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Three C&p's Scheduled, Two Ortho, One Psych.


LarryJ

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I mean, the VA Medical Center has been taking care of me since the first of the year, and they have diagnosed Major Depression Disorder (that's the psych claim, secondary to pain resulting from my SC'd condition). So, they have been prescribing medication for my MDD, and it makes me better, as long as I take it regulary.

Should I take it, and show up at my psych C&P appearing relatively "normal"?

Then, the Ortho C&P's, same thing....the VAMC has been providing me with codiene and some other stuff (makes me better, takes away most of my pain, I can sleep 2 - 3 hours a night now).

Same question, should I take my pain meds and show up at my Ortho C&P's "numb"? Or show up like I would be IF I didn't have the VA's meds "on board"?

I mean, I can really see them saying "claimant did NOT appear to be in any pain......yada, yada", and do NOT think for a second that they wouldn't do just exactly THAT.

Which, of course, brings up ANOTHER silly question:

Why can't they just accept THEIR OWN DOCTOR'S previous dianosis? Why even HAVE a C&P?

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I mean, the VA Medical Center has been taking care of me since the first of the year, and they have diagnosed Major Depression Disorder (that's the psych claim, secondary to pain resulting from my SC'd condition). So, they have been prescribing medication for my MDD, and it makes me better, as long as I take it regulary.

Should I take it, and show up at my psych C&P appearing relatively "normal"?

Then, the Ortho C&P's, same thing....the VAMC has been providing me with codiene and some other stuff (makes me better, takes away most of my pain, I can sleep 2 - 3 hours a night now).

Same question, should I take my pain meds and show up at my Ortho C&P's "numb"? Or show up like I would be IF I didn't have the VA's meds "on board"?

I mean, I can really see them saying "claimant did NOT appear to be in any pain......yada, yada", and do NOT think for a second that they wouldn't do just exactly THAT.

Which, of course, brings up ANOTHER silly question:

Why can't they just accept THEIR OWN DOCTOR'S previous dianosis? Why even HAVE a C&P?

The VAMC I go to takes care of me pretty decently also. However, I just had an Ortho C&P on 9/27/07. I stopped taking all of my meds two weeks (the day I found out I was going to have one) and I can tell you that I was real "raw" and the pain was legitimate because I could barely walk. I don't know how others feel. I don't know about meds for your other issue. It is not always a "wise" thing to do, I know. But you are right about the RO's not taking the VAMR at its value. I'm pretty new to the forum, myself. So, I know others will be along shortly to give their comments.

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Hmmm... not taking meds....... I don't know if I would do that. Especially with any type of anti-depressants. By doin this you are endangering yourself and others around you. when they say stopping anti-depressants without assistance of you doc could result in....... believe me they know what they are talking about.

What if you stopped 2 weeks prior to the exam. One night you woke up so depressed you did not know or care what happened and you harmed your family or yourself - would a small increase in compensation be worth it then? you decide but I would hope your decision would include a discussion with a doctor.

Pain meds........hmmmmmmm...... if you wanna hurt I guess its up to you. Just remember in orthro problems pain is but only one consideration. The overall disability is based upon limitation of motion.

With my Dejerine - Roussy Syndrome I take 4000 mg of neurontin, 2000 mg (just increased) Trileptal, 180 mg of Cymbalta along with some narcotics. When they did my exam for PN the doc opined that the exteremly large doses of the neurontin, trileptal and Cymbalta would mask PN on a dead guy...... Claim was approved without EMG. Just my experience.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I take my meds as prescribed when I remember. I forget neurontin and I can barely walk.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I suggest you take your meds and explain what days are like for you normally they know they gave you the meds they know what effects they are supposed to have, they also know if you stop the meds the symptoms will return bottom line the medical condition is still there and that is what they are supposed to be rating stopping mental health meds abruptly can be disasterous I ran out of one of my meds I think it was effexor about three years ago it got me into the lockdown ward that was NOT fun....

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Okay, you guys/gals are right about the psych meds......I'll keep taking them.

