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Ptsd Case Review Training Letter




A while back I came across the VA PTSD Case Review training letter dated 1-8-01. It's VERY interesting if you have a PTSD claim. Has anyone else seen this? And more importantly, has anyone cited this in their claim? It's not code, it's not caselaw but I'm hoping to lean on it nonetheless since it's from the Director of C&P. I've attached a copy. I'm using it as it pertains to the GAF score. My father-in-law appointed me as his VA rep and I'm drafting a second reply on his request for increased PTSD (he's also got Hep C - sc). He had 2 C&P's done (1998 & 1999) where the GAF and the narratives didn't match up. The training letter says that the GAF and narrative don't have to match and that the GAF is unreliable. It also says that the rating decision should be based solely or even mostly on the GAF score.

My second question is this: the BVA remanded his claim for an increase back to the RO in March 2001... 3 months after this training letter came out. They cited the fact that the GAF and narratives didn't match and therefore it was impossible to tell if he was occupationally impaired. I tend to think that (if you consider the training letter the guideline) they (the BVA) shouldn't haven't remanded the matter at all. The training letter clearly says that the ratings decision should be made based on all the evidence presented and, in fact, it seems to me that the GAF score is at the bottom of the list! The GAF and the narratives didn't NEED to match so as I see it remanding it was in ERROR. What does everyone else think? I am iffy on it and I'd appreciate any input.



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I have seen this and yes, I did try to use it in getting my husband an increase in his PTSD. Apparently they did not use it. His GAF score had been very low for the last 12+ months. Low enough to qualify him for 100%. His doctor also stated that due soley to his PTSD, he was unemployable. The C & P examiner agreed with his doctors findings. At the time, he was 30% for PTSD, plus other S/C problems. They moved him to 70% for PTSD. They based this on the fact that to be eligible for 100%, he must show signs of suicide, and several other things with the 100% verbage. So, even though he had a low GAF for months, because the verbage in the doctors and C & P examiners reports did not list exactly everything that was in the 100% rating, they gave him the 70%. They apparently did not use the GAF at all as this was not mentioned.

This still worked out well for my husband, though, as this rating along with new ratings and his current ratings at the time, allowed him to receive 100% TDIU P & T. I also think what the doctor wrote as far as him being unemployable due solely to his PTSD helped get the I/U.

The PTSD incease claim and several others were in the 6 year process and had gone all the way to the BVA. They remanded it back to the RO and they finally decided in our favor.

I would definitely use this letter, regardless. Any evidence that you have should be sent in regardless of what happens in the end. You want to give them anything and everything you find which could show that the VARO should rule in your favor, expecially if it has to do with their rules. No two VARO's and no two rating specialists are the same, therefore, what one accepts in one case, may get denied in another. Therefore, use any and all evidence you can find. Definitely will not hurt you any. The most they can do is opt not to use what you sent in.

Hoped this helped.


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