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    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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    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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      M21-1, Part III, Subpart iv, Chapter 3, Section D – Examination Reports III.iv.3.D.2.r. Examiner Statements that an Opinion Would be Speculative Pay careful attention to any conclusion by the examiner that an opinion could not be provided without resorting to mere speculation (or any similar language to that effect). VA may only accept a medical examiner’s … Continue reading
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    • Howdy all,

      The VA DRO denied my claim for an earlier effective date for my sleep apnea. They originally denied it in 2008 but granted it in Nov 2019 secondary to my GERD. I was rated for GERD in 2001. So I had it in 2008. I have attached the 2008 denial, 2018 approval, and the NOD SOC. All of my medical files and the medical articles and VA Citations referenced were in existence in or before Jan 2008. The only new items were the NEXUS letter from Dr Bash and a few extra buddy letters. The original denial states that my medical records show no diagnosis or treatment and only isolated complaints of symptoms. The denial does not even list my wife's or my lay statements as evidence reviewed. I have symptoms listed numerous times in my SMRs:

      a. Medical visit dated 24 Feb 76 for problem sleeping and depression.
      b. Physical exam dated 24 Jan 79 listed frequent/severe headaches" dizziness, and
      nervousness.
      c. Physical exam dated 07 Nov 83 listed frequent/severe headaches.
      d. Physical exam dated 16 Jan 85 listed frequent/severe headaches.
      e. Admitted to hospital 05 Aug 86 for chest pains and anxiety.
      f. Medical visit dated 14 Jul 87 for problem sleeping and morning confusion.
      g. Physical exam dated 25 Feb 88 listed dizziness.
      h. Physical exam dated 07 Oct 91 listed frequent/severe headaches
      i. Physical exam dated 25 Aug 93 listed headache.
      j. Hernia repair surgery dated 22 Ang 94 surgeon had to insert devices of some
      kind in each of my nostrils that went down into my throat to keep rny airway
      open and stop my disruptive snoring.
      k. Physical exam dated 29 Sep 99 listed frequent/severe headaches.

      So could you all take a look and let me know what you think.

      Redacted VA NOD SOC 04-09-2020.pdf
      VA 2008 Denial of OSA Redacted.pdf
      VA Claim Decision Ltr 08 Nov 2018 Redacted.PDF
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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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Include me gf, so one million and one women!

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Good Morning Brothers and Sisters at Arms,I thought I had current news to report, but it appears that this was a 2011 article and the class action suit against the Military never happened, I don think. Mores the pity! Im gonna go try and get this foot out of my mouf:) pwat!!! ack!!gack!!!

Mystic

Edited by mysticcherokee usn vet

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    • By ThomasGray
      First off, hello and thank you in advance for any help that can be provided. Also, I apologize if something is not clear, trying my best to keep things concise.
      On Friday, May 15, I received letter from the VA, dated May 11, proposing a rating reduction from 100% to 70% for PTSD. The only evidence for the change listed is Rating Decision - Narrative(17SEP18) and DBQ PSYCH PTSD Review(06MAY20), whereas on my initial decision letter there was an abundance of evidence used. The major takeaway appears that my medical records(both prior to and after the initial rating, also from VA facilities) were not considered in this proposal. Is this normal?  
      I have yet to obtain the most recent C&P as I just received the proposal letter, but intend to attempt on Monday, May 18. Looking at the proposal letter though it seems that examiner didn't check a few specific boxes that were checked on my previous C&P. Other than that the differences appear to be minor. The two lists are as follows: Original C&P Gross impairment in communication Suspiciousness Depressed mood Suicidal ideation Near-continuous depression affecting the ability to function independently, appropriately, and effectively Disturbances of motivation and mood Chronic sleep impairment Near-continuous panic affecting the ability to function independently, appropriately, and effectively Difficulty in understanding complex commands Total occupational and social impairment Panic attacks (weekly) Difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances Neglect of personal appearance and hygiene Difficulty in adapting to work Inability to establish and maintain effective relationships Flattened effect Panic attacks (less than weekly) Intermittent inability to perform maintenance of minimal personal hygiene Difficulty in adapting to a worklike setting Anxiety Difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships Intermittent inability to perform activities of daily living Gross impairment in thought processes New C&P Forgetting names Occupational and social impairment, with deficiencies in most areas, such as work, school, family relations, judgement, thinking, and mood Depressed mood Suicidal Ideation Near-continuous depression affecting the ability to function independently, appropriately, and effectively Disturbances of motivation and mood Mild memory loss Forgetting recent events Chronic sleep impairment Near-continuous panic affecting the ability to function independently, appropriately, and effectively Difficulty in understanding complex commands Panic attacks more than once a week Difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances Neglect of personal appearance and hygiene Difficulty in adapting to work Inability to establish and maintain effective relationships Impairment of short- and long-term memory Flattened effect Difficulty in adapting to a worklike setting Anxiety Difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships Forgetting directions I bolded the important items not that were not checked on the new c&p which led to the reduction proposal. It seems strange to me that new symptoms were added, however the very specific ones that would've caused the rating to remain the same all disappeared in just 1.5 years even though there is no noted improvement in my actual medical records.  
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    • By Wise Guy
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      BACK PAY:  Does  VA give retro back pay all at once or do they break it down...I used a va retro calculator and in low end and high end scenarios I came up with $40,000 plus....7 year back pay on one condition 5 years on another..long story short called VA because after waiting 2 plus weeks from receiving award letter they stated I had a payment of only half that being scheduled for this week couldn't give any info on any future if any payments 
    • By Michvetinfla
      I found your website. I have never posted anything asking anyone about this but I'm finally doing something about it and desperately need some advice. 
       
