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Aid And Attendance - Memory Test?

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  • Founder

Went to c and p on Monday. Lasted around an hour or more, examiner was quite nice and well informed I could tell he read my file all the way back to the first page. So that went pretty well, then he tells me they have to schedule me for a memory test that takes anywhere from 2 - 6 hours.

Has anybody had this memory test. I am so freaked out about leaving the house and being stuck somewhere for a couple of hours, I'm in a panic. Anyone with any experience with this your input would be appreciated.

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First I heard of this long Memory test for A & A determination Tbird.

The VA did give my husband a memory test of a sort when they separated his VA residual brain damage from his PTSD.

But this involved the regular stuff like who is the President? What day,month and year is it?

The other tests with it took 2 days and about 6-8 hours to complete but this was not for A & A claim.

However, I have asked VA to make an accrued finding for A & A for my husband and used the exact A & A regs and then made statements or referred them to specific incidents-that fall into the regulations.

It seems to me the A & A regs regard memory as to whether the veteran could be of harm to himself or others if left unattended.Thus the need for A & A.

I could testify he would start to heat up a can of soup or something and then walk away and forget he had something on the stove.He would start his shower water but wait for me to test it as he could not determine hot and cold water, But sometimes he left the water on and forgot to tell me to check it and forget about the shower.

The clinical PTSD records showed he got lost when the PTSD 21 day in-house vets had a day trip.He stopped as soon as they left the VAMC because he got winded and next thing I know an operator called me collect for him as he didn't know where he was.It was downtown Buffalo and due to his visual problems he could not read any street sign or even any store sign.

I asked him where the team leader was taking them and he couldn't remember where at all.Not even the direction they left in-

Then I asked him to ask passerbys where he was at-here is a 6 Ft 4 vet with all the Vietnam regalia on his jacket, still close to the VAMC entrance and obviously disabled -asking where he was and no one would help him.Maybe he did seem strange to the passerbys.I could hear him ask them and no one would help him.

Finally I heard someone pick up the phone-it was the Team leader assuring me they found him.

I mention these things as they can reveal memory problems that others have noticed and can testify to for Aid and Attendance claims.

But the VA does not have to have proof of every single part of the A & A regs.

Memory problems such as forgetting to lock doors at night, or forgetting important phone numbers or forgetting to even call back someone who is concerned and left a message for a return call or possibly memory loss which could even due to confusion from SC meds can all be considered by VA as to their safety factor to the vet and others who live with the vet and these are why-in my opinion-memory problems can help with an A & A award.

Although my husband had significant brain damage the psyche tests he took revealed some definite memory deficits but his stressors were still clear as a bell.

PTSD stressors seem to be an imprint that nothing can ever take away.

At the 21 day PTSD program- he didnt bathe or shower at all because I wasn't there to check the water temp. Maybe that is why no passerby helped him! :ohmy:

I will look through his records to see if there was some major memory test lasting a long time- but don't think there was anything like that.

The VA will consider -for A & A claims -statements from others who can testify to memory problems. This is only fair because a vet with memory problems would forget what those problems involve anyhow.

I gave statements as witness to A & A situations but I also sent them medical records (and even some stuff from Rod's EEOC case against the VA and other stuff ) as to his problems with memory.Evidence can often be found in unexpected sources.

Edited by Berta (see edit history)
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I forgot this too- if a vet forgets to take their meds and someone can verify that in a statement to VA, that certainly is another consider for A & A Award.

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Here is the A & A regulation:

"The following factors will be accorded consideration in

determining whether the Veteran is in need of regular aid and

attendance of another person: the inability of the Veteran to

dress or undress herself, or to keep herself ordinarily clean

and presentable; frequent need of adjustment of any special

prosthetic or orthopedic appliances which by reason of the

particular disability cannot be done without such aid;

inability of the Veteran to feed herself through the loss of

coordination of upper extremities or through extreme

weakness; inability to attend to the wants of nature; or

incapacity, physical or mental, which requires care or

assistance on a regular basis to protect the Veteran from the

hazards or dangers incident to her daily environment. 38

C.F.R. § 3.352(a).

It is not required that all of the disabling conditions

enumerated in 38 C.F.R. § 3.352(a) be found to exist before a

favorable rating may be made. The particular personal

functions which the Veteran is unable to perform should be

considered in connection with her condition as a whole. It

is only necessary that the evidence establish that the

Veteran is so helpless as to need regular aid and attendance,

not that there is a constant need. 38 C.F.R. § 3.352(a); see

also Turco v. Brown, 9 Vet. App. 222, 224 (1996) (holding

that at least one factor listed in § 3.352(a) must be present

for a grant of SMC based on need for aid and attendance).

