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Questions. Need Assistance Please. Vet's Antidepressant Induced Suicide


DelanaM

Question

Hi. I'm researching for answers and help so decided to register so I could ask. Not sure where to put it as I have several questions covering several topics here.

My ex was Army, we divorced in 2012. We have a minor child. Once we divorced, he didn't share the details of his military business other than generally. He served for 6 years (2004 to 2010) Iraq, and was being treated in 2008 for a back injury. In 2010 after he was out he went to a VA where we lived, and then relocated in mid 2011 where he'd been treated for PTSD and depression. We had a few conversations about the meds he said they gave him (Prozac being one I recall) that were not helping, didn't like how they affected him and he'd acknowledged requesting a lower dosage next time he went to see his "shrink" (whatever he was actually seeing I don't know). He continued treatment for the duration in that state. For 2012 post divorce, and 2013, he was in and out of treatment for at least the PTSD - we weren't sharing much personal details.

In early 2014, he admitted himself for treatment because he was feeling suicidal. The VA basically let him stay til he "sobered up" and sent him on his way; also at some point he'd been prescribed sertraline and was told to keep taking it. On his way from leaving that VA, he followed through with an attempt but it failed. He drove himself back to the VA and was admitted for about a week, sent to "group therapy" and they added trazodone and hydroxyzine to his cocktail of drugs.

We were in contact from later April through the end of June and there were no reported attempts and while he acknowledged he was still in treatment and felt he was doing better, he never revealed the suicidal behavior or attempt. He again acknowledged having told his 'shrink' that the stuff they were giving him wasn't working, he couldn't feel anything, felt dull all the time, no edge, indifferent and cloudy, confused. I recalled the issue with prozac and suggested he throw them in the toilet and stop taking them but he said he wasn't supposed to just stop...and he "didn't want to shoot up a school or something" by going off them too fast.

He had some serious financial issues in that period of time and in early August began making bizarre, out of character posts on his facebook to mostly strangers, cryptic remarks about ending his life. He'd never been suicidal and certainly wasn't vocal about being a "drama queen" or the like. Meaning, based on who he was and how he was, he'd just as soon shove a fork in his eye than post drama filled attention seeking comments on facebook...yet this is what he did. It was so out of character I couldn't help wonder if someone gained access to his account and posted that nutty stuff.

He'd also made another suicide attempt with the sertraline, baclofen and beer intending to use propane but apparently passed out before he could trigger the propane. He woke up a few hours later - now ridiculously sick - and called 911, and requested to be transferred to the VA. The VA again reduced his attempt to alcohol drama, added eszopiclone and venlafaxine, admitted him to a psych ward for nearly 2 weeks until he wasn't an "imminent threat" to himself, told him to stop drinking and sent him on his way.

A week later he made a final go at it with the propane and took his life.

The only thing in his system aside from the propane had been venlafaxine at 1.2mg/L, and an acknowledgement of the bottle that was emptied but it was not reported as an overdose on that drug.

--------------------

On Oct 1, I went to the local VA in my state and got the VA guy to help me...though I honestly do not know if he actually helped me or not. He had me fill out a slew of paperwork to file for benefits for our son. I know that DIC, survivor pension and accrued benefits were checked. He collected copies of our marriage certificates, divorce papers, birth certificates and several other things, the DD214?, and filed an "EZ" something or another. He breezed through it all before I could really process what all was done. He asked what I wanted to file for and I went the safe route with "everything our son would be eligible for". After spending 2 hours there, he compiled everything and faxed it to somewhere with a cover sheet requesting expedited processing.

In early November, I filed with the SSA for survivor benefits for our son and within a week there was a lump sum and following with a monthly payment at the end of the month which, to be honest, is more insulting than helpful because it's hardly worth the day's pay of whoever processed it. Almost seemed to be mocking his death at all.

I checked the ebenefits site but my ex already had an account. I have no clue how to access it but the VA guy insists that I can access it using the ex's SS# to find out the status of the claim. I've called the 800 number and gotten zero assistance.

