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Predetermination For Reduction Saga

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USMC_VET

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So heres the deal.

I was given 50% PTSD and 10% for my back in 2011 wiht a combined of 60%.

My PTSD has gotten worse and I had requested an increase and committed the newbie/didnt research mistake and found out later that htis means they can reduce you, etc.

I had a C&P exam 4 months later after requesting an increase due to a recent move, however when i got there they took me to Video con with a psych doctor. They led me into the mental ward wing, no lights on and had to use a key card to get in and then left me in a darkened room and said to wait and the screen would come on when the doc was there.

I was already on edge with the ambience of the place and i was jsut thinking "Man if i say too much they are going to lock me up in here.". needless to say it was a scary atmosphere. Since my initial claim for PTSD and a reason i never completed my claim in 06' was that i am worried i will end up being labeled mentally defective and not be able to own a firearm or have certain jobs. With the latest administration leak of a posisble executive order its not helping my case to myself to pursue this. i collect firearms as a hobby and love to shoot and hunt and not being able to defend my family as well is another major hold back for me, but i will continue.

the screen came on and he started asking questions. my two major holdbacks were the gun issue as well as the fact i was in the process of getting a clearance. I am worried i will los emy clearance/job and not be able to provide for my family. I put on the everythiings fine face and held back a lot.

This was a major mistake i know. months late ri get a letter form teh VA saying they granted 10% for tinnitis, 0% for headaches and proposed to reduce my 50% PTSD to 30%.

I contacted the VSo listed on my ebenefits which turned out to be in my old state. he said to put in a request for a hearing and to keep benefit level at current level until decision etc.

during the 60 days to give evidence i submitted 2 sworn affidavits that it has not gotten better, but worse as well as a DBQ and findings from a Dr. my friend who has 100% PTSD recommended because she knew the VA system (not sure if i shoudl mention Dr's names here?). She sent me a report and i filed that as well as evidence.

that 60 days ended in march and i have waited and waited. i also have a friend who knows someone in a different regional office who i emailed back and ofrth once a week to check my case. Turns out now that it is stil in limbo because of the request for a hearing and they are now going to issue a letter soon.

She said i can do two things

1) Continue with the plan of a personal hearing which she says is more likely than not to go in my gavor, but there is a small risk that they may not go in my favor and then i will ahve to repay overpayment of benefits from MAY 1 until that date.

2) I can send in a statemend rescinding my request for a hearing and have the proposed reduction processed as normal where this is still the same small risk they will reduce you, but the repayment wouldnt probeably be required since the hold up is in the VA's court not mine, because it was going through process of adjudication and not waiting for a hearing i requested.

Either way i can appeal of course.

My question is what should i do next? I know i made the mistake of churching up my interview for C&P which is dumb and stupid and i wont make the same mistake.

In my statement after the proposed reduction i told them the reasons i held back, i was afraid of losing my job, the environment was scary to me.

I havent been seeing a psychologist at all, which i know is a problem but i have wanted to keep things off book with any treatment for the same job reasons as i stated above.

Should i request to drop the hearing or go to it? if i go to the hearing what do i need to do to make a better case?

should i get a secons IMO on top of the first one? i had gone to a couple appointments with the vet center psychologist, but i stopped going because they started to be very invasive to my privacy like "do you have firearms in the house?" I get why they ask, but that is something i would never do, my ptsd doesnt manifest itself in threatening others, i just like to be alone, i dont talk to my wife, i am distant and all that, which is hurting our marriage.

Anyways any help would be much appreciated. I know i made mistakes and have learned a lot in this reduction process as to how the VA really works and how to play their game but i sitll need more pointers from those that have gone through this

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If this helps this is the IMO info on the DBQ sent

my GAF score wsa 48

CRITERION A: The Veteran has been exposed to a traumatic event where both of the following were present
The Veteran experienced, witnessed or was confronted with an event that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of l.l\1 self or others.
The Veteran's response involved intense fear, helplessness or horror.

CRITERION B: The traumatic event is persistently re-experienced in 1 or more of the following ways:

Recurrent and distressing recollections of the event. including Images. thoughts or perceptions.
Recurrent distressing dreams of the event
Acting or feeling as if the traumatic event were recurring; this Includes a sense of reliving the experience, Ulusions, hallucinations and dissociative flashback episodes.
induding those that occur on awakening or when intoxicated.
Intense psychological distress at exposure to intemel or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event
Physiological reactivity on exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event

CRITERION C: Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma and numbing of general responsiveness (not present before the trauma) , as indicated by 3 or more of the following:

Efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings or conversations associated with the trauma.
Efforts to avoid activities, places or people that arouse recollections of the trauma.
Inability to recall an important aspect of the trauma.

