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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims

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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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  • Most Common VA Disabilities Claimed for Compensation:   

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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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Question

So I have filed a claim for PTSD, in the meantime the VA psychiatrist has been treating me - diagnosed me with PTSD- and now that I have been on the meds for 6 weeks I am feeling 50-60% better. So when the time comes for a C&P for my claim I will not be getting the rating I feel I should get because I am in better condition. Is that a Catch 22?

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So I have filed a claim for PTSD, in the meantime the VA psychiatrist has been treating me - diagnosed me with PTSD- and now that I have been on the meds for 6 weeks I am feeling 50-60% better. So when the time comes for a C&P for my claim I will not be getting the rating I feel I should get because I am in better condition. Is that a Catch 22?

Yes.

I recommend, when answering questions during the exam, that you give two answers: 1) How you were before treatment and 2) How you are now. A sympathetic examiner and/or rater might lean toward evaluating/rating you based on your functioning over the last year or something along those lines.

Of course, compensation is supposed to "make up for" what you are losing on a day-to-day basis because of your disability. If you're not losing as much then it makes sense that you don't need as much compensation. I mean, if you had to choose between feeling noticeably better or getting a bigger check, which would you choose?

Some veterans seem to think that VA compensation is restitution for past suffering but it's not. It's a disability program, similar to private disability insurance where you only get paid based on your current disability and if you get completely better, the disability payments end.

Joe

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I forgot to add that you can still get a 10% rating even if you're pretty much completely better as a result of psychiatric treatment. The regulations is:

Occupational and social impairment due to mild or transient symptoms which decrease work efficiency and ability to perform occupational tasks only during periods of significant stress, or; symptoms controlled by continuous medication .................. 10% (emphasis added)

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Keep in mind that PTSD is an anxiety disorder where you may feel better today but tomorrow you may not. There is no 100% cure for an anxiety disorder, you have to take it one day at a time. No I am not singing a song , just pointing out the fact that anything can twist your thoughts around an you become upset for no reason or you may withdraw for no reason. I would say just deal with that day when it comes and just try to focus on living better. Just tell the examiner how you feel and how this condition has changed your life.

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I'd like to add my own experience here, too. I've had PTSD for 25 years. In that time, I've been untreated, treated with intensive trauma therapy (with and without meds), treated with therapy alone, treated with meds alone, and treated with a combo of therapy & meds. That's where I am now.

The civilian docs I used to see over the years would change my medications periodically because, in their words, the efficacy of the treatment would change over time. While seeing civilian doctors I was on more different kinds of anti-depressant, anti-anxiety medications than I can remember. Most of them seemed to work for a while, then the dosage would have to be increased, or another option would be tried.

Since I've been at the VA I've been on only one antidepressant, citalopram. They've augmented & adjusted, but they're sticking with that basic med. I still don't sleep through the night, even with the other meds that are supposed to help my brain stop buzzing and the nightmares from popping by to say Boo.

PTSD is not perfectly understood. I could go for months at a time without having a bad spell. And I have gone for years without a really good spell. For the past 10 years a good day means getting to the post office and actually answering the telephone. A great day is when I can get through a VA appointment without an anxiety attack... which I actually am having trouble remembering when the last one was.<br><br>I'm not saying your PTSD will be as debilitating as mine has become. Hopefully it won't. But I know that for years I made a herculean effort to forget and suppress things that I just couldn't bear to look at.&nbsp; I<br><br>It's a moving target, I guess.<br>

Edited by hedgey

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I am 1 month short of 20 years dealing with VA and to date I have not seen one person who has PTSD that was cured. I have seen remission of symptoms but never a cure.

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