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

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    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

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Johnny K.

Zero % After Dro Hearing For Ptsd

Question

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

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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