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    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 ...
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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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GunnyO_Ret_USMC

Had My Ptsd Eval Yesterday

Question

Well I had my PTSD eval at the VA. The letter I received from the VA said to bring my DD214 with me and expect the evaluation to last about 4 hours or so. They never even asked me for my DD214 and didn't last nowhere close to 4 hours. I saw a nurse practitioner first for about an hour and he asked me all sorts of questions about my experiences in Iraq and pretty much what life was like before and after deployment and what was going on now. At any rate, after speaking with the nurse practitioner, I then spoke with the psychiatrist which only lasted for about maybe 15 minutes at best. He asked a few questions and that was it. He said that he was gonna go through the notes of this mental health assistant that I had being seeing at my local VA clinic which diagnosed me with PTSD. The psyciatrist said that he has to go through the notes of the mental health assistance that I was seeing and talk to him. Pretty much everyone that I have been seing said that I had PTSD, including a psychiatrist that I seen at the VA for substance abuse. So what the *&^%, I don't know what to think about this. Is this normal, or am I already doomed and headed for a fight with the VA? Help!

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hey Gunny,

It seems like the trend from doctor to doctor. I would say, don't be alarmed, but yet you still need to prepare for the fight. This was a C&P exam correct? If so, this doctor will be making a separate diagnosis, using the background of your other visits and the information you presented at your appointment. The VA tends to add more weight to this last exam, in my experience. What you need to do is go to the records section at the VA, where the C&P exam was done. Ask for a copy of all your treatment visits for everythings, including any c&P exams. You may not get the paperwork that day but will have it within 7-10 days. Once you see the formal diagnosis (DSM-IV) write up, things will become more clear. Once you see other peoples examples and you look at your paperwork, it should help some. It's not easy to say all your questions will be answered. Try to locate the formal diagnosis in your treatment notes. Then find your C&P exam write up and compare them. This is also another formal diagnosis. You can see if there are any discrepencies between the 2 diagnosis.

I would suggest you start a folder. You can always have your family and friends write letters stating how you were prior to deployment and how you are now. Once all you stuff is service connected, then it is a just a matter of severity. If you have ptsd or depression or pain disorder or bipolar disorder, the VA only rates for 1 exam and doesn't separate them. What I meant but this last sentence was that it is your current symptoms that count the most. Contiued treatment, whether its 1-1 or group is recommended.

I hope this helped and sorry if I confused at all.

semper fi

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Mine was for the full 2 hrs yrs ago with the psychologist. Maybe they are utalizing a psychiatric nurse practioner now, haven't heard of this but it could be. I was surprised they scheduled you for a 4 hour appointment, as that seems excessive, however maybe with using a nurse practioner first might be the reason.

Too bad the educated psych dr didn't take more time but maybe they have less professional's ie psychologists/psychiatrists to do the complete exam and that is why the use of the np.

They are supposed to read your c-file prior to you exam. Reading this would signify sc stressors. Looking at your DD214 would establish a possible stressor ie combat action badge, combat action ribbon, bronze star with "v", etc. Which should be in your c-file. ?Not sure why they would ask you to bring a copy?

Many other stressors may be found in you str/smr too.

They will, hopefully read all notations by other mental health counselors you have seen(provided) documentation thereof.

Hope your outcome will be favorable.

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Its nerve racking but you have to wait and see how it comes out. If it was at the VA you should go to the information window and request a copy the next time you are out there.

Good Luck your chances are good I would say and what is your 30% for and are you able to work?

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hey Gunny,

It seems like the trend from doctor to doctor. I would say, don't be alarmed, but yet you still need to prepare for the fight. This was a C&P exam correct? If so, this doctor will be making a separate diagnosis, using the background of your other visits and the information you presented at your appointment. The VA tends to add more weight to this last exam, in my experience. What you need to do is go to the records section at the VA, where the C&P exam was done. Ask for a copy of all your treatment visits for everythings, including any c&P exams. You may not get the paperwork that day but will have it within 7-10 days. Once you see the formal diagnosis (DSM-IV) write up, things will become more clear. Once you see other peoples examples and you look at your paperwork, it should help some. It's not easy to say all your questions will be answered. Try to locate the formal diagnosis in your treatment notes. Then find your C&P exam write up and compare them. This is also another formal diagnosis. You can see if there are any discrepencies between the 2 diagnosis.

I would suggest you start a folder. You can always have your family and friends write letters stating how you were prior to deployment and how you are now. Once all you stuff is service connected, then it is a just a matter of severity. If you have ptsd or depression or pain disorder or bipolar disorder, the VA only rates for 1 exam and doesn't separate them. What I meant but this last sentence was that it is your current symptoms that count the most. Contiued treatment, whether its 1-1 or group is recommended.

I hope this helped and sorry if I confused at all.

semper fi

I have to agree... Use an FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request to not only request a copy of your C&P exam, but also all of your VA Mental Health visits (both Psychologist & Psychiatrist). If you tend to think of this as watching grass grow or watching a glacier move you will get the idea of about how fast the VA will move. It may take up to 4-6 weeks to get all of your reports depending on how slow your VAMC is and how overloaded they are. You can request it in person the next time that you are there for a visit or you can mail in your request. At the same time you want to also mail in your request for your C-file from VARO so that you will be able to see what they see. It took me about 40 hours to organize mine in to something that made some sort of sense. Then it becomes the waiting game for the initial decision. If the C&P doctors decision and the VARO is inline with your previous doctors then you are sorted. If not, then you will already have the paper work to file you NOD.

Good luck and God Speed...

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This does not sound like a "Compensation and Pension Examination". It sounds like it was a clinical interview or "eval" as you called it --from your VA primary medical providers. Are you certain this was a C&P Exam? ~Wings

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