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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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  • 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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jokerwaswild

Not Sure What Going On

Question

First, I want to say to the creators of this website, thank you. Information is power.

I filed a claim two months ago for an increase on lower lumbar which the VA increased my rating by 10% in 2008. I also filed a claim for PTSD. I served in the first Gulf War and was part of the initial push to Saudi Arabia September 90. My job was Water Purification in which we supplied potable water to forward units. I did witness deadbodies, oil fires, pills, the whole nine yards When I returned from the Gulf I began to expirence sleep problems and my family fell apart 3 years aftewards because of the undiagnosed conditions I was expierencing. However, like many other soilders who returned from the Gulf, I remained on active duty and eventually retired in 04', While on active duty, we was bombarded with threats of visiting mental health doctors. It seem like than it was a death sentence on your career if you told mental health you are havin problems coping.I treaded water when it came to reporting mental helath problems. I have about four solid pieces of evidence in my medical records about sleep (There was no such thing as PTSD than) let alone sleep studies. There is medical evidence of my visits to doctors for Sleep problems from 93, 97, 98, and 03. In 1998, I was refered to mental hygeine for Gulf War Syndrome evaluation. (Do not know where this information went) of the results of the evaluation. I was perscribed Zoloft, (In the Army for depression) Cyclobenzaprine, Hydrocodone, and host of other cocktails for my lower lumbar.

April of this year, I was diagnosed with Severe Sleep Apnea and received an CPAP machine from the VA. I was shock because I thought the VA was going to make me get a machine through Tri-Care. I also was refereed by my health Care provider to the VA for a PTSD Examination. Long story short, by the time the smoke cleared I was perscribed Trazodone and Lexapro by the Physcologist. I recieved a GAF score 59. Axis 1 read: Anxiety and depression disorder R/O Post Traumatic. My Anxiety is so bad now that I only sleep with the aid of medications and CPAP. I thnk of dying all the time. I told the RO that my sleep has never been the same since the Guf War. Being deployed into an enviromen where the threat of chemiical weapons was high apparently freaked me out when the ground war started. During the 4 day war, I did not sleep in fear of being Gased and I guess my system hasn't recovered from it. I went to my C & P exam, spoke with a lady for a bout 20 minutes and I was told to look for a result in 2-3 months.

I am currently service connected for 10% Scar, 10% knee condition, and 20% Lower Lumbar strain.

Here is my question:

1. Do I have PTSD according to the VA because they are persribing me Trazodone and Lexapro. Also, I have been attending monthly work shops with pyscologist.

2. What are my chances on getting service connected for PTSD? and secondary for sleep Apnea

Also, during my C & P examination I remember the RO saying you have severe Anxiety and to continue seeing my doctor and meds

Thanks,

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Here is my question:

1. Do I have PTSD according to the VA because they are persribing me Trazodone and Lexapro. Also, I have been attending monthly work shops with pyscologist.

Not necessarily. Although they may be prescribing you medications that are also used to treat the symptoms of PTSD they haven't given you a conclusive diagnosis yet I don't believe. But the following associated with your Axis I diagnosis looks favorable for that eventual diagnosis.

A R/O, or rule out, diagnosis is provisional, usually a doctor's initial guess but occasionally a final diagnosis after hospitalization or treatment.

2. What are my chances on getting service connected for PTSD? and secondary for sleep Apnea

It may depend largely on what the results of the C&P Examination concluded. From what I gathered in your initial post the diagnosis you referred to, with the Axis I : Anxiety with depression disorder R/O Post Traumatic., was from a doctor with the VAMC Mental Health and not the results from the C&P Examination it's self. With that doctor not giving a conclusive PTSD diagnosis I would imagine they then scheduled you for a C&P Exam to Rule Out or Confirm PTSD.

The results from that C&P Examination might give you greater insight as to where your claim stands and probability of success. If it was performed at a VAMC then you can submit a ROI VA Form 3288. If it was performed by QTC, an outside contractor, then it can become slightly more difficult to obtain since seldom will QTC release it directly to you since it was performed under VA contract. You could request it from the Regional Office that has your claim but that can take a long time in most cases.

You should perform a search on this site and read the various discussion on the successful ways others have had in obtaining the results. I personally followed someones advice on here and went to the State VSO who (supposedly ... what a joke...) handles my claim and he was able to bring it up on his computer system and print it out for me. I think it depends on what computer system/network they are on as to whether they can access it.

Also, during my C & P examination I remember the RO saying you have severe Anxiety and to continue seeing my doctor and meds

I don't think the RO (Rating Officer) was there for your C&P Exam. Maybe some confusion on this one or maybe you just have a really good relationship with your R/O. But if you are meaning that the C&P Examiner said that then that could be an indication as to what the findings were. Although PTSD is a type of Anxiety Disorder if you did not meet all the (meaning all the required) criteria for establishing a diagnosis of PTSD under DSM IV then they may diagnose it as just what he/she said; Severe Anxiety Disorder or Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

Edited by wdroberson

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You need DX of PTSD from the VA. However, you can get 100% for anxiety just like for PTSD. If your anxiety is service connected you don't need a DX of PTSD to get compensated at 100% rate. You get higher rates of compensation if you can't work due to the condition. The VA is avoiding a DX of PTSD. They tip toe around it.

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John999

Thanks for the response. Please for give me about my ignorance of the acronyms, I am new to this site. What do you mean DX.

Thanks,

Joker

You need DX of PTSD from the VA. However, you can get 100% for anxiety just like for PTSD. If your anxiety is service connected you don't need a DX of PTSD to get compensated at 100% rate. You get higher rates of compensation if you can't work due to the condition. The VA is avoiding a DX of PTSD. They tip toe around it.

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Wdroberson, thanks for your input. Sorry I used the wrong acronym for what I meant, Yes, I meant C&P examiner mentioned during our conversation that I displayed High Anxiety and Bi- polar tendancies. Do not know where she was goig with that. (Maybe she was choking on the sandwhich she was eating during the examination) My situation has progressivly gotten worse. I can no longer keep up with my house and driving becasue of the medications. I had to move closer to the Tampa VA center because where I used to live did not have the care I needed.

Had an appointment with my shrink today. I noticed when we talk about stressors she begins to type on her computer. Also, I feel she wants me to continue to see her ratherthan transfer my care to the Tampa VA. She mentioned I am one of the few "Studies" that keep appointments with her and share information at her sessions. Do not know where she is going with that. She also increased my meds because they weren't working. They work now. :tongue:

I am trying piece all this together

Thanks,

Joker

Also, I failed to mention that the only income I have now

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Please for give me about my ignorance of the acronyms, I am new to this site. What do you mean DX.

DX = Diagnosis

A list of some of the commonly used acronyms can be found here.

I would have gave you the link for it here but the link seems to be generating a data base error right now and it is not accessible.

Edited by wdroberson

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