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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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NSA-Saigon-ET

Vietnam Claim For Ptsd -Ongoing Since 1994

Question

This is a summary of my PTSD claim I want to present to DRO at local hearing. The VA has all my supporting documents.

Claim by veteran for service connected disability of PTSD

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VA Rating Decision 8/13/1994 – claim denied.

VA Rating Decision 8/13/2003– claim denied, but reopened.

VA Rating Decision 2/03/2009 – claim denied.

NOD filed at Houston VARO for DRO and local hearing 2/10/2009-currently waiting for local hearing to be scheduled.

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Evidence submitted to VA in 1994

Veterans SMR.

Veterans SPR

Treatment records from Lovelace Medical Center

Treatment records from Vet Center Manchester, NH.

Treatment records from VAMC Manchester, NH.

Written statement by Veteran

Evidence submitted by veteran in 2003

Additional veteran statement dated 2003 restating stressors from Vietnam service

Supporting information taken from a USN Internet web site

Photographs taken from a shipmate in Vietnam

Photograph of shipmate who performed similar service in Vietnam;

USN performance document supporting service in Vietnam

Outpatient records from VAMC Bay Pines 2003

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Evidence submitted by veteran in 2007

Independent medical opinion from Dr. Glenn Boyd

Outpatient treatment records from VAMC Houston 2004-2008

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Evidence submitted in August 2009 by veteran:

NPRC report containing ARMY Third Field Hospital in-patient treatment for veteran in 1969 at Saigon, RVN.

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I. Service connection claim for PTSD

The veteran submitted statements detailing all events as remembered. The account also contained detailed information as to witnesses, dates and locations whenever possible. The veteran did not keep a log or diary of service in Vietnam and many assignments were performed alone in travelling and work performed. The veteran served a total of 18 months in Vietnam and normally worked alone when on assignments to the various detachments scattered in II thru IV Corps in Vietnam. The veteran travelled with many current copies of TAD orders on his person. These orders were of a Priority II status which allowed for travel by any military means to any military organization within the confines of RVN. These orders were issued from the Repair division of NSA Saigon at NHA BE and signed by his division officer. The effective dates on these orders were usual a range of 3 month intervals and were renew as needed.<BR style="mso-special-character: line-break"><BR style="mso-special-character: line-break">

The veteran has submitted stressor letters of events he remembers. One of the traumas was suffering a foot injury because of an explosion while riding from a work assignment in Saigon. This incident resulted in a 5 inch shrapnel wound to the right heel. He was treated at the Army Third Field Hospital and admitted for 2 weeks for further treatment.

The veteran has found the actual treatment records from the Third Field Hospital which documents his treatment as stated for his injury to the right foot in Saigon in July, 1969. He has submitted this document to the VA as evidence.

The veteran has documents supporting his work throughout Vietnam

And has submitted other documents from shipmates which were submitted to web sites on the internet.

Veteran also has document in SMR for a head injury resulting from an automobile accident in 1971. There was trauma to the head with loss of teeth and a laceration of the lower jaw across the chin. His resulted in a hospital stay for treatment at the naval hospital in Portsmouth, VA.

The veteran feels he has sufficient documentation submitted to establish at least one traumatic event while serving in Vietnam.

The Veteran has sought help many time from the VA and other medical institutions for his readjustment after his military service.

The veteran tried to self medicate for years after his service to numb the feelings he had stemming from his chronic PTSD. Eventually serving jail and prison sentences because of his drug related activities. He had a history of alcohol abuse which was a means of survival for this untreated disorder.

The veteran appealed to the VA for mental counseling at the Vet center in Manchester, NH. He asked for help stemming from his Vietnam service and instead, he received some drawn out sessions pertaining to his childhood. When he repeatedly asked why he was not being helped with his PTSD symptoms. He was told he did not have PTSD, but Dysthmia. The veteran finally realized he was not going to get the help he needed from this center and quit the sessions.

The veteran has received counseling from the VA at the VAMC in Houston since 2004 and has a private doctor treating him for his PTSD. Dr. Glenn Boyd has given the proper current diagnosis of PTSD and has provided the service connection NEXUS needed by the VA for this claim.

The veteran filed for Social Security benefits as a disabled person because of his PTSD & MDD and was awarded this disability in 2008. He has submitted the award letter to the VA and also submitted the form for sharing of information.

Under the old rules his veteran has all three conditions to support a claim of PTSD.

Now what I don't know is if this claim will be reviewed under the old rules or the new ones. Under the old rules I believe I am ok, but under the new one will probably have to have a VA doctor ok the stressors, just more time wasted.

The irony of all this is that when I applied to the SS for disability it just sailed thru in 7-8 weeks total time. I then recieved a retro check for 18k and have been drawing SSDI every since.

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If your claim was being prosecuted prior to the new rules, then the rules that are more favorable to you are supposed to be used and probably will be. If your claim was continually prosecuted from 1994, they would need to follow the rules from then also, again, whichever is more favorable to the vet. And the same would go for a CUE.

pr

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Hi all,

I have rewritten my claim for PTSD to be presented at my upcoming local hearing. I believe that I have connected the dots and presented my claim in clear terms.

I have all three elements for a disability and service connection.

I have attached the edited document without my personal data. It might help others if the form makes sense.

Please comment if you see errors!

-donald

ptsd noname.doc

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This is well written and you gave good citations.

Did the VA have a copy of the NPDB report when they last denied?

Did they refer to your PTSD award from the SSA in that denial?

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PS- have you formally claimed the scarring and any muscular involvement or other residuals for the schrapnel injury?

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This is well written and you gave good citations.

Did the VA have a copy of the NPDB report when they last denied?

Did they refer to your PTSD award from the SSA in that denial?

Hi Berta,

Thanks for the review.

I think the earlier rating decision just ignored everything I submitted and did a rehash of their old decision. I see this now as my fault as I never tied everything up in a package for them to read and approve.

I believe the problem we vets have when submitting new evidence is that we simply send in the data. Either thru our VSO or just by ourselves. What we don't do in the begining is "connect the dots". I think we all believe that we will get a fair reading of the evidence and that the rater will be able to see our issues clearly, but is just doesn't appear to be true.

I understans now that the time constraints on the rater is enormous from their supervisors. I also see that they are told to deny if the claim is not clearly defined. I don't believe that the VA will defy regulations, but at the same time from all the posts I have read, it seems clear the veterans rush the process in the beginning.

This time around I have a local appeal looming in the background. I will read and submit my appeal at that time into the recorded session, including the document titles I used for reference.

I suggest all concerned vets post to these boards as they develop their claims and get the benefit from others experience as I have.

-donald

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