In early Jan, some guy called claiming to be from the VA and apologized for the delay, saying that he'd get it in the que for processing and I shouldn't expect to hear anything til March. He said something about the VA making a decision and approving which ever option is higher but since I haven't a clue what he's referring to, I don't know if that's good or bad.

Meanwhile I've had correspondence with a veteran/military lawyer about filing a medical malpractice and a wrongful death lawsuit against the VA and they wanted me to go get and send them his medical records. I sent a request to the VAs in 3 states, received squat for 2 months, and only got one letter they didn't know who I was. In the interim, the lawyer basically bailed out saying *I* never sent them the stuff they wanted. That's because the VA screwed around and didn't even acknowledge it for 2 months...and I still have no medical records to send.

============ QUESTIONS

In any of the above, is it "a given" that he'd officially filed for disability at some point? Is there some way I can find out if he filed, when he filed, and whether or not he'd been approved and or receiving payments?

What is it the VA has to "approve" if our son is eligible as a dependent child under 18, unmarried, and the death was service connected suicide? Or does PTSD and antidepressant murder count?

How long does this take?

In these 3 options I seem to have filed claims for, is disability included in that or do I need to do that too?

As for approving the claim, and payments - I suppose the retroactive or lump sum if any - is it based on when he filed for whatever, when I filed for these death/survivor benefits, or date of his death? Which time frame applies?

Based on the above backstory, is there anything that suggests whether he would've been likely to be approved for disability?

How does one determine whatever his "rating" would be - is there a resource that explains this is in normal people terms?

If any of the VA benefits are approved, is it one or the other, or can it be more/all of those 3 options - and if approved, how would that affect my son's benefits from the SSA?

What's the best route to pursue the malpractice and wrongful death suits? I am somewhat aware of the TORT claim, waiting 6 months, and then filing the suit but isn't there a claim option to pursue first? Pros and cons of that? Is it a good or bad idea to specify his actual "shrinks" prescribing him these drugs or diagnosing him, the ones who downplayed it at the VA in the malpractice lawsuit?

In this sort of situation, would the monetary award include any money he owed in support that was in arrears or that will never be paid up until our child is 18? Or is that not "allowed"?

I'm just trying to make sure I got everything covered because of their obscure deadlines and loopholes.

I'm thoroughly disgusted with the VA for drugging him to the point of suicide and then "thanking" me for his service while simultaneously wrecking my child's life through endless months of run around bs.

I appreciate any guidance and feedback but please, please try to stay on point. I'm in need of specific answers as much as possible.

Thanks again!

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DelanaM

Welcome to Hadit.com

So sorry to hear about this!

Was your EX Hubby Service connected and getting compensation at time of his death?

I think the DIC benefits only applies to your son, unfortunately you would not because you have to be married within one year of your Ex- hubbys death for any type of VA Compensation for DIC , or if the service connected with 0% makes a difference ? and or any provisions that state other wise within the CFR's & VA Law.

If you hubby had a claim pending I'm not sure what to tell you to do? you could call your EX hubby RO....I'm sure the elder members can advise you.

My opinion I do think your son would be intitled to surviors Benefits until age 26...but I am not 100% sure??

Ms Berta would know more about this and some of the elder members here on Hadit.

Sad the VAMC treated your Ex Hubby this way there's no excuse for it.

My Heartfelt Condolences to You & Your Son.

Buck!

