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Dsm Iv Or Dsm-V - Are C & P & Ro Raters Required To Use Year Claim Filed ?


Good day fellow Vets,

It appears many C & P exam results posted the last few months are quoting the use of DSM IV, some DSM-V.

I filed my claim in May 2014. My C & P exam was in March 2015. The VA Psych examiner official results quoted using DSM-V.

Since Feb. 2014, my primary CBOC, MH practitioner (a contracted LCSW) exclusively used DSM-IV.

Most of his notes about my visits from Feb. 2014 through Sept. 2014 quote DSM-IV terminology; all have a GAF of 45. (None recently.

He was on medical leave from late Oct until this month)

Recently, in April 2015, my Regular meeting with my 2nd MH person was changed at the last minute. Upon my CBOC arrival,
I had a tele-conference with a MD/Psychiatrict at the VA's W. Palm Beach Regional Center.

Her notes of my "visit" quoted I was at a GAF of 55.

Btw, my Claim closed about 2 weeks ago.

A few days ago, my VSO stated the VA's RC Raters are suppose to be using the DSM in effect when a claim is filed. He has been a VSO for 15 years.

A few days ago, the VSO and I met about the 30% rating I recently was given by the FL Regional Office.
I am filing NOD but not specificially about the DSM issue.

I am confused !

Can I please have guidance on what is correct VA rater policy?

Thanks for any clarification.

A Nam Vet

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If the rule changes during the claims process, the VA is supposed to use the rule that is most favorable to the claimant. In your case, they can use the DSM- IV(if the DSM-IV was being used on the date your claim was filed). If the DSM-V was in effect then they must use that. Back when they awarded me(1999) my 100%, for PTSD, the rules had changed and they had to use the one most favorable to me. It worked out well for me!



I appreciate your reply.

In May 2014 when I filed my PTSD claim, the DSM-IV was used in the MH persons notes exclusively.

To my knowledge, right or wrong, it changed in Oct. 2014 for new Claims.

It makes sense if the DSM-IV was consistently used by my CBOC MH team then to be consistent the same would hold true for the VA's C & P Psychologist and the St. Petersburg Florida RO Rater .

Maybe that would have benefited me more.

How does a lay person as myself determine which DSM, IV or V favors me?

A Nam Vet

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Well I think I found this reference you are looking for. Had a heck of a time finding it.

Had to put it in PDF the source is listed below and when you click you have to download a word document first, but when trying to copy and paste it screwed up the formatting so I made it into a PDF for you.

Section A. Examination Requests - Veterans Benefits - United States Department of Veterans Affairs


I appreciate the link and document. This stuff is confusing!

My mind was scrambled before and still after my Claim closed in late April.

A part of my MH problem seems to be having impaired abstract thinking. That seems to fit part of the criteria for the 50% rating.

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I think you are hung up on the DSM issue...The DSM IV was not beneficial to Veterans and therefore the DSM V was conformed and used. It has been in use since early 2014. Your MH doctor's using DSM IV is irrelevant to your C/P exam. The reason I am saying this is b/c the DSM V is more favorable to us Veterans. The examiner/doctor that did your C/P exam for MH is indicating you are 30% - Since we can't see the notes I can't give you an accurate analysis.

The C/P examiner did have the same notes you have from your treatment records correct? Was anything mentioned in the C/P exam about reviewing them?

Of course you can file an NOD - we are all entitled to do so what I am trying to wrap my brain around is what concrete evidence do you have that you should be 50% vs. 30%...It's possible to win the NOD and I hope you do...Just trying to help you out

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