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Unemployability/social Functioning Exam


Hoppy

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Unemployability/Social Functioning Exam

I have gotten side tracked. I am still working on a post about legislative change.

The VA scheduled an exam for me. I can’t remember the exact name. However, it had something to do with IU and social functioning. Here are some tips on what to expect from this type of exam. The VA is ruthless so listen up. I have a good question about PTSD veterans at the end.

When I went to the exam I was sitting in the waiting room when the examiner came in. She told me she would be doing the exam and be ready to start in about five minutes because she had to get her computer set up.

She rolled in on a wheel chair. She obviously had been severely disabled since birth. Her entire body was deformed. Her legs did not touch the ground and her arms were very short and she had deformed hands. She had special adaptive soft ware that made it possible for her to take notes. She was visually impaired and wore thick glasses,

I had given significant thought to what I was going to say during this exam and the order of points to be made during exam. Her entry really shook up my thinking and I reworked the order in which I would present my “problems” to this examiner. How do you tell this examiner who has severe disabilities from birth that you are in fact in need of IU. .

I started off by telling her that I used to work for the City of Beverly Hills and had the type of job I only dreamed off in my youth. No stress, my bosses did not even know exactly what I did. I was a licensed plumber in the parks department and the supervisors were not plumbers. It was one of the nicest cities in the world with no “bad side” of town.

My employer told me I could not work any more at my usual job and was threatening to terminate my employment. I went to my union and got an attorney to help me find another job in the city through a process called bumping. When the attorney, who was considered a main stream labor law attorney by my union and had been working labor law for 30 years found out that I had a life threatening disease he refused to assist me in obtaining any job in the city because labor law was extremely protective of persons with disabilities. He said he could not assist a person with a life threatening disability in obtaining work under labor law. He told me to apply for social security.

I have to wonder how a PTSD veteran who was a little crazier than I would have reacted to this type of examiner. Would the initial stress cause his brain to quite functioning leaving him with the basic instinct of “fight or flight”. I wonder if any PTSD veterans just walked out of the exam room and committed suicide the next day.

The examiner was actually quite good and she probably would have done well to assist a PTSD veteran. I have to wonder if some administrator in the VA gave her that job on purpose thinking that it would be a good test. I can here him now saying “let’s weed out some lazy veterans before the exam even gets started”. The problem is that there are times when it is not good to test individuals with psychiatric disabilities.

See also my post on

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Hoppy

When I went to voc rehab and talked to them about my Independent Living deal the counselor was in a wheelchair and could not use his hands. He told me I had to have my VA psychiatrist prove that the VA buying me a banjo would help my mental condition. I told him just to keep the banjo and walked out. My VA shrink just laughed at the request and told me to stay away from Voc Rehab.

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In this segment in particular, experts, including Forum members, spoke positively about the psychological screening process which now replaces debriefing, the focus on wellness and positive experience, and the clear need for resilience training and mental toughness. Delayed onset of PTSD continues to be seen as a significant issue, and is more likely to be due to the post-trauma environment than the pre-trauma environment.

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micheel

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