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Ptsd Reexamination



Hello. I was hoping to gain some understanding on how the va works when it comes to reexaminations. I was rated at 70 percent for ptsd 6 years ago and I have just received a letter for my very first reexamination. The letter that I received and the information on ebenefits is what I have below. I never requested an increase or is it because I have held the same rating for 5 years that they can only increase and not decrease or just leave it as is? I've been doing some reading and from what I've read, they can only decrease if they can prove that the condition has drastically improved. I'm not certain about anything but any help understanding this would be greatly appreciated.

Claim Received: 12/05/2013
Claim Type: Compensation
Contentions: posttraumatic stress disorder (Increase)

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I can try and shed some light. This is more than likely a re-examination. I've had a few, some with asking for increase and others just with time. They generally want to know how your conidtion has been since the last exam, not going to ask the prior stuff again. they want to know your current symptoms, issues, social and occupational impairment. Remember they are generally compensating us for occupational impairment more than quality of life in my opinion. They want to know if you been in treatment, or why aren't you? any problems with law or courts? any violence issues? suicide attempts or sudicial idealation (thoughts, plans)? homicidal thoughts? any work related issues? lost jobs? moved to different departments? unable to work? not on meds? or on meds and they causing issues? I hope this isnt coming out rambling. Hopefully it is making sense. You will not have to go into prior to your last exams expereiences. They will ask if you are still experiencing things from whatever traumatic event or events that you have given them. they will come up with their own diagnosis and depending on what they decide, if you have no treatment notes or other diagnosises, your rating will be based upon their report.

In theory, you've had 70% so that is usually the highest you can go and still work. Most at 70% have issues and then they usually apply for TDIU, which pays you 100%. If you go that route, they will want to know why you cant work and what not. Essentially the VA is looking for this examiner to make an independent judgement to confirm your case. They will study everything about you on this exam. Your speech pattern and speed, tone...eye contact, emotions or lack of emotions. It more than likely will be an hour or so. if you have nightmares, they will ask frequency. if you have panic attacks, they want to know about that. Social isolation? lack of interest in things you used to enjoy? any issues with care or hygene? any trouble with financial issues? any alcohol or drug issues? like are you self medicating or are you an addict or alcoholic....I'm trying to lay out as many scenarios as I can rememeber. They are judging you, that is what the appt is about, just know this going in. I would look at the 70% criteria and your previous rating report to refresh memory. Maybe new things have popped up or old things got worse? if things improved significantly they will look to reduce. just becasue you had 5 yrs doesnt lock in the rate. actually it has to be 20 yrs at the same rate for it to normally lock in sort of unless outright fraud, I believe.

are you angry easy? road rage? snap at wife or family memebers over seemingly no reason or petty reasons? try and mention any of these if they apply to your situation. I would write it down in bullet format for yourself to remember. They will ask for details and what not about many different situations. They will also assign a GAF score that usually will support a certain percentage, but that isnt always the entire case. The totality of the record as well, since last exam. I would also mention how this has impacted your life, hammer it home.....

okay I will stop there. I rambled, sorry about that. Hopefully I provided something useful or at least got the ball rolling for other comments that may help.

I wish you luck in your quest for inner peace. I would recommend group and individual therapy and medication if possible...worst case you at least try it?

semper fi

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