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Can The Va Do This?

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When I originally filed my claim for depression secondary to chronic pain from service connected conditions I was denied. Part of the denial letter contained a statement that I made during my first visit that said, " patient feels that depression is related to working with emotionally disturbed youths." This has always stuck in my craw because, at the time I was unsure of what was actually causing my depression. At the end of this same denial letter it says that the patient feels that his depression is caused by pain from service connected conditions. They state that I am not qualified to make this connection because I am not qualified to do so. This seems contradictory. On one hand they use one statement against me and the other I am not qualified to make even though I live it every day. Their line of reasoning sucks!

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  • HadIt.com Elder


Are you a doctor? If your not a licensed "MD" or "PH.d" then your own medical rational about cause of your depression carries zero weight within the VBA, the fact be known- your simply not a medical expert. If a licensed "MD" or "PH.d" examined you and used your statement to establish other non-S/C reasons for your depression, than that is fair game for the VBA to use.

Obtain a IMO and then go from there like rental states.

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I agree with the benefit of an IMO.

Was the statement you made part of treatment or a C&P exam? To be more clear did any doctor diagnose you with depression and if so what did they say was the cause of it.

If a RVSR is stating that SC is not warrented due to your statement, he/she is making a medical determination which they should not be doing. If the VA hired/contracted doctor said it, its part of his evaluation of your medical state. He/she should have stated in thier opinion: is caused by, is more likely than not, at least as likely as not, is less likely than not, or is not caused by. If it is either of the last two you need an IMO or some way to discredit the medical opinion (an IMO).

If you are in treatment for depression and the cause of that depression has not be medically established you should be entitled to a C&P (provided you wern't already given one). in your NOD/appeal You might have to attach some medical journal studies that clearly establish a link to depression and chronic pain (helps to establish plausability) and this may get you a remand for a C&P (if one has not been done). However, an IMO establishing the nexus will get you to a rating a whole lot faster.

Best regards,


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