When I mentioned to my wife that I was thinking about stopping them prior to my psych C&P, she said, "There is NO way that I'm gonna let you do that. What's up with you, are you crazy?"

Well, ahh, DUH?

But, with the Ortho C&P's, and I realize that pain is only ONE of the factors that they are going to look for during the exams. BUT, pain is ONE of the factors that they are going to look for.....you know, facial expressions, wincing, visible signs of pain..........

You know, it gets back to the common denominator........never tell them you feel fine when, in truth, you feel terrible.

Like, you know:

Patient showed no signs of discomfort, no signs of fatigue upon repetitive motion, etc....

Range of Motion, without pain, was within normal limits..............

Heck yeah.....knock me on my butt with codiene and you can "have your way with me"!

B)

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Stopping your meds for a C&P seems like fraud to me. What are you going to say when the doc ask you if you are taking meds? No, not right now, because of this examination? You see my point. If your meds are working or as you put it "make me fell better if taken regulary" then that's the truth.

The examiner is still going to ask you all the same questions, and if you tell the truth, you should be rated for your truthfull symptoms. You should explain to the doctor what you are like on you meds and off your meds.

Also, don't you go to therapy? These notes will help validate your symptoms. Trying to minipulate the system is why people think PTSDers are scammers. Be honest.

I totally agree with your reasoning, except that it is fraud. Before the medications I filed a claim which depicted my true disability picture. It is not a true disability picture when the medications mask or suppress what is actually the case.

However, I also contend, that just like every RO is different, so is every rating examiner. I have had three C&P exams, prior to 09/27 (despite the x-ray evidence and the fact that VARO considers my condition to be severe) all for a rate increase. I'm already service connected. I have never been asked anything about my pain except to rate it on a scale of 1-10, which I can not do even with the meds because I deal with pain on a daily basis.

I got a copy of my C-File about 8 days prior to my exam which had enclosed the examination request to the rating examiner for the 09/27 C&P exam. The NUMBER ONE request of the examiner was to determine my PAIN on motion at THREE points. As already stated, the x-ray evidence supports my loss of motion without an exam because my lumbosacral spine is fused and my thoracic spine shows a deformity of moderate scoliosis due to a compression fracture, among other x-ray, mri, bone scan, etc. type evidence.

What x-ray evidence doesn't show is PAIN ON Motion. So, if I have over a four year history at a VAMC and it is noted throughout that I continue with pain, why the need for C&P exam at all? If the meds are noted, but the doctors I still experience pain with these meds, what is the point of an exam? The point is that the VARO rating specialist needs to justify his/her decision with objective findings from a rating examiner to determine the level of disability for rating purposes. The medications do not present that the true picture. If the VAMC were to stop all of my meds tomorrow, it would not change the TRUE disability picture and reason I filed a claim in the first place.

But I did a search on Hadit.com regarding this same issue before my exam last week. I didn't ask the question on here again because it has actually been asked before. Yes, there are mixed views because we are not all dealing with the same medical conditions/issues. I am not seeking service connection, I already am. I do not have a claim for anything relating to depression or PTSD. My claims are strictly physical. So, I guess dealing with the pain for a few days to give the accurate picture of my condition was worth the pain because I have one claim that has been pending an appeal for the past 2 plus years for a rate increase, at which time I did take my meds for the exam. The rating examiner did not ask my one single question about my pain without them. I have all of my C&P exams and there has not been that question addressed at all. They have all been about the OBJECTIVE findings.

I take offense to calling something "fraud" when the reality is that the medications are what present a "fraudulent" diability picture of someone who is truly disabled but the rating specialist determines that the person "is not" because the so called meds are working.

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  • HadIt.com Elder
Stopping your meds for a C&P seems like fraud to me. What are you going to say when the doc ask you if you are taking meds? No, not right now, because of this examination? You see my point. If your meds are working or as you put it "make me fell better if taken regulary" then that's the truth.

