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Ptsd Claim Letter


Whirly Bird

Question

Hi all. I'm filing a claim for ptsd and my wife wrote the following letter to submit. Please take a look at it and let me know if I'm missing anything. I have a ptsd diagnosis, verified combat award, and notes from the va psych linking them together. Do I need anything else?

thanks,

To whom it may concern,

I am filing a claim for service connection of PTSD.

I have been diagnosed to have combat-related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) by a VA Psychologist, and I am currently undergoing treatment for the disorder at the VA Medical Center. The VA Psychologist has linked my PTSD to my combat related stressors.

I served in combat as a Marine Helicopter Machine Gunner, and was awarded the Combat Aircrew Insignia with 3 bronze stars. I was also awarded the Air Medal with 2 Strike Flight Awards for these missions.

My original DD-214 did not have the Combat Aircrew Insignia listed on it when I was discharged, so I contacted the Navy Personnel Command Retired Records Section and requested that the Combat Aircrew Insignia be added to my DD-214.

I recently received a corrected DD-215 that has the Combat Aircrew Insignia with 3 Bronze Stars added to my record. I have attached a copy of it as evidence for my claim.

I have also attached a copy of M21-1MR, Part IV, Subpart ii, 1.D.13.e, which states that my award of the Combat Aircrew Insignia qualifies as proof of my combat experience.

I have also attached a copy of M21-1MR, Part IV, Subpart ii, 1.D.13.f, which states that If a Veteran received one of the combat decorations cited in “e”, but does not expressly state the nature of the stressor, the VA should assume that the stressor is combat-related.

I have been having nightmares & panic attacks 3 to 4 times a week for years since returning from the war. I can’t stand to be in crowds of people. Before the war, I was very outgoing and had many friends, but I now have very few, if any “real” friends (besides my buddies that were over there with me), and I stay at home most of the time when I’m not at work and avoid all social events. I have trouble getting along with others at home and at work. I am always on alert, always... I constantly have this weird feeling that something bad is going to happen, even though I know that it isn’t rational to think this way. This disorder has severely affected my social and work life.

Thank you,

xxxx

Edited by Whirly Bird (see edit history)
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Whirly,

Looks real good but I think you might be able to save

yourself and the VA some time and a C&P exam by

asking your VAMC - MH providers to fill out a DBQ Form

that they can obtain from the VA itself.

It would need to be VA Form 21-0960P4 - Initial Diagnosis Of PTSD.

Below I will leave you a link for more info, but this should certainly

help speed things up if your MH doc's will fill it out so you can go ahead and

submit it WITH your claim.

JMHO

Q: Will VA use DBQs for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

A: Yes.:

However there are two separate DBQs for PTSD depending on whether the Veteran has already been told by VA that he or she is “service connected” for PTSD. If the Veteran has already been told by VA that he or she is “service connected” for PTSD, then a private mental health provider may complete a Review PTSD DBQ (VA Form 21-0960P3).

However, if a Veteran has not already been told by VA that he or she is “service connected,” then a DBQ for the initial diagnosis of PTSD (VA Form 21-0960P4) must be completed by a VA mental health provider. The Initial PTSD DBQ cannot be completed by a private mental health provider.

http://benefits.va.gov/TRANSFORMATION/dbqs/FAQS.asp

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Thanks for the link Carlie!

I'll see if I can get my VA MH Doc to fill out the initial diagnosis of PTSD form before I submit the claim. It would sure be nice to get rated without having to go thru a C&P exam. I HATE C&P EXAMS! Talk about panic attacks.....they definitely bring em on...

thanks again.

Edited by Whirly Bird (see edit history)
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Well Gang. Been gone a while, thought I'd update my thread.

I tried to get my VA Psychologist and my VA Psychiatrist to fill out the DBQ form for me and neither one of them would do it.

Both said that it wasn't their job, and that I would have to wait for a C&P exam.

So much for that I guess.......

Now I'll wait a freakin year or more for an exam that my either of my VA Docs could have done for me in 30 minutes time.

