated? Not really, since I had expected that it would be denied. Most claims, unfortunately seem to be denied the first time around. Bit let down sure. But it is what it is, I can’t change that, so now time to look at how to keep pushing forward. So that brings us to today…. I do plan to submit a Notice of Disagreement to have it reviewed again. I have been told that the reviewal process is in the time length of 2-5 years (frustrating but backpay will be nice…). My posting on HadIt is based on wanting to get other people’s input and a fresh set of eyes on the information I have and what the next steps are, different viewpoints, and maybe anything I missed/am missing, as well as posting my information and path on here for others to read and learn from. Medication: Venlafaxine 300mg for PTSD Zolpidem Tartrate 5mg for sleep (Ambien) -------------------------------------------------------------- VA Decision letter verbatim: Issue/Contention sleep apnea Explanation The evidence does not show that sleep apnea is related to the service-connected condition of traumatic brain injury, nor is there any evidence of this disability during military service. Service connection for sleep apnea is denied since this condition neither occurred in nor was caused by your service. Your service treatment records do not contain complaints, treatment, or diagnosis for this condition. The evidence does not show an event, disease or injury in service. The evidence does not show that your condition resulted from, or was aggravated by, a service-connected disability. The VA examiner stated that your current sleep apnea is due to the airways in your throat relaxing too much to allow normal breathing and closure of your muscles than your service connected TBI, tinnitus, and/or PTSD. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ VA Examination I was not there for the exam because verbatim: [X] Review of available records (without in-person or video telehealth examination) using the Acceptable Clinical Evidence (ACE) process because the existing medical evidence provided sufficient information on which to prepare the DBQ and such an examination will likely provide no additional relevant evidence. Verbatim: MEDICAL OPINION SUMMARY ----------------------- opinion ---OSA 2/2 to PTSD LESS LIKLEY THEN NOT THE OSA IS 2/2 TO PTSD -- RATIONALE --OSA IS A OBSTRUCTIVE DEFECT Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat relax too much to allow normal breathing. These muscles support structures including the soft palate, the uvula ? a triangular piece of tissue hanging from the soft palate, the tonsils and the tongue. When the muscles relax, your airway narrows or closes as you breathe in and breathing may be inadequate for 10 to 20 seconds. This may lower the level of oxygen in your blood and cause a buildup of carbon dioxide. Your brain senses this impaired breathing and briefly rouses you from sleep so that you can reopen your airway. This awakening is usually so brief that you don't remember it. You can awaken with a transient shortness of breath that corrects itself quickly, within one or two deep breaths. You may make a snorting, choking or gasping sound. This pattern can repeat itself five to 30 times or more each hour, all night long. These disruptions impair your ability to reach the desired deep, restful phases of sleep, and you'll probably feel sleepy during your waking hours. People with obstructive sleep apnea may not be aware that their sleep was interrupted. In fact, many people with this type of sleep apnea think they slept well all night /es/ *Name removed* FNPC PRIMARY CARE PROVIDER -------------------------------------------------------------------------- IMO excerpts verbatim “After reviewing the veteran’s c-file and the pertinent recent medical literature, I opine that is more likely than not that the veteran’s sleep apnea is secondary to his service connected PTSD, TBI and tinnitus” “After reviewing all of the veteran’s medical and military records, it is my expert medical opinion that it is more likely than not (50% or more) that the veteran’s sleep apnea is secondary to his service-connected PTSD and TBI. The scientific observation that the derangement of REM sleep prominent in the PTSD patient is the cause for sleep apnea is of particular importance in this case. It is more likely than not that the veteran’s sleep apnea is secondary to his service-connected tinnitus.” --------------------------------------------------------------------- The report is 7 pages long with 5 5 exhibits of evidence (scientific journal reports). If needed for better clarity, I can scan the 7 pages in (edited for privacy). I can also post the findings from the sleep study if needed as well. I