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Hello, I am a veteran of OIF 1. I drove an Abrams tank during the invasion of Iraq, fought the Republican Guards, and was one of those first men who siezed that piece of ground that everyone who came after us called the "Green Zone". When I looked through my periscopes, I looked with the assurance that there was no one out there in front of me but the enemy.

I am 50% service connected for PTSD, and 10% service connected for Degenerative Disk and Joint Disease. I am seeking an increase in both ratings as well as IU.

I have had problems with employers and and with educational efforts, with statements from former co workers, employers, educators, as well as grade transcripts from the school i attended to back me up. I have been seeking treatment through my local VAMC and have records there to back me up, including a letter from my VA psychiatrist stating " Mr. B's PTSD symptoms appear to be affecting his ability to work" and " Mr. B. has been compliant with all treatment and medication schedules but in spite of this his condition has not much improved." so I am hoping that things will work out. Of course, I would still find a reason to worry even if Shinseki himself wrote me a letter of support.....every day I wake up and think the sky is falling.

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Just to clarify, I made an error in clarity with my last post. I meant that I was having problems with employers and at school, but not with obtaining statements in support. I have those. I have had a former employer, a co worker from another job, and one of my tech school instructors write statements in support as well as a sealed transcript (which will show my declining grades, including failed courses). Plus I have the statement from the VA psychiatrist (MD) who teats me that I quoted before. Is that generally enough to establish that my service connected PTSD has been causing me problems with employability? I have also have a HUD VASH case manager, a social worker who works at the VAMC that I get treatment from in the form of weekly group therapy that she oversees, identiy me as being at risk of being homeless. She also wrote a letter of support saying she didnt think I could hold down a job. I sent all of this to the VA in support of my claim as well as my own statements about how Ive had problems both at work and school. Keeping fingers crossed. Pretty soon that risk that the social worker has identified may turn out to be confirmed..

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Now, if you could just find a qualified individual (like a doctor or a psychologist or a clinical social worker) to state that you are unemployable at this time and in the future.....due to your service-connected disability(ies)...........then I could see the possibility of TDIU in your future. But, the reasoning for TDIU must be stated and supported........a "generalized" statement such as "she didn't think I could hold down a job" and "Mr. B's PTSD appear to be affecting his ability to work", won't do it.

Have you, in fact, filed for an Increase by filing a VA Form #21-8940, which is the form that you MUST file in order to be considered for TDIU? By properly filing this form you are, in fact, filing for an "Increase".

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From what I read elsewhere on this site and in other places, when someone files for an extra schedular IU, an increase in disability is automatically considered. In any event, my duty to assist letter stated that an increase in my service connected disabilities, both PTSD and degenerative disk and joint disease, were being considered, so they got the picture already one way or another. The letter from the psychiatrist is on the list of evidence they recieved, but I guess that list contains even the things that wont help my case at all? Shell games? Smoke and mirrors? I guess half their job is NOT to tell you what they really need from you, or make you think that what you have is enough? They only stated that "we need evidence" that a neck, shoulder and arm condition I am claiming was service connected, and that was the only thing they explicitly said they needed more evidence for. They said that " I may submit additional evidence" for the other things, including PTSD increase and IU, not "we need evidence" as they did for the one condition I am trying to get service connection for. There seemed to be a clear cut difference between the two. "We need evidence" was covered in a seperate section or paragraph of the letter. Deception? I know the VA does not volunteer any information, but deception? I do know that the way VA handles business with regards to disclosure and discovery would not be acceptable in a criminal or civil court proceeding.

Man, Im going to lose my place to live, my car, all my worldly posessions if something doesnt give. Seriously, before I see my life fall apart and wind up shivering under a bridge in the cold next to a bunch of alcholic and crackhead bums I'll kill myself , I'll just plunge a big knife in my gut and draw it across, samurai style. Dignity over disgrace. Not to lie in the gutter with dogs. I would leave a suicide note to tell my story about VA shrinks with no balls and a system that failed me and callously threw me out in the street on my butt when the evidence should have been clear (failing in school and getting fired from job after job, and having supporting statements from all manner of relevant witnesses) and they refused to acknowlege it because of some stupid nitpicky technicality that a shrink has to sign off on it. What if that shrink is a moron like the one I have? A little twerp who worries that he doesnt have the quaifications to make such a statement. Really? Then what is he doing in that position in the first place if he isnt qualified? OMG VA get your act together!

I am a veteran of direct combat from a combat arms MOS (19K) with verified stressors. I didnt need these new softie rules to qualify for my initial PTSD rating. In fact, I got 50% 2 years ago on the first try, under rules that were tougher....my first rating decision stated "your unit sustained casualties" and "your stressor is verified by evidence of record " and after all I have been through and am still going through, if I cant get an increase in my PTSD, or IU on account of it, then none of these other people, cooks, supply clerks, etc. with non verified stressors that the new rules opened the door for should ever get anywhere near the 50% I already have and certainly not IU.....not for PTSD, not ever. Period. But they will, while guys like me, the real , confirmed combat vets who really were in the middle of it all watching everything and everybody get blown to Hell for weeks on end will slip through the cracks. Typical. I can lose any number of jobs, flunk out of school, become homeless, hit rock bottom and lose it all, even the shirt off my back and VA will just give me dumb looks and wonder what could ever be wrong with such a perfect specimen. While I get to watch the cook who never fired a shot in anger and never lost a buddy drive by in Cadillac, just because he had a shrink who would rubber stamp his claim, while my shrink was an idiot and couldnt see the nose in front of his face..That I could have all the trouble I am having, apparent to everyone around me , many people, relavant witnesses support me, but the VA doesnt care all because ONE MAN wont sign off on it. ONE MAN whom I am not even sure knows what PTSD is. A moron. It is a grave injustice.

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Please don't be bitter toward the non-combat PTSD folks; they're not the enemy and their awards take nothing away from you.

Focus on building your strong case with evidence and statements from medical professionals.

And check with your local social services and veterans agencies to see what financial assistance may be available to tide you over.

The Wait is maddening but time is best filled with strengthening your claim and planning a positive future.

Hang tough!

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