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C&p (ptsd) And An Earlier Effective Date (eed) For Bipolar

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I posted a question similar to this under FAQ forum and am grateful for the replies. I am quite new to writing my questions in these forums and maybe I had originally posted in the question in the wrong forum. I didn't feel as though I got that much closer to resolving my question from the answers and hope I am able to have dialog with this post. So I hope no one minds but here is another attempt. Thanks everyone.

My VSO Rep told me that they usually combine mental conditions as many on this site have said. In my case they combined my PTSD and Bipolar diagnosis when they made the final compensation rating this year.

I put a NOD in requesting an earlier effective date to 2003 (Bipolar II/Anxiety/Panic Disorder) instead of the PTSD claim date I put in 2006. I also asked to make the pre-service of 30% be 0% resulting in a 70% total rating. This is based on the rules regarding preexisting disorder and aggravation and the rule regarding if the preservice portion is ascertainable or not (if not 0% preservice should be awarded then add the % of aggravation). According to my entrance exam There is no mention of symptoms, aggravation, or diagnosis for PTSD or Bipolar .

Besides the NOD my VRO asked for a Hearing officer and Traveling Board hearing on the BVA appeal (especially in light of the above C&P and rating decision)

That said my question is:

How do you see the rating officer rating this NOD and will they relook at the previous Biploar/Anxiety/Panic disorder claim denials and issues regarding my BVA appeal? How might BVA rate the Bipolar claim. Do you think it's possible to be granted at the 70% with a back date of 2003 after reading the below history?


Bipolar Claim 2003

My Bipolar II / Anxiety/ Panic Disorder claim was entered in 2003. (This was based off of one doctor saying preexisting PTSD diagnosis and the VA doctor he referred me to also diagnosing Bipolar II - both dianosed after service).

I had 3 denials (De novo, SOC, SSOC,)? They denied based primaryily on no mention of being treated for Bipolar II/anxiety/panic disorders in service or record of having it when entering service or being aggravated by services.

My 2003 Bipolar II/Anxiety/panic disorder claim is now certified and awaiting BVA hearing. However, I had also opened a PTSD case in 2006. Therefore, my BVA claim will probably be held up further awaiting the NOD I just submitted to finish. This leads me now to the following:

PTSD Claim 2006

In 2006 I put a PTSD claim (after getting a private psych evaluation diagnosing Axis I PTSD, Bipolar II) with mention of PTSD was preexisting then aggravated by services.

This year I had a C&P for the PTSD claim and a decision was made

The PTSD Decision (and the C&P exam) revealed the following:

"Examiner Noted: You do have panic attacks. Oriented but you do have severe mood swings as evident by bipolar II. You go into hypomanic followed by depressive episodes. You are somewhat paranoid and very anxious. You do have flashbacks. ............You have all the symptoms of PTSD." Deficiencies in most areas. Diagnosis was post traumatic stress disorder with bipolar disorder, Type II." Axis I PTSD GAF 50, Bipolar GAF 60

Later the rating decision reads

"The difference between disability evaluations before and after military service determines the degree of disability subject to service connection. Thus 70 - 30 = 40% PTSD. "Prior to service, the disability is considered 30 percent disabling from July 2006, date of claim [PTSD], based on evidence that showed long standing mood swings and concurrent diagnosis of bipolar disorder, low self-esteem, paranoia, depression and anxiety. Following military discharge the disability is 70% due to ...., deficiencies in most areas for a total rating of 40% for PTSD. Stressors verified."

PTSD granted 40%

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Bi-polar, with a GAF of 50 or below will usually get you 70%, in and of itself. Please note that I said "usually".

After reading all your post, I was somewhat confused as to what you were trying to tell me. I'm sorry, but after a couple of Tylenol #3's and my Ambien I don't hear, read or reason very well and complex statements just make me sleepy.

Are you receiving any type of psych treatment?

"They denied based primaryily on no mention of being treated for Bipolar II/anxiety/panic disorders in service or record of having it when entering service or being aggravated by services."

Don't look good, unless you have provided them with all of the above.

I'm goin to bed.

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Thanks for the reply and sorry for the long winded right up. Just wanted to get the history out there. Hope you feel better.

PTSD was GAF 50 and Bipolar 60. Axis I PTSD, Bipolar

Rating Decision PTSD with Bipolar II

Prior to service evidence of mood swings and conqurent diagnosis of Bipolar II was the examiners and raters words.

Yes I am getting psych treatment for the last 8 years non stop and had a psy evaluation for PTSD and Bipolar.

Preexisting PTSD was awarded at 70% with 30% being consider prior to service for a total of 40% aggravation for PTSD being awarded.

The prior Bipolar / Panic/ Anxiety claim was for aggravation also but kept getting denied and i now awaiting BVA appeal. However in light of the PTSD C&P and PTSD rating decision I believe it bolsters my argument for the Bipolar claim and therefore an effective date of 2003 not 2006 when I put in for PTSD. PTSD was diagnosed before bipolar and could have triggered it or made it worse.

Your thoughts.

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Was wondering if anyone could add some more opinions to this post.

I am still lost on how this type of claim would be viewed by an RO or BVA.

It seems a little different from other post I've read since it deals with pre-existing

conditions (PTSD with Bipolar) Stressor verified.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Since you are already rated it really does not matter what your condition prior to service was. Now lets get to the meat and potato's. Are you working? If you can't work you should have 100% in some form or another.

If you are working I dount that you will get a higher rating. If you are getting Social Security please provide the information to the VA immediately. If not and you are not working you should file for it.

Good Luck

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Pete53 Thanks for responding.

I understand the meat and potato points your making. Currently I am working (but this is maybe short lived as things have taken a turn for the worse)and I will file immediately if/when the employment ends.

But since the job issue is not happening at this momemnt I guess I was wondering more about how my chances my be trying to receive an Early Effective Date from 2006 (PTSD with bipolar rating) and tying it to the Bipolar/anxiety/panic claim filed in 2002 and now awaiting BVA appeal.

Also dropping the 30% pre-existing to 0% allowing for a 70% PTSD rating would make for a combined 90% total rating.

Thanks again for taking the time to help on this issue

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