Edited by Buck52 (see edit history)
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Was your EX Hubby Service connected and getting compensation at time of his death?
He was being treated for ptsd, alcohol abuse and depression, seeing a "shrink" and prescribed a cocktail of antidepressants. I am trying to find out if he was getting compensation - or how to find that out. That's what I want to know.
I think the DIC benefits only applies to your son, unfortunately you would not because you have to be married within one year of your Ex- hubbys death for any type of VA Compensation for DIC ,
I know. I'm trying to file on behalf of our son, not me. I'm not eligible unless there's something I'm unaware of. But our son's a minor so I have to do it. I just need to know what all is available and how to go about it.
or if the service connected with 0% makes a difference ? and or any provisions that state other wise within the CFR's & VA Law.
I have no idea about this part and not sure I understand.
If you hubby had a claim pending I'm not sure what to tell you to do?
How do I find out if he did - on my child's behalf? Given his nature, it would seem probable he filed claims for benefits at some point, he was pretty diligent about his military stuff - even with a clear pattern of admitting himself when he felt suicidal and taking the initiative and driving himself and proactively seeking help, up to and including trying to get them to lower the meds or be rid of them entirely. He was not suicidal at all, ever, in the entire time we've known one another and his family confirms he'd never been down that road. This all kicked in when he started being "treated" by the VAs and basically slowly murdered. Sorry, I can't excuse this.
you could call your EX hubby RO....I'm sure the elder members can advise you.
I don't know what that is or who they are or how to contact them.
My opinion I do think your son would be intitled to surviors Benefits until age 26...but I am not 100% sure?? Ms Berta would know more about this and some of the elder members here on Hadit.
I hope so :)
Sad the VAMC treated your Ex Hubby this way there's no excuse for it.
No there isn't. It's unconscionable the absolute failure of proper care...not just him but the thousands upon thousands of veterans who get screwed over, lose their lives or are forced to exist in a squalor quality of life because of the VA's revolting practices. Thank you for the sentiment.
I think ALL vets should unite across the country and fill a huge class action lawsuit into the billions against the government and every VA in the nation, and discourage young men from joining the military at all, participating in unlawful wars that wreck their lives when they don't outright end them, and make them hyper conscious of exactly what kind of "support the troops" will be looking forward to in exchange for it.
My Heartfelt Condolences to You & Your Son.
Thank you again.
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"On Oct 1, I went to the local VA in my state and got the VA guy to help me."

I hope he gave you copies of whatever he filed out and filed with the VA.

"If you hubby had a claim pending I'm not sure what to tell you to do? you could call your EX hubby RO....I'm sure the elder members can advise you."



Did the local VA rep file out a form for you to substitute yourself as the claimant ,if he had a pending claim at death? He could have checked to see if the veteran had a claim pending.



I assume, but could be wrong, that he,the veteran, was receiving SC compensation in his lifetime?



"What's the best route to pursue the malpractice and wrongful death suits? I am somewhat aware of the TORT claim, waiting 6 months, and then filing the suit but isn't there a claim option to pursue first? Pros and cons of that?Is it a good or bad idea to specify his actual "shrinks" prescribing him these drugs or diagnosing him, the ones who downplayed it at the VA in the malpractice lawsuit?"

We have a wealth of info here in our FTCA and Section 1151 forums.I dont understand the 'waitin 6 months' part...I guess you mean if the VA denies the Tort.

"Is it a good or bad idea to specify his actual "shrinks" prescribing him these drugs or diagnosing him, the ones who downplayed it at the VA in the malpractice lawsuit?"

I listed as witnesses ,on my SF95 form (the initial form that starts the FTCA process) the names of multiple VA doctors at 2 VAMCs, who colluded at one point ( which I also proved) who caused my husband's death.

I isolated every single incidence of malpractice directly from his VA medical records and compared them to his death certificate and autopsy..

Did the VA person add that this was a Section 1151 issue too on the DIC application?

We need to know exactly what he filed.Vet reps and VSO do not handle FTCA issues. They can handle 1151 issues.

FTCA claims need a strong independent medical opinion (explained here in our IMO forum) and also need a lawyer, particular in your case, as I dont know who
could sue, as your son is a minor and you were divorced from the veteran.

"What is it the VA has to "approve" if our son is eligible as a dependent child under 18, unmarried, and the death was service connected suicide?"

The VA has to 'approve" and you have to 'prove' that the suicide was directly due to his PTSD.

"Or does PTSD and antidepressant murder count?"

My husband's death was caused by VA health care ( FTCA/1151 awards)
Part of that was due to him being prescribed the wrong med for something he didn't have, which then contraindicated his malpracticed heart disease.

I have an additional 1151 claim specifically on that pending now. It was not the main FTCA issue.

My evidence was strong. I used a review I obtained under FOIA, done by the VA Central Office Chief of Cardo, when I won the FTCA case long ago. There is no time limit on 1151 claims.

