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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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Alcapone1931

What Kind of Rating Would this Fall under

Question

good afternoon all,

i am a new member on this, former US army reservist, and currently employed full time. i separated in 2009 but filed my claim in Aug 2015 (i wasnt aware as a reservist of only 6 yrs total enlistment that i could actually apply for anything). my decision finally moved in the Preparation for Decision phase two days ago, 6/21/2016.  i have two questions:

1 - how quickly does it go from here?...(im guessing the answer is that there is no answer. everyone's claim is handled differently but has anyone experienced the claim to wrap up rather quickly from here?)

2 - i am trying to determine what sort of rating i may get for my mental health based off my C&P results.  anyone with experience please take a look (below) and offer their opinion?

thank you kindly for any assistance and response:

                              SECTION I:
                                   ----------
    1. Diagnostic Summary
    ---------------------
    Does the Veteran have a diagnosis of PTSD that conforms to DSM-5 criteria
    based on today's evaluation?
    [X] Yes   [ ] No
    
       ICD code:  F 43.10
       
    2. Current Diagnoses
    --------------------
    a. Mental Disorder Diagnosis #1: PTSD
           ICD code: F 43.10

       Mental Disorder Diagnosis #2: Unspecified Depressive Disorder
           ICD code: F32.9

--------------------------------------------------------

 4. Occupational and social impairment
    -------------------------------------
    a. Which of the following best summarizes the Veteran's level of 
occupational
       and social impairment with regards to all mental diagnoses? (Check only
       one)
       [X] Occupational and social impairment with occasional decrease in work
           efficiency and intermittent periods of inability to perform
           occupational tasks, although generally functioning satisfactorily,
           with normal routine behavior, self-care and conversation

****i know by definition this summary may fall within the 30% rating, but please continue reading below******

 a. Medical record review:
    -------------------------
    Was the Veteran's VA e-folder (VBMS or Virtual VA) reviewed?
    [X] Yes   [ ] No
    
    Was the Veteran's VA claims file (hard copy paper C-file) reviewed?
    [ ] Yes   [X] No
    
      If yes, list any records that were reviewed but were not included in the
      Veteran's VA claims file:
        
      If no, check all records reviewed:
      
        [ ] Military service treatment records
        [ ] Military service personnel records
        [ ] Military enlistment examination
        [ ] Military separation examination
        [X] Military post-deployment questionnaire
        [X] Department of Defense Form 214 Separation Documents
        [X] Veterans Health Administration medical records (VA treatment 
records)
        [ ] Civilian medical records
        [ ] Interviews with collateral witnesses (family and others who have
            known the Veteran before and after military service)
        [ ] No records were reviewed
        [ ] Other:
3. Stressors
    ------------
    Describe one or more specific stressor event(s) the Veteran considers
    traumatic (may be pre-military, military, or post-military):
    
    a. Stressor #1: [censored]
          
          Does this stressor meet Criterion A (i.e., is it adequate to support
          the diagnosis of PTSD)?
          [X] Yes  [ ] No
          
          Is the stressor related to the Veteran's fear of hostile military or
          terrorist activity?
          [X] Yes  [ ] No
          
          Is the stressor related to personal assault, e.g. military sexual
          trauma?
          [ ] Yes  [X] No
 d. Additional stressors: If additional stressors, describe (list using the
       above sequential format):
          Stressor #4  [censored]

          This stressor meets Criterion A; this stressor is related to the
          Veteran's fear of hostile military or terrorist activity; this stessor
          is not related to personal assualt.
 4. PTSD Diagnostic Criteria
    ---------------------------
    Please check criteria used for establishing the current PTSD diagnosis. Do
    NOT mark symptoms below that are clearly not attributable to the Criteria A
    stressor/PTSD.  Instead, overlapping symptoms clearly attributable to other
    things should be noted under #7 - Other symptoms.  The diagnostic criteria
    for PTSD, referred to as Criteria A-H, are from the Diagnostic and
    Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5).
    
       Criterion A: Exposure to actual or threatened a) death, b) serious 
injury,
                    c) sexual violation, in one or more of the following ways:
          [X] Directly experiencing the traumatic event(s)

       Criterion B: Presence of (one or more) of the following intrusion 
symptoms
                    associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after the
                    traumatic event(s) occurred:
          [X] Recurrent, involuntary, and intrusive distressing memories of the
              traumatic event(s).

       Criterion C: Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the 
traumatic
                    event(s), beginning after the traumatic events(s) occurred,
                    as evidenced by one or both of the following:
          [X] Avoidance of or efforts to avoid external reminders (people,
              places, conversations, activities, objects, situations) that 
arouse
              distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings about or closely
              associated with the traumatic event(s).

       Criterion D: Negative alterations in cognitions and mood associated with
                    the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the
                    traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more) 
of
                    the following:
          [X] Persistent, distorted cognitions about the cause or consequences 
of
              the traumatic event(s) that lead to the individual to blame
              himself/herself or others.
          [X] Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others.

