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Thank You All So Much For Your Help


DebbieSue212

Question

I would just like to thank everyone on this forum for the help I have received here. I found this forum 1 1/2 years ago when I had to consider putting into the VA for compensation, and started researching how exactly to do so.

I filed the paperwork (with info I found on this forum on VSO's and applications, etc.) based upon having been diagnosed 35 years ago, while in the military, with agoraphobia/panic disorder. I have suffered from it since, unable to work. I received no treatment from the military and was eventually honorably discharged, due to my problem.

(Actually, I received a 10-day light duty chit when diagnosed, and a 20-minute appointment with a military psych who kept insisting that I MUST have had the problem BEFORE I entered the military.) I went without care for 15 years after discharge (no money, no insurance), until I became completely housebound 20 years ago.

I then connected with a doctor who came to my home and treated me with medications. I've been receiving treatment since, paid for with hubby's earnings. (Hubby had recently become disabled himself, unable to work, and no unemployment due to having been self-employed. Thus, my need for compensation.)

I eventually received a denial from VA - the letter stating that I had NO such diagnosis of agoraphobia in my military paperwork. They stated I did, however, have a diagnosis of SCHIZOID (personality disorder) in my paperwork. HUH??? The letter also denied that I had been receiving care for 20 years for the problem.

I requested a copy of my military records (with the help of this forum and the VSO I now had). My military records eventually arrived and I was shocked at the info put in there by the military psych 35 years ago.

He stated he had given me an MMPI (not true) and a battery of psychological tests (not true) and medication (not true) and that I was doing fine (not true). He stated I had the problem before joining the military (not true). He then concluded, based on all his 'testing', that I had a schizoid personality disorder. There was no evidence in my military records of an MMPI, nor a battery of psychological tests, nor medication dispensed. However, my Sick Bay records did show a light duty chit was dispensed for a diagnosis of agoraphobia, exactly as I had stated.

I came back on your forum and researched diligently. (I particularly noted the suggestion that I take responsibility for my case, not depending upon others to do the work for me.)

I then provided my VSO with an IMO (written with suggestions from links found here) from my current psych (after he had requested and examined my full military records), a copy of my SS work history since discharge, a copy of a medical note signed by my doctor of 20 years ago stating that I was 'extremely agoraphobic' (he had since passed away and I was unable to access my full medical records, as his office no longer existed), copies from my military records showing the diagnosis of agoraphobia (highlighted in yellow) 35 years ago. My current psych also noted the fact that he was unable to examine the results of the 'alleged' MMPI and battery of psychological as they did NOT exist in my records. He also stated that, in his opinion, if I had been a schizoid 35 years ago, I would STILL be a schizoid today, which he emphatically stated I WAS NOT.

In my opinion, the psych was just 'damage control'. At the point at which I was discharged, I had less than 1 year to go left in my enlistment. I believe it was determined that I was not worth treating. (The military pysch didn't even have his dates right. His paperwork was dated one year previous to the date I actually had my 20-minute appointment with him.)

I recently received 100% compensation, due to unemployability (70%+). I was very surprised, based upon my treatment by the military 35 years ago. I was actually expecting a very long fight, and might have received one had it not been for the excellent advice and suggestions offered by you guys.

I met my VA psych yesterday, and she appears to be very willing to work with me, and very helpful. I am now receiving full care by the VA.

I would suggest vets make full use of the great resources on this forum. Thank you all for providing these resources.

To all those still pursuing their cases, don't give up. Research diligently and take responsibility for making your case.

Good luck to all.

Debbie

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6 answers to this question

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Debbie:

Congrats on your win and welcome to posting on Hadit. I also am now diagnosed with Panic Disorder and get 100% P&T. Like you I did not know I had it until 21 years out of the Army. I also received an honorable discharge there never was the slightest doubt that something was wrong.

Most of the people I know who have panic disorder also have depression. Medication and understanding help me deal with mine. I hope that you get someone at VA to help my experience is that most of the shrinks only care about PTSD.

Pete

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Debbie,

Good job - and a big congrats.

Be sure to get any state benefits you might be due.

Many states have things like no property taxes on your residence, etc...

You might also want to check out the Vet Center in your area for treatment there.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Congrats Debbie!! I got mine today too! Maybe just maybe we vets are starting to learn how to play their game or we have beat them down!!

I actually believe that VA is trying to make right years of wrong doing and are treating Veterans better than old days.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

This news is so wonderful.

It makes me feel almost (I say, ALMOST) as good as it does the person who finally WON!

Congrdulations Debbie, and stillhere, and all the other recent WINNERS!

WOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Thangs is lookin' up around this place, yessireee, thangs is lookin' up!

(do we dare "celebrate", or will that jinx us?)

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