Both FTCA and 1151 claims need very strong evidence.That is not going to come from the VA unless you have a very solid case.

After a FTCA tort is settled, then the OGC can release under FOIA ,some of the internal documents to the claimant.

I need to find the VA regulations that cover suicide. I need them some years ago when a friend of mine (Vietnam vet) committed suicide. .

But also, what does the Death certificate state as the main cause and contributing causes of death?

Also I sure think an autopsy had to have been done and that autopsy could be critical to your claim, and any potential FTCA matters because it will hold a full toxicology report that the Independent medical doctor ,who prepares an IMO ,will need.

I hope you have a copy of it. The Medical Examiner in your locale would have it, and you could call the coroner to check whether he/she has a copy of it.

I think I got the autopsy I got came from the county coroner.


You will also need all available medical records on your ex husband.( VA and private records) A malpractice lawyer you obtain as well as the IMO docto will need everything

There are plenty of good vet lawyers on line, with VA malpractice experience, and also IMO doctors can be found on line.

For my subsequent Agent Orange DMII death claim, I hired Dr. Craig Bash and have interviewed him here along with jbasser many times at our pasrt SVR and present blog radio shows, available in the archives.

.
This was an additional malpractice issue I discovered after I had won the wrongful death claim.I wasnt taking any chances this time (I had no IMO and no lawyer for my FTCA issues) so I sure made an IMO investment right away because I also was in school at the time, and it was all a lot to deal with.


I am sorry for your loss.

.

Edited by Berta (see edit history)
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My first guess would be to "ask" the VA if he was SC, and give them his SSN.

Next, you could consider asking his parents/family, who may know. You can explain their grandchildren may be eligible for benefits if he was receiving, or sometimes had applied for, disability compensation.

In every case, you would be advised to bury what ever hatchet there was against family members, and grieve with them. Its never gonna help you to hold a grudge.....if you do, and I can not answer that, of course. I merely rely upon other divorcee's tales who rarely, if ever, have anything good to say about ex or his(her) family.

Im sorry for your loss.

Its even possible to get an ebenefits account (dont do so fraudently..your children are interested parties and you may well get an e benefits account for them with a substitution of claimint in their name, tho I am unsure about that. An experienced VA attorney may be able to help you if you ask.

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Beings so many factors & Complications involved!

I recommend an experienced well train attorney in VA Law.

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Yes,an attorney is needed here.

They will need the answers to some or all of the same questions I asked so best to have that info when you contact them....

Cause and contributing causes of death on death certificate

Autopsy findings

whether the vet was service connected for anything in his life....etc etc...

You said this was a suicide ,but that must be a medical finding.

Many vets who have been prescribed the wrong meds or inadvertently ,'overdosed' on the wrong prescribed amount of meds, because they were following the exact VA prescribed dosage, do not fall into 'suicide 'criteria at all.

My husband was prescribed a med to take 4 times a day for 6 years,

It contributed to his death. and that sure wasn't suicide ..

Does the death certificate state suicide?

If so there is more to this then we know at this point.

Months after my husband died I found evidence that he didnt even have what the med was for in the first place.

It contraindicated his HBP meds, which were at too low a dosage to even be affective.

There is so much involved here that only a good malpractice lawyer would know how to proceed.

Wrongful death and suicide are 2 separate medical determinations.

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Sorry to hear of your troubles, Great advice given above, and just try not to let the Govt get to you. Take your time and walk thru the motions. My kids collect SSDI checks because of me and they only get $345 a month, and that's with me collecting the max which is $2300 a month. They will never get rich off of our benefits, but it all helps. Good luck and God Bless!!

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Just to add, we have interviewed some vet lawyers at the Blog radio shows, Bob Walsh and Doug Rosinski come to mind, as well as having Chris Attig, a vet lawyer too here as a member, who posts under VETLAw..

Many good veteran lawyers have had malpractice experience with VA in addition to some of the ones I posted links to,who seem to have specific malpractice experience..

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Thanks for the feedback.

