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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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Sapper

Migraine Attacks

Question

Hello Everyone once again. Today I got some mail asking for documents from the ER visit I had for a migraine attack, so I got the usual big white envelope, full of blank statement forms and the usual. I have already jumped the gun on the hospital documents, I picked them up on Friday and had them faxed to the VARO from my VSO. I'll still attatch them when I send out this statement along with their other forms. Ok, so an update on everything that's been going on. I am currently in the process of a TDIU claim. I already did my new C&P for PTSD, Neck, and Back Pain. I can copy and paste on how that all went. I will also attatch the statement I am sending to the VA as evidence of my migraine attacks. I said something about migraines in my last letter to the VA in support of my claim, so now I guess they want to get me rated for it, and use it to support my TDIU claim. I'm sure this is going to drag out my TDIU claim even longer now, and I'm also guessing they'll send me back out to the VARO clinic for a C&P on it. (Grr) Please feel free to give me any advice, what you think the process and outcome will be, as my letter won't be sent until tomorrow, and also let me know what you think about my claim. Thank you all again!

Original TDIU C&P Results Post...

Hi All,

I had to go to the VA today for an appointment, so while I was there I asked for a printout of my C&P from last week at the VARO clinic. I went to two exams, one for neck and back, and one for PTSD. I won't type out the whole report as I have done in the past, just some of the things that caught my eye.

First off, the neck and back appointment appeared to have no dramatic changes, but I'll list what appeared to be different or eye catching. Just to inform you all, I am at 10% neck and 10% back. Hopefully some of you can help with this section as I don't speak back doctor language.

Thoroco-Lumbar Posture: Abnormal, loss of lumbar lordosis and theoracic kyphosis. NO idea what this means?

They also note that "When compared witht he previous study, no significant change is seen. There is straigtening of the cervical lordosis. The pre vertebral soft tissues are normal. The odontoid is unremarkable. Vertebral body height, disk spaces, and alignment are maintained. The intervertebral foramina are widely patent.

Work Capacity

Related to medical conditions listed above:

Work LImitations: none

Able to work in chosen profession?: Yes

Able to perform substantial gainful employment? Yes

So the back and neck problems look like a no go for IU, but the PTSD exam appeared a bit more hopeful. If you have read my earlier post from April, you'll see alot of what was already stated on this exam, except for these few changes.

First, my GAF was up a bit, to 53.

Is the veteran currently employed? No

Retired? No

Duration of current employment: Less than 1 year

Reason (S) for unemployment: Sleep problems resulted in calling in sick.

Veteran Contends unemployment is due to the mental disorder's effects: Yes

Does the veteran meet the DSM-IV stressor criterion? Yes

Changes in Functional Status and Quality of life since last exam:

Performance in employment, routine responsibilities of self car, Family role functioning, Social/interpersonal relationships, Recreation/leisre pursuits

And here's the big difference, which I don't know if it will ensure me IU or not, but we'll see... and I really hope to get some replies as to what this means.

Is there total occupational and social impairment due to PTSD signs and symptoms? YES

Examples and pertinent symptoms, including those already reported:

He cannot get along with people; he has history of over reacting to things peopl esay and he is easily annoyed and impatient; he is at times rude and has had complaints about his negative behaviors and he has had anger outbursts at work; he is too anxious to drive and at work when he is anxious he cannot focus or concentrate and he has poor productivity and increases aner. He has significant sleep issues so calls in sick about once to 2 times a month; he has difficulty accepting supervision and does not like being told what to do. He is not managing well at home. (I'll cut the rest out because it's personal, but you kind of get the point)

That's all I got for now. Please feel free to let me know what you think. Hopefully I hear something back soon, but I won't hold my breath since the VA has taken ages just to get this far in the claim. Thank you for reading and I look forward to seeing some replies.

And this is the letter I'm sending in support of my migraine claim...

This statement is made for my current claim for migraines. I hope this statement helps you in making a decision on the claim.

