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Does Your Discharge Have Anything To Do With Your Rating?


jdman

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Does your discharge have anything to do with your rating? I apologize if it is a stupid question. I was discharged as a general discharge in 1997 2 months after a suicide attempt and hospital stay. I have recently been rated 30% for major depression, recurrent. Can I put this in my appeal or no?

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Carlie is correct.

I would have to assume the VA has already thoroughly considered the SMRs in your current 30% award.

Any appeal you file should be based on whether your current treatment records, meds, etc etc, would warrant a higher rating when compared to the VA Schedule of Ratings here at hadit.

And in this BVA decision:

http://www.va.gov/vetapp/wraper_bva.asp?file=/vetapp11/Files1/1107269.txt

The VA gave a rationale in their award decision as to why they awarded no higher then the 30%.

If there have been other circumstances ,such as treatment records ,hospital admissions ,or med changes, (such as a higher dosage) regarding the depression, that occurred after the C & P ,etc, that they did not consider in the rating, this evidence could be used on appeal.

The Evidence list in the decision shows what they used.

In my personal experience,my husband at 30% under the General Mental disability schedule ,under the same diagnostic rating info I assume they rated you under, was awarded SSDI solely for his MH disability of SC (PTSD), had been hospitalized for PTSD, and had accumulated significant other VA medical records regarding his PTSD since he had re opened his claim for a higher rating than the 30%.

VA awarded 100% P & T based on that additional evidence.

With the amount of time claims are taking these days, it is certainly possible that during a claims process any type of disability has gotten worse and that perhaps VA was unaware of additional evidence in making the award,or even the C & P results that garnered the award ,could have become outdated by further evidence VA did not have or did not consider.

A point I made in this claim that I had to re open after he died.

The BVA decision I posted link to makes this point as well:

“The psychiatric symptoms listed in the above rating criteria are

not exclusive, but are examples of typical symptoms for the

listed percentage ratings. Mauerhan v. Principi, 16 Vet. App.

436 (2002). “

In addition to his SSDI award (widows in those days had to start from day one on reopening these claims pending at death) I used testimony from an EEOC case my husband had filed against VA,in his lifetime, as well as his request for accommodations granted by Corning College to his PTSD, yet this same type of request was ignored by the VA, as his employer -to support his higher rating claim.I also received his hypnosis records and psychiatric test results directly from his VA shrink as ,for some reason, they were not part of his VA medical records file.Unfortunately , the VA had this claim at the rating board the day he died, so I had to re open to continue it with the above evidence.

There are ways to obtain documentation of increased MH symptoms, in addition to medical records.

And I imagine other MH disabled SC vets might not have all of their treatment records in their actual VA med rec files.My husband's VA psychiatrist was stunned to find out his extensive documented therapy over my husband's last year of life were not in the VA medical records files at all. It pays to check that VA has used all MH records available in any MH award.

I had more evidence to use for the claim but didn't need it.It was eye witness information that , as Mauerhan states, were psychiatric symptoms that VA never knew about.

Also my husband was not suicidal at all and had never been medicated for PTSD since his 1984 diagnosis , until a few months before he died.

It just goes to show that Mental Health disabilities might not fit into the rating schedule in some ways, but that other documented factors can be considered by VA as important as the current medical record.

Also SSDI records when VA is aware of them must be followed up on sometimes as to the VA's request.The VA told us in my husband's lifetime that the SSA had refused to release his PTSD SSDI award documentation. They then responded to my two state Senators and my Congressman with the same BS after he died and I had written to these 2 congressional representatives.

I called the SSA in Baltimore and stayed on the line until someone helped me- it took about an hour to find that VA had never even requested these records.I had a copy of my husband';s signed SSA authorization form sent to VA in his lifetime.

He should have seen his VA 100% award before he died. The SSA records were critical to his claim and VA knew it.

It might have been an isolated situation but it pays to keep on them and check out everything the VA says they will obtain.

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