The examiner is still going to ask you all the same questions, and if you tell the truth, you should be rated for your truthfull symptoms. You should explain to the doctor what you are like on you meds and off your meds.

Also, don't you go to therapy? These notes will help validate your symptoms. Trying to minipulate the system is why people think PTSDers are scammers. Be honest.

[Code of Federal Regulations]

[Title 38, Volume 1]

[Revised as of July 1, 2006]

From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access

[CITE: 38CFR4.59]

[Page 381]

TITLE 38--PENSIONS, BONUSES, AND VETERANS' RELIEF

CHAPTER I--DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

PART 4_SCHEDULE FOR RATING DISABILITIES--Table of Contents

Subpart B_Disability Ratings

Sec. 4.59 Painful motion.

With any form of arthritis, painful motion is an important factor of

disability, the facial expression, wincing, etc., on pressure or

manipulation, should be carefully noted and definitely related to

affected joints. Muscle spasm will greatly assist the identification.

Sciatic neuritis is not uncommonly caused by arthritis of the spine. The

intent of the schedule is to recognize painful motion with joint or

periarticular pathology as productive of disability. It is the intention

to recognize actually painful, unstable, or malaligned joints, due to

healed injury, as entitled to at least the minimum compensable rating

for the joint. Crepitation either in the soft tissues such as the

tendons or ligaments, or crepitation within the joint structures should

be noted carefully as points of contact which are diseased. Flexion

elicits such manifestations. The joints involved should be tested for

pain on both active and passive motion, in weight-bearing and nonweight-

bearing and, if possible, with the range of the opposite undamaged

joint.

Now I've been accused of FRAUD, of TRYING TO MANIPULATE THE SYSTEM, and of not being truthful.

Simply because I want the VA to SEE how painful it REALLY is.

This is all BS, and I will not sit and be accused of being a FRAUD.

I've HADIT!

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LarryJ you make a valid point. If the VA is rating a person for painful motion, does that mean painful medicated motion, or the base injury with no treatment?

This is a touchy subject with varying opinions and I'd like to see how this runs.. but please lets keep it civil. Lets not call people frauds, or such... I'd just like to see everyones opinion on this subject - in an adult manner.

Personally I tell my vets not to lie, but to tell the WHOLE truth. It is my impression (not fact impression) that disability compensation is for the remaining fuction of the person - reguardless of treatment..... but thats skewed when it comes to mental disorders and such..

So how about some expert raters advise here? entropent?

What do you all think - believe...

But lets be adults and leave name calling out of the discussion please.

Another point... when does it become a lie? That is when does your options and behavior during a c&P become false or misleading? I'd really like to see a mature discussion on this point because I think it is very important that we look at where the line should probably be drawn....

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Well, say I've already been SC'd and rated for one condition. And, for this condition, the VA is medicating me with some serious pain meds.

Now I have another C&P, for a related condition of the same type of injury. Problem is, is now I am medicated to the max. Yet, for the C&P to be realistic, there is NO way that I would show upon examination, the same amount of physical pain that I would show, if NOT medicated. So, my C&P would NOT show my TRUE condition, hence I would NOT be rated as highly for this condition as I was for my first C&P, for a similar condition. Yet, the medications are for the FIRST condition, NOT for the current C&P. So, if I want them to SEE my TRUE, NOT YET RATED, condition, do I go into this C&P so drugged up that I'm not evincing ANY pain?

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Greetings,

The issue here as I see it to be as with all service connected disability issues is the disability in question. I have never had a C&P examiner (I have had 15 C&P's over the past 10 years) ask me what medications I was taking.

If you have a severe disability the C&P examiner needs to see how severe it is, and this is has been in my case followed range of motion testing. In all my years I have had several IMO's and tons of medical edivence supporting my disabilities, however time after time the bottom line (For me only!!!!!!!!!) has been range of motion testing on the final report of my C&P exams, and when I received my rating from the RO. The ratings officer is going to look at the edivence and he or she in all my cases have zero'ed in on the range of motion. Some medications will lower the range of motion tests, and will not give an accurate total picture of the true severity of the disability in question. In my case my C&P examiner only wanted the facts and those facts were ROM.

