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Would Like Advice Ptsd Appeal


vetmp

Question

Hi, I went through the claim system years ago and originally was rated 10% for my back 10% PTSD. I appealed and was award 30% on PTSD. That decision was in Feb 2011.

Since then I have gone through a lot of different problems in my life, the worst being arrested for DUI in April 2011 and then drunk in public a couple months later. I rarely drink now, for the record. I've had issues with interpersonal relationships and being an xxxxxxx to a few friends who don't speak to me now. I was awarded Vocational Rehab but I have dropped out 3 of 4 semesters due to injury or stress from my ex over child support, contact with my son and her wanting to go after what little compensation I have right now. I also was living in a caustic environment because housing is so expensive here. The only other thing that keeps me afloat is my photography. I get occasional work for that. It is the only thing that gets me out of the house except for the occasional surf session.

I have not been able to find employment since being laid off in 08/2008. My Voc Rehab rep has restricted me on what type of jobs I can have. I used to be in Sales, after I got out of the Army but they feel it is a stress inducing job (I don’t disagree), I have tried to obtain employment in several different fields Office Assistant, Bank Teller, etc. I think my age and lack of experience, combined with high unemployment here in CA is hindering my consideration for employment.

I am wondering if I should appeal again and what the process for me would be like since I am beyond the 1 year to actually appeal the rating. I don't like my local VSO and since I don’t have my license or car, cannot go see the one that is an hour away. Is this super hard to do on my own or should I stomach being nice to this guy?

Thank you.

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Since you have gone beyond the one year appeal period, you need one of two things to be able to appeal.

1. You would need to ask to reopen under 38 cfr 3.156 C, new and material service records. This means the VA did not have a key portion of your military service records when they made the decision.

2. You need to meet the clear unmistakble error standard of review. This means that your decision has an undebateable, outcome determinative error.

If you have neither of these above, then you can simply apply for an increase due to the worsening of your condition. I will note that you may be eligible for TDIU (at the 100% rate) if you are unable to maintain Substantial Gainful Employment. If you earn less than 12,000 in the past 12 months, then you may want to ask your doc if you are unemployable, and file for TDIU.

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I assume you have accumulated 'new and material' evidence (required for a re- opened claim)in the way of treatment reports and meds etc since the last decision.

"My Voc Rehab rep has restricted me on what type of jobs I can have"

Did Voc Rehab state anywhere that your PTSD was affecting your Voc Rehab experience?

Voc Rehab records are often kept separate from the regular C file and med recs.

Broncovet is right as to the TDIU issue to consider ....we have a TDIU forum here with that info.

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I forgot to add......

If you re open the claim , and if it is successful, your EED for Retro will be the date you re opened the claim.

Broncovet is correct as to what you would need to reply on, to try to recover a prior EED.....which does not seem to be the case here.

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I have not been able to find employment since being laid off in 08/2008. My Voc Rehab rep has restricted me on what type of jobs I can have. I used to be in Sales, after I got out of the Army but they feel it is a stress inducing job (I don’t disagree), I have tried to obtain employment in several different fields Office Assistant, Bank Teller, etc. I think my age and lack of experience, combined with high unemployment here in CA is hindering my consideration for employment.

I don't like my local VSO and since I don’t have my license or car, cannot go see the one that is an hour away. Is this super hard to do on my own or should I stomach being nice to this guy?

Thank you.

I don't know if you will want these links or not, but here they are in case you do.

http://www.uschamber.com/hiringourheroes/events

http://www.uschamber.com/hiringourheroes

Also - just a suggestion, anyone that is even attempting to help me in the least

little bit - I swallow what I need to inorder to reach MY GOAL.

They might be a real sheet head BUT they also might have one teeny tiny bit of

information - that helps me get to MY GOAL.

Just for the record - the ultimate responsibility and outcome of claim issues

rests on the claimant.

NO ONE will ever care as much or more about your claim issues

than you.

Hope this helps a vet.

JMHO

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So well put Carlie-----

I was reading a denial the other day at the BVA and the BVA stated the claimant had failed to use "due diligence" over her DIC claim.

That is a profound point BVA made.

You are right. Neither the VA, nor any vet rep or VSO or often any good but overworked lawyer, will provide the due diligence that every claimant must give to their claim.

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