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      Background information  
      I am sorry if this gets lengthy or the wrong Forum to put it at but I really don't know who else to ask and have never told my story or asked any advice from anyone about this.
       
      My entire life I knew I was going to be a marine and that's all I wanted to be as my grandfather was a World War II Marine veteran my father an army veteran so I knew and trained for very young to be a Marine it was my hopes and dream. I was a high school sport standout in every sport, won the state championship football perfect physical health ( I am 6 foot 4 inches 180 lbs) the plan was to go to college then be a Marine Corps officer. This was 1988 when I graduated high school, by 1989 I was in college not enjoying it and watching the Middle East get very hot. After discussing it with my father I had his blessing to drop out of college at Eastern Michigan University and enlist in the Marine Corps. I did the Delayed Enlistment program and they actually called me up early and reported in November 1990 to Camp Pendleton California. I will mention that I got a perfect score on the ASVAB by the recruiter and offered any job and I chose and signed a contract for intelligence with a Meritorious Promotion to private first class after graduating boot camp and Lance corporal after graduating my MOS School and upon graduating my MOS school and also a $10,000 bonus. Again just establishing my sincerity and fortitude that this was my dream and purpose I had trained for my entire life And I wouldn't be signing a contract adding time to my enlistment if I truly wasn't planning on making a career of the Marine Corps. 
       
      Boot camp In the Marine Corps is very stressful and  it was during the very beginning of the Gulf War. Needless to say to drill instructors were hyper-vigilant in one of them even got busted from our platoon for striking some of the recruits. I am only mentioning these boot camp incidents to establish a fact. Anyone knows in boot camp unless you are on your deathbed you do not report to sickbay. I was the same way but then again I was always healthy in my entire life. In second phase my feet started hurting when we would go on marches and humps and by the time we went back for third phase in San Diego I did report to sick call. I did miss the final March because my feet and lower legs hurt too bad pins and needles numbness pain Etc and it is in the boot camp medical records that this did happen and I did go to sick call. If I recall while in bootcamp I just was on light duty for a few days and we were so close to graduating I only missed a few days and graduated with my platoon. Throughout my entire boot camp I went to Sick Bay sick call the one time for my feet they put me on light duty I missed a few days of training and that was it and I graduated February 1st 1991 with my original  platoon I started with. I also had a final physical fitness test score of 299 out of 300. I was perfect in Pull-Ups, sit ups and the 3 Mile Run was 10 seconds short. I had one point subtracted because I was 10 seconds over the 18-minute mark, I'm saying this to establish I was in perfect physical health otherwise besides my feet and legs being so sore and painful. 
       
      Went home for boot camp leave reported back to Camp Pendleton for Marine combat training  (MCT). I was told that we had to pull guard or KP duty until space was available in the class. While in this holding platoon, doing guard Duty, the same problems occurred with my feet as they were tingly numb painful and this was after just standing post. And so I went to sick call for the second time in my life praying and hoping they would just give me some pills or something to alleviate the pain so I can go back to being a Marine. They took some X-rays put me on light duty and told me they will be back with me to see me again. 2 Days Later I am pulled into the office and told point blank that I am being discharged because I have mild bilateral pes planus or the common name flat feet and that this disability existed prior to entry into the service. And that was it! I can't even explain in words how my whole life I had been training and wanting to do this one thing and it was taken away so quickly in the blink of an eye and I had no recourse or way to get my Marine Corps career back. I was devastated. 
       
