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bluevet

Help! Bipolar Claim Denied Solely On Genetics

Question

My C&P doctor gave me a gaf of 53, but he denied service connection and his only reasoning was that bipolar disorder is a genetic condition. This makes no sense since many vets are receiving benefits for this illness. I was chaptered out of the Army with a personality disorder, but I have since been diagnosed with bipolar by 3 different doctors, including the C&P doctor who acknowledges in the report that the Army doctor had diagnosed "personality disorder", He then concurred with the bipolar diagnosis and stated that no other mental illness exists. How can they deny me based solely on this doctor's opinion that bipolar disorder is genetic? I need to find a vet friendly psychiatrist or psychologist to review my records and right a letter. Does anyone know of someone they can recommend? Please private message me if you can recommend someone. Thanks!

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My C&P doctor gave me a gaf of 53, but he denied service connection and his only reasoning was that bipolar disorder is a genetic condition. This makes no sense since many vets are receiving benefits for this illness. I was chaptered out of the Army with a personality disorder, but I have since been diagnosed with bipolar by 3 different doctors, including the C&P doctor who acknowledges in the report that the Army doctor had diagnosed "personality disorder", He then concurred with the bipolar diagnosis and stated that no other mental illness exists. How can they deny me based solely on this doctor's opinion that bipolar disorder is genetic? I need to find a vet friendly psychiatrist or psychologist to review my records and right a letter. Does anyone know of someone they can recommend? Please private message me if you can recommend someone. Thanks!

Any chance you experienced or were treated for a TBI on active duty ?

If not the PD most likely will stand.

How long were you active duty ?

jmho

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Thanks for your response Carlie, but I have done enough research to know that I have a valid claim and will likely win on appeal. A tbi is not required for service connection for bipolar disorder. All that is required is a nexus between my in service hospitalization and my current diagnosis. As I said, the C&P doctor effectively ruled out "pd", and my denial letter states that my denial is based on the C&P doctors reasoning that bipolar disorder is a genetic disease. I have read dozens of appeal citations where service connection was granted in cases very similar to mine. All I need is a good phsyc professional to review my records and write a nexus letter. The facts in my records clearly show a high likelihood that the Army doctor's diagnosis was incorrect and that there is a high likelihood that my in service hospitalization was actually a manifestation of my bipolar disorder.

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Thanks for your response Carlie, but I have done enough research to know that I have a valid claim and will likely win on appeal.

A tbi is not required for service connection for bipolar disorder.

All that is required is a nexus between my in service hospitalization and my current diagnosis.

As I said, the C&P doctor effectively ruled out "pd", and my denial letter states that my denial is based on the C&P doctors reasoning

that bipolar disorder is a genetic disease.

I have read dozens of appeal citations where service connection was granted in cases very similar to mine.

All I need is a good phsyc professional to review my records and write a nexus letter.

The facts in my records clearly show a high likelihood that the Army doctor's diagnosis was incorrect

and that there is a high likelihood that my in service hospitalization was actually a manifestation of my bipolar disorder.

blue,

I am well aware that a TBI is not required for SC of bipolar disorder.

I asked if you experienced or were treated for a TBI on active duty because -

if you were, then a personality disorder can be SC'd due to TBI.

This, by the way - is the only way a PD can garner SC.

I'm not sating whether you have or do not have,a PD - but after all,

you did post that you were chaptered out of the Army with a personality disorder.

IMO, this will continue to be a hurdle, maybe even more so if years have elapsed

any severance pay was made, and how soon after being inducted, you were chaptered out.

For the record a PD disorder can be co-morbid with bipolar disorder, it's not always that way,

but it can be that way.

Yes, you are correct, many veterans do receive SC compensation for bipolar disorder.

Some are even members here and they also had to get past the PD diagnosis for SC.

There are specific rules that have to be followed for a change in diagnosis, 38 CFR 4.125,

that I will post below.

It is most likely the va decision maker that denied SC, not the examiner.

You posted that since discharge you have been diagnosed with bipolar by 3 different doctors,

including the C&P doctor.

Did they state they reviewed your SMR/STR's and relate the diagnosis of bipolar to active duty and

support the opinion with full medical rationale ?

Overcoming the denial, if it was due solely to a C&P reasoning that bipolar is a genetic disease,

should not be very difficult.

Just food for thought if you want the claim to succeed, take it or leave it - that's up to you.

jmho

4.125 Diagnosis of mental disorders.

(a) If the diagnosis of a mental disorder does not conform to DSM-IV or is not supported by the findings on the examination report, the rating agency shall return the report to the examiner to substantiate the diagnosis.

(b) If the diagnosis of a mental disorder is changed, the rating agency shall determine whether the new diagnosis represents progression of the prior diagnosis, correction of an error in the prior diagnosis, or development of a new and separate condition. If it is not clear from the available records what the change of diagnosis represents, the rating agency shall return the report to the examiner for a determination.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 1155)

[61 FR 52700, Oct. 8, 1996]

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Aggravation might be another angle to pursue. Even If it was genetic maybe it was aggravated. Just another angle and jmho. I agree with Carlie. PD diagnosis. will be a hurdle

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I was DX'ed with bipolar disorder by the VA at a C&P exam and my SC rating was increased from 10% to 30%. The aggravation angle is a good one. The VA doctor was just looking for an excuse to help deny your claim. I was kicked out of the army after a tour in Vietnam and 28 months of service for AR635-212. Within a year of discharge the VA SC'ed me for another genetic disease, schizophrenia, anxiety and depression. They lumped all this under "nervous condition". The VA has changed my DX at least 5 times in the last 40 years. Get yourself an IME doctor and appeal this dumb rating.

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