The ME report covered all of this, suicide is on the death certificate. The tox screen showed only propane and venlafaxine. They checked everything and that's all it was. The venlafaxine was the last of new prescriptions the same VA gave him when they sent him on his way. They downplayed his condition as "alcohol induced mood disorder" and essentially told him to sober up and sent him home.

Again, this suicidal business only began when he began treatment at these 2 particular VAMCs. I've known him for nearly 20 years, we've been hammered together, I'm well aware of how he got when he was intoxicated and he's never been suicidal. I realize something was "missing" when he got out after his 2 tours but when he was being treated at the VAs early on (different ones) none of this took place. He was more soldier-like, less campy and upbeat but he wasn't on a nose dive. It's only these last 2 VAMCs when he relocated post divorce that started giving him a cocktail of "suicide pills", where he was complaining about their inefficacy and even telling them at the VA the meds were not helping.

The malpractice basis is reducing his condition to essentially being a drama queen while intoxicated, told to sober up, continue taking sertraline and adding even more antidepressants when he kept telling them it wasn't working, and he was having suicidal urges...but mostly when he repeatedly tried to admit himself, requested longer term in patient treatment and they let him stay til he wasn't under the influence of anything and sent on his way.

His attempt in April is a clear example. He proactively went to the VA for help and told them how he was feeling. They sent him on his way the same day and on his way home he had a failed attempt, and drove himself back to the VA where they kept him for about a week, piped him with more drugs and sent him on. The last time was essentially the same way. He proactively tried to get help, the VA kept reducing it to alcohol induced, going for idiotic group therapy - he didn't need to vent and talk, he needed to be taken off drugs impairing his entire judgement and they refused/denied his request to be placed with inpatient treatment.

Within the week of his release he'd successfully taken his life.

They *never* should've released him, he was not better. The simple reality these drugs were wrecking his ability for rational thought while on them clearly shows he was not able to handle their effects. Instead of alcohol detox (he'd drink with them probably) they needed to take him off these meds. He was also prscribed sertraline with venlafaxine, known adverse interactions - he was on at least 3 antidepressants all who have proven adverse reactions and even on their labels warns to not be combined with other antidepressants by name.

Had they managed his condition correctly he'd never have taken his life. Again, as shown clearly by the fact when he was off those medications or they'd worn down, he was thinking clearly enough to seek help. After his failed attempts, he didn't just do it again. He either drove himself or called 911 for help. You don't call for help and request treatment and keep insisting the drugs to prevent suicide are making you feel suicidal if you "rationally" want to die. He'd have just intensified his efforts when he realized it didn't work the first time.

He was not wanting death. He was wanting to get help and they killed him.

Again, the only thing that tested positive in his tox screen for all other drugs/alcohol/poisons etc were the propane (which is how he did it) and venlafaxine...and it wasn't an overdose. The warning for this drug clearly and undeniably states that the risk of suicide is intensified in the early treatment stages and has the highest suicide rate within the first 10 days...and sure enough, they prescribed that in mid August and by the end of it he'd taken this medication and then taken his life for the count.

It's this specific two VAMCs, not all of the ones he'd been treated in since he got out. He originally went for the back injury and a year later he's being treated for PTSD. The depression and alcohol abuse were added once he'd relocated to the last two and next thing we know, now he's suicidal and impaired and out of it. It wrecked all his relationships, he pretty much abandoned his child, he didn't care...and he didn't care because of the crap those VAs were prescribing him and ignoring him when he told them over and over they were not working - he still felt suicidal. So they gave him even more and released him when he should've been monitored, supervised and given alternative treatment.

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As for the ebenefits, the guy at my local VA (in a different state than ex was living in) who helped me file for all this on behalf of my son who can't do it because he's under age, he kept saying I can log in but I have tried registering an account and it keeps saying there's already one. My ex already had an account but I can't log in using his SS# (which is what VA guy told me to do to check the status of the claim) but I have no clue about passwords or how to get in it. I tried setting it up for my son's and it rejects it saying there's no such user.

So I call the 800 number, input the ex's SS# and it says no such user.