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          "left foot, 3  views: mild pes planus. 
       right foot, three views: mild Pes planus. " 
       
      Second consultation report from the radiologic consultation is
       
       "right lower leg, two views: possible stress fracture proximal tibia
       
       left lower leg: possible stress fracture left proximal tibia
       
       right foot, three views: hallux valgus deformity, otherwise within normal limits.
       
       left foot, three views: degenerative changes in the MP joints.
       
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      So move forward to current day unfortunately since I left the Marine corps I never have had any health insurance had a plethora of problems. In 2017 after years and years of back pain lower back pain ( as well as my feet and lower legs the entire time since I left the Marine corps) I finally went to a doctor and complained I was in so much pain something had to be done and he ordered an MRI.  I do have an MRI establishing my s1 – l5 lower back an S5 through s1 does have sacral nerve damage bulging and deteriorating disc etc enough to meet the classification for social security disability. The MRI was in 2017 and my lower back pain has been with me since I was in the Marines. I may have had three or four emergency visits and some urgent Care but there has not been any paper trail or evidence that a normal person would have 20 to 30 years of it I have almost nothing because I never went to the doctor or hospital.
       
      The catalyst that started this was in August 2019 I had a bicycle accident I broke my scapula in five places. I had no insurance I went to the emergency room they x-rayed it said yes it's a terrible break and gave me the number of a doctor who sees patients without insurance or money. As it turns out the man retired and no one replaced him. I called every resource clinic site et cetera… they had no one to look at my shoulder for without having insurance. I never had any follow up. After being out of work 9 months and realizing it's going to be a full year I will meet the requirement for SSI disability then upon seeing the one piece of medical evidence I possessed my MRI and its prognosis I asked a doctor and yes, it appears I do meet the listing for that with my 2017 MRI, not even taking into account the new injury and the further damage it has done. The point is that it is now 2020 and I have never had a follow-up appointment for the shoulder and obviously the shoulder is horrible but the back is even much worse now after the accident than before my 2017 MRI. With this knowledge and the fact that I do not have barely any evidence I knew if I filed for SSI disability they will send me to a local doctor to verify my injury and give me a NEW MRI which should show that is is even worse now than in 2017, which was physically bad enough to qualify then, it should be more than bad enough in nature to qualify for disability now. My research into SSI disability I kept seeing about veterans and that is how I return to my discharge papers and looked at them, and am planning and filing for VA disability.
       
      I have read about obviously I need documentation to prove any of this, VA especially and I have almost none, that is my main concern.
       
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      Because of the presumption of soundness and I had no waivers they cannot deny that the mild pes planus and bunions and the other damage listed in the X-rays I had for my medical board could not have existed previous to my service in the Marine corps or else it would have to have been noted at m e p s or I would have had to have had a waiver.
       
      My VA Claim thought process?
       
       The rating for mild pes planus is 0%, after review, mine is pronounced bilateral pes planus a 50% rating (my feet have gotten terribly worse over the years, my feet truly are flat as a pancake now pronating inward and very painful, has changed my gate, this is not official as I've never been to a doctor, but this is my honest opinion). Since this had to have happened in service this will be a primary injury I believe as well as the bunions or hallux valgus deformity. They are noted in my 1991 medical x-rays so as a primary I can safely say they have gotten much worse and both toes are affected now not just the right. The rating for bilateral hallux valgus is 10% each foot or a total of 20%. Bringing the total to 70% rating. Of course that is if I am awarded the  maximum for the bilateral pes planus and both feet hallux valgus.
       
      Now this is where I have some more questions?
       
      I also have all the symptoms and am very positive I have peripheral neuropathy which I'm very familiar with as my mother has it but, but the rating for that looks like it can be deemed secondary cause from my pes planus. If correct shouldn't I receive x% for bilateral peripheral neuropathy as a secondary result from my primary injury?
       
      Next,is tying in the primary pes planus to my SSI disability case that my lower back secondary (sacral nerve, herniated discs, degenerative disc disease) is aggravated and hurt from my primary bilateral pes planus as well as my bilateral neuropathy affects it as well. The listing for lower back pain is x percent up to a 100%
       
      And lastly the whole affair has caused me PTSD and that rating is 0% to 100% rating. I don't want to go into how I have it or not but I have read all the symptoms and can present a very strong case that I definitely have had PTSD since the day I was told I was being discharged. And with no insurance I have never gotten it treated but I have definite evidence of it in my life.
       
      I filed the SSI disability last week and am awaiting them to call me and set up a doctors appointment. I also called the veterans administration about filing disability. I called my local VA and ask about a veteran's service officer who could help me with filing questions.
      I started to go over some basics in my case and when PTSD was brought up he inquired how I could have it without being in combat and only in the service six months and I immediately shut down and felt that it was horrible a veteran service officer would make me feel as though I don't have valid reason to have PTSD. So that is why I searched the internet and found this forum.
       
