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lp56

Ptsd/mst Denial

Question

After two long years, I just received a denial and the SOC from the VARO for service connected ptsd due to MST and I am absolutely sick about it. I really need help on where to turn now because I want to continue to fight this, but it seems like no matter what evidence I submit, service connection for PTSD due to MST is almost impossible to achieve. The SOC I received stated that "You have submitted copies of emails, letters, journals entries and documents from the Army indicating evidence of military sexual trauma. Based on all the evidence received, we have conceded that you did suffer from military sexual trauma during your military service. Treatment reports from VAMC/Outpatient Clinic show you have received treatment for PTSD symptoms and for major depressive disorder. VA examination dated on February 14, 2012, states you have a diagnosis of PTSD and dysthymia disorder. The examiner provides the opinion that she cannot say with confidence that your military sexual trauma experiences meet criteria A for PTSD. The examiner also states she cannot resolve that the issue of PTSD is a result of your military experience without resort to mere speculation. Service connection for PTSD remains denied. Although we conceded that you were exposed to traumatic events during your military service, to include military sexual trauma, we have not received any medical evidence that your PTSD is the result of your military sexual trauma. We have requested 2 different VA examinations, with 2 different examiners and both have been unable to provide a medical opinion that your PTSD is the result of your military sexual trauma. The treatment reports from the Outpatient clinic show you have received treatment for PTSD symptoms associated with your history of military sexual trauma. However, these reports do not provide a medical opinion and rationale that your PTDS is due to military sexual trauma, and the result of other trauma."

My MH doctor specifically told me her medical notes were more vague due to my privacy, so If I asked her to write a medical opinion and rationale that my PTSD is due to MST, would this help? Should I go to a civilian MH doctor to gain another opinion?

I was sent a Form 9 and must state why I think the VA decided my case incorrectly. Is it time for a lawyer? I didn't received much help from the VFW due to the VSOs lack of experience and uncomfortableness with MST. I am trying to find records from an outpatient base clinic in Hawaii which will show pregnancy test, STD test and other sickness from the timeframe of MST. It seems the VA wants to link PTSD to me witnessing molestation of daughter almost 15 years after MST instead of all that happened during active duty. Can anyone PLEASE advise me? I feel so hurt, betrayed and now even angry, especially that the VA conceded that I was exposed to MST during my military service. My original post on Hadit was under the PTSD Disorder Claim and was called PTSD/MST Denial as well, but this seems to be a more suitable area to post now.

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After almost 6 years of appealing my claim for PTSD due to MST, I finally received a favorable BVA decision today.  Nothing in the paperwork I received tells me what happens next, except that my file will be returned to my VARO and that I'll be getting a survey call about my experience with the BVA. I can't bear the thought of yet another C&P exam, but is that the next step to getting a rating? My last exam was in 2012. Does the VARO get ticked off when their ruling is overturned by the BVA? WIll they try and rate me low starting off so I have to keep appealing over and over? This battle feels far from over. I really want to feel good (or great) about this BVA win, but since I have no idea of what happens next, I feel more anxious and stressed instead of feeling happy and relieved. As usual, thank you in advance for any information, advice or encouraging words about what happens next.

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Thank you Dot09. I will post my win in the success topic and I will certainly research the P&T option. To me, the CaP exams were always the worst triggers because neither of my examiners were the least bit sensitive to how they were damaging me even further.

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Here is the deal. You must have these 3 things for Service connection:

1. Current diagnosis. No disease now, no benefits.

2. An in service event.

3. A "nexus" or link between the two.

It would appear you are missing a medical nexus, or that you have an "unfavorable" nexus. It sounds like you have a current diagnosis of PTSD, and you have an "in service" event.

Now, you want to read over your C and P exams, to see if one or both of these stated something very close to "The Veterans PTSD is at least as likely as not related to ........event which happened in military service". (This is the nexus statement you are lacking).

If the docs did say something like this, then you need to file a NOD and dispute the denial, citing the docs nexus.

If the docs did not say something like this, you need to find another doc who will, or you wont get service connection. You can try your VAMC..swithch docs, if you have to, and see if another doc their will be more "Veteran friendly" and give you your nexus that you so desperately need. A doc (or other qualified medical professional) has to give the nexus.

To obtain SC, you need to get the nexus. If I recall, the VA does not accept IMO's from private docs for PTSD nexus. It has to be a VA doc. But, please check that out. You just have to persist until you get your nexus statement.

Remember, if the doc already gave the nexus, which you can find out by reading your medical records, then you simply need to appeal and cite the doc and the date he opined your PTSD/MST was at least as likely as not caused by MST in service.

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Today I went and requested my MH records for the past year and the two C&P exams I had. I already have 2 of the past 3 years of medical records, but I really need to go through them line by line now. At one time my doctor asked me if I was applying for disability, but at the time I just told her I was trying to get better. The doctor stated that she would write her notes differently if I were applying for SC disability. She also stated that she writes her notes a little more vague to protect the patient's privacy in case someone reads them. The VA doctor I was seeing for 3 years recently transferred from the local VA clinic to the VA hospital that is an hour away. I know I can call or write her and ask for the nexus because she talked about it all the time. The focus of my therapy was always on the MST I suffered while I was on active duty.

In Dec 2011, I did a NOD and was granted a DRO hearing which I thought went very well. That is how I got a second C&P exam. I had another traumatic event in my life 15 years after the service and although I did talk about it because it involved my ex, that was never the focus of my therapy. I am sure my former VA doctor will write the nexus statement, but does it have to be part of my medical records or can she just send it to me? Once I get the nexus statement, do I still need to fill out the Form 9 and follow the BVA route or can I request the RO look at the new evidence again and reconsider their denial? I know I have to address the SOC and I can waive the RO consideration of additional evidence, but isn't the BVA appeal process another 2 or 3 years of waiting? Maybe there isn't a choice anymore on how I proceed next. I think I am going to seek an experienced VA appeal lawyer, especially with MST if that's possible. I tried the VSO route, but he was worthless and almost detrimental to me during my DRO hearing. I really appreciate the input and I am feeling a little better about what I am missing because I am quite confident that I can obtain the nexus statement based on my therapy history and my doctor's treatment of PTSD due to MST.

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If you are getting an IMO your doctor needs to review your SMR's and current medical records.

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