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  • Trouble Remembering? This helped me.

    I have memory problems and as some of you may know I highly recommend Evernote and have for years. Though I've found that writing helps me remember more. I ran across Tom's videos on youtube, I'm a bit geeky and I also use an IPad so if you take notes on your IPad or you are thinking of going paperless check it out. I'm really happy with it, I use it with a program called Noteshelf 2.

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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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  • Most Common VA Disabilities Claimed for Compensation:   

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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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    • So, my lawyer sent an IME w/ IMO and filed a supplemental claim solely for IU on March 20.

      It was closed on March 25, and va.gov just states claim closed and nothing more.

      Hopefully, I get good news.
    • Thanks for the responses. I am filing a new claim but will continue pushing the NOD. My new question is it stated in law or statute that if during the claims process the VA finds conditions that could possibly rate service connection that was not originally filed for, the VA will “invite” the veteran to file the claim on the claims form. Reason I ask is that my private DBQs, NEXUS letter, and even the VA nurse examiner's DBQs lists bilateral upper radiculopathy as present. If it is written in statute or official guidance it might qualify as a CUE. Just looking at all angles. 
    • Everyone needs to read our stories so they can try to avoid these screws by the va...
      Thank you, everyone contributes, good or bad, all of our stories will help others, and yes, they have been stated by others for ages, over and over, but we just get depressed, and the time turns into years as they screw us..

      Welcome to the department of Veterans Affairs!  I can honestly say, "been there, done that".  

      Even after winning my tdiu in 2017, it was back to the drawing board as VA hornswaggeld my effective date.  (but of course).  

      I finally won my tdiu effective date in Feb. 2020, 18 years after I first applied!!!  

      Here is how they managed to drag mine out 18 years:

      1.  They never adjuticated my decison until 2009, where they called it "moot".  

      2.  I appealed, said it was not moot because it could result in an earlier effective date and SMC S under Bradley vs Peake.  The judge agreed with me, and ordered VARO consider me for extra schedular TDIU, under 4.16 b.  

      3.  The VARO piddles with  the remand for 3 years, and hoped I wouldnt notice.  I noticed and raised cane until they adjuticated it.  (denied of course).  

      4.  Finally, after the baord denied again, I hired a lawyer, in 2014, and appealed to CAVC.   

      5.  The lawyer won a remand, got an IMO and I won tdiu in 2017.  But at the wrong effective date, even after 15 years.  

      6.  I hired another lawyer, Chris Attig, and appealed the effective date, and he won a remand for effective date.  Trip 2 to CAVC.  

      7.  Mr. Attig won a remand, and advised me to get another IMO.  

      8.  The board awarded my earlier effective date in Feb. 2020.  

           So, I do have advice fighting VA for TDIU, they fought and fought and I hung in there and won it all.  

      ADVICE:  Dont count on VA, they could easily throw your fax in the trash.  Follow up!  
    • "Keep in mind that due to the nature of the digestive system, VA would most likely combined your conditions and pay you at the higher rate to avoid pyramiding".    That is one of my main gripes.  They are only listing the GERD with hiatal hernia and ignoring the rest of my gastric issues such as the gastritis which I also had in service.  I included it in my 2007 request for increase and again in 2019.  The info from the civilian dr that stated I had the gastritis with H pylori was not even provided to the examiner in 2007, nor did he have my VA health records. The 2019 request was based on an EGD I had AT THE VA in Jan 2019.   I filed for an increase 6 Mar and they did an ACE on 27 Mar and downgraded to noncompensable on that date.  The only reason I was thinking CUE:  38 CFR § 3.326 - Under Examinations  it states (c) Provided that it is otherwise adequate for rating purposes, a statement from a private physician may be accepted for rating a claim without further examination".  
    • Enough has been said on this topic. This forum is not the proper forum for an attorney and former client to hash out their problems. Please take this offline
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Tbird

Mst Is An Experience. It Is Not A Diagnosis. Your Claim Will Be For Ptsd Most Likely.

Question

It's important to remember that MST is an experience. It is not a diagnosis or a mental health condition in and of itself.

The claim you will file will mostly likely be for PTSD, MST is one of many causes of PTSD that our veterans face. Most likely a claim for PTSD, however it could be claim for Major Depressive Disorder MDD. Don't get yourself to wrapped up in labels while working your claim, 50% for PTSD pays the same as 50% for MDD. Remember the VA will compensate but they won't validate you.

This forum was set up because when filing a claim for PTSD because of MST there are several very specific items to these claims as far what can be considered evidence and so on.

My biggest concern is that some may come to this forum for some therapy work and it is not designed for that. There are other good sites out there

http://www.vetwow.com and http://ptsdforum.org they deal more with the working through the trauma. We are ill equipped to help anyone work through their trauma, so if you need to do trauma work please seek a resource that has the tools to do this for you.

A note about Validation versus Compensation Below:

This is not meant to sound harsh, just a hard lesson I had to learn and it took me a long time. It's just the way it is.

