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Workman's Comp And Va Benefits Help Please!


jdman

Question

Hello Everyone,

I need some help. I received a letter today from OWCP stating that I have to elect between OWCP and VA for my benefits. My diagnosis with OWCP is PTSD and my diagnosis with VA is Depression. The depression occured 15 yrs ago while in the military and that is why I receive beneftis with the VA. When I went to see my VA Psychiatrist he did state that I have PTSD diagnosis.The VA Psychiatrist has my PTSD secondary to my depression. My Civilian Psychologist diagnosed me with Depression and PTSD. How do I get around this with them? Depression does come with PTSD but my Depression was diagnosed 15 yrs prior.I feel like they don't want to pay me now because of this.

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Im not sure I have a answer for you that you want to hear. In a nutshell, you can not allege BOTH the military AND a workmens comp injury caused your depression/PTSD. One or the other but not both. It would appear you need to pick the one that is the most valuable to you, and "drop" the other one, especially since they drew a line in the sand.

On the other hand, if you were injured at work, oh say a knee or back injury, you may be able to receive compensation from workmans comp for treatment of the knee/back, while collecting benefits for depression from the VA. I say Maybe, but not for sure.

If you think the work comp benefits and Va are unrelated, you may try calling workmens comp, and ask for an explanation. If the workmans comp worker buys your explanation, then it may work for you. However, time after time, year after year, I never suggest anyone lie or fake illnesses, or exaggerate. Most likely that will come back to haunt you.

I will add, however, that does not preclude you from taking the truth and presenting it to the decision maker in the most persuasive way possible.

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

JDman,

You need a IMO " independent medical evaluation" to bifurcate the difference in your VA and OWCP claim..........For OWCP to have accepted your claim there was a trigger at work that caused the PTSD that was solely work related.

PTSD and depression go hand in hand in Most cases, yet they also can be separated by different effects such as you might be experiencing.

OWCP has a responsibility to follow the FECA, they can send you for a SECOP examine and then ask you to make a decision if the SECOP finds these injuries are one and the same, but you also have the right to your own medical opinion " IMO".

It is hard to direct you as there are questions between the two injuries and the cause and effect of both to separate the issues with PCP.

Just for if's.........you are kicked out of service for depression, as you don't like to be around other people, or another mild reason.........15 years go by and you are at work..........the boss or co worker come up to you and starts harassing you or threatening you in some way......this is a PTSD trigger in the work place.........you might be more depressed than you was before, but now you have fear, bad thoughts and such.

With this.......you have now separated your VA depression from your work related PTSD......Cause and Effect. Now you need a Doctor to explain in medical terms how they differ and why.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

"They don't want to pay" is something that is common to virtually all the disability benefit systems.

I would think that in general, workman's comp and VA or SSDI payments together cannot all be paid for the same period or cause.

VA compensation and SSDI yes, Workman's comp, no. An argument might be made that the compensation is for different claims, if the claims were unrelated.

Now, if you were previously being paid VA compensation, working, and something further occurred, making you unable to work, even if it's related to the same condition causing the VA compensation, a smart lawyer might be able to do something.

This sounds like you roll the dice, and see what happens.

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I called my claims examiner and spoke with her. My claim for WC is for PTSD which I got while deployed as a civilian to Afghanistan. My VA diability is for Depression. When I told her this she went back and looked and told me to disregard the letter I received because it does not apply. I have 2 IMO's which diagnose me as Major Depression, Severe and PTSD, Severe.

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