I do hope this helps you. God bless.

Bound4Heaven

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Well, I am sorry that I even asked the question. I never meant or intended to defraud the government. I never meant to lie to the examiner. I never meant to manipulate the system.

All I wanted to know was should I present myself in the true, raw state of pain that I would NORMALLY be in, or do I show up drugged and attempt to explain to the examiner what I would be like un-drugged. According to 38CFR4.59 the examiner is supposed to observe the patient for visible signs of pain, etc., so if I'm medicated the examiner will NOT see the "true picture", so how can they make a medically correct diagnosis?

I will say this. When I showed up for my FIRST C&P for what would become my SC'd ankle condition I was NOT medicated and the doc didn't seem to have any trouble with that (I wasn't medicated simply because I couldn't afford the private doctors and the civilian cost of medication), hence the original reason I finally sought help from the VA.).

And, addressing the suggestion that we have our disability percentages lowered because we feel better when taking the narcotics that they provide, then what do you do if you cannot afford your medication, when, because they have lowered your percentage of disability and you no longer qualify for your service connected medications and have to start paying them for your drugs?

Heck, with some of this stuff they are giving me, there are parts of the day, right after taking my meds, when I feel better because I'm higher than a kite. What if they chose to rate me at that particular time and lower my disability percentage according to how I felt right then. I'll tell you what would happen.......I'd wind up with NO disability.

As it is, I take my meds and because I take my meds as prescribed, then I can't leave my house, I can't drive (well, I could but you would not want to be on the same road as I), I can't remember anything.......BUT MY BODY DOESN'T HURT so I guess I need to tell them this, so's I could be working within the "system", and just tell them that at times I don't meet their criteria for being drawing as much compensation and that they can just (X) me out of the deal.

yeah, right

I'll do that, as soon as I see y'all down there at the VARO, giving 'em back YOUR checks.

MOF, y'all let me know when you are gonna show up and I'll meet ya there.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Oh yeah, I probably should add this:

I get a whole $212 a month. Out of this I get to pay for 2 round trips a WEEK to the VAMC Dallas, a round trip of 100 miles (800 miles a month). I get to pay $8 co-pay on medications for conditions that are not yet SC'd, to the tune of about $64 a month. I can't work due to the meds and the fact that I'd have to be off two days during the work week for my weekly therapy sessions, etc.

Heck, I'd probably be better off if I just gave them back the $212, so all you people that are feeling better because of the treatment regimens that you receive at the VA, in keeping with oneshot's theory, meet me at the Waco VARO next Monday at 8 am so's we can all give back what we received because we defrauded the VA.

and, I am not sorry for my rant, because the meds that I am supposed to be taking have not arrived yet, and will not today (Columbus Day), simply because I tried to work within the "system" and, like a good Marine, did what I was told to do, and ordered my meds through My HealthEVet on the net, three weeks ago, and it's been 4 days without my codiene, welbutrin, prozac, etc.

If the VA saw me NOW, right NOW........they'd admit me, and the C&P's would just have to wait, until I got better, because of the damned crap I have to take to keep from chokin the livin sh*t outta someone.............

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Guest morgan

The issue is always how much any condition affects one's ability to work. If medication can relieve pain, thus restore range of motion, enough to work, then medication should be taken as directed to show actual improvement with treatment. But the other issue would be pain medications that affect operating a vehicle. I talked with a lady a few months ago who was arrested for driving under the influence of prescription drugs. She said she was weaving all over the road on her way to work and didn't realize it.

So how does it affect the veteran's ability to stay gainfully employed if he or she can't drive to work, and public transportation isn't available?

I think it would be helpful to point out the level of medication needed to control the condition--in case the examiner doesn't notice--and that the veteran is unable to drive to work because of medication side effects, if that is the case. (Don't expect that to fly if you drive yourself to the exam.) :)

That said, I see no logic in encouraging veterans to stop taking medications before an exam. In fact, doing so could cause dire circumstance in some cases. For instance, hypertension usually can be managed with medication and diet, and both (thank goodness) can effectively lower the blood pressure readings. And the ratings criteria is based on need for medication and specific readings taken multiple times and sometimes over multiple days.