don’t want to provide my thoughts and input on this just yet, as I would like to see what the community’s thoughts are on where things are so far, based on what there is. What I ultimately am looking for, besides getting my claim granted, is to gain a better idea of what route I should take based on what I have. The VSO who I was working with suggested a simple medical statement that says my medication for PTSD affects my OSA (throat muscles relaxing), was also recommended to have a DRO review the case (instead of a RO?) since it might speed up the process because it was more ‘in-house’. De Novo review? CUE? Thank you in advance for your thoughts, view points, and suggestions The CPAP machine, took a bit of time getting used to, but it is a night and day different (no pun intended ha). The nightmares are less, the cold sweats are essentially gone, morning headaches aren’t there, and I feel rested now when I wake up and throughout the day. Getting sleepy while driving isn’t there anymore. I wanted to see its effectiveness, so I decided to try sleeping 2 nights without the mask, and the first night, instantly the prior symptoms came back. Headaches, cold sweats, over tired all day. My conclusion, from my personal experience, is that if you have PTSD, TBI or both, get a sleep study done. There is strong enough correlation between the three to have symptoms overlap and exacerbate one another. I may not know the exact scientific workings behind it, but logically it makes sense. PTSD or TBI, get testing and therapy done to better understand the challenge that YOU have, and how to better work through/around/over it. If they recommend medication, ask why. Not to push back against it, but so that you understand what the purpose of it will be, how it will help you. Self-knowledge and self-learning are very important in order to have a better grasp of things pertaining to you. Be patient with medication, and be honest with your prescribing doc. Everyone reacts differently to medication, and only YOU can determine how you feel. I might even recommend keeping a small journal of how you FEEL throughout either therapy or medication trials. Be patient with your meds. Medicine doesn’t work overnight, especially finding the right one and dosage. Be patient with therapy. Not during therapy necessarily, but in the length of things. It takes time depending on severity. You will feel worse some days more than others. Therapy, like medicine, is unique to YOU. What worked for me, may not work exactly (or at all) for you. But you need to be honest with yourself and with your guides (therapists and docs). I had a small ‘good luck charm’, a grounding tool, that I would touch and hold when my mind would start to wander. Helped to keep/bring me back to reality. Grounding techniques worked wonders, but you need to be disciplined about it. My good luck charm was a 550 cord bracelet I made when I was in. Feeling the knots and mentally talking to myself kept me ‘here’. Doesn’t have to be something big. Just a small item that has meaning and significance to YOU. You don’t even have to tell people what it is or does or anything. But it gets better, I promise.
  16. Hi everyone, Question... I currently have SA secondary to PTSD and depression. I have been knocked out several times on active duty( parachute falls, combat) but have never been dx'ed with TBI. I do suffer from the memory loss and other symptoms that I've read about with TBI but again have never been dx'ed for that. I had several headache treatments during AD... What route would you recommend to get the TBI claim going? I have a PCP appointment next month at the VA and want to present possible TBI issues. In many ways, I sucked it up after I passed out and didn't run to the Military doc.
  17. Hey there ALL...hope all has been well with everyone & sorry that I have been away from the forum for a while but I wanted to update you all on the current status of my claim. Like I told my wife 20 min ago, I'm like 58% "nervous" 42% "excited"...but I feel 100% BLESSED, either direction the ball may end with this claim here in the next few days! It's been roughly a year (5/25/15), since when I started my claim & 02/12/16 when my claim was received by VBA and about 04/22/16 the status was "Prep for Decision". Now...its estimated completion date is 05/20/2016 to 05/22/2016 and is "Pending Decision Approval" for final decision review & award approval which is the exciting part. The parts I'm most nervous about is 1) "how fast" the entire claim process has gone since last May and, 2) the thought of my PTSD (1 of 3) C&P exams have yet to be uploaded into ebennies yet. Maybe they will be Overall, I'm going to remain as positive in thought. Thanks everyone!
