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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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    • Wonderful news way to hang in. I hope this gives you some well deserved peace. 
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      Our traffic is going up and so are our expenses, however revenues have gone down and so I am reaching out to you to see if you can help me keep Hadit.com up and running.
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    • https://community.hadit.com/searching-for-va-claims-information-on-hadit.com/

       

      Your question has probably been asked before so the fastest way to find the information you need is to search for it.
      • 3 replies
    • How to get your questions answered...


      All VA Claims questions should be posted on our forums. Read the forums without registering, to post you must register it’s free. Register for a free account.

      Tips on posting on the forums.

      Post a clear title like ‘Need help preparing PTSD claim’ or “VA med center won’t schedule my surgery” instead of ‘I have a question’.


      Knowledgable people who don’t have time to read all posts may skip yours if your need isn’t clear in the title. I don’t read all posts every login and will gravitate towards those I have more info on.


      Use paragraphs instead of one huge, rambling introduction or story. Again – You want to make it easy for others to help. If your question is buried in a monster paragraph there are fewer who will investigate to dig it out.


      Leading to:

      Post clear questions and then give background info on them.

      Examples:

      A. I was previously denied for apnea – Should I refile a claim?


      I was diagnosed with apnea in service and received a CPAP machine but claim was denied in 2008. Should I refile?



      B. I may have PTSD- how can I be sure?

      I was involved in traumatic incident on base in 1974 and have had nightmares ever since, but I did not go to mental health while enlisted. How can I get help?



      This gives members a starting point to ask clarifying questions like “Can you post the Reasons for Denial from your claim?” etc.

      Note:

      Your firsts posts on the board may be delayed before they show up, as they are reviewed, this process does not take long and the review requirement will be removed usually by the 6th post, though we reserve the right to keep anyone on moderator preview.

      This process allows us to remove spam and other junk posts before they hit the board. We want to keep the focus on VA Claims and this helps us do that.
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    • Exams that were being sent strictly to contractors before, due to VAMCs not being open, are starting to be routed back to VAMCs. This is going forward from last Friday- not sure if prior scheduled exams will be re-created for VAMC vs vendor.
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mrthing2000

New to the process

Question

Hello all.


I am new to the disability comp process, and I'll be the first to admit--it sort of freaks me out.  There is a lot of complexity to it, and I consider myself fairly learned and understanding of science and causation.  Years ago I interned at the local VA hospital, and my dad retired from 20+ years in the VA civil service.  Its a bit different walking in the door as a patient.

Okay, I had a book practically written below, but I'll keep it short:

  • Really didn't expect basic training to be as hard as it was--the constant screaming, lack of sleep, etc.  It WAS NOT like 'Scout Camp' like my recruiter and retired USAF neighbor said.  I never had more than 1-2 anxiety attacks before this.  It was a struggle.
  • Took a psych eval maybe 2-3 days into basic training.  I was referred to Behavioral Health for a followup.  They were concerned about stupid things like "I weight myself often".  Um yep, I was a bit chunky.  Whatever.  Released to duty no problem.
  • Tore the heck out of my feet in basic training, had PT waivers, missing big toenails and a lot of pain for months, bled through my shoes, horrible.
  • Post-basic training, tore hamstrings in PT session--put on about a monthlong PT waiver
  • Developed severe bronchitis.  USAF docs treated me like I was faking it.  It wasn't 'a cold'.  I got really bad.  Nearly hospitalized.  Took 3 weeks+ to recover

Had an uneventful year in the Air Guard, then ran into some older guys who basically hazed me.  I was about 3 paygrades lower, and 20 years younger.  It was awful

  • Broke up with a girlfriend after getting ready to move across country--my unit 'was concerned I was depressed'
  • Had a field exercise that didn't go well.  They asked for feedