Jump to content
  • veteranscrisisline-badge-chat-1.gif

  • Advertisemnt

  • Trouble Remembering? This helped me.

    I have memory problems and as some of you may know I highly recommend Evernote and have for years. Though I've found that writing helps me remember more. I ran across Tom's videos on youtube, I'm a bit geeky and I also use an IPad so if you take notes on your IPad or you are thinking of going paperless check it out. I'm really happy with it, I use it with a program called Noteshelf 2.

    Click here to purchase your digital journal. HadIt.com receives a commission on each purchase.

  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims


    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
    Continue Reading
  • Ads

  • Most Common VA Disabilities Claimed for Compensation:   


  • Advertisemnt

  • VA Watchdog

  • Advertisemnt

  • Ads

  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

    employment 2.jpeg

    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

  • 0
Sign in to follow this  
Johnny K.

Zero % After Dro Hearing For Ptsd


Dear Tbird,

This site is an unbelieveable blessing and, after more than two years of trying to prove service connection for my PTSD, I finally found the site a couple of months ago, after my Legion Rep told me about it.

I have been married twice, most recently for fourteen years. I am a Vietnam and Desert Storm non-combat veteran and worked as a Hospital Corpsman from 1973-1992 mostly with the Marine Corps as a Field Medical Service Technician as a platoon corpsman , and as an EMT/Paramedic at Camp Pendleton Naval Hospital emergency services, and in the refugee camp in 1975 where all of my documented stressors occurred, along with caring for the sick and wounded returning to Long Beach Naval Hospital during 1972.

Last week a DRO sent me a transcript of our meeting and changed me from a complete denial status of my service connection claim to zero %. I have been treated by private mental health professionals on an outpatient basis since 1981, and by VA doctors since 2005. The diagnoses have always included anxiety/panic disorder, major depression, etc. GAF 55.

My American Legion Rep is happy and says that, now that I have recieved service connection status, we can appeal again for a higher percentage of disability.

I currently work four hours a day, five days a week in a job which allows me to have minimal contact with the public, and that helps me avoid many of my stressors.

I drive to and from work, and drive at work and, because I am on medication continuously I have few road rage incidents. I have been on medication for many years for my symptoms and I recieve them from a VA psychiatrist.

The transcript from the DRO had several mistakes in it, and I would like to correct them. How do I do that?

Also, in order to get my rating increased do I need to get a statement of employability? And should I go to a civilian psychologist, or psychiatrist-- or the VA psychiatrist (who I do not completely trust). Who's opinion would carry the most weight with the people who make ratings decisions?

One of the great Hadit community members provided me with a list describing what each percentage increment for PTSD requires, and I believe I fall somewhere around 30-50 %.

Thanks for your great heart and the help of the whole Hadit community.

Doc John

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Recommended Posts

Johnny, controlling my meds is all my shrink does to, he's the only MH type I see, but his comments about my symptoms, the GAFs he's given me for the past 4 years all showed the extreme effect PTSD has on my life, he has given me scores from 30-45 for 4 years now and 2 letters in 2004 and 2005 that plainly stated that "he felt that my SC PTSD was totally and permanently disabling, and that due to the fact that I have been affected by symptoms of PTSD for over 30 years he doubted I would ever get better" the first time they gave me 50% the second time after I wrote Darth Vader (Dick Cheney) in Dec 2005 the VARO awarded me the 100% I think just to get me to quit writing the WH. LOL

He also made some comments about my having Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD, and was to fixated on the fact that the Army turned me over to some damn Nazi doctors the OSS/CIA brought to the US after WW2 who worked at Edgewood Arsenal doing human experiments on soldiers, and I was test subject 6778A out of 7120 men used. Gee I wonder why he thinks I would be obsessing about something like that? :blink::unsure:

Edited by Testvet

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
If I were you I would get an opinion from a private psychiatrist-

There is a specific criteria they should follow- see my topic "Getting an Independent Medical Opinion under the search feature.

They should also have the VA award letter and narrative that holds the Reasons and Bases for the low rating.And copies of any PTSD C & P exam results you have (they can be requested from the VAMC)

Any private doc has to make a strong nexus statement- such as "In my professional opinion the veteran's current disability is more than likely due to the veteran's exposure to......(stressful events, etc)in service."

Also he/she could throw in "there is no other known etiology but for the inservice (stressors ,events etc")to have caused this disability to the veteran.

A Psychiatrist would possibly give you the full gamit of psychological testing that would help them shape their opinion.

(Unless the VA did already?)

The VA gave the reasons for the "0" rating and this is what a good IMO has to combat with full medical rationale.

Hi Berta,

I saw a Fee For Service psychiatrist for my C&P exam. It was at 11:30 A.M. and he must have been hungry. He did a very brief and incomplete exam, not even mentioning hyper-vigilance, insomnia, etc.

When he asked his first question it was about when I was first seen for my symptoms, and I said 1981. Then he asked what the psych's initial diagnosis was and I said

" dysthymia (major depression)" and before I could say "but, he later changed his diagnosis to PTSD", the quack had moved on to the next question. Because of this poor exam (which did concede SC major depression but failed to service connect me for PTSD, I asked to see the DRO.

After she read all of my IMO opinions, she put me at 0% for PTSD and now I am adding the Major Depressive disorder and TMJ to my ammended claim.

The VSO sent me the DRO's transcript, but I have not received the actual opinion letter yet. The DRO meeting was only on Sept 12, so it should come soon.

Oh, and now I have found out the VARO at Bay Pines has hired the quack (Dr. Mack) as

a staff psychiatrist- no longer fee for service. My Vet Center counselor says that this guy has not diagnosed PTSD in any claimants and five of her clients have documented PTSD diagnoses from IMO's which have been ignored by him. Maybe that is how he got the staff position? B)

Thanks Doc Johnny K.

Edited by Johnny K.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

JohnnyK. nice a Vet Center counselor is helping you. I hope all goes well and future interactions with your VA docs in the future are professional (client/doctor). Some doctor/patient relationships just dont work; had one myself, am adjusting some "odd" statements in my CFile thanks to them. Now, got a great VA doc and I wouldnt trade for anything (well nearly!) Again, good luck, expect good things and think about an official greivance if its really needed.cg

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
sounds like the DRO was playing the numbers game. if the issue in front of him is "entitlement to service connection for ptsd" then he can award service connection and pull the issue off appeal as a "complete grant of benefits." he did that by granting you what you asked for, and assigning a zero percent evaluation. he gets the credit for disposing of a case, and his pending appeals numbers go down by one.

now you have a new claim for "evaluation of service connected posttraumatic stress disorder" which is not on appeal. since you have a diagnosed mental disorder and take medication, an evaluation of 10 percent is inevitable. but higher evaluations may depend on complex issues specific to your claim. do you have co-existing mental disorders, one of which is not service connected? such a scenario is suggested by the DRO's assignment of a 0 percent, and can be problematic for getting a higher evaluation.

Wow... I knew that they played the numbers game, I had been told about it before, but having it confirmed by another ex-rater is scary. Do they do this often? I mean honestly, how often do you think this occurs? Maybe you cant answer this because it's too involved but I think it is pertinent to the question at hand, and other claims as well. I have seen claims where this is what I thought happened, or something similar... so I'd like to know an estimate if possible. Sorry if it puts you on the spot. Don't answer if your not comfortable in doing so.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Entropent,

I filed for PTSD in 2000, got denied and failed to appeal because of cancer surgery, and chemo/radiation.

I filed a new claim for PTSD IN 2005, and now, since this DRO decision, I am adding Major Depressive Disorder, which the C&P psych conceded as service connected.

I just keep punching the clock and filing appeals.

They can play the numbers game all they want- I will not give up until I get what they owe me. Or die.