"Bedridden" will be that condition which, through its

essential character, actually requires that the claimant

remain in bed. The fact that claimant has voluntarily taken

to bed or that a physician has prescribed rest in bed for the

greater or lesser part of the day to promote convalescence or

cure will not suffice. 38 C.F.R. § 3.352(a).

This part bears repeating:

"Turco v. Brown, 9 Vet. App. 222, 224 (1996) (holding

that at least one factor listed in § 3.352(a) must be present

for a grant of SMC based on need for aid and attendance)."

One does not have to satisfy every factor in this regulation.

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You ARE GOOD. Thanks. Wouldnt it be nice if we knew, for example, if you met ANY of the A and A requirements, you would be awarded A and A? They always make things vague and complicated.


It is probably good news that the Va is asking for a memory test. That is, they are at least considering A and A and working on your claim. Its kind of like when you go to a C and P exam..

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They have to consider the entire clinical record Broncovet but still not all situations in the regulation have to be met.

I even told VA that due to loss of use of normal hand function my husband had to start wearing velcro shoes as he could no longer tie his shows- in this way untied shoes cause a safety issue to a veteran - particularly a vet with limits to mobility already.

This is funny but I added it to my claim as the basics of a veteran being able to dress properly are part of A & A regs.

He could use buttons and zippers not a problem most of the time.

But one day (a very cold day in NY and he no longer could tell ht from cold well) he came food shopping with me and knocked something over in the store. He slowly bent over to pick it up and I noticed on his rear end in big black letters- the words "Property of the Veterans Administration!

He had put on a pair of pajamas he had from his last hospital stay at VA and I had thought they were light blue slacks.

When I pointed this out to him when we got home, he told me he had worn them to see his shrink at VA as well!

Geez-I have not even realized they were VA PJs.

Still it goes to show what the A & A regs are looking for when you consider his entire SC disability picture.

We dont discuss A & A much here and it is a high level of SMC.

I wonder how many vets never ask for it and should.

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  • Founder

Well I gave them a 4 page type written letter from niece, explaining the problems I have and the concerns my family has. I think they are just screwing with me, but I also think that's probably just the PTSD talking.

I'm just a little freaked out about being locked in a room for 2 hours or more have questions rapid fired at me. Maybe it won't be like that.

I do agree they are taking my claim seriously, I had a letter from and treatment notes from my va pysch doc who put in the treatment plan section Aid and Attendance, my va psychologist wrote a letter in support of this also.

The c and p examiner noted that after reading through my files, I've been dealing with these problems for years. I have someone who cooks my meals now, caught myself on fire twice, I think I just space out..

So now it's friday and still no word on when they are going to schedule the memory test. I feel edgy and all out of sorts, I have a lot of trouble with uncertainty.

Thanks for the responses and if anyone has taken this memory test please let me know how stressful it was.

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I had the memory test. It was not for A and A, but because I was forgetting to take my meds, and my doc was not happy about it.

I dont remember all that much about it, but it was not a big deal. I went to the Psych's office, he asked me a bunch of questions and that was it.

You will do fine, Tbird. I used to kinda worry about the possibility of reductions, but I dont worry about that anymore. I am 58 years old, and they have to have a pretty good reason to call for a C and P reduction exam for someone over 55. Someone even posted that they dont do reductions while in appealate review..I am not sure how reliable that statement is, but it does make sense to me. Reason: With just one paper copy of your file, if your C file is in the appeals department, it wont be in the "reduction" department.

My father, who is now deceased, said it this way. "Worry never robs tommorrow of its sorrow, only today of its happiness."

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Broncovet -how long did the memory test take?

I think Tbird has excellent evidence and it probably wont be as bad as one might think-

I hate to be holed up somewhere-anywhere -myself-for something that takes too long.

Maybe VA just projected this test would take some time in case they get behind schedule.

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The memory test I took was a little over an hour..maybe an hour and a half. Of course, I cant generalize that yours, Tbird, will be the same. If I recall, part of it was written, but most of it was just the Psych doc asking me questions.

He did ask me to remember like 4 or 5 things at the start of the test, then asked me to recall them. I think I got part of them.

The bottom line for me was that it did not affect my benefits one way or the other. If I remember right, they told me my short term memory was not so good, but my long term memory was better.