Markedly diminished Interest or participation in significant activities. Feeling of detachment or estrangement from others.
Restricted range of atfection (e.g .. unable ta have lal'ingfeelings) .
Sense of a foreshortened future (e.g .. does not expect to ha11e a career, marriage, children or a normal life span).

CRITERION D: Persistent symptoms of increased arousal, not present before the trauma, as indicated by 2 or more of the following:
Difficulty falling or staying asleep.
Irritability or outbursts of anger.
Difficulty concentrating.
Hypervigilence.
Exaggerated startlll response.

CRITERION E: Duration of symptoms:
The duration of the symptoms described in Criteria B, C and 0 is more than 1 month.

CRITERION F: Clinically significant distress or impairment:
~ The PTSD symptoms described above cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social. occupational. or other important areas

SECTION VII ·SYMPTOMS
7. FOR VA RATING PURPOSES, CHECK ALL SYMPTOMS THAT APPLY TO THE VETERAN'S DIAGNOSES; I Depressed mood
Anxiety
Suspiciousness

Panic attacks more than once a week
Near-continuous panic or depression affecting the ability to function independently, appropriately and effectively
Chronic sleep impairment
Mild memory loss. such as forgetting names, directions or recent events
Impaired judgment
Disturbances in motivation or mood
Difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships
Difficulty adapting to stressful circumstances, including work or a work like setting
Inability to establish and maintain effective relationships
Impaired impulse control, such as unprovoked irritability with periods of violence

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Are you taking any prescribed meds for the PTSD?

Have they been changed in the last few years?

"I havent been seeing a psychologist at all, which i know is a problem but i have wanted to keep things off book with any treatment for the same job reasons as i stated above."

Others will disagree with me, but in my opinion, VA justifies it;s ratings with proof of continuous treatment.,

"nd findings from a Dr. my friend who has 100% PTSD recommended because she knew the VA system (not sure if i shoudl mention Dr's names here?). She sent me a report and i filed that as well as evidence"

If she did not follow the IMO criteria here in our IMO forum, ( and give them a curriculum Vitae as to her experience as a doctor (is she a shrink?) treating PTSD, I do not feel that report will help you at all.

Were you hired as a "handicapped" individual by an employer who the ADA EEOC covers?

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The non VA Mental health Clinician's DBQ will be trumped by the C & P Drs DBQ per the New VA PTSD C & P policy. You need to spend some heavy duty time researching your PTSD Rating and the New VA PTSD Regs.

If you haven't already done so, get a copy of your recent C & P DBQ. Compare this DBQ to your previous C & P DBQ. There in lies the info that the rater supposedly used to determine your reduction. Sorry to say, but welcome aboard the VA Appeals Train. What did the rater give as a basis for the preposed reduction?

Semper Fi

Gastone

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Berta she did do the whole dbq and attach extensive cv I just didn't include. Only the pertinent aspects of her eval.

I have seen the exam notes he states for is improvement in areas that would definitely note reduction to 30%

Will look it over again

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Berta. I was hired as a 30% or higher commendable disabled veteran

I know I should at least make the motions to show treatment however I don't understand since all vanilla docs meant to do is shove meds and call it a Month

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(Admin Note: I posted last night but they never appeared? so reposting)

BERTA:

Are you taking any prescribed meds for the PTSD?

-No I am not, I do not want medication in any way

Have they been changed in the last few years?

"I havent been seeing a psychologist at all, which i know is a problem but i have wanted to keep things off book with any treatment for the same job reasons as i stated above."

Others will disagree with me, but in my opinion, VA justifies it;s ratings with proof of continuous treatment.,

I understand that, In retrospect and my friend that is 100% said that I should in the very least be going to a monthly appointment to show i am seeking treatment

"nd findings from a Dr. my friend who has 100% PTSD recommended because she knew the VA system (not sure if i shoudl mention Dr's names here?). She sent me a report and i filed that as well as evidence"

If she did not follow the IMO criteria here in our IMO forum, ( and give them a curriculum Vitae as to her experience as a doctor (is she a shrink?) treating PTSD, I do not feel that report will help you at all.

- She did, the report was much more extensive i just included the important parts of the diagnosis for forum review. She included her extensive CV and interview questions and answers as well as well as my history both military and problems after

Were you hired as a "handicapped" individual by an employer who the ADA EEOC covers?

- I was hired as a 30% + Compensable disabled veteran

GASTONE

The non VA Mental health Clinician's DBQ will be trumped by the C & P Drs DBQ per the New VA PTSD C & P policy. You need to spend some heavy duty time researching your PTSD Rating and the New VA PTSD Regs.

If you haven't already done so, get a copy of your recent C & P DBQ. Compare this DBQ to your previous C & P DBQ. There in lies the info that the rater supposedly used to determine your reduction. Sorry to say, but welcome aboard the VA Appeals Train. What did the rater give as a basis for the preposed reduction?

-Will research this and get back on here.

Semper Fi

Gastone

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