What a CROCK!

Sorry, but this is just getting old and I'm tired...

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I do not know if this would work, and do not know if it would be in your budget, but I would start going to a private shrink. They are more likely to do the DBQ for you. Also, I do not know if the Vet Center would be willing to do this. BTW, if you have to go the C&P route, please read the rules and the way to act at these exams. The two PTSD exams that I had, they would ask me how I was feeling. Please, do not tell them you are feeling GREAT!! You might be, but it is how you feel on a daily basis. I told one that I feel like an elephant is sitting on my face, and passing gas.

Papa

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“I tried to get my VA Psychologist and my VA Psychiatrist to fill out the DBQ form for me and neither one of them would do it.

Both said that it wasn't their job, and that I would have to wait for a C&P exam.”

Unfortunately, they are correct.

Since they have formally diagnosed you with PTSD, it is the C & P exam results that will warrant the rating percentage.

I think you will definitely do OK here and the C & P exam wont be too difficult for you.... we can give you sort of a pep talk the day before the exam....The blank PTSD C & P exams are here somewhere too, so that you know what to expect. You went to Hell and back already, veteran, ....the C & P will be nothing. Papa however is correct, do not minimize your symptoms or problems.

Besides there are no DBQs for initial PTSD exams:

http://www.benefits.va.gov/compensation/dbq_FAQs.asp

Whirlybird, are you still employed? If not ,have you applied for TDIU?

Good for you! You filed for and obtained a DD 215!

.

I think many many vets should file a DD 149 to see if their awards and decorations were properly listed on their DD 214s.

Nice touch !!!! using the excerpt from M21-1MR. Cool!

I have done that for all of my claims except the initial ones I filed years ago..when I .filed .post internet as we know itnow.

Make sure at the C & P you tell the doctor that you can and do handle your own finances. You might want to start writing and signing the checks if your wife does that now.

As Barry white sang years ago ......

.you have 'Got it together'.!

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Berta and Papa, thank you for the responses and advice. I haven't had a "good" day in a very long time, so it shouldn't be a problem when I go in for the C&P.

The form that I tried to get the docs to fill out was the VA Initial PTSD Diagnosis form VA Form 21-0960P4. This is the same form that the C&P docs use.

Oh well, I'll just have to wait....I did my best to get all of my ducks in a row before filing the claim so hopefully it will go without a hitch.

I'm currently still working, but have been allowed to work from home (computer based work), which has helped allot not having to deal with people directly. It's still been a struggle to try and do my work, even at home, so I dont know how long that will last either.

I just feel like the PTSD has completely taken over me, basically consumed me and there is no "Me" left anymore. I recently finished up 12 weeks of Cognitive Processing Therapy at the VA which I feel was a complete waste of time. Definitely didn't help, and actually made the panic attacks and avoidance issues worse.....still lookin for that magic pill I guess.

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Sorry Whirly Bird... you did use the right form, I didnt realize that at first.

."I did my best to get all of my ducks in a row before filing the claim so hopefully it will go without a hitch."

Those ducks sound well armed with evidence.

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Well Gang. Been gone a while, thought I'd update my thread.

I tried to get my VA Psychologist and my VA Psychiatrist to fill out the DBQ form for me and neither one of them would do it.

Both said that it wasn't their job, and that I would have to wait for a C&P exam.

So much for that I guess.......

Now I'll wait a freakin year or more for an exam that my either of my VA Docs could have done for me in 30 minutes time.

What a CROCK!

Sorry, but this is just getting old and I'm tired...

YES - THAT IS A CROCK OF CRAP !

Do they NOT consider themselves to be VHA clinicians ?

Here's a vba link that specifically states:

Q: Why were DBQs developed?

A: DBQs were developed to streamline the collection of necessary medical evidence for the purpose of processing Veterans' claims. DBQs provide Veterans with an improved means to submit medical evidence to support their claims.

Q: Who is authorized to complete a DBQ?