And again, I know I need the medical records. My original question is HOW do I go about getting them?

And I am going to pursue BOTH wrongful death and malpractice because they both apply. They failed him, they failed to provide correct and timely treatment, they turned him away, they overloaded him with drugs that impaired his judgment and caused the suicidal behavior to begin with, and because of it, he took his life when he never should have nor would have had he gotten appropriate treatment. My child's left without a father.

Attorney referrals would be appreciated. I see a bunch online but I don't know if they're legit or not.

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Here are a few more:

Here are a few malpractice lawyers with VA FTCA experience:

http://www.rawlsmcnelis.com/practice-areas/va-and-military-medical-malpractice?gclid=CMqIifOxh8QCFY-EaQodkyEAuA

http://nationaltriallaw.com/practice-areas/national-federal-tort-claims-ftca-cases/veterans-affairs-va-hospital-medical-malpractice/?gclid=CJ_v46Cyh8QCFQ8waQodoyIAbA

http://www.vamalpracticeclaims.com/

http://military-law.lawyers.com/veterans-benefits/filing-a-claim-against-the-va-for-malpractice.html

This Tacoma attorney, Jessica Holman Duthie, got this vet $900,000

Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2015/01/24/3603545_va-settles-for-nearly-1-million.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

Also if you search BVA decisions for successful 1151 awards, many of those claimants had good attornrys too who are listed as the POA on the decision and sometimes referenced as to FTCA.

FTCA and 1151 have offset factors, meaning the VA will deduct the settlement from any potential 1151 award.

However if a claimant can prove direct SC death in addition to death by VA malpractice, in some cases they can receive both 1151 awards as well as the settlement.

Bob Walsh and Doug Rosinski have done many show with us here and the older SVR shows and most recently on Feb 19th with Bob:

.
http://svr-radio.com/archives.html Just click on th sound Icon and your PC media player will pop up with the show.

I have discussed FTCA and 1151 with both of these lawyers but forget how long ago those shows were.....( It could have been 8 years ago.)

Bob's contact info is here:

Telephone (269) 962-9693

Telecopier (269) 962-9592

E-mail: rpwalsh@sbcglobal.net

Doug's is here under a search and at his web site.

Edited by Berta (see edit history)
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http://www.benefits.va.gov/BENEFITS/Applying.asp

This site may help you? just click on these sites that Ms Berta and others put up for you its very valuable information!

DelanaM ''SC'' means the veteran is service connected for his injurys while in the military or proved later after discharge & non-service means it was not during his military days...however both may apply.

RO means the VA Regional Office.

You need to check over the abbreviations here at hadit....Here is just a few ...> VSO (veteran service officer,)NOD means notice of disagreement, BVA (board veterans appeals) SOC (statement of case) or SSOC (supplemental of statement case)

CUE(clear and unmistakable error)

It would benefit you to learn these abbreviations/ there's a lot more! believe me!

I wish you the Best!

Buck!

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DelanaM ,

You do have a very unique case here, first thing you need to find out is your entitlement to benefits?

Then try to get all of your ex hubbys medical records before they become lost in space, get all his progress notes& medical records & SMR'S service medical records from All the VAMC's&military hospital and PRIVATE if any?That he has been treated at...that's mostly your evidence, but don't be surprised in his progress notes that things may have been said or other wise not said.

Also a veteran C-file (claims folder) is very important if not the most important because that's where all his medical records and transaction's with claims will be found (usually) &its usually stored at the veterans Regional Office I don't know how to tell you to get access to them beings your divorce from this veteran that's what makes this case unique. jmo (just my opinion)

Buck!

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venlafaxine..aka Effexor


http://www.personalinjury.com/effexor-side-effects.html
http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/effexor

http://lawsuits.toptenreviews.com/pharmaceuticals/effexor-review.html

A good attorney might see a possible cause of action against the pharmacutical company who made this med the VA gave your husband.

Buck said:

"I don't know how to tell you to get access to them beings your divorce from this veteran that's what makes this case unique. jmo (just my opinion)"

He is right.

