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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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brokensoldier244th

Weekend C&p Exam Oddities-In My Favor?

Question

I had a weekend C&P ( I thought that was unusual enough-most of the Omaha VAMC was closed when I was there at 0745 this morning, and ive never had one on a weekend before) and the doc said something that I hand't heard before. The C&P doc (Psych) directly contravened my VA doc and PCP here in Lincoln. I used to take zoloft for PME, and it was originally prescribed for that. Many months ago I noted that it wasn't working, since I couldn't raise the mast anyway, so levitra was prescribed. Around the same time I started seeing my VA psychologist, and one of the things she said was that if I felt that the zoloft was helping my depression, keep taking it. I mentioned this to my PCP (a PA) who has continued my prescription. I have not seen anyone else in MH (like a psychiatrist) in all this, just these two.

The C&P doc (a board psychologist) said this morning that, while he can't "Tell me what to do......." and he isn't "judging my care staff in Lincoln", he says that its his recommendation that I get referred into actual Mental Health, because they can write prescriptions, and the 50mg zoloft that I take now is not enough, in his opinion-I should seek more, or a different medication for my depression and symptoms, based on my history, and our hour long discussion today, because what I am doing now isn't working. He had all of my prior notes in the system, and had reviewed them before I came in.

WOW....ive never heard the C&P doc directly call anyone out like that before.

I'm currently 30% for depression, but in the midst of my still submitting evidence my claim was granted, so I continued pursuing it as a request for increase, since I have absence write-ups (warnings), a warning for non-professional conduct to a client, and a letter from my boss explaining the allowances they have made for my job for things that I dont' have to do vs. other support staff. It also states that in the last year my performance has greatly suffered, my productivity has dropped, and my attitudes and mannerisms at work have become more strained and abrasive with co-workers and clients. Right now I am the lead support tech that doesn' travel, doesn't see clients directly, and works a shorter number of hours a week, to cope with my depression. This evidence was still being compiled when my 30% was granted, so im submitting it now, hoping to bolster a claim for increase based on

"Occupational and social impairment with reduced reliability and productivity due to such symptoms as: flattened affect; circumstantial, circumlocutory, or stereotyped speech; panic attacks more than once a week; difficulty in understanding complex commands; impairment of short- and long-term memory (e.g., retention of only highly learned material, forgetting to complete tasks); impaired judgment; impairedabstract thinking; disturbances of motivation and mood; difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships ..........."

To me this sounds at least somewhat favorable to me, in some respect, since the doc is recommending different and increased level of care for this. Am I wrong in thinking this? I've attached the letter from my boss for reference to what was submitted. I also submitted as evidence 2 written performance warnings, one dealing with my response to a client (for support), and the other a punitive one RE my absences over the last year. Im 70 percent now, and while no one has said anything about IU (im still working, anyway) my fear is that in my current capacity as lead support im so 'protected' from various aspects of the job because of specialized knowledge that if I left where I work now I wouldn't be able to get another job in IT support anywhere because of my difficulties in dealing with people and adverse/combative attitudes.

Im in grad school now, distance learning, shooting for an information security degree, in the hopes that I can try to turn that into a job as an analyst that doesn't have to deal with clients anymore, but that is still 2 years away. I have a claim in to renew vocational rehab services as well, as my last status of 'rehabilitated' was based on my completion of my B.S. in Info Systems mgt in 2008-which has thus far qualified me for 'tech support' in every other place that I have applied to in the last few years. Add to this that my current specialty at work now will be gone in a few years due to planned obsolescence. My fear is that if I quit, or get fired from my current lead support job, im kind of screwed.....so my request for Voc Rehab services revolves around new training in Information Technology that isn't a support/technician/people type of job.

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Edited by brokensoldier244th

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It is not completely unusual to have a weekend C&P cause it is scheduled more for the Doc than for the examinee. My skin Doc appointments were always on Saturday.

My shrink meds are prescribed by the VA shrink although at one time my PCP did it. The VA has no problem prescribing any kind of meds that are not expensive,

That out of way it appears that you have a favorable C&P and should get a decision in 2 to 4 months. Wow you can almost see the finish line. Good Luck

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Well for a board psychologist to say you need more medication is a BIG deal. Depending on what the doc wrote, are what's said and what's written vary in their minds, I think you're looking at an increase in MDD.

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Thats what it sounded like, but im obviously vested in the decision, so Im biased. My main points of contention are than the 30% rating was based on incomplete evidence because I couldn't get HR/Work to release so me evidence of workplace deficiency or difficult. The writeups helped with that, actually, because they enabled me to say "okay, you wrote me up for X, Y, X, ...prove to me what the basis was, and I want copies of anything that went into that decision". That is where the letter came from. They woudln't release emails from clients to me, but my boss wrote that letter as an overview of the situation as a whole.

The quotation marks from the psychologist are his actual phrasing. He was very adamant in saying that he wasn't making a negative assessment of my current care staff, that most likely this has been escalating since April and they were dealing with it as issues arose. So, from 30%, say 50%? Im looking at the 70% rating and im not seeing that type of stuff. I can get by with help from my wife around the house, I was able to drive to Omaha yesterday, and I could answer the testing questions that he asked me (where are you, repeat these words, spell this word.....5 minutes later "what were the three words I told you earlier). I don't think I fall into 70%. I can still work, they just make a lot of allowances for me.

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I can't pass the five minute test. They have never even done it with me, and I have TBI! Funny stuff the way the VA operates. I only know I cannot pass the five minute test, because I am a poet, so when I am not on the floor I study the language that enables me to practice my craft: english. I can remember a new word with two synonyms for about two minutes. I have to go over them at increasing intervals. It takes about an hour to get a word and definition in. Then I have to study the word at timed intervals, or I forget. So, I have a pile of flash cards of words I love, and I just flip through 'em when I need one.

But, 50 percent shouldn't be too hard. However, they are funny people these VA folks. I received 50 percent for chronic adjustment disorder. I hate that diagnosis. If you've ever been suicidal that's in the 70 percent category,

I hope you get what you need.

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Well, to be honest I only got 2 of the three words that he asked me. Im not suicidal, but when he asked me if I had suicidal thoughts or thoughts of hurting others I said no suicidal thoughts, but I get really angry and upset with people and think about punching them out, but im not clock tower material yet....

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