To those who have compensable hypertension, it's clear what happens when the medication is missed and the diet is not followed, and most know the risk of stroke if daily medication is not taken as directed. So to say any veteran should not take medications before an exam could encourage or cause serious circumstance regarding certain medical conditions. IMO, if the advice doesn't apply to all conditions, then it doesn't

apply for any.

We need to remember that it's common for working people to be taking regular medications to manage medical conditions. However, it certainly becomes a disabling factor if certain medications make driving risky or even dangerous.

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Larry, don't be sorry one bit. This is an excellent question. You have the right to a "thorough and contemporaneous" C & P exam, one that accurately and thoroughly measures the symptoms of the condition being rated. If you are in remission, or the symptoms of your condition are not active at the time you are examined, your exam would not be "thorough" and you not only have the right, but I believe the obligation to reschedule it at the time your symptoms were in full-blown active state. If your meds mask your symptoms, there is no way an examiner could objectively measure the extent and severity of those symptoms, which is necessary to gauging them to a rating contained in 38 CFR Part 4. If that means you need to have someone basically take custody of you and accompany you to the exam, then that's what you have to do. Implying or insinuating that the veteran is being dishonest or fraudulent in not taking his meds prior to a C & P, in an ill-intentioned attempt to fool the examiner is just plain dumb, and even worse, insensitive. In many cases, the examiner can't measure what he can't observe, like a rash or ROM. Let's keep in mind the true purpose of a C & P exam, which is to measure and not to treat the condition being rated.

The C & P process is flawed, it's a snapshot at one moment in time of conditions that more than likely have existed for years. The purpose for which it's designed mandates that the veteran present himself with the condition in full-blown measurable state. Granted, it's terribly hard on the veteran to have to withstand the end result of going without meds, but they didn't design this system. They have to do whatever is necessary to show the true, unmedicated, natural state of the injury or disease to the examiner, which is the sole intent of a C & P exam.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

That is correct, when speaking of a medication such as hypertension meds.

However, in a situation such as mine (destroyed ankle, no cartilage in the ankle and about 1/2 of my foot, as the surgeon states "a total bone-on-bone situation" where I have to take SOMETHING to alleviate the pain) then your hypothesis doesn't hold true. For one thing, I can do without my pain medication WITHOUT causing any more damage to my joints, unlike hypertension medication which actually makes a condition better or at least keeps it from getting worse.

In my case you see, in the CFR addressing the points that the examiner should notice and follow to come to a rating decision, the examiner is expressly instructed to note the effects of pain, etc.

If I may be allowed a quote from the applicable CFR:

"The

intent of the schedule is to recognize painful motion with joint or

periarticular pathology as productive of disability. It is the intention

to recognize actually painful, unstable, or malaligned joints, due to

healed injury, as entitled to at least the minimum compensable rating

for the joint."

And, if anyone says that pain is not important or not considered when rating a disability, let me point out that pain, itself, will, as the above states, entitle you to "at least the minimum compensable rating for the joint".

So, what does this do for you, when you show up for the exam, unable to show pain (without faking it) due to the narcotics you have on board?

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By the way, I know others will disagree with what I've said. But my comments are based on our own experiences, and the way things really worked for us, not the way they should have worked for us. How many vets went without meds during the time they were initially applying for disability benefits? No one worried about their condition then, so I'm sorry, I'm for rating the true picture of the disease or injury, whenever possible. Otherwise, you're inviting a lowball rating or outright denial.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Thank you vaf.

and your post got posted as I was replying to morgan's post.

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I just wanted to jump back in and reply to "sixthscents." First let me state to "oneshot" that I just respectfully disagree that ALL conditions can be likened to cancer or ever do go in remission. For instance, I have already indicated that my conditons are service connected. I'm not battling that anymore. The radiographic evidence stands alone and shows the damage to be irreversible. That is not being argued either.