  18. Hey fellow vets! So, I logged into eBennies early this AM & it has finally happened...Im now at 100% w/ SMC-s1 and not rly sure if its P&T or TDIU but honestly, it doesnt matter...100 is 100 & im just beyond happy for my wife and 3 kiddos more than anything...blessed! So, heres the breakdown: OLD Comb Rtg--80% Primary SC Cndtns : 70%--TBI w/ residiuals; Secondary 30%--Maj Dep Disrdr NEW Ratings & Conditions Comb Rtg--100% Prim: 70%--TBI w/residuals Secondary: 50%--Migraine HA; 10%-Tinnitus; 100%--PTSD w/Neurocognitive Disorder (NCD); SMC-1 Its still hard to believe this is happening for me & my family. I want to thank all of you for the support, advice & encouragement. To those who are still fighting...KEEP AT IT and dont give up! Semper Paratus CoastieAirman96
  19. Results are hereby posted for your reading pleasure/enjoyment. Any comments, suggestions, or opinions would surely be appreciated in this 23, year Battle!!! Image1.tif Image2.tif Image (3).tif Image (4).tif Image5.tif Image8.tif Image6.tif Image7.tif Image11.tif Image12.tif Image9.tif Image10.tif Image14.tif Image15.tif Image16.tif Image13.tif Image44.tif Image45.tif Image46.tif Image17.tif Image18.tif Image19.tif Image20.tif Image21.tif Image22.tif Image23.tif Image25.tif Image26.tif Image27.tif Image28.tif Image29.tif Image30.tif Image31.tif Image32.tif Image33.tif Image34.tif Image35.tif Image36.tif Image37.tif Image38.tif Image39.tif Image40.tif Image41.tif Image42.tif Image43.tif
  20. Hey guys! Seems like I been away from you guys for a while now, so I knew I needed to login and share some updates with my fellow hadit.com vets! I had my final C&P Exam--Hearing Loss/Tinnitus last Monday April 18th. I checked eBennies last nite 04/285/16, and my claim is now in the Prepped for Decision: New Documents Rcvd--Development letter Sent, so I'm happy to see that its been moving faster than I originally expected or had hoped it would be. After all, I submitted my claims about 73 days ago and my estimated completion time was 06/22/16 to 10/122/2016 and now its 05/22/16 to 06/23/2016!! Sooooo...I been busy with other things to this point and even now and not sure how I shold be feeling when it appears to be moving so fast now. With that being said, I had three exams (TBI Residuals--HA's/PTSD/Tinnitus) and I only seen that my VARO has only recvd or showing 2 of 3 exams in eBennies today when I logged in. So, what does that mean if the PTSD DBQ wasn't shown & the TBI Residuals--Headaches & Tinnitus were, with it being in the PFD stage? Semper Paratus
  21. C&P was done on 30 march 2016. Does any one know what this means? Examiner, concludes objective evidence on testing of mild impairment of memory, attention, concentration, or executive functions resulting in mild functional impairment. Concludes, judgement mildly impaired for complex or unfamiliar decisions, occasionally unable to identify, understand, and weigh the alternatives, understand the consequences of choices, and make a reasonable decision. Concludes, social interaction is routinely appropriate. Concludes orientation always oriented to person, time, place, and situation. Concludes, motor activity is normal. Concludes, visual spatial orientation is mildly impaired. Concludes subjective symptoms that do not interfere with work; instrumental activities of daily living; or work, family or other close relationships. Concludes, one or more neurobehavioral effects that interfere with workplace interaction or social interaction. Concludes normal communication and comprehension and written language. Concludes residual subjective symptoms or any mental, physical or neurological conditions or residuals attributable to a TBI. Concludes, mental disorder of ptsd, mdd, and tbi... Moca test results, -1,-1,-2,-1. Total Moca score; 25... Normal range 26 or greater.. Diagnosis: ICD code: Z87.820.. Date of Diagnosis, 1991. Can anyone figure this out?