When I was deployed to Iraq in July 2006-2007, I first began noticing I would get really bad headaches during the daytime while out on mission. I would have to guess they started around roughly midway through my deployment. (January or February of 2007) That is when I first started noticing my vision would get worse when I would get these headaches, with such symptoms as blurred or "holographic" vision, where things seem to move around while they were actually still, not being able to focus my eyesight, and not being able to read sometimes. I was almost always wearing sunglasses while I was deployed, because this seemed to help the headaches in severity sometimes. I was stationed at ******* in ****, and I did Route Clearance and Convoy Security missions into Iraq. I never went to the TMC at ******* for this condition because I always figured it was just from the heat, so I would drink more water. I figured everyone gets headaches, so it was normal.

Once I returned home from my deployment in July of 2007, I began to notice that I would still get these headaches quite frequently, about 4-5 days a week. I didn't really think it was odd, because by then I was used to having them, so I would take over the counter headache medication, "Tylenol or Excederin Migraine". I would get really bad ones where it would begin effecting my vision roughly once a month. Usually the headaches would come when I would be under stress. The bad attacks where they effected my vision seemed to come when I would have panic attacks, or have very bad anxiety. As time went on, I have gotten used to having these attacks, and did not believe it was not normal.

Finally, one day while I was at work, on June __ of 2010, I was beginning to have a very stressful day. My head was beginning to hurt. I noticed my vision was almost completely disoriented, and I was not even able to focus on things anywhere. I went outside for a quick break, and called the VA Medical Center in *****. I told them of my symptoms, and they told me it could be a number of things, so I should get checked out immediately. I began to panic, thinking maybe I was having a stroke or something catastrophic. I went back into work, and told my boss I was going to the Emergency Room to get this taken care of. He didn't seem concerned. I had my wife drive me to the ER at *****, and saw a doctor. He checked my eyes, and even had a CT scan performed on my head. After I was finished, he diagnosed me with migraines. He informed me that it was not normal to have headaches as frequently as I did, and when I would have these attacks in the past, they were probably migraines also. This finally made sense of why I was having problems with this. (Cont. on Pg. 2_) I now seem to be getting migraines more and more frequently, having bad headaches at least 3-5 times a week, and having migraine attacks where they effect my vision at least 2-4 times a month. When I get a migraine, they usually last anywhere from 1 to 4 hours. I have to lay down because I become dizzy, and turn off all of the lights in the room I am in. I usually take a Tylenol or Excedrin and go to the bedroom and close the blinds in the windows, close the door, and wait for it to pass.

I did make an appointment at the C****** to get an initial exam and also tell them about my migraine problems to see if there was any other medication or treatment for them, although I had to cancel it due to vehicle problems. I am currently in the process of rescheduling an appointment.

This is what I have written to them so far. If there are any comments you would add, or suggestions on anything, to add, take out, or change the wording, please let me know. I would like for this one to sound as best as it can. Thank you all again for any input. (Also sorry about the editing on the locations, just figured not to bore you all with where I'm from...lol Thanks again!

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It seems they are saying the non PTSD conditions dont render you unemployable but the PTSD does:

"Is there total occupational and social impairment due to PTSD signs and symptoms? YES"

"Does the veteran meet the DSM-IV stressor criterion? Yes"

I would think this would be a grant of TDIU.

(I have gotten so cautious over the years because no one ever knows-even in light of excellent evidence-what the VA will do.

I find myself saying maybe, should, could and might a lot - this does not mean I question the veteran's evidence-it is because I am still battle fatigued by the years my own issues took-excellent evidence but many denials until the paperwork hit someone who could read.)

But this certainly sounds to me like you should be optimistic for a TDIU award.

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Thank you Berta for your encouraging comments. I really appriciate your input, and I also know that you have helped many veterans with your advice. Thanks agian for going over my information!

It seems they are saying the non PTSD conditions dont render you unemployable but the PTSD does:

"Is there total occupational and social impairment due to PTSD signs and symptoms? YES"

"Does the veteran meet the DSM-IV stressor criterion? Yes"

I would think this would be a grant of TDIU.

(I have gotten so cautious over the years because no one ever knows-even in light of excellent evidence-what the VA will do.

I find myself saying maybe, should, could and might a lot - this does not mean I question the veteran's evidence-it is because I am still battle fatigued by the years my own issues took-excellent evidence but many denials until the paperwork hit someone who could read.)

But this certainly sounds to me like you should be optimistic for a TDIU award.

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