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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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OEF 21B

Which One Carries More Weight?

Question

C&P Evaluator (non-MD psychologist) SC'd me with Anxiety Disorder NOS, mild and transient impact of anxiety on the veteran's ability to perform occupational tasks..., mild social and occupational impairment related to his reported symptoms..., shows only limited functional impairment in relationship to these symptoms, and gave me a GAF of 70 on 20 OCT 10.

Axis I - Anxiety Disorder NOS

Axis II - Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Traits

Axis III - Knee pain, left shoulder pain

Axis IV - Adjustment to retirement from military, family difficulties particularly with his oldest daughter

Axis V - 70

Went to my first VA MH yesterday (14 DEC 10) and spent almost 2 hrs with MD Psychiatrist who DX'd me with Chronic PTSD due to combat trauma, impaired concentration, and social isolation. He laid out a complete treatment plan with group therapy and new meds (switched me from 10mg of Lexapro to 40mg of Citalopram) and keeping me on 0.5mg of Alprazolam (Zanax) for panic attacks, and I'll start my first group therapy session next week.

Axis I - PTSD, Panic Disorder w/o agoraphobia

Axis II - No Diagnosis

Axis III - See PMhx

Axis IV - job related problems

Axis V - 47

My question is: Which one of these ratings will carry more weight with the rating board, the VA MD Psych that is now treating my PTSD or the non-MD Psychologist that conducted my C&P?

Also, when my new VA doc read my C&P report on-line he said "Oh, you had Mr. xxxx, we've had problems with his C&P exams before. If you don't get rated for PTSD, you need to immediately file an appeal and get it changed to a PTSD DX."

Thanks for your comments,

OEF 21B

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I have never had a C&P doc change the diagnosis from PTSD to anxiety disorder before your big problem is the high GAF score he gave you that 70 is a merciless score the 47 from your treating doc would put you in a 50% award area but that 70 you are likely to get 10% or even a 0% how long have you been in treatment and do you have a verifiable stressor?

You will more than likely HAVE to do a NOD or a formal appeal to the BVA to get the PTSD award granted hopefully you have months of treatment records from your VA doc that will back your appeal for an higher percentage and will have documented the symptoms and issues that you are having and the full extent they are having on your social life, home life and occupational aspects of your life

my VA doc would NOT write any letters to specifically address my claims but his treatment records were excellent and have been since I started seeing him in Jan 2003 without his treatment notes I would not have won my appeal and had my initial award of 50% done in 2005 raised to 100% schedular P&T in May 2006 with an effective date of Dec 2003

but every Feb he also wrote a simple statement in my records "it is my belief that Mr Bailey is totally and permanently disabled solely by the symptoms of his PTSD and it is my opinion that he will never be employable again, this would lave him disabled without any consideration of his other health issues" he has been doing this since 2004 and he still does it and I expect he will continue doing it until I die or he retires which I expect I will die before he retires.

That high GAF is your worst issue

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* * C&P Evaluator (non-MD psychologist) SC'd me with Anxiety Disorder NOS, mild and transient impact of anxiety on the veteran's ability to perform occupational tasks..., mild social and occupational impairment related to his reported symptoms..., shows only limited functional impairment in relationship to these symptoms, and gave me a GAF of 70 on 20 OCT 10.

* * OEF - 1st off a C&P examiner does not grant SC - that is done by the decision maker.

Went to my first VA MH yesterday (14 DEC 10) and spent almost 2 hrs with

* * MD Psychiatrist who DX'd me with Chronic PTSD due to combat trauma, impaired concentration, and social isolation. He laid out a complete treatment plan with group therapy and new meds (switched me from 10mg of Lexapro to 40mg of Citalopram) and keeping me on 0.5mg of Alprazolam (Zanax) for panic attacks, and I'll start my first group therapy session next week.

Axis I - PTSD, Panic Disorder w/o agoraphobia

Axis II - No Diagnosis

Axis III - See PMhx

Axis IV - job related problems

Axis V - 47

* * OEF, id you have a claim in for PTSD and you have a copy of the additional information as posted above,

get it to your RO - NOW, take it in person if you can and get a date stamped copy.

My question is: Which one of these ratings will carry more weight with the rating board, the VA MD Psych that is now treating my PTSD or the non-MD Psychologist that conducted my C&P?

* * A Psychiatrist should trump the psychologist.

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Thanks Carlie & Testvet. I appreciate your candid input!

I forgot to add that my civilian MD-Psychiatrist gave me a GAF of 45. I spoke with my VSO this morning and he said that ALL of my treatment records will be reviewed by the rating board and that this "good" evaluation will automatically be a part of my C-File and that I didn't have to send it to the Waco VARO.

I put the cart before the horse and basically had my C&P before getting any treatment from the VA. As I mentioned previously, I have been on psych meds since September, and I've "officially" signed up for all of the group therapy classes that are offered at my local VA Outpatient clinic.

I'm just going to wait for the final rating and see how it turns out, but I do tend to agree with you Testvet, that if they follow the C&P, that I'm going to get low-balled and given SC-Anxiety Disorder NOS at 0%-10%. I was encouraged by my new VA Doc's statement that they've had "issues" with my C&P examiner's work, so obviously, he doesn't have a good reputation with the Ft. Worth and Dallas VAMCs.

Carlie - I would hope like you stated that the VA rating board WOULD place more creedence with an MD Psychiatrist than a Psychologist that they've had "issues" with in the past.

Thanks again for your comments!

Semper Fi,

OEF 21B

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I spoke with my VSO this morning and he said that ALL of my treatment records will be reviewed by the rating board and that this "good" evaluation will automatically be a part of my C-File and that I didn't have to send it to the Waco VARO.

OEF 21B

OEF,

Many, many times claimants think the VBA has or will obtain their most recent

VAMC medical reports, test results and progress notes.

Well, needless to say that doesn't always happen.

I would still personally make sure they have a copy of it myself.

No way, no how, if at the point you are at, would I even begin to assume that the RO

will obtain this additional, new medical evidence from the VAMC.

As always, it's your claim and your decision but I believe in leaving nothing to chance.

JMHO

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OEF,

Many, many times claimants think the VBA has or will obtain their most recent

VAMC medical reports, test results and progress notes.

Well, needless to say that doesn't always happen.

I would still personally make sure they have a copy of it myself.

No way, no how, if at the point you are at, would I even begin to assume that the RO

will obtain this additional, new medical evidence from the VAMC.

As always, it's your claim and your decision but I believe in leaving nothing to chance.

JMHO

Hi Carlie - I'll call my VSO and ask him to send down a copy of the report tomorrow... You're right, I'd rather be sure, than end up getting a low-ball rating just because somebody didn't bother to print off all of the documents.

Thanks again for your advice!!!

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