However, medications do not make me better. They are prescribed to help me "manage" my pain. That's it. My conditon is incurable and due to the spinal damage there is no remission. However, I told the examiner that I DO NOT take my meds when I have to drive.

I also told him that I had not taken one of my meds prescribed by an outside the VAMC physician because there was a delay in refilling the RX.

I told him that, not because he asked, just because I thought it was relative.

To "sixthscent:" I have been studying BVA archive cases, as they relate to my own claim, and I have seen so many times where the BVA granted claims based on the fact that they applied the laws, provisions and regulations a lot more liberally than the rating specialist. In cases where the meds were helping a veteran, the BVA noted that were it not for the meds the veteran would be at a certain percentage. It was not that the VARO rating specialist did not do their job correctly. It was that BVA saw the disability picture differently based on the medical evidence and the report of the VA medical examiner.

I was just beginning to take medications at my first three C&P exams. Each exam I was increased to a higher dosage or my RX had been changed to something else altogether. So, I have actually never even been on the SAME medications at any of my C&P exams. I just began Enbrel injections (which was the RX that got delayed in its refilling), which the Veterans Benefits Administration does recognize as an immunosuppress drug for "ACTIVE" disease. But I can assure you that many rating specialists probably do not know that. For those who do, it is taken into account. But the idea that all of these RO's are operating under the SAME exact mentality is ludicrous.

I think, personally, that it becomes a questionable move (not taking meds before an exam) in a PTSD claim situation. I think someone else already pointed out that stopping those meds can lead to endangering someone else, if not the veteran him/her self.

But most meds prescribed for a musculoskeletal condition are for pain management only. Radiographic evidence is not going to lie and if the x-rays, mri, ct scan, bone scan, what have you, doesn't show anything remarkable or of significance then a veteran is probably not going to present with a lot of pain and a rating examiner would indeed know that.

But as LarryJ has mentioned. Sometimes the TRUE pain threshold is not presented. I am on some pretty "powerful" drugs. There is no way I can take these drugs on a day that I have a VA appointment or have to be somewhere that I would have to drive to. However, for the benefit of "onestop" this is thoroughly noted throughout my VAMR, which the rating examiner admitted that he had NOT reviewed.

As far as veterans having their benefits decreased because they are "feeling" better, I think is absurd. It doesn't mean the condition is eradicated. It simply means the medications enable them to function a little better throughout the course of their day. I am considered 100% totally and permanently disabled and receive SSD as a result. But my conditiion is the result of my service in the Armed Forces.

If "onestop" honestly believes that every veteran should have their benefits decreased if they are "feeling" better than why are half of us who come to this forum still fighting for 100% service connection? Why are people receiving 70-100% service connect disability for PTSD and other like disorders on this forum who articulate themselves better than I do? In fact, how are any of us sitting at a computer typing our comments in this forum?

I'll tell you why...because as it has been described throughout the VBA regulations, it is not what someone (a veteran) is able to do sometimes...but what he/she is able to do ALL the time. I can walk to the corner of my street with a cane. But I cannot do it without my cane. I cannot lay in a prone or supine position...but it doesn't mean I don't go to sleep. I cannot sit or stand for periods that exceed 20-30 minutes at a time and am constantly having to shift or re-position myself...but at least I can recline when necessary and take my meds as prescribed. Do I "feel" better afterward? Absolutely! Does that mean I can go back into the economy and pull a nine to five. Absolutely NOT! Do rating specialists always see or read between the lines of a rating examination in that manner? NO! And they are the ones who seem to have the determining say in a veterans claim, until we appeal the unsatisfactory decision. To me that is more ridiculous than choosing to not take my "pain" meds in order for the examiner to assess the disability with accuracy.

LarryJ, I'm not sorry that you asked this question. I think it raises awareness to just how sad it is that veterans even think they have to not take their meds because they don't get a "fair and just" depiction of their disability(s).

