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Separate Ratings for Separate Mental Disorders


SARguy1441

Question

I am currently in the process of separating at my EAOS in a couple months. 1 year ago I was diagnosed with Adjustment Disorder, and several months ago I was diagnosed with Panic Disorder without Agoraphobia and Major Depressive Disorder. I have a few questions in regards to my potential VA disability rating. 

1. Will my Panic Disorder and MDD replace my Adjustment Disorder diagnosis for rating purposes?

2. Will my Panic Disorder and MDD be rated separately since they are two separate, unrelated diagnoses or will they be combined to form one rating?

3. My therapist has never really talked or documented the hx or possible causes of my anxiety/depression. I've read her notes in my medical record and there is no mention as to a possible cause or event that started my mental disorders. From what I've picked up in our conversations, I think she feels that my mental disorders are more organic in nature where as I believe they are more stemmed from some significant traumas and deaths I had to take care of as a corpsman. But like I said, she makes no note of it in my record and her patient notes focus more on how i presently feel during our appointment and management techniques that we work on. My question is will the VA automatically assume that my mental disorders are service connected or do I need to provide more evidence in my claim before I separate, either in the form of a personal statement or asking my therapist to document my ''traumatic events''?

 

I would greatly appreciate any feedback. Also any idea what I might get? I have mild-moderate depression with suicidal ideation, low energy/motivation, decreased social interactions, and one suicide attempt. For my panic disorder, I have mild anxiety constantly as a baseline that increases with stress and about 2 panic attacks a week. My disorders severely affected my relationship with my daughter's mother, leading to our separation. I'm on 20mg Lexapro and Valium as needed.

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I had to laugh about your "automatic assume" its service connected.  The only thing VA "automatically assumes" is that we are all drug addicts and alcoholics, and we will all abandon our family.  If you apply as Married with kids, then VA will take so long to get your benefits they assume you got a divorce and abandoned your kids and pay you as single, like they did me.  

You are entitled, however, to a presumption as follows:

1.  Read your entrance exam.  Does it note any mental health disorders?  If not, then you have a presumption of soundness, except as noted on your entrance physical.   

     This means if you get some injury or illness, and you did not have it before service, then it was caused by service, but only if you apply at VA within one year of exit from the military. 

2.  Mental health disorders are all rated on symptoms, once service connected, and they are all the same: PTSD, MDD, MST, bipolar etc., etc.   No, VA regulations prohibit them from paying you for the same symptoms on PTSD, AND MDD, and Bipolar etc.  Just once.  The va is absolutely anal about not paying you double for anything, but instead deny and delay you as long as possible, then lowball you.    Your rating centers around your job, called occupational impairment.  Social impairment is a factor, but the big deal is can you earn a living?  Everyone has relationship problmes, whether they have PTSD or not.  

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8 hours ago, SARguy1441 said:

I think she feels that my mental disorders are more organic in nature where as I believe they are more stemmed from some significant traumas and deaths I had to take care of as a corpsman. But like I said, she makes no note of it in my record and her patient notes.

In Bronco unique way, he is suggesting that you should consider being tested for PTSD prior to your ETS. As you are still in-service your mental health should be considered service related.

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