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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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  • Most Common VA Disabilities Claimed for Compensation:   

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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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huff

Pstd Exam Advice.

Question

I posted this early in another thread. I apologize to that gentleman.

I have a PTSD exam coming up, and after reading all these different experiences, I'm not sure what to expect for what I'm claiming, or even if I have a claim.

I spent 21 years in the Air Force, was involved with the Libya conflict, and deployed right after Sadaam evaded Kuwait. From there, it was back and forth to the sand box until I was medically retired in 2004.

What's ironic is none of my claims are for any war time events, they are for on-going mental anguish and pain from other events. I have 3 that stand fast in my head and will never forget.

FIRST...1988 I was court-martialed (special) for using the auto hobby shop to replace a clutch in a friend’s vehicle for $95. As stupid it sounds, that’s what happened. I talked about suicide and was sent to see the "military professionals" on this and was closely watched me. They really made me feel like a shit. In the end, my punishment was $1,200 fine, and 1 stripe. Yeap....an Article 15 offense.

Don't get me wrong, what I did was wrong, but what they did to me was way over board. I relive those events quite often. I remember the names, days, the suicide thoughts while having that sigma over my head, and for what???? Replacing a clutch? I should laugh about it, but I don't.

21 years later, and I still get stressed and headaches over this.

SECOND...1991.. I had a bladder stone operation where they entered through the urethra/penis. Problem is, they only gave me a spinal, and left me wide awake to witness the whole procedure.

Legs in stirrups, I had the joy of watching as they inserted one large metal tube, after the next, into my penis until it was large enough to get forceps and drills into my bladder. Why they didn't cut through the side, hell, who knows.

Many may crig, many may say WTF. I've had stones since that time and horrified at the fact that if that particular situation happens again, what I will have to go through. The images are vivid and strong as the metal rods are inserted, not to mentioned the damage its done to my sex life and marriage.

THIRD...Quickly medically retired in for 04 Rheumatoid Arthritis. (Started on chemo drugs and medical infusions. (rated 30%). Did that until late 07 and switched to other meds. I'm currently seeing a therapist for depression, anxiety, and pain management practices. I've been diagnosed with sleep apnea, ED, among other things that relate to this disease.

I never had representation over the year’s, until I moved to TX in late 07. When the DAV looked at my records, they were astonished at how everything was swept under the rug.

Live and learn I guess.

I’m not a pro at this VA stuff, and any advice would sure help me figure out what I should do. Thanks

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Huff,

Some of the elders here could probably offer you better tips regarding your PTSD claim, but here's my opinion regarding each of your main points.

#1

I have heard of things like this happening. Someone must have been a real jerk at that shop. At the shops I used to use, the folks really never cared because they were too busy talking about cars. To me, this sounds more like some form of depression than PTSD, but I could be wrong.

#2

I thought experiencing a kidney/bladder stone was painful enough. Sorry that happened to you. Definitely something to run past your therapist.

#3

Arthritis is definitely a source of chronic pain, which can also cause anxiety and depression. Due to the onset period, I am not quite sure if this would be PTSD, but I could be wrong.

Regarding other medical conditions:

Sleep apnea - Do you think it is possible that this is a side effect of the arthritis meds? Also, did the arthritis cause you to gain weight (i.e. not really able to exercise any more, less active). People who gain weight tend to suffer more often from OSA. Do you have to use a CPAP or BIPAP machine? Without a machine, SC might mean 30%, but with it could mean 50% or more.

ED - After issue #2, this definitely sounds related. Also, ED can be a side effect of certain meds and/or depression/anxiety/pain. If you get SC for this, it means $96.00/month extra, but it does not count as a percentage.

Depression/anxiety/pain - Arthritis is definitely a serious source of pain and also leads to depression, anxiety, or other issues. It's really hard to tell what type of rating you could get, but it would be a good idea to look into this also. Just remember, you can be SC for multiple MH issues, but SC is only rated by the highest one.

Did your therapist offer an opinion on your conditions? They would be more likely to tell you what is and what is not classified into or intermixed between specific conditions.

I hope your claim works out in your favor.

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I think a PTSD compensation claim is problematic unless you saw combat in Iraq. I say this because the depression/anxiety problem don't have to be PTSD to get compensation. Did you get a DX of depression/anxiety or treatment for same while in service? If you did then you should claim those problems and skip PTSD. The military is obsessed with PTSD claims. These are hard claims to prove unless you have combat awards. Not only do you have to show you have PTSD but you must show stressor. If you have chronic SC pain that could be the basis of a secondary depression claim. If you try to claim PTSD due to stress of courts martial you will lose and it will mess up your claim. You don't want that in your record for compensation. Who told you that you have PTSD and what is the basis of it?

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