Validation you get from your therapists, your brothers and sisters here, your friends and your family. Compensation you get from the V.A. don't confuse the two, you can waste a lot of energy trying to get the V.A. to validate your feelings that you've been screwed, it's been my experience that it is not going to happen. Work on your claim for compensation in a methodical, detailed way, go to therapy, talk to your family, yell at the top of your lungs with your car windows closed. Then come back to your claim for compensation and it work it methodically, sharpening, sharpening, always sharpening your claim. The V.A. will hardly ever make you feel validated, I know sometimes we want to jam it down their throats until they get a taste of it themselves, metaphorically speaking, that is. It's a waste of energy I say. When working the claim focus on the mission at hand. The mission is to receive compensation for the disability that you incurred or was aggravated by your service.

As for validation, you get it where you can, it never feels quite like anybody gets it to me, of course I'm still in therapy…so what do I know.

If you really want to aggravate the V.A. help another veteran get their ducks in a row.

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I get it now. I just dont know how ou r ptsd from mst is different that combat ptsd. Other than it being aimed at maybe men for being men.what is the diff, can anyone say.

Also I notice I went twenty years before bringing up the assault in a claim. Listed everything else first, one and two issues literally at a time, BEFORE being desperate enough to say what I had wanted to say all along, and it STILL wasnt good enough.

I listened to progam last nigt some, missed some. When is a good time to bring up an issue with C.u.e.. Just adress all my issues at once.

What if I need just a copy of my denials and nothing else. Hope this makes sense. M.

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I get it now. I just dont know how ou r ptsd from mst is different that combat ptsd. Other than it being aimed at maybe men for being men.what is the diff, can anyone say.

Also I notice I went twenty years before bringing up the assault in a claim. Listed everything else first, one and two issues literally at a time, BEFORE being desperate enough to say what I had wanted to say all along, and it STILL wasnt good enough.

I listened to progam last nigt some, missed some. When is a good time to bring up an issue with C.u.e.. Just adress all my issues at once.

What if I need just a copy of my denials and nothing else. Hope this makes sense. M.

PTSD is not different from combat or MST. However there are things you can use for evidence that are specific to MST. Like a STD, or an Article 15 or you evaluations drop real low or go real high. Perhaps you didn't report, but did write a letter, tell a friend, talk to chaplain. Perhaps you started having a lot of unexplained health problems. I think these are thing's MST survivors male or female may be different in where to look for evidence and what to look for. If you reported it, there will be a paper trail.

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http://www.va.gov/vetapp11/Files4/1133431.txt

Service connection may be granted for any disease diagnosed after discharge, when all the evidence, including that pertinent to service, establishes that the disease was incurred in service.

Presumptive periods are not intended to limit service connection to diseases so diagnosed when the evidence warrants direct service connection. The presumptive provisions of the statute and VA regulations implementing them are intended as liberalizations applicable when the evidence would not warrant service connection without their aid. 38 C.F.R. § 3.303(d) (2010).

For the showing of chronic disease in service, there must be a combination of manifestations sufficient to identify the disease entity and sufficient observation to establish chronicity at the time.

If chronicity in service is not established, evidence of continuity of symptoms after discharge is required to support the claim. 38 C.F.R. § 3.303(b) (2010).

Service connection for PTSD requires medical evidence diagnosing the condition in accordance with 38 C.F.R. § 4.125(a) (i.e., under the criteria of DSM-IV); a link, established by medical evidence, between current symptoms and an in-service stressor; and credible supporting evidence that the claimed in-service stressor occurred. 38 C.F.R. § 3.304(f) (2010).

In cases involving a claim of entitlement to service connection for PTSD based upon personal assault, after-the-fact medical evidence can be used to establish a stressor.

Bradford v. Nicholson, 20 Vet. App. 200 (2006); Patton v. West, 12 Vet. App. 272 (1999).

Because the Veteran is alleging personal assault, the special provisions of

VA Adjudication Procedure Manual M21-1 (M21-1), Part III (Feb. 20, 1996), regarding personal assault must also be considered.

The Manual identifies alternative sources for developing evidence of personal assault, such as private medical records, civilian police reports,

reports from crisis intervention centers, testimonial

statements from confidants such as family members, roommates, fellow service members, or clergy, and personal diaries or journals.

M21-1, Part III, 5.14c(4)(a). When there is no indication in the military record that a personal assault occurred, alternative evidence,

such as behavior changes that occurred at the time of the incident,

might still establish that an in-service stressor incident occurred.

Examples of behavior changes that might indicate a stressor include (but are not limited to): visits to a medical or counseling clinic or dispensary without a specific diagnosis or specific ailment; sudden requests that a military occupational series or duty assignment be changed without other justification; lay statements indicating increased use or abuse of leave without apparent reason; changes in performance or performance evaluations;

lay statements describing episodes of depression, panic attacks or anxiety with no identifiable reasons for the episodes; increased or decreased use of prescription medication; evidence of substance abuse;

obsessive behavior such as overeating or undereating; pregnancy tests around the time of the incident; increased interest in tests for HIV

or sexually transmitted diseases; unexplained economic or social behavior changes; treatment for physical injuries around the time of the claimed trauma but not reported as a result of the trauma; or breakup of a primary relationship.