This email addy is for information for vet surviving spouses, but they might be able to answer your question as to how to obtain copies of his medical records and his C file.
Tell them you are divorced from the veteran and this is for his child's claim.

officeofsurvivors@va.gov

But they will probably ask what we have asked here...was he service connected (meaning he received VA compensation in his lifetime) and .what was he service connected for?

The fact that he gets PTSD treatment does not mean the VA has service connected his PTSD.

Perhaps he had a PTSD claim pending at death that might provide your son with an accrued award but that would require filing a substitution form .Did the VA man fill out a 21-0847 form for that?

The DIC app says minor children claims can be filed and signed by the legal guardian so that is not the issue.

The issue is who has the legal rights to a divorced and deceased veteran's medical records.?

But the Office of Survivors can provide only limited information.They might not know .

Have you tried to obtain a vet rep in your state?

A vet rep could look into many of these issues, although they cannot handle FTCA matters.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

DelanaM - you should be eligible, for DIC, if the cause of his death was suicide and his PTSD was the cause of your divorce, which it probably was. Additionally, you should be able to get all of his records, as you are the child's mother and you would be getting them for him. You may, or may not, want to use your congressperson, to assist, in getting those records, as they can sometimes expedite that request.

I would file a claim, for DIC, ChampVA, and Chapter 35 educational benefits, for you and your child, immediately, if you haven't already.

pr

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Had they managed his condition correctly he'd never have taken his life.

I am most certainly sorry for your and your sons loss.

Please do not take this personally but I do have some disagreement

with the statement left above.

He very well may have not received appropriate mental health care

but even with excellent mental health care - some still choose to leave this earth

on their terms, through suicide.

Not saying specifically that he did but that yes, even with appropriate care, some do.

jmho

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Thanks for making that point Carlie.

I didnt want to bring that up but the Vietnam vet friend of mine who committed suicide a few years ago would have been determined as taking an action of "willful misconduct" by the VA ,unless the spouse could have proven he was insane at time of suicide.

The spouse (she kept this from me at the time) was not his legal spouse anyhow and we do not live in a common law state.

I dont think think the suicide regulations have changed since then.

My neighbor gets DIC for her husband;'s inservice suicide. That was a case of insanity.

DIC has been awarded to surviving spouses who could prove they were separated from their veteran spouse at time of suicide solely due to the veteran's manifestations of PTSD (such as domestic violence)

I could not find anything on divorced spouses possibly being eligible for DIC,.

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Wow thanks for the links and info. I'll definitely be digging into it all.

The divorce is unrelated to the PTSD. The VA can lie all they want but the suicide would be a legitimate SC related and the ptsd was service related - it didn't have anything to do with the divorce unless it just aggravated it on whatever level. I don't know if there is a reasonable enough cause there because I've got no real idea what he was being treated for during that period of time but I was pretty convinced he'd lost his entire mind pulling that. Just went off the rails. I was livid and on the war path!

Our son is eligible for whatever he's eligible for and I am filing on his behalf, not mine. This includes the wrongful death and malpractice and any awards will be directed to him, though if it pays out before his 18th birthday then I'll manage it until then. I filed for DIC, survivor pension? and accrued benefits. I'm assuming the accrued benefits is about any disability claim he may have filed but I am not sure how to go about getting his medical records.

Today I sent off for his records from one of the VAMCs that prescribed him the drugs and failed to treat him. I don't have any real beef with the VAs in 2 other states before he'd moved to the last one as whatever they were doing or treating him for didn't disrupt his life or relationships and he'd seemed relatively stable.

He did have a bit of a meltdown when we split up and spiraled but pulled out of it when he moved to the last state. Upon our separation he basically gambled 8 grand and left us broke and upended, then lost his job, racked up a lot of debt and went on the lamb...he lost his ass in the divorce but by the actual final hearing, he'd gotten treatment and pulled out of it. He moved. He got a killer job, was making money and starting to catch up with back support money...but somewhere during all that he started treatment between these 2 VAMCs and next thing we know he's trying to kill himself a number of times.

Thanks again for the info. I'm eager to check it all out!

Edited by DelanaM (see edit history)
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