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My husband received both a computerized and an interview-type memory examination. The interview one is basically recalling lists of words given to him, and then number sequences. Also, in his case, spelling a bunch of words backwards, which was very hard for him to do (I told him to expect that, including the word, "world," which in fact happened). Also repeating the list of presidents backwards, starting with the current one.

He was so worked up about the exam the night before, he didn't get much sleep, which only serves to make the test more challenging, if you get what I'm saying...

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  • Founder

Well I had my interview with the C and P examiner, he was really good, kind of gave me hope that there are folks that care. I go Friday for the neurological memory testing the letter says it usually takes 4 hours but maybe as long as 6 hours.

My therapist made me feel better, she said if I start to panic and need to take a break to just tell them. So off I will go, following my own advice, just be honest and tell them like it is.

On another memory note, I got myself a LiveScribe Echo Smartpen, If you are forgetful and take notes whether it's for Dr's appointments or lectures this is an excellent tool and has helped me a lot with my memory problems. Check It Out Here http://www.livescribe.com/en-us/ I don't get a kickback from the pen I just think it's a great tool for us that have memory problems.

Wish me luck on Friday, my goal is to try and make it for 2 hours without a panic attack, that's a pretty high hurdle for me, though it may seem like not much to others.

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Wish me luck on Friday, my goal is to try and make it for 2 hours without a panic attack, that's a pretty high hurdle for me, though it may seem like not much to others.


You are going to be OK during this memory test.

If you have a problem in the first 2 hours see if you can go to

1 hour or 1/2 hour, at a time.

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  • Founder

Good point perhaps I shouldn't set my goals so high, I will set them for 30 minutes each.


You are going to be OK during this memory test.

If you have a problem in the first 2 hours see if you can go to

1 hour or 1/2 hour, at a time.

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I had the memory test 6 weeks ago. The test lasted around 3 1/2 hours. I was referred by Mental Health nurse after I told her that I was having issues with my memory,etc.

The test was pretty intense and I was exhausted when it was over. The test started with background info. We did number and word sequences where I had to repeat back the info to the doctor.We did puzzels and shapes. I had to match wooden blocks to pictures. This sounds easy but it gets diffucult. We also did a test where you look at pictures and then have to pick them out as they appear later on. The test is hard because you have to concentrate and think more than you do on a normal day to get these tasks done. We did other tasks which I don't recall at this time. The VA is supposed to call you back in to review your results but I'm still waiting. My guy at the Vet Center has access to this info and we reviewed my test. The test said that I was normal considering my age(62) and medical conditions including PTSD. It was good news that I was ok and i wasn't suffering from

early dementia.


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You are going to do just fine with the memory test, attitude going in will get you everywhere. Just tell the examiner that you suffer from panic attacks, but you're going to try to do your very best. But....that when you say you need a break, you need a break! They are absolutely not there to test you on your stamina or mental stability, their job is to get a good test done on your ability to remember. If it takes TEN breaks to finish the test,so be it!

When you take those breaks, just think about all of us out here on Hadit that are pulling for you. We will be "beaming" you our best wishes and support for getting through yet another ordeal. I hope you are going to have a buddy be there with you.

I also suffer from panic attacks and lost it so bad having a MRI that the examiner had to go get my friend out of the waiting room and she practically crawled into the darn tube with me to get me calmed down. They suggested I come back another day, but I knew I'd never do it. Once out, I was never going back in there. I'd been upfront ahead of the test so nobody got too upset when I "wigged out" and really tried their best to help me out.

Maybe you'll luck out like Carlie did recently and get a sympathetic nurse/examiner that will work with you.

Let your cheer-leading squad here on Hadit know how it all turns out.



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Maybe you'll luck out like Carlie did recently and get a sympathetic nurse/examiner that will work with you.




Not to get off topic but I don't remember getting one of the above : -)

I did have a GREAT VAMC PCP, at one time.

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  • Founder

Well, thank goodness that is over, deceptively simple looking - brain frying experience. I have to say the environment was quite friendly and the whole experience very non adversarial they accommodated my requests without any problems, everyone was very nice and professional. After words my brain did feel pretty fried, I went home ate and after some time passed I went to bed, I woke up this morning just fine and it was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. Of course my little PTSD mind can imagine very bad things :) I am always asking myself valid or PTSD about my thoughts, actions, feelings and such, much of the time I then back up it by asking my therapist what she thinks. I have a wonderful therapist.

Thanks for all your help and kind words of support both here on the board, through email and such it really helped knowing you were all behind me and that when it was over you would all be here waiting for me.

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