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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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Loose Cannon

Letter From My Va Doc In Support Of Claim

Question

Had another appointment today with my VA mental health doctor. I asked for a letter/statement in support of my claim for an increased rating for PTSD and TDIU (currently 30% SC for PTSD and 60% SC overall). I would greatly welcome anyone's opinion who has been down this road before as to how beneficial this statement will be in my claim. I have already submitted similar letters from my last employer and have a C&P exam scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 13th. I am very anxious/nervous about the exam for fear I will forget to mention something or write something I shouldn't on the paperwork they gave me to complete and bring to the exam. Again, any advice from my fellow vets would be greatly appreciated. Anyways...here's what my doctors statement says:

XXXX XXXXXX has been undergoing treatment at the Durham VA Raleigh II Clinic since February 2011. He has the diagnosis of PTSD. Alcohol/substance abuse is in early remission.

This veteran has not been able to work full or part time since February 2011 after being fired from his job as XXXXXXXXX. In Feb 2011 he indicated he’d not been able to work for fear he’d “blow up” at people; he has a history of over reacting to things people say and he is easily annoyed and impatient. He is at times rude and has had complaints about his negative behaviors and angry outbursts by former co-workers. He avoids leaving his home as much as possible due to his emotional liability, paranoia, phobias, inability to tolerate people for any period of time, becoming easily irritated and manage conflict. His level of distress is elevated to the point of his experiencing memory impairment as well as an inability to focus or concentrate often resulting in the inability to safely complete tasks once he starts them. Mr. XXXXXX has chronic violent thoughts, and is working diligently in group and individual therapy to address these issues and practice good coping skills. The severe symptoms he experiences solely as a result of his combat-related service connected PTSD condition make any level of substantially gainful employment very unlikely at this time.

I hereby certify that the information I have given is true to the best of my knowledge and belief.

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Excellent!

Have you formally applied for TDIU with the 21-8940 form yet?

Have you also applied for SSDI?

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Excellent!

Have you formally applied for TDIU with the 21-8940 form yet?

Have you also applied for SSDI?

Yes...Applied for SSDI back in February of this year...Still haven't heard anything yet from them. Going to send off a signed copy of my Doctor's letter to them first thing Monday...It can only help, right? I haven't been able to work since February so I know they have a 6 month time period before I'd be eligible...August 2nd I hit that "magic" 6 month mark so should hear something soon I imagine.

Yes. I have a claim in for an increased rating for PTSD based on individual unemployment (been rated at 30% SC PTSD and 60% SC overall since 2005). Also, after reviewing my VA medical records and going through the VA testing (entire day of testing!), I was diagnosed with TBI...so...I put in a claim to be service connected for that as well. I have 3 C&P exams scheduled for THIS month.

The TBI is from a fall aboard ship inside my helicopter back in late 2003. Had an open dislocation of my finger during that fall and spent the night in ICU on the ship. Problem I'm having is that although I told them I hit my head, my finger was so messed up that that's where all the focus was. Therefore, no head x-rays were taken (that I can remember at least). Doesn't seem to be any "paper trail" in my service records either. I retired very soon after that deployment...How the hell do I go about making a good case that this WAS in fact a service related injury??? I have a post-deployment checklist that says I was subject to daily explosions, etc. from being in Mosul, Iraq but I don't want to lie and say that's how I suffered the TBI...Any suggestions??

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I think I would concentrate on the TDIU. You can worry about the TBI after you get TDIU. If you were subjected to daily explosions and have that documentation I think I would let those facts speak for themselves unless you can prove you hit your head in the fall. In fact, you don't know for sure that the explosions did not cause the TBI.

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