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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims

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    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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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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    • This is the latest Compensation & Pension (C&P) Clinicians Guide dated 20180719. The only other one I've seen is dated 2002, including the one on this website and the VA website. I got this from my claims agent, who got it from the VA.

      VA Compensation & Pension (C&P) Clinicians Guide 2 Final Corrected 20180719.pdf
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      Last month June 2020, we over 50k visitors they viewed over 160k pages. Veterans and their advocates, spouses, children, and friends of veterans come looking for answers. Because we have posts dating back 15 years and articles on the home page, they usually can find an answer or at least get pointed in the right direction.

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    • VA has a special where we can ask questions TODAY, at 3:00 to "people that matter?"  Someone should ask why we can not ask them questions EVERY day, why today only? (This is a big problem with VA..the 800 number often does not give specific answers).  We should have people in VA who "solve Vets problems" like Allison Hickey did a few years ago. 
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    • The 5, 10, 20 year rules...



      Five Year Rule) If you have had the same rating for five or more years, the VA cannot reduce your rating unless your condition has improved on a sustained basis. All the medical evidence, not just the reexamination report, must support the conclusion that your improvement is more than temporary.



      Ten Year Rule) The 10 year rule is after 10 years, the service connection is protected from being dropped.



      Twenty Year Rule) If your disability has been continuously rated at or above a certain rating level for 20 or more years, the VA cannot reduce your rating unless it finds the rating was based on fraud. This is a very high standard and it's unlikely the rating would get reduced.



      If you are 100% for 20 years (Either 100% schedular or 100% TDIU - Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability or IU), you are automatically Permanent & Total (P&T). And, that after 20 years the total disability (100% or IU) is protected from reduction for the remainder of the person's life. "M-21-1-IX.ii.2.1.j. When a P&T Disability Exists"



      At 55, P&T (Permanent & Total) or a few other reasons the VBA will not initiate a review. Here is the graphic below for that. However if the Veteran files a new compensation claim or files for an increase, then it is YOU that initiated to possible review.



      NOTE: Until a percentage is in place for 10 years, the service connection can be removed. After that, the service connection is protected.



      ------



      Example for 2020 using the same disability rating



      1998 - Initially Service Connected @ 10%



      RESULT: Service Connection Protected in 2008



      RESULT: 10% Protected from reduction in 2018 (20 years)



      2020 - Service Connection Increased @ 30%



      RESULT: 30% is Protected from reduction in 2040 (20 years)
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fatheryabueloDE9

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

Question

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!

pr

pr,

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

Tbird,

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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  • Our picks

    • This is the latest Compensation & Pension (C&P) Clinicians Guide dated 20180719. The only other one I've seen is dated 2002, including the one on this website and the VA website. I got this from my claims agent, who got it from the VA.

      VA Compensation & Pension (C&P) Clinicians Guide 2 Final Corrected 20180719.pdf
        • Thanks
        • Like
      • 5 replies
    • I don’t say thank you enough to all of you...
      You, yes you, are the reason HadIt.com has remained a resource-rich resource. Thousands come each month to read, ask questions, or to feel a sense of community.

      Last month June 2020, we over 50k visitors they viewed over 160k pages. Veterans and their advocates, spouses, children, and friends of veterans come looking for answers. Because we have posts dating back 15 years and articles on the home page, they usually can find an answer or at least get pointed in the right direction.

      You all made that possible. Thank you.
        • Like
      • 3 replies
    • Help HadIt.com stay online buy a subscription
      If you can afford it and want to help hadit.com consider buying a subscription this gives you as free viewing of the site and allows me to budget in subscription payments.
       

      You can try it for 1 month for $5 or get a monthly subscription or a yearly subscription.

      Subscribe here https://community.hadit.com/subscriptions/
      • 1 reply
    • VA has a special where we can ask questions TODAY, at 3:00 to "people that matter?"  Someone should ask why we can not ask them questions EVERY day, why today only? (This is a big problem with VA..the 800 number often does not give specific answers).  We should have people in VA who "solve Vets problems" like Allison Hickey did a few years ago. 
        • Like
      • 8 replies
    • The 5, 10, 20 year rules...



      Five Year Rule) If you have had the same rating for five or more years, the VA cannot reduce your rating unless your condition has improved on a sustained basis. All the medical evidence, not just the reexamination report, must support the conclusion that your improvement is more than temporary.



      Ten Year Rule) The 10 year rule is after 10 years, the service connection is protected from being dropped.



      Twenty Year Rule) If your disability has been continuously rated at or above a certain rating level for 20 or more years, the VA cannot reduce your rating unless it finds the rating was based on fraud. This is a very high standard and it's unlikely the rating would get reduced.



      If you are 100% for 20 years (Either 100% schedular or 100% TDIU - Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability or IU), you are automatically Permanent & Total (P&T). And, that after 20 years the total disability (100% or IU) is protected from reduction for the remainder of the person's life. "M-21-1-IX.ii.2.1.j. When a P&T Disability Exists"



      At 55, P&T (Permanent & Total) or a few other reasons the VBA will not initiate a review. Here is the graphic below for that. However if the Veteran files a new compensation claim or files for an increase, then it is YOU that initiated to possible review.



      NOTE: Until a percentage is in place for 10 years, the service connection can be removed. After that, the service connection is protected.



      ------



      Example for 2020 using the same disability rating



      1998 - Initially Service Connected @ 10%



      RESULT: Service Connection Protected in 2008



      RESULT: 10% Protected from reduction in 2018 (20 years)



      2020 - Service Connection Increased @ 30%



      RESULT: 30% is Protected from reduction in 2040 (20 years)
        • Thanks
        • Like
      • 9 replies
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