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I finally did it. I asked my MH doc if he thought I had enough basis for a claim. He has me currently DXd with MDD. He told me that while I do have MDD, he's not so sure I could be successful with that as a claim for SCD. He asked me if I was 100%, I said no, but I am 80%. And he asked, then, if I was being paid at 100%. Said no, and he hmmmmm'd.
Then I asked if chronic pain made any difference. He said all depends. I told him that I fell down a flight of stairs during my 5th day of boot camp back in November of '92. Said I've been dealing with pain in my knees and lower back ever since that day. And have developed other issues that cause more pain as well. He asked if I have fibromyalgia, said no, not that I'm aware of. Said most of my pain is in various joints...with only some of the pain in muscle groups only. And that I've been dealing with radiculopathy for some time now, as well.
Then his whole countenance changed, I could see his brain working. Told me that chronic pain plays a huge part in causing depression. I mentioned faulty memory, sleep issues, chronic sinusitis and IBS also. He said all those things for sure can and will and do cause depression. He said I can't say if you'll get enough to get bumped to 100%, but I certainly do have enough for a good solid claim for depression secondary to chronic pain.
What should I submit for evidence? Should I submit copies of every STR entry showing where I mention any pain and was prescribed something for the pain? And every entry where I mention sleep issues, or drinking, or repeated bouts of IBS and sinusitis/URIs?
I only filed it this past Friday, so I do have a few weeks to get this together and send it off. Any and all suggestions are welcome, thank you in advance.
Thats great your Dr will help you just ask him to write you a favorable letter and give his opinion to your condition (or look at your VA Notes and make copies submit them)...there's no better evidence than that only a specialist Dr is all but your Dr can make things a lot better for you by writing you a good favorable letter.
if your 80 % I believe your Dr will give you a good 30% opinion..if he stated your depression is MMD Due mostly with your chronic pain
& that should put you up to the 100% but remember the Doc don't do the rating but he sounds like he knows what to do to get you up there.
after you see him wait 3 days and check your VA Notes on myhealthvet.
Also submit any and all evidence you have favorable to your claim the more evidence the better your chances.
I am writing a small letter as to how my condition/disability affects my life and my loved ones around me.
to make sure they know this.
Good Luck Buddy!
i always send everything i got. but for my IU claim, i submitted buddy letters which helped me a lot!
Thanks, Buck and iceturkee.
I also told him that I was very anxious to even mention this because I was afraid that I might be viewed as a moneygrubber or something. He said in his 3 decades of MH doc service, he has learned to pick out the posers. And he said that he could tell on our first session that I was as serious as they come. I told him that just hearing him say that was a giant stone off my back!
So, if I send everything related to pain only...it would be 60% of my STRs and 100% of my VA treatment records...And what if I had sent some of the copies previously for other claims...send them again?
What about the other issues...like IBS and chronic sinusitis and URIs? And the alcohol abuse and sleep issues?
Also, I submitted a letter from my wife, and one from myself, previously. Should I resubmit them as well?
Thanks a bunch!
Very helpful. I have been battling to get my rating for depression. It has almost been about a year now since my new claim was put in. I guess I will see where it goes.
While waiting and coping I recorded an album entitled PTSD!!!!
Andyman73, I am rated 50% for MDD/memory loss secondary to systemic lupus, and absolutely, even if you have submitted treatment records previously if you think they are beneficial to your MDD claim resubmit, but HIGHLIGHT the areas you think would help this specific claim, since we all know raters have a habit of scanning through records quickly. As Buck and Iceturkee stated, submit buddy letters as well. Do you have memory loss, or trouble completing tasks, because if you do, these are well known symptoms of MDD, and I would write a statement listing your symptoms and submit that as well, along with the doctors statement, buddy letters, and highlighted treatment records.
You cannot depend on a VA doctor to help SC your chronic pain and your depression. Most real psychiatrists would have no trouble making the connection. There was a window when the VA doctors were willing to write reports to help you connect things but that time is gone. If I did not get private IME/IMO reports I would be sitting at 30% today instead of P&T for the last 15 years. It is worth the money many times over to get good IME.
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