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Va Meeting Last Wednesday


Deltawife
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Question

Went with my husband to the VA again on Wednesday. He has a new rep who did not treat him well the first time he met her.

She gave him her email address so we could email any questions or concerns. We emailed back and forth a bit. I told her we appreciate what she does for our Veterans, etc.

I asked her if she would please review his file so she could familiarize herself with Gary's file before we got there.

We arrived on time, walked in, she never looked up at us. Kept looking at a piece of paper and said "What do you want?" Still NO eye contact. She had told us to get a letter from Gary's primary care physician stating that he has a current chronic medical condition so she could apply for TDIU. In the email I asked her if it should be from his psychiatrist.....she said NO, his primary care Dr. We had made an appt with him and went to the appointment next. The Doctor had NO IDEA what she was talking about and said that it should come from his Psych Dr. He did type up a letter that said something like "I am writing this letter as requested by Gary Marino (per his rep) that he is unable to work at this time." We could tell he was Mad at her! When we took the letter back to the rep, she said "perfect, this is all I need!"......wth? She also said Gary cannot get 100% PTSD because he has to attend group or 1 on 1 counseling. Gary is NOT a "Group" type of person, but we are scheduling him a 1 on 1 appt soon. Is this true?

Also, as we went to have "that" letter put in his records, Gary was chatting with the guy in records. He told the guy (I wish I got his name, he helped us a lot) in records about the run around he's been getting on his wound evaluations. (i.e. He had a nerve conduction test done on his arms where he has pain, and loses his grip, etc) The doctor told him it was neuropathy caused by smoking and drinking! Gary drinks about 2 glasses of wine a WEEK! Anyway as the records guy listened he asked Gary if his records were "Classified" which some of them are!

Shouldn't everything still show what all he did in his file at the VARO. Why shouldn't "Classified" information be included for his claim?

Now I understand why my husband is so frustrated. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you so very much!

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Welcome to hadit.com Deltawife. Thank your husband for his service and thank you for supporting your husband with his claim. Sounds like he was SOCOM, which means that portion of his military record is classified, at what level I don't know. I recall reading something on this site regarding this issue with another SOCOM veteran, I am hoping Berta, Carlie and some of the other members could respond to this post for guidence. Your husband should be in some kind of counseling at a VA facility, one Dr for therapy and a Dr for meds. Very important you and your husband manage your own claim, a VSO is a good thing but no one will have the passion for success like you will, so manage your claim diligently. As for the group therapy it helps some veterans and some it doesn't, didn't seem to benefit me other then its always good to talk with other combat infantry veterans. You must have medical supporting evidence of the total disability to win with the VARO and that starts with treatment so get your primary to give you a referral to the Mental Health Clinic for treatment of PTSD. Remember the ultimate goal is to get rated 100% for PTSD P&T. Keep posting questions and you will find the solution here on hadit.com.

Went with my husband to the VA again on Wednesday. He has a new rep who did not treat him well the first time he met her.

She gave him her email address so we could email any questions or concerns. We emailed back and forth a bit. I told her we appreciate what she does for our Veterans, etc.

I asked her if she would please review his file so she could familiarize herself with Gary's file before we got there.

We arrived on time, walked in, she never looked up at us. Kept looking at a piece of paper and said "What do you want?" Still NO eye contact. She had told us to get a letter from Gary's primary care physician stating that he has a current chronic medical condition so she could apply for TDIU. In the email I asked her if it should be from his psychiatrist.....she said NO, his primary care Dr. We had made an appt with him and went to the appointment next. The Doctor had NO IDEA what she was talking about and said that it should come from his Psych Dr. He did type up a letter that said something like "I am writing this letter as requested by Gary Marino (per his rep) that he is unable to work at this time." We could tell he was Mad at her! When we took the letter back to the rep, she said "perfect, this is all I need!"......wth? She also said Gary cannot get 100% PTSD because he has to attend group or 1 on 1 counseling. Gary is NOT a "Group" type of person, but we are scheduling him a 1 on 1 appt soon. Is this true?

