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  • Trouble Remembering? This helped me.

    I have memory problems and as some of you may know I highly recommend Evernote and have for years. Though I've found that writing helps me remember more. I ran across Tom's videos on youtube, I'm a bit geeky and I also use an IPad so if you take notes on your IPad or you are thinking of going paperless check it out. I'm really happy with it, I use it with a program called Noteshelf 2.

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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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  • Most Common VA Disabilities Claimed for Compensation:   

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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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    • So, my lawyer sent an IME w/ IMO and filed a supplemental claim solely for IU on March 20.

      It was closed on March 25, and va.gov just states claim closed and nothing more.

      Hopefully, I get good news.
    • Thanks for the responses. I am filing a new claim but will continue pushing the NOD. My new question is it stated in law or statute that if during the claims process the VA finds conditions that could possibly rate service connection that was not originally filed for, the VA will “invite” the veteran to file the claim on the claims form. Reason I ask is that my private DBQs, NEXUS letter, and even the VA nurse examiner's DBQs lists bilateral upper radiculopathy as present. If it is written in statute or official guidance it might qualify as a CUE. Just looking at all angles. 
    • Everyone needs to read our stories so they can try to avoid these screws by the va...
      Thank you, everyone contributes, good or bad, all of our stories will help others, and yes, they have been stated by others for ages, over and over, but we just get depressed, and the time turns into years as they screw us..

      Welcome to the department of Veterans Affairs!  I can honestly say, "been there, done that".  

      Even after winning my tdiu in 2017, it was back to the drawing board as VA hornswaggeld my effective date.  (but of course).  

      I finally won my tdiu effective date in Feb. 2020, 18 years after I first applied!!!  

      Here is how they managed to drag mine out 18 years:

      1.  They never adjuticated my decison until 2009, where they called it "moot".  

      2.  I appealed, said it was not moot because it could result in an earlier effective date and SMC S under Bradley vs Peake.  The judge agreed with me, and ordered VARO consider me for extra schedular TDIU, under 4.16 b.  

      3.  The VARO piddles with  the remand for 3 years, and hoped I wouldnt notice.  I noticed and raised cane until they adjuticated it.  (denied of course).  

      4.  Finally, after the baord denied again, I hired a lawyer, in 2014, and appealed to CAVC.   

      5.  The lawyer won a remand, got an IMO and I won tdiu in 2017.  But at the wrong effective date, even after 15 years.  

      6.  I hired another lawyer, Chris Attig, and appealed the effective date, and he won a remand for effective date.  Trip 2 to CAVC.  

      7.  Mr. Attig won a remand, and advised me to get another IMO.  

      8.  The board awarded my earlier effective date in Feb. 2020.  

           So, I do have advice fighting VA for TDIU, they fought and fought and I hung in there and won it all.  

      ADVICE:  Dont count on VA, they could easily throw your fax in the trash.  Follow up!  
    • "Keep in mind that due to the nature of the digestive system, VA would most likely combined your conditions and pay you at the higher rate to avoid pyramiding".    That is one of my main gripes.  They are only listing the GERD with hiatal hernia and ignoring the rest of my gastric issues such as the gastritis which I also had in service.  I included it in my 2007 request for increase and again in 2019.  The info from the civilian dr that stated I had the gastritis with H pylori was not even provided to the examiner in 2007, nor did he have my VA health records. The 2019 request was based on an EGD I had AT THE VA in Jan 2019.   I filed for an increase 6 Mar and they did an ACE on 27 Mar and downgraded to noncompensable on that date.  The only reason I was thinking CUE:  38 CFR § 3.326 - Under Examinations  it states (c) Provided that it is otherwise adequate for rating purposes, a statement from a private physician may be accepted for rating a claim without further examination".  
    • Enough has been said on this topic. This forum is not the proper forum for an attorney and former client to hash out their problems. Please take this offline
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Mountain Vet

Va Clinic Diagnoses Ptsd On It's Own

Question

So.. I am new to posting here but a long time reader of this site - awesome work moderators and subject matter experts .. your efforts are much appreciated.

