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Seeking Advice


Hambone11B

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First off let me say thank god for google because I would not have found a website such as Hadit.com to aid in my troubles.

Ok, quick sitrep is as follows. 80% overall rating

50% Sleep Apnea

30% PTSD (should be 50% based on there guidelines for a higher rating in the review)

10% hypertension (should be 20%)

10% Left Shoulder strain

10% degenerative disc disease of the Lumbar Spine

10% cervical strain

Denied Claims

TBI

Major Depressive disorder

Anxiety Disorder

Left Knee condition

Sleep Disorder (this claim was never reviewed and I was never given a decision for anything sleep related other than sleep apnea, not sure if this was not included because of miscommunication between myself and the VFW rep who helped with my initial claims or if this just falls into the category of PTSD/ Depression, Anxiety Disorders or what the case may be.)

On 12/16/2008 it was decided that I would be released from the Army under the proceeding of a Chapter 5-17 with an honorable discharge. This was decided based upon Depression and anxiety disorders. In the ratings decision review they based there findings on a report of depression and anxiety first reported on 12/16/2008. My biggest problem has been locating the records for any treatment before this as all of these issues did not come up on the date stated above, I had been recieveing treatment for these issues for the 6-7 months prior to this decision. Where can I find these files? I have done the process of requesting my records from St. Louis and all they sent me back was a few copies of my DD214 and other nonsubstantial papers and did not include anything to do with my mental health records. I have requested them from where I was stationed and from the VA I currently go to and have ended up with nothing.

Another giant problem I am having is related to records of anything that happened to me while I was in Iraq. I served In Iraq from Feb 2007-Apr 2008. I went to Baghdad as an infantry soldier during the first wave of The Surge and performed my duties from a Combat Outpost which meant I did not have access to regular medical facilities and many injuries were treated by medics in my company and were not recorded into any medical records. IED explosions, Mortar attacks, RPG attacks I was subjected to and any injuries sustained as a result of these were not recorded and thus alot of my claims would be based on word of mouth and evidence based on soldiers testimonies. These were the bloodiest months of the war and unless I had a severe injury that required immediate medical attention, we were not going to risk any casualties to drive on black routes to take someone to the green zone based on something like a possible concussion or back pain. Thus my problem with any medical evidence to support my claims. ( I feel I am rambling a little so I will conclude this lol)

Basically, what I'm looking to find is if there is anyone else out there who has gone thru the same process and ask them how do i go about this and if it is worth it in the end. How long does all of this take and as I plan on putting in paperwork for TDIU within the next week, what can I do in the meantime to support my family? After going out and trying to find gainful employment I have come to the conclusion that I am unable to work with my current issues and appointments as a result of these issues. I know that this is partially my fault as I have not gone about this in the quickest of manners, but after the army that I had grown to love and gave my life to for five years with plans of going for many more told me that I was broken and they no longer required my services, I was left feeling "what next ". My biggest claims and most severe problems are the ones that they denied right off the bat.

Anyways, Thank you for any replies and any thoughts or advice you could give.

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First off let me say thank god for google because I would not have found a website such as Hadit.com to aid in my troubles.

Ok, quick sitrep is as follows. 80% overall rating

50% Sleep Apnea

30% PTSD (should be 50% based on there guidelines for a higher rating in the review)

10% hypertension (should be 20%)

10% Left Shoulder strain

10% degenerative disc disease of the Lumbar Spine

10% cervical strain

On 12/16/2008 it was decided that I would be released from the Army under the proceeding of a Chapter 5-17 with an honorable discharge. This was decided based upon Depression and anxiety disorders. In the ratings decision review they based there findings on a report of depression and anxiety first reported on 12/16/2008. My biggest problem has been locating the records for any treatment before this as all of these issues did not come up on the date stated above, I had been recieveing treatment for these issues for the 6-7 months prior to this decision. Where can I find these files? I have done the process of requesting my records from St. Louis and all they sent me back was a few copies of my DD214 and other nonsubstantial papers and did not include anything to do with my mental health records. I have requested them from where I was stationed and from the VA I currently go to and have ended up with nothing.

Hambone,

Welcome to Hadit.

The VA only provides disability compensation for ONE mental health disability.

Your medical evidence might support a higher rating than the 30 percent you have now,

but just want to let you know that VA doesn't compensate for mental health problems separately,

like - PTSD 30 % - - Depression 10 % - - Anxiety 30 %, etc...

carlie

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First of all, get yer ass down to yer local SSA office.

Secondly, send in ANOTHER request for your service records from the NPRC, Military Records Division, and tell them that you NEED ALL of your records, that you are in the process of trying to substantiate a claim with the VA and that you REQUIRE ANY AND ALL of your records.

Then, send off a request to the VA RECORDS Department (also located in St. Louis).

And, fer gost sakes...........send in your VA form 21-8940, NOW.....RIGHT NOW. Download that puppy and get it filled out and hand-carry that thang to the VA Regional Office (get a receipt)!

Geeez, you guys that sit there and SIT ON your TDIU claims.

First thing you do, BEFORE WAITING FOR THE GOOSE TO LAY THAT EGG, is fill out a request for increase due to TDIU (provided, of course, that you can't work).

Everybody sits around, hoping that, eventually, they will get to the "magic number" percentage-wise, BEFORE they file of TDIU.............and, it is costing THEM out the WAZZOOOOO!

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...just want to let you know that VA doesn't compensate for mental health problems separately,

like - PTSD 30 % - - Depression 10 % - - Anxiety 30 %, etc...

carlie

Wow, Carlie- thanks for that info.

May have been posted a dozen times but I never caught it, and it's great to know!

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Ok so I went to the VFW for help at the regional office and the officer told me that the time to file an NOD was 60 days after the decision date and then he helped me fill out a 21-4138 (Statement in Support of Claim that stated

Veteran is filing a claim for service connection for IU

Veteran also wishes to file for service connection for TBI. Veteran was involved several times with IED's, mortars and rocket attacks.

Veteran will submit Buddy Letters at a later date.

Veteran also requests a re-evaluation of his service connected 30% PTSD.

That was the extent of anything we sent in. Was this the right way to go about it? I don't want to question the guy as he is helping me but from what I read, I have a year from the decision date to file an NOD and that filing an NOD is what I should be doing next. Also I was previously denied for TBI and from what he wrote I don't think he saw on my decision papers that I had already filed for it once before but it got denied because like my PTSD claim they did not get and I could not obtain the files from the mTBI clinic from Ft. Riley.

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Many times veterans will have more than one diagnosis of a mental health disorder,

these are referred to as co-morbid.

Example:

Vet has diagnosis and service connection of PTSD - Panic Attacks and Pain Disorder.

Even tho they all fall under mental health,VA should provide only one rating evaluation and the percentage should be

the highest rating possible per the totality of the medical evidence .

At least this is the way I have learned to understand it.

jmho,

carlie

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