      So another question since how do I establish PTSD?
       With no insurance can't really get a counseling thing even as a veteran I tried and since I was not in 2 years I did not qualify for any health benefits. I guess should I call the veterans hotline PTSD number and tell them I am suicidal just in order to get this documented and at least someone would have a file then from the VA about whatever I tell them my story?
       
       Also should I be trying to find my own doctors who would be favorable to my situation, and to further explore the tibia stress fractures and if I can associate that injury to another rating?
       
       I don't have insurance but I might be able to find a clinic, and my thought process is a podiatrist who will substantiate my pes planus condition. Should I be actively looking for a civilian doctor who will know the whole story I just recited and work with me to try to get my VA disability? 
       
      Or should I just file my claim with just the limited information (presumption of soundness) the x-rays that I have from 1991 and prognosis and hopefully my SSI disability case once I see the doctor who will also have some more evidence, hopefully providing more evidence of my infirmaries?
          
      Also is a question that would I be getting any kind of back pay disability for all these past 30 years if the decision is in my favor?
       
      Another question is that should I contact a lawyer? Also a veteran service officer should I contact someone like the American legion or which one would someone recommend I use because I truly do not know what I'm doing and I feel if I had the right direction I'm someone who knows all the intricacies and workings of the VA if I filed this correctly the first time and knew what type of evidence to gather it would make my claim so much more positive in my favor. if I have to, I will get the money somehow,a loan from family to see the right doctor but should I be going to a doctor, a veteran Dr who will be in my corner and spend money on it before I file this claim?
       
      Thank you everyone, I'm sorry if I'm rambling, I have many questions but I've already asked too many. I am grateful for finding this forum and I really hope someone has some real answers for me that can assist me. Thank you.
       
      Happy Easter!
       
      Sincerely,
      Marine from MI living in central FL now.
    • By nckingmatt
      Recently I have finally decided to seek help for my PTSD. Since I got out of service almost 10 years ago I have seen the shrink on the civilian side twice. I was diagnosed with PTSD but stopped going. I was even prescribed meds but never took  them out of fear. Today, I finally decided to get real help this time. During my PTSD with the VA PA. She told me that I scored really high on the PTSD screening and that she would set up a C and P exam for me. That someone would call to set up the appointment. I checked my health summary on myhealthevet a day after my phone screening. She Added "Acute stress reaction ICD10 F43.0 with Provider Comments: Acute Stress Reaction" 
      Can someone tell me what this means? Ive been diagnosed by civilian doctors for PTSD and she writes "Acute Stress reaction".. 
      She said she could not diagnose PTSD but she was a counselor. I am confused by this. Is she basically saying Im lying or is this normal?
       
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      • 11 replies
    • Howdy all,

      The VA DRO denied my claim for an earlier effective date for my sleep apnea. They originally denied it in 2008 but granted it in Nov 2019 secondary to my GERD. I was rated for GERD in 2001. So I had it in 2008. I have attached the 2008 denial, 2018 approval, and the NOD SOC. All of my medical files and the medical articles and VA Citations referenced were in existence in or before Jan 2008. The only new items were the NEXUS letter from Dr Bash and a few extra buddy letters. The original denial states that my medical records show no diagnosis or treatment and only isolated complaints of symptoms. The denial does not even list my wife's or my lay statements as evidence reviewed. I have symptoms listed numerous times in my SMRs:

      a. Medical visit dated 24 Feb 76 for problem sleeping and depression.
      b. Physical exam dated 24 Jan 79 listed frequent/severe headaches" dizziness, and
      nervousness.
      c. Physical exam dated 07 Nov 83 listed frequent/severe headaches.
      d. Physical exam dated 16 Jan 85 listed frequent/severe headaches.
      e. Admitted to hospital 05 Aug 86 for chest pains and anxiety.
      f. Medical visit dated 14 Jul 87 for problem sleeping and morning confusion.
      g. Physical exam dated 25 Feb 88 listed dizziness.
      h. Physical exam dated 07 Oct 91 listed frequent/severe headaches
      i. Physical exam dated 25 Aug 93 listed headache.
      j. Hernia repair surgery dated 22 Ang 94 surgeon had to insert devices of some
      kind in each of my nostrils that went down into my throat to keep rny airway
      open and stop my disruptive snoring.
      k. Physical exam dated 29 Sep 99 listed frequent/severe headaches.

      So could you all take a look and let me know what you think.

      Redacted VA NOD SOC 04-09-2020.pdf
      VA 2008 Denial of OSA Redacted.pdf
      VA Claim Decision Ltr 08 Nov 2018 Redacted.PDF
      • 3 replies
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