I had a routine VA medical appointment for a general health check up in early April of this year and during that exam the doctor and I got to talking about my prior service. I mentioned to him a few things (I don't talk about my military history much with anyone) about my middle east service including intrusive dreams for years about a bomb attacks including a bomb (IED-timer) that destroyed my vehicle (unoccupied) and came pretty close to taking me out. He probed further and after answering his questions openly and honestly he referred me to the VA mental health team for evaluation.

Now I have a VA medical diagnosis of PTSD secondary to my military service and a diagnosis of depressive disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder on top of that. I am prescribed anti depressants from the VA and am taking them. I am participating in group and individual therapy with a goal of diminishing my symptoms which quite honestly I have lived with seemingly forever. The VA psycologist and pychiatrist have both documented the diagnosis and nexus to my military service in my VA medical records and file. Both encouraged me to go see my VSO. I feel a bit like a dumb ass for living with these syptoms for many years and not considering my options. It surprises me that the doctors did all of this without any encouragement from me - Frankly I wasn't even looking for an increase in my disability (20%) benefits.

I gathered up some buddy letters from veterans who were there and had personal knowlege and put together a binder of news articles and related military service records along with the medical stuff I have so far. I consulted with my VSO who copied my entire binder and immediately filed a claim (fast track).

Some of the issues I have suffered with for many years include; sleep deprivation (nightmares, night sweats, insomnia); social isolation (few trusted friends, estrangement from family, avoidance of middle eastern people; hyper vigilance (chair/back against the wall always, forever alert, suspicious of damn near everything and everyone); little to no outside activities increasing over the years; anger outbursts,

agitation and impatience among others.

I am a work-a-holic often burying myself in my work and was a high achiever until my memory started to fail (mostly short term - forgetting names, dates, appointments etc).

Having given that background does anyone think I can get rated for the issues I didn't ask for to begin with? Any other similar experiences having the VA push a PTSD diagnosis on a patient during a routine exam? Any help is much appreciated.

MV

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The real question is do you want to start a PTSD claim, and if it's awarded, deal with the possible ramifications.

Fiduciary appointment by the VA

Brady Law gun ownership problem.

Possible employment problems in certain professions.

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The real question is do you want to start a PTSD claim, and if it's awarded, deal with the possible ramifications.

Fiduciary appointment by the VA

Brady Law gun ownership problem.

Possible employment problems in certain professions.

Is this your guidance seriously..?

What I want is to get better.. plan and simple. The rest of your concerns, while appreciated if your not being facetious, are of no consequence to me. No one is going to assume fiduciary responsibilty for me (I'm not that far gone), I don't care about the gun thing (Brady Law et al) and I am getting close to social security age in a federal appointment so I'm not concerned about employment problems.

I have to say that this is the first time I think I've seen a subject matter expert try to disuade a fellow veteran from getting help.. interesting perspective.

Thanx,

MV

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So.. I am new to posting here but a long time reader of this site - awesome work moderators and subject matter experts .. your efforts are much appreciated.

I had a routine VA medical appointment for a general health check up in early April of this year and during that exam the doctor and I got to talking about my prior service. I mentioned to him a few things (I don't talk about my military history much with anyone) about my middle east service including intrusive dreams for years about a bomb attacks including a bomb (IED-timer) that destroyed my vehicle (unoccupied) and came pretty close to taking me out. He probed further and after answering his questions openly and honestly he referred me to the VA mental health team for evaluation.

