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Bhut

Exam Coming Up

Question

Hello,

I have had a claim for PTSD and Depression ongoing since 2005. I finally had a Comp. and Pension exam in Dec. 2010. The exam was very detailed and exhausting, lasted two hours. Needless to say I was not prepared, I had yet to find this site and did not do any research before going, stupid, I know. Anyway the doctor was very pleasant and professional, after a couple of minutes I realized it was not just chit-chat that she was going down a pre-planned questionaire, I have since seen pretty much the same one on this website, however she did not ask all of the questions as the one on here. In April I recieved a letter stating the claim was denied and being remanded to the BVA. Then in August I recieved another letter saying that the doctor had made an error in the exam, actually it was an error in my favor but was dicoved by the RO and they went on to say that I should be given another exam. The RO did contact the doctor and asked her about the error, she said in light of that she would have to "resort to mere speculation" to warrant a diagnosis for PTSD.

I really did like this doctor, she seemed to really care and upon leaving her office she said that she thought I would be happy with the outcome of the examination.

The letter does go on to say that I was diagnosed in 2004 with PTSD, depression, and panic attacks from my private doctor, before I ever claimed or filed for VA benefits.

Also, I have had some long periods of unemployment in the last 10 years, I was fired from the post office twice for conflicts with co-workers. I applied for SSD and was approved in 2003. A friend of mine was working as a contractor in Iraq and helped me get a job in 2008, I am now working in Afghanistan and plan to for about one more year. My SSD benefits stopped in 2009 due to me being gainfully employed. To be honest the job I have only requires me to actually "work" 2-3 hours a week. Other than that I sit in my room about 9X9 for 18-20 hours a day. I am pretty sure that my symptoms are getting worse but I want to stay with this job as long as I can, as it pays well and I am the only person for my company at this base and I do not have to deal with co-workers or managers. I am now 40 years old and I really do not feel that I will be very employable back in the US.

My question is should I try and use the same doctor again for the next exam, as I said I really liked her and would like to use her again. Or do you think since she made an error on the first exam and it was discovered by the RO that she may rule against me this time just to save face?

Thanks,

Bhut

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7 answers to this question

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The veteran does not chose their C&P Examiner. The VA assigns the exam, and then tells you where and when. ~Wings

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"My question is should I try and use the same doctor again for the next exam, as I said I really liked her and would like to use her again. Or do you think since she made an error on the first exam and it was discovered by the RO that she may rule against me this time just to save face?"

NO No No !!!! insist on someone else- she already 'ruled' against you-

"Then in August I recieved another letter saying that the doctor had made an error in the exam, actually it was an error in my favor but was dicoved by the RO and they went on to say that I should be given another exam. The RO did contact the doctor and asked her about the error, she said in light of that she would have to "resort to mere speculation" to warrant a diagnosis for PTSD."

She didnt diagnose you with PTSD.

It is now required for any PTSD claims falling under the new PTSD regs, that a PTSD diagnosis MUST come from a VA doctor.

That is grossly unfair and I have already explained that part of the Reg at VAWatchdogToday in my article re: "Challenge to the new Regs)

as well as here and it is also explained by NOVA and the vet orgs who also had joined their complaint with the court.

This facet of the new PTSD regulation means that a veteran have to rely solely on a VA doctor for their PTSD diagnosis.

This was a very clever ploy by the VA used because they knew the OIF OEF PTSD vets would begin to cost the VA lots of money.

So by 'relaxing' the stressor criteria for those vets, they made sure other PTSD veterans would have a difficult time if they didnt already have a VA PTSD diagnosis, to offset those costs.

The VA is slick. A few here, I believe, and myself protested this facet of the new PTSD aggressively in comments at the Fed reg site when VA proposed the new rule.

Only about 600 vets, lawyers and advocates in the whole USA as I recall commented on the new regs.And only a handful of us griped about this absolutely unfair VA MH diagnosis clause in the regs.

The regulations prohibit these vets from supporting their PTSD claim with an independent medical opinion from a REAL doctor.

The NOVA case is still before the court and as soon as I know anything on it I will post here.

Can you scan and attach here (cover your name, address, and C file number) the letters you received from the VA on this C & P and also attach the actual C & P results?

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Berta,

Is it possible for me to send the information I have to you in a PM, due to the nature of the claim(s) it could be pretty easy for my identity to be figured out on this forum due to the nature of the circumstances involved, even if I black out names, dates, etc.

Thanks,

Bhut

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Bhut - do you know if she is a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other mental health professional?? It sounds to me like she was a physician and diagnosing PTSD was out of her expertise. I just had the same thing happen. They sent me to a physician rather than a psychiatric person and she couldn't speculate on my SMC for a PTSD related condition. jmo

pr

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Hello PR,

She told me she was a forensic pshychiatrist. I googled her and found out that she was telling the truth about her credentials.

Thanks

Bhut

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Bhut- I am sure the VA will give you a different doctor since she could only 'speculate'.

An opinion involving speculation has no probative value for or against the claim.

I dont use the PMs or email thing here.

Others have their PM access open.

The last C & P exam did for my claim was ordered by the BVA.

I rebutted it immediately with a full medical rationale, even though the PA said he couldn't properly assess the claim without resorting to speculation.

The BVA then threw that C & P out and relied on my 3 IMOs and awarded.

Since the opinion had no probative value they will find someone else to do a different C & P- as I understand the post.

"The letter does go on to say that I was diagnosed in 2004 with PTSD, depression, and panic attacks from my private doctor, before I ever claimed or filed for VA benefits."

Have you told VA of these private medical records?

If the VA has these records, how hae they considered them?

If VA knew of these records and failed to obtain them or consider them, then this could be used to get around the condition of the new PTSD regs as to not accepting an IMO for a diagnosis.

As I assume these records, by your post, would pre- date the new PTSD regs.

Although the new regs prohibit IMOs, for diagnosis- there is nothing as far as I can tell that would prevent them from considering evidence they had, or knew of, prior to the new regs coming out.

Has VA ever questioned your stressor?

Have you attempted to verify your stressor yourself via JSRRC?

Contact5 info for JSRRC can be found here under the hadit search feature.

If a vet has a fully verified stressor (that raises to VA's definition of stressor-I just moved up a topic I did on stressors here)

the VA might be hard put to not diagnose PTSD, unless they have (and can prove) a valid etiology for the stressor that is not related to service.

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