       Criterion E: Marked alterations in arousal and reactivity associated with
                    the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the
                    traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more) 
of
                    the following:
          [X] Hypervigilance.
          [X] Problems with concentration.
          [X] Sleep disturbance (e.g., difficulty falling or staying asleep or
              restless sleep).

       Criterion F:
          [X] Duration of the disturbance (Criteria B, C, D, and E) is more than
              1 month.
              
       Criterion G:
          [X] The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or


              impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of
              functioning.
              
       Criterion H:
          [X] The disturbance is not attributable to the physiological effects 
of
              a substance (e.g., medication, alcohol) or another medical
              condition.
              
       Criterion I: Which stressor(s) contributed to the Veteran's PTSD
                    diagnosis?:
          [X] Stressor #1
          [X] Other, please indicate stressor number (i.e., Stressor #4, #5,
              etc.) as indicated above:
                Stressor #4

    5. Symptoms
    -----------
    For VA rating purposes, check all symptoms that actively apply to the
    Veteran's diagnoses:
    
       [X] Depressed mood [this is a 30% symptom]
       [X] Anxiety [30% symptom]
       [X] Suspiciousness [30% symptom]
       [X] Panic attacks more than once a week [this is a 50% symptom]
       [X] Chronic sleep impairment [30% symptom]
       [X] Flattened affect [50% symptom]
       [X] Disturbances of motivation and mood [50% symptom]


****the symptoms listed above fall under both 30% and 50% criteria, so i am uncertain whether they will consider both or make the decision based off the Summary at the begining of the report, which technically defines the 30% rating******

 9. Remarks, (including any testing results) if any
    --------------------------------------------------
       Based on this examination and a review of the records, it is determined
       that the Veteran meets DSM-5 criteria for PTSD.  It is further determined
       that this diagnosis is at least as likely as not (50/50 probability) a
       result of the identified in service stressors.  The Veteran is also found
       to meet criteria for Unspecified Depressive Disorder.  This diagnosis is
       determined to be at least as likely as not (50/50 probability) 
proximately
       due to or a result of the PTSD.  The Veteran gives a credible account of
       stressors deemed consistent with his MOS, and with service in the
       identified combat theater.  While there are no related service treatment
       records, post-deployment questionnaires suggest that Veteran was
       experiencing subjective distress at the time of his redeployment. The
       claimed anxiety and sleep disturbance are deemed to be symptoms of both 
of
       the current diagnoses.

this ends my report.  thank you again for anyone's response and assistance.

[The Silent Warrior of the Army Team]

 

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Looks like a winner to me.  Now, how much compensation, not so sure.

And yes, they don't let the Reservists, to include Guardsman,  in on all on the available benefits.

We are what they call the "red headed step children" of the military.

Hopefully someone will comment on your PTSD claim, as I have no experience in that field...

Good luck,

Hamslice

 

 

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Yes this is true, Guardsmen and Guardswomen are the unwanted step children when it comes to claims.  However following the same criteria and the rules of the game will yield the best results.  Research and don't take any persons word for it, this to include my own.  I had to learn many a regs and build my claims but it is doable with the correct ingredients.

From the above post, now just my opinion, it definitely looks good for service connection.  That by far is the most important thing right now.  With service medical records indicating the problem and contemporary treatment records you are in good shape.

I love the fact that the doc mentions the post deployment assessments, this in my squirrelly brain makes a few things obvious, first and foremost service related events, secondly, verifiable symptoms.  I agree that you have a strong case for service connection,  I would be guessing on the rating but 30-50 seems to be the normal range here.

With the fact of being employed I would probably go with the 30% range, however, I am not a rater, and would just be throwing numbers out there.  The thing to concentrate on is again the service connection, which looks good, this is just my opinion.

If your symptoms are worse or have a greater effect than what the doctor opined then you can file an NOD, with contemporary records and treatment history from mental health professionals.

Good luck.

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Alcapone,

I believe they must by law, rate you on the highest allowable symptoms, so you are sitting solidly in the 50% block.  That don't mean they won't lowball you at 30%, tho.  Also, file for sleep issues as secondary to your PTSD!

Semper Fi

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thank you hamslice, arNG, and andyman for your prompt responses. good to hear you guys validate my bit of hope i have on this.

+andyman73 - i did file for sleep disturbances in my file, however i never got a c/p or anything for it so not sure if they are planning to consider that, hopefully the rater and decision will rate this.

just waiting on the file to move passed the 'preparation for decision' phase. ive heard stories of claims going either way from this phase, so finger crossed.

again, thank you all for taking the time out to respond.

-al

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Did they discuss your sleep issues at all, during your exam for the PTSD?

You can wait to see if they will say on the decision letter, or ask via the IRIS process.

Semper Fi

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