Now I have a VA medical diagnosis of PTSD secondary to my military service and a diagnosis of depressive disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder on top of that. I am prescribed anti depressants from the VA and am taking them. I am participating in group and individual therapy with a goal of diminishing my symptoms which quite honestly I have lived with seemingly forever. The VA psycologist and pychiatrist have both documented the diagnosis and nexus to my military service in my VA medical records and file. Both encouraged me to go see my VSO. I feel a bit like a dumb ass for living with these syptoms for many years and not considering my options. It surprises me that the doctors did all of this without any encouragement from me - Frankly I wasn't even looking for an increase in my disability (20%) benefits.

I gathered up some buddy letters from veterans who were there and had personal knowlege and put together a binder of news articles and related military service records along with the medical stuff I have so far. I consulted with my VSO who copied my entire binder and immediately filed a claim (fast track).

Some of the issues I have suffered with for many years include; sleep deprivation (nightmares, night sweats, insomnia); social isolation (few trusted friends, estrangement from family, avoidance of middle eastern people; hyper vigilance (chair/back against the wall always, forever alert, suspicious of damn near everything and everyone); little to no outside activities increasing over the years; anger outbursts,

agitation and impatience among others.

I am a work-a-holic often burying myself in my work and was a high achiever until my memory started to fail (mostly short term - forgetting names, dates, appointments etc).

Having given that background does anyone think I can get rated for the issues I didn't ask for to begin with? Any other similar experiences having the VA push a PTSD diagnosis on a patient during a routine exam? Any help is much appreciated.

MV

I say go for broke. I only just begun my MH healing/treatment journey, as I've had my initial MH eval/consult just last week. I have many markers and byproducts of ptsd/and or MDD. As far as gunownership is concerned, that more so goes with being a danger to society, if you are deemed mentally unstable, or something of that nature. I don't believe it's an automatic thing. At my eval, the doc told me that they only have to report(mandatory) if they feel you are in immediate danger of suicide or homicide.

I would think that you should go through your SMR for records coinsiding with your incident and put together a claim package for the PTSD. I'm sure you are a solid 50% rating easy. And maybe 70%. At the bare minimum you will end up right where you are...20%.

Semper Fi.

Andy

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The real question is do you want to start a PTSD claim, and if it's awarded, deal with the possible ramifications.

Fiduciary appointment by the VA

Brady Law gun ownership problem.

Possible employment problems in certain professions.

It does happen but i havent seen that many cases except when violence is common and has resulted in LE intervention that gun ownership is lost. That being said, it doesnt mean that it cant happen in the future that some incident results in anyone with any history of mental illness is barred from ownership and seems to be a "common sense" measure that is being pushed by those who support it. i feel that MH is a tricky subject, one can have PTSD without being a danger to anyone, same goes for depression, etc. and should be taken on a case by case basis. But as Mountain Vet has stated he doesnt care about it.

Some of the issues I have suffered with for many years include; sleep deprivation (nightmares, night sweats, insomnia); social isolation (few trusted friends, estrangement from family, avoidance of middle eastern people; hyper vigilance (chair/back against the wall always, forever alert, suspicious of damn near everything and everyone); little to no outside activities increasing over the years; anger outbursts,

agitation and impatience among others.

I am a work-a-holic often burying myself in my work and was a high achiever until my memory started to fail (mostly short term - forgetting names, dates, appointments etc).

Having given that background does anyone think I can get rated for the issues I didn't ask for to begin with? Any other similar experiences having the VA push a PTSD diagnosis on a patient during a routine exam? Any help is much appreciated.

MV

It doesnt matter whether you have asked a rating in the past on this or not. if you have the diagnosis and you have the evidence and have the issue you can file a claim for it now regardless if you got out a year ago of 50.

Sounds like you have ample evidence to file a claim since the VA has done good work in diagnosing and treating you so far.

If you want to get rated do it right. Sounds like you have insurance. So start going to a private psych as well, get that documented. go and get a Independent medical opinion/exam and get that (Pm me for a name if you want it).

Get all of that as well as copies of your VA treatment records and get it all together. upload it to your claim on ebenefits, mail it certified/return receipt, etc.