M21-1, Part III, 5.14c(7)(a)-(o). Subparagraph (9) provides that

"[r]ating boards may rely on the preponderance of evidence to support their conclusions even if the record does not contain direct contemporary evidence.

In personal assault claims, secondary evidence which documents such behavior changes may require interpretation in relationship to the medical diagnosis

by a VA neuropsychiatric physician."

That approach has been codified at 38 C.F.R. § 3.304(f)(3) (2010).

Patton v. West, 12 Vet. App. 272 (1999); YR v. West, 11 Vet. App. 393 (1998).

The Board is mindful of the fact that Veterans claiming service connection for disability due to in-service personal assault face unique problems documenting their claims. Since assault is an extremely personal and sensitive issue,

many incidents of personal assault are not officially reported, and victims of this type of in-service trauma may find it difficult to produce evidence to support the occurrence of the stressor.

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If my first claim was for back pain 5 months out of the military and they denied saying theres is NOTHING THEY SEE

indicating back pain, YET my smrs are FULL OF BACK( and other), pain issues, treated with pt, medicine, waiting , etc.

IS that a cue. M.

good post Carlie.

Edited by mysticcherokee usn vet

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If my first claim was for back pain 5 months out of the military and they denied saying theres is NOTHING THEY SEE

indicating back pain, YET my smrs are FULL OF BACK( and other), pain issues, treated with pt, medicine, waiting , etc.

IS that a cue. M.

good post Carlie.

Most likely not a cue - but there would need to be many more questions answered first to get a better picture.

I'd post the information and question - to the CUE forum.

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    • So, my lawyer sent an IME w/ IMO and filed a supplemental claim solely for IU on March 20.

      It was closed on March 25, and va.gov just states claim closed and nothing more.

      Hopefully, I get good news.
    • Thanks for the responses. I am filing a new claim but will continue pushing the NOD. My new question is it stated in law or statute that if during the claims process the VA finds conditions that could possibly rate service connection that was not originally filed for, the VA will “invite” the veteran to file the claim on the claims form. Reason I ask is that my private DBQs, NEXUS letter, and even the VA nurse examiner's DBQs lists bilateral upper radiculopathy as present. If it is written in statute or official guidance it might qualify as a CUE. Just looking at all angles. 
    • Everyone needs to read our stories so they can try to avoid these screws by the va...
      Thank you, everyone contributes, good or bad, all of our stories will help others, and yes, they have been stated by others for ages, over and over, but we just get depressed, and the time turns into years as they screw us..

      Welcome to the department of Veterans Affairs!  I can honestly say, "been there, done that".  

      Even after winning my tdiu in 2017, it was back to the drawing board as VA hornswaggeld my effective date.  (but of course).  

      I finally won my tdiu effective date in Feb. 2020, 18 years after I first applied!!!  

      Here is how they managed to drag mine out 18 years:

      1.  They never adjuticated my decison until 2009, where they called it "moot".  

      2.  I appealed, said it was not moot because it could result in an earlier effective date and SMC S under Bradley vs Peake.  The judge agreed with me, and ordered VARO consider me for extra schedular TDIU, under 4.16 b.  

      3.  The VARO piddles with  the remand for 3 years, and hoped I wouldnt notice.  I noticed and raised cane until they adjuticated it.  (denied of course).  

      4.  Finally, after the baord denied again, I hired a lawyer, in 2014, and appealed to CAVC.   

      5.  The lawyer won a remand, got an IMO and I won tdiu in 2017.  But at the wrong effective date, even after 15 years.  

      6.  I hired another lawyer, Chris Attig, and appealed the effective date, and he won a remand for effective date.  Trip 2 to CAVC.  

      7.  Mr. Attig won a remand, and advised me to get another IMO.  

      8.  The board awarded my earlier effective date in Feb. 2020.  

           So, I do have advice fighting VA for TDIU, they fought and fought and I hung in there and won it all.  

      ADVICE:  Dont count on VA, they could easily throw your fax in the trash.  Follow up!  
    • "Keep in mind that due to the nature of the digestive system, VA would most likely combined your conditions and pay you at the higher rate to avoid pyramiding".    That is one of my main gripes.  They are only listing the GERD with hiatal hernia and ignoring the rest of my gastric issues such as the gastritis which I also had in service.  I included it in my 2007 request for increase and again in 2019.  The info from the civilian dr that stated I had the gastritis with H pylori was not even provided to the examiner in 2007, nor did he have my VA health records. The 2019 request was based on an EGD I had AT THE VA in Jan 2019.   I filed for an increase 6 Mar and they did an ACE on 27 Mar and downgraded to noncompensable on that date.  The only reason I was thinking CUE:  38 CFR § 3.326 - Under Examinations  it states (c) Provided that it is otherwise adequate for rating purposes, a statement from a private physician may be accepted for rating a claim without further examination".  
    • Enough has been said on this topic. This forum is not the proper forum for an attorney and former client to hash out their problems. Please take this offline
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