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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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Confused And Could Use Some Tips And Advice



I have recently started the claims process with the VA (I filed an informal claim on 04-Sept-2013

I see a private therapist and have a current diagnosis of PTSD, Bipolar II, poly substance abuse.

My therapist agrees with me that my disorders are SC

I've taken the initiative already to get copies of my DD214 as well as my private medical records. Currently I'm trying to track down my records from when I was placed on a 72 hr hold in a psych ward in 2000.

My prescribing Psychologist, who puts in time at the practice I go to, is also a VA doc.

I guess my question is this. If my therapist tells me that they have diagnosed me with the above disorders does that mean that my Psychologist (the VA doc) had to have signed off on the diagnosis and if so does this mean that I should have an easier time with the VA?

I'm also concerned that I may have to track down treatment records from the Army (I assume those would be in my DD214?) Where would I look for any SMR's that I may need? I also wonder if maybe I should try and track down any relevant records from my old Unit to show things such as an Article 15 and any evaluations done that would show the onset of my conditions.

Also if anybody could advise me of what else I should be doing at this early stage to present an effective claim please feel free to advise me.

Thank you in advance for any and all help


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Have your doctor write a service connection letter. Google nexus letter and see the format it should be written in. Paper work from my article 15 which was in my medical records and request for psychiatric treatment helped me prove my mental issues that started in the army. I would also write a letter about your stressor and copy it like a brilliant member on here advised me to do because they will ask you for it over and over again. Do not miss any medical appointments and be truthful about all your mental issues no matter how gruesome they may appear. Also if you on meds send your prescriptions to va every paperwork that you receive from outside psych send it to the va for your file. So that means request all of your psych papers from your psychiatrist copy them and send them in. If you take care of this stuff now it will speed up you claim. Providing them with every piece of evidence to support your claim. It is guaranteed six months from now they will ask for it. I get treatment from outside doctor and va doctor it's a lot of doctor visits but it will help you mentally get out of isolation mode. GOOOD luck soldier and stay strong this place has helped me when I needed to vent in my erratic times of need. I'm sure others will offer advice but you are in the right place if you do not have anybody to talk to. It was time a million thoughts bad thoughts would race inside my head and only way I could go to sleep is to write in here my thoughts like it was a journal. Soon after I got my thoughts out of my head and told the world I went straight to sleep. I hope my experience help you. :-)

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Don't know if you're claiming PTSD. If so, only a VA Psychiatrist can diagnose PTSD Service Connected (C&P Exam) . You mention that your "private" therapist is also VA affiliated. You must seek treatment at a VA Facility for better and faster claim results. Otherwise, you may find yourself seeking/paying for an IMO later. The more experienced members (Carlie, Hardyman, etc) may guide you. I am a veteran speaking from current experience and current changes as far as PTSD requirements.

Edited by Motherof3

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Motherof 3 is right on the button here.

The 2010 new PTSD criteria is in our PTSD forum here and your claim falls under that criteria.

82 Airborne said it all too:

"I would also write a letter about your stressor and copy it like a brilliant member on here advised me to do because they will ask you for it over and over again"

And not only will VA possibly ask for it many times.....by writing it down will help you get the dates and circumstances clear and also ,if it involves getting 'buddy statements" (Google buddy statements hadit.com) you can start trying to find and contact buddies if you need them..

Your unit most likely has at least one web site.

Goggle NARA and there is a way on the NARA homepage to get copies of your SMRs as well as your military personnel file.

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I think PR and I have ESP! Again we were posting almost at the same time.

This is the link to help anyone as to the CMI :


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thanks for the replies everybody they are certainly helpful and appreciated.

So what I'm taking away at this point is that I absolutely have to be treated at a VA facility irregardless of the fact that my Psy Doc works for the VA. The exam has to be done AT the VA.

I've got a records request in with NARA did that 2 days ago. My only concern is that maybe my medical records won't be in my DD214?

As for buddy letters that may be a problem I wasn't particularly close to anybody at the time and it's been 13-14 yrs since the trauma which is why I was hoping to maybe track down some unit records for an official record of my culminating episode which was pretty epic and happened in front of everybody as we where getting ready to roll out of the motorpool. I ended up going awol twice. The first time was because the unit wouldn't get me the help I needed when I needed it. The second time was because my Top told me to pack my gear for NTC even though he knew I was going to start outprocessing. I felt the the move was punative and since by that point I no longer cared I went awol again. After the 1st time going awol upon my return I started recieving regular appointments for therapy and psyche meds lithium and prozac to be precise. These are the records I'm most concerned with as I feel they would best describe the situation that was going on at the time. Also I need to find my company grade article 15 I recieved at the time as this should show a soldier in dire need of help and not recieving any.

Thanks again for the help.


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