Submit the claim as Fully Developed and get rated for it.

Its better to be rated than not be rated.

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Go for it. Do you have any combat medals? If not don't forget to submit your 0781. Any campaign specific medals? Those will get you a ptsd initial. Having a dx PTSD thru VAMC will help But the criteria is a little different in a CnP you can't still walk out of the ptsd initial w/o a dx.

You dont automatically get assigned a fiduciary bc you are connected for PTSD. There's a box regarding handling your finances on the exam if it's checked yes than the VA can start the pre determination process in declaring you incompetent

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    • So, my lawyer sent an IME w/ IMO and filed a supplemental claim solely for IU on March 20.

      It was closed on March 25, and va.gov just states claim closed and nothing more.

      Hopefully, I get good news.
    • Thanks for the responses. I am filing a new claim but will continue pushing the NOD. My new question is it stated in law or statute that if during the claims process the VA finds conditions that could possibly rate service connection that was not originally filed for, the VA will “invite” the veteran to file the claim on the claims form. Reason I ask is that my private DBQs, NEXUS letter, and even the VA nurse examiner's DBQs lists bilateral upper radiculopathy as present. If it is written in statute or official guidance it might qualify as a CUE. Just looking at all angles. 
    • Everyone needs to read our stories so they can try to avoid these screws by the va...
      Thank you, everyone contributes, good or bad, all of our stories will help others, and yes, they have been stated by others for ages, over and over, but we just get depressed, and the time turns into years as they screw us..

      Welcome to the department of Veterans Affairs!  I can honestly say, "been there, done that".  

      Even after winning my tdiu in 2017, it was back to the drawing board as VA hornswaggeld my effective date.  (but of course).  

      I finally won my tdiu effective date in Feb. 2020, 18 years after I first applied!!!  

      Here is how they managed to drag mine out 18 years:

      1.  They never adjuticated my decison until 2009, where they called it "moot".  

      2.  I appealed, said it was not moot because it could result in an earlier effective date and SMC S under Bradley vs Peake.  The judge agreed with me, and ordered VARO consider me for extra schedular TDIU, under 4.16 b.  

      3.  The VARO piddles with  the remand for 3 years, and hoped I wouldnt notice.  I noticed and raised cane until they adjuticated it.  (denied of course).  

      4.  Finally, after the baord denied again, I hired a lawyer, in 2014, and appealed to CAVC.   

      5.  The lawyer won a remand, got an IMO and I won tdiu in 2017.  But at the wrong effective date, even after 15 years.  

      6.  I hired another lawyer, Chris Attig, and appealed the effective date, and he won a remand for effective date.  Trip 2 to CAVC.  

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      8.  The board awarded my earlier effective date in Feb. 2020.  

           So, I do have advice fighting VA for TDIU, they fought and fought and I hung in there and won it all.  

      ADVICE:  Dont count on VA, they could easily throw your fax in the trash.  Follow up!  
    • "Keep in mind that due to the nature of the digestive system, VA would most likely combined your conditions and pay you at the higher rate to avoid pyramiding".    That is one of my main gripes.  They are only listing the GERD with hiatal hernia and ignoring the rest of my gastric issues such as the gastritis which I also had in service.  I included it in my 2007 request for increase and again in 2019.  The info from the civilian dr that stated I had the gastritis with H pylori was not even provided to the examiner in 2007, nor did he have my VA health records. The 2019 request was based on an EGD I had AT THE VA in Jan 2019.   I filed for an increase 6 Mar and they did an ACE on 27 Mar and downgraded to noncompensable on that date.  The only reason I was thinking CUE:  38 CFR § 3.326 - Under Examinations  it states (c) Provided that it is otherwise adequate for rating purposes, a statement from a private physician may be accepted for rating a claim without further examination".  
    • Enough has been said on this topic. This forum is not the proper forum for an attorney and former client to hash out their problems. Please take this offline
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