A: Providers with active medical licenses must sign and attest to a medical condition on completed DBQs. The DBQ can be completed either by:

  • Veterans' private treatment providers, or
  • Veterans Health Administration (VHA) clinicians.

http://www.benefits.va.gov/COMPENSATION/dbq_FAQS.asp

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Hi All.

Just wanted to give an update. I received notice that I will be having my PTSD C&P exam on January 15th. It will be a video conference, not in person, which is gonna be really weird I think, I don't know, maybe it will be better than being with the doc in person.... I'm just glad to hear that it is scheduled, one step closer to the end of this... It got so bad at work that they have allowed me to work from home full time (computer job), just to get me out of the office and away from everybody there. I wish I could quit working so bad, but I can't afford to quit and I know that it is killin me inside, but between a rock an hardpalce.

any words of advice?

Edited by Whirly Bird (see edit history)
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  • HadIt.com Elder

Be prepared to possibly describe your stressor and flashbacks that involve the stressor. If the shrink asks you about your stressor describe it in detail. Your reaction will probably impact the shrink's indication of severity. If you feel like crying let it all go. Don't hold anything back. Don't hold back on describing your symptoms either.

John

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Wir,

Tell the VA which VA medical centers have been helping you, what medications you are on, side effects of meds, how many years you have been suffering, and tell them that you have severe Panic Attacks, Nightmares, and Anxiety more than 20 days a month. It makes everything sound debilitating in their terms of severity. Tell the VA, you have no friends or public interaction. You do not leave your home other than for work and medical appointments, and you avoid public interaction. You are easily startled by sudden sounds and have flashbacks to combat, with increased anxiety. You do not work well with others and difficult to follow routine instructions in work environment. You have a constant feeling that you are being watched and people are out to cause harm to you. Don't say anything about being Rational. We are all rational people, but in VA terms you are saying that you Control your PTSD and will be cured one day. Then finish with this Diagnosed Mental condition affects all aspects of my personal and professional life with no improvement in the near future. God Bless bud and I hope this works for you. I have helped a lot of buds with these letters. One wrong word in a Letter and the VA will use it against you. Keep us up to date

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John and Navy, I appreciate the advice. Its taken 14 months just to get to the C&P stage, I hope to God it wont take another year or more to get a final decision on all of this.

Forgot to mention earler that I also filed a claim for "Unspecified Sleep Disorder" as secondary to PTSD by way of aggravation, as well as under the Gulf War 3.317 regs. I was tested for sleep apnea, and don't have it, but was diagnosed with a sleep disorder of unkown etology, and prescribed a CPAP. I have a C&P for it the same day as the PTSD C&P.

Edited by Whirly Bird (see edit history)
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Hey everybody! Well, I made it through the c&p exam. Started havin a panic attack right at the first, but the doc got me calmed down. Nice guy, one of the best docs I've ever delt with for sure. He asked why I was so anxious, and I told him because I knew that I was gonna have to re-hash all of my stressors again....That's when he said, NO, we don't have to go thru that part because you have verified combat awards in your record, a diagnosis from your VA shrink, and evidence that links the two together. He said you WILL be service connected based on those facts alone, so all we have to do is figure out how bad the PTSD affects your work and social life......

Well, that was a huge relief and I started calming down after that. We went thru everything (1.5 hrs) from my childhood, thru the military, and to today. It went very well and I have high hopes (first time in quite a while).

As soon as his C&P notes hit ebenefits, I'll post them here and maybe some of you guys can take a look at them and give me a ballpark idea as what to expect....?

Thanks!

Edited by Whirly Bird (see edit history)
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WB - Everyone here has given you solid advice, plus it is obvious that you have done much work preparing your claim. Good for you brother. I was wondering what RO you are going through if you don't mind posting it? Hope you know by now that here at Hadit you are among many friends with much in common. Like you, I flew as a crew member in OIF/OEF and I totally can relate to what you experienced behind the gun. Small world...isn't it?

Thank you for your service Devil Dog!

SEMPER FI,

LC

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