However, I do believe there should be wisdom and caution exercised on all fronts. I don't know what meds people take for PTSD or like conditions. But I would think those would be meds to continue taking no matter what.

Lastly, I know that there are some who would like to believe that all RO's, medical examiners, and rating specialists are functioning and operating the same. But that is simply not true. It is not happening that way across the board. I read a thread on Hadit.com where it was pointed out, in fact, that rating specialists are not doctors and do not have the medical knowledge to always know how a conditiion might be related to another. It has to be pointed out to them. This is why there are rating exams.

Well, if that is the case, there is not going to be any reading between the lines. If the medical examiner states that there is "moderate pain on motion, but the veteran is on many prescribed drugs for pain which is most likely the reason that the pain is only moderate," why in the world would a rating specialist deduce that the veteran is only "slightly impaired by pain due impart to his/her medications." The statement from the medical examiner doesn't say that at all. But that is what ends up happening when left to the interpretation of a rating specialist. Yet, it is certainly not accurate and these misinterpretations is what many claims end up in appeal over.

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Guest morgan

LarryJ, I didn't intend to be offensive, and I understand what you're saying. I think you have a very good argument to present to the examiner. If you have a private ortho doctor who would support your statements, I would get the opinion in writing and take it to the exam, and ask that it be added as evidence for your C-file. I helped another veteran who did that and it brought the most important points to the top of the veteran's file and into the hand of the examiner, in writing. The exam report noted that the veteran brought a new and recent medical opinion to the exam and it was considered. He won his claim.

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Why am I not surprised that a DRO might say something like that. "Cheating the system" and "My friend the DRO says its definitely fraud..." With all due respect, that's your friend the DRO's opinion. DRO opinions haven't stop our appeals, and in the end, it didn't matter a flip what our local DRO said. Bottom line--The veteran has a statutory right to a thorough examination. You can't rate it if you can't find it. Any danger that the VA puts the veteran in by forcing him to forego meds in order to present the true picture of the injury or disease in order to be properly rated during a C & P exam is not the veteran's fault, and he should not be accused of being dishonest or perpetrating fraud. The fault lies with your friend the DRO's employer.

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    Tips on posting on the forums.

    1. Post a clear title like ‘Need help preparing PTSD claim’ or “VA med center won’t schedule my surgery instead of ‘I have a question.
       
    2. Knowledgeable people who don’t have time to read all posts may skip yours if your need isn’t clear in the title.
      I don’t read all posts every login and will gravitate towards those I have more info on.
       
    3. Use paragraphs instead of one massive, rambling introduction or story.
       
      Again – You want to make it easy for others to help. If your question is buried in a monster paragraph, there are fewer who will investigate to dig it out.
     
    Leading too:

    exclamation-point.pngPost straightforward questions and then post background information.
     
    Examples:
     
    • Question A. I was previously denied for apnea – Should I refile a claim?
      • Adding Background information in your post will help members understand what information you are looking for so they can assist you in finding it.
    Rephrase the question: I was diagnosed with apnea in service and received a CPAP machine, but the claim was denied in 2008. Should I refile?
     
    • Question B. I may have PTSD- how can I be sure?
      • See how the details below give us a better understanding of what you’re claiming.
    Rephrase the question: I was involved in a traumatic incident on base in 1974 and have had nightmares ever since, but I did not go to mental health while enlisted. How can I get help?
     
    This gives members a starting point to ask clarifying questions like “Can you post the Reasons for Denial of your claim?”
     
    Note:
     
    • Your first posts on the board may be delayed before they appear as they are reviewed. This process does not take long.
    • Your first posts on the board may be delayed before they appear as they are reviewed. The review requirement will usually be removed by the 6th post. However, we reserve the right to keep anyone on moderator preview.
    • This process allows us to remove spam and other junk posts before hitting the board. We want to keep the focus on VA Claims, and this helps us do that.
  • Most Common VA Disabilities Claimed for Compensation:   

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  • VA Watchdog

  • 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

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