Doc John

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

  • Ads

  • Our picks

    • Rating "Protections"
      The VA has several regulations governing various levels of "protection". The terms "permanent", "protection", and "total" are misnomers due to the various ways the VA has defined them.

      Here is some information on VA ratings protection (but the word "protection" has a different meaning to the VA). The exception to these rules is if they can prove fraud.

      5 years

      The key part to remember about the 5 year rule is found 3.327(a) indicating that these are guidelines which are not necessarily set in stone. The key takeaway for most veterans is reduction should not occur if there has not been material improvement over 5+ years or if the veteran is over the age of 55.


      10 years

      In brief, ratings in effect for 10 years cannot have service connection severed.


      20 years

      In brief, a disability rated for 20 years cannot be reduced below the lowest rating percentage it has held for the previous 20 years.








      Disclaimer: I am not a legal expert, so use at own risk and/or consult a professional representative. The VA updates their regulations from time to time, so this information may become outdated.
        • Thanks
        • Like
      • 7 replies
    • Everything Veterans Affairs does with your service connected disability compensation claim, is governed by law. You may want to bookmark this page as a reference as you proceed with your claim.

      It can be a bit daunting. Just remember the U.S.C. is the law, the C.F.R. is how they interpret the law and last but certainly not least is the V.A. adjudication manuals that is how they apply the law. The section of the law that covers the veterans benefits is Title 38 in the U.S.C. in the C.F.R. is usually written 38 C.F.R. or something similar.

      It's helpful to understand how statutes, regulations, and VA directives such as the VA’s Adjudication Procedures Manual, the M21-1MR (Manual M21-1MR.) are related. Of these three sources of law, the statute, written by Congress, is the highest form. The statute that governs veterans’ benefits is found in Title 38 of the United States Code (U.S.C.). The VA writes regulations to carry out the laws written by Congress; these are found in Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.). The VA’s internal instructions for adjudicating claims are contained in the Manual M21-1MR. VA regulations may not conflict with any statute; the manual’s provisions may not conflict with either statute or regulations. If they do, the Court has the power to invalidate them.


      U.S.C. United States Code United States Code is the law and the U.S.C. is the governments official copy of the code.

      U.S.C.A. United States Code Annotated U.S.C.A. contain everything that is printed in the official U.S. Code but also include annotations to case law relevant to the particular statute.

      C.F.R. Code of Federal Regulations The C.F.R. is the interpretation of the law

      VA M-21 Compensation and Pension Manual

      VA M-21-4 C & P Procedures

      VA M28-3 Vocational Rehabilitation

      VA M29-1 VBA Insurance Manual
      • 0 replies
    • HadIt.com Branded 11oz Coffee Mug for sale
      11oz Coffee Mug with HadIt.com Logo and Motto $12
      • 0 replies
    • Show your support with HadIt.com logo items. Only a few to start, t-shirts and ball caps coming https://hadit.com/shop/ Can holder, Coffee Mugs and Notebook currently come take a look and check back https://hadit.com/shop/

      • 0 replies
    • I was unable to find a reply box to your post.

      We have a full Agent Orange forum here.

      Many veterans (and even their survivors) have succeeded in getting a disability, not on the presumptive list, service connected due to their proven exposure to AO.

      Also Secretary Wilkie is considering a few new presumptives, but we have no idea if  he will even add any to the list.

      I wrote to him making a strong argument, as  to the potential for HBP to be added, as well as ischemic stroke and have prepared a personal claim based on the same report a veteran used at the BVA, who also had a strong IMO/IME, and the BVA recently granted his HBP as due to his exposure to AO in Vietnam.

      Most veterans with HBP were deemed as having "essential" - a medical term for no know cause- now we have a cause in Vietnam veterans---AO caused it.


      The report is here:


      On page 8 they found there is "Sufficient" evidence that AO caused HBP in Vietnam veterans.

      The BVA case and this report is also searchable in our AO forum.



      • 0 replies
  • Ads

  • Popular Contributors

  • Ad

  • Latest News
  • Create New...

Important Information

{terms] and Guidelines