Also, as we went to have "that" letter put in his records, Gary was chatting with the guy in records. He told the guy (I wish I got his name, he helped us a lot) in records about the run around he's been getting on his wound evaluations. (i.e. He had a nerve conduction test done on his arms where he has pain, and loses his grip, etc) The doctor told him it was neuropathy caused by smoking and drinking! Gary drinks about 2 glasses of wine a WEEK! Anyway as the records guy listened he asked Gary if his records were "Classified" which some of them are!

Shouldn't everything still show what all he did in his file at the VARO. Why shouldn't "Classified" information be included for his claim?

Now I understand why my husband is so frustrated. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you so very much!

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Thank you pigdriver!

Hubby has been under the care of the VA for 9 years. He see's his primary care Dr. and/or Psych Dr. every three months. He is currently rated at 50% PTSD and 10% tinnitus. His former rep. put a claim in for him for prostate cancer and colon cancer....which he does not have, but has symptoms. So they are keeping an eye on all of that.

I wrote a SOC and his new rep would not except it because it was not on the form. I typed it out separately with all the proper info and the VARO had me fax it to them. Brenda at the VARO said they would accept it, so I didn't bring it up to his new rep again.

He has 12 years in the Army, has 3 purple hearts, bronze and silver star and was in Special Forces...Delta Force. He was a gunner. He has 1 ppl heart for a shot in the arm and hand, one for being shot in the face, and another for being shot in the groin. All they do is measure his scars. He has loss of one of his fingers (It won't bend) but his wound pain is horrendous. PTSD is horrible since our neighbor was shot and killed last spring and he tried to keep him alive.

What all does a veteran have to go through to get what they deserve? He didn't apply for benefits until after 9/11. He was awarded those percentages by a group of advocates without even seeing a doctor. Now he's been in the system 9 years. Oh well, a lot of information was sent in on his behalf to get an increase. I guess we will have to wait and see. He had 2 appts that C & P sent him to. One was an outside (the VA system) Psychiatrist that said "Wow, you have a 50 % PTSD rating? That's pretty high already!" the minute we walked through the door! She would only ask questions from a questionnaire and he could NOT elaborate. Only answer yes or no. AAAARRRRGGGGHHH

Thank you for your help and advice.

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I would consider hiring a lawyer and dumping all these VSO's.

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I would consider hiring a lawyer and dumping all these VSO's.

The thought has certainly crossed our minds! Just hearing that from someone else makes us feel better. We just do not "get it". Do you think there are attorneys that will take it on a contingency?

Thank you John999

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Seek out a lawyer versed in Veterans Claims, they will meet and talk with you for free...Present your claim information to them, and they will be able to tell you if they want to represent you. Usually they won't take a claim they don't believe they can win, because you pay them nothing up front. You pay a set fee scale when you win. Check with others vets you might know in your area, or check the yellow pages, internet search in you town or area towns close by.

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If you guys are not comfortable with the representative you have assisting with the claims, get another. You can get another one and change your POA to another person. Don't settle! You need someone to work with you or at least advise you you need to do the work and be efficient so you can do it and they can turn it in. Having a Dr write a statement like you posted her sounds pretty weak for granting purposes. Also if he is more comfortable with same sex VSO's, therapists then request so.

My therapist is same sex as me, and if not the session would not be therapeutic. Also seeing a Behavioral Health Therapist only every 3 months does not seem to be frequent enough, at least not in my region/area. Besides every 5 weeks seems to be helpful for coping at least during the first 7 yrs here. JMHO. If one has BH problems, seeking more frequent sessions could potentiate the rater, especially if the sessions were documented as such and with the symptoms and discussions/topics could assist a higher level if the problems still existed/got worse/maintained difficult.

They may think little therapy sessions= little problems and no increase in symptoms/thoughts = no higher rating, and may even propose to sever, which they do at times.

These are all JMHO's.

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