  22. Forgive the first effort, injuries have a way of making things difficult..... Twenty-four years of dealing with the VA, and the difficulties at hand ensure negative results..... These are the copies of a C and P recently done at the VA, and leaves me to doubt this system is capable of conducting themselves in an ethical manner. Enjoy the insanity, this veteran is tired of paying the piper; Eighteen Years were Enough !!!! (Remand posted earlier.) Still waiting to address attorney with the results of this remand and the Shabby, Disrespectful, and unethical way in which this Veteran has been treated at the VA hands...... Document 1.pdf ... Comments, opinions, and suggestion greatly needed and appreciated.... Sincerely, Mark Document 38.pdf Document 37.pdf Document 36.pdf Document 35.pdf Document 39.pdf Document 40.pdf Document 41.pdf Document 42.pdf Document 43.pdf Document 44.pdf Document 45.pdf Document 46.pdf Document 2.pdf Document 3.pdf Document 4.pdf Document 5.pdf Document 6.pdf Document 7.pdf Document 8.pdf Document 9.pdf Document 10.pdf Document 11.pdf Document 12.pdf Document 13.pdf Document 14.pdf Document 15.pdf Document 16.pdf Document 17.pdf Document 18.pdf Document 19.pdf Document 20.pdf Document 21.pdf Document 22.pdf Document 23.pdf Document 24.pdf Document 25.pdf Document 26.pdf Document 27.pdf Document 28.pdf Document 29.pdf Document 30.pdf Document 31.pdf Document 32.pdf Document 33.pdf Document 34.pdf
  23. Forgive the first effort, injuries have a way of making things difficult..... Twenty-four years of dealing with the VA, and the difficulties at hand ensure negative results..... These are the copies of a C and P recently done at the VA, and leaves me to doubt this system is capable of conducting themselves in an ethical manner. Enjoy the insanity, this veteran is tired of paying the piper; Eighteen Years were Enough !!!! (Remand posted earlier.) Still waiting to address attorney with the results of this remand and the Shabby, Disrespectful, and unethical way in which this Veteran has been treated at the VA hands...... Part 2, will be sent as soon as I can convert files to pdf....... Mark page 14.wps page 15.wps page 16.wps page3.wps page4.wps page1.wps page2.wps page 17.wps page 18.wps page 19.wps page 20.wps page 21.wps page 22.wps page 23.wps page 24.wps page 25.wps page 26.wps page 27.wps page 28.wps page 29.wps page 30.wps page 5.wps page 6.wps page 7.wps page 8.wps page 9.wps page 10.wps page 11.wps page 12.wps page 13.wps
  24. I was rated at 50% service connected Traumatic Stress Disorder after a severe TBI injury in which I was assaulted with a blunt object knocking me unconscious for several minutes. It was really bad and my head had a severe contusing and I still have the scarring to this day. Since I have been having progressively diminution cognitive issues as well as migraines and more recently been diagnosed to be bipolar which I had no issues before the incident. However, my confusion comes at why I was rate as a Traumatic Stress Disorder and not Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? Like they essentially are the same thing and the symptoms did not occur until after the incident meaning that it is "Post." This is extremely confusing to me as I have no explanation as to why. I can't even find anything in the Schedule Rating documentation. I really would like read up on it but I cannot. Please shed some light if you can.
  25. Folks: First- my TBI was finally approved at 10% and I'm very very thankful for the SC rating for TBI . It was a long and arduous path to get there with doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists and at least I have a starting point now. Frankly, I've never "opened up" to a mental health person before and that was very difficult for me to do? I've lived with the same constant headaches and memory issues for many many years since the Tank Main Gun Explosion and it's finally on the record now-as it should be. This also moved me from 80% to 90% in terms of my overall rating so at least I'm moving in the right direction. My wife has been very worried about my memory issues and treatments lately as I get older and at least I can get properly treated for these illnesses now with the VA. Overall, I've had to organize my whole life around dealing with these issues and how to cope on a daily basis. Many of us were taught to "just take it" and never complain but if a veteran "just sucked it up", later there was a price to be paid as we try to get the proper compensation and treatment for this.. Secondly, I want to again thank "all" of you out there whom have been very helpful and supportive at hadit.com with my posts and issues. Frankly, I think only "Vets" whom have gone thru these things can truly understand the real frustrations that we go thru "post military". Also, I've gain a healthy respect for the VA raters and the tough job that they have to make this all work. The system is not perfect and we don't always get what we expect but but I sincerely believe that folks at the VA work really hard to try to be the best for us veterans in the end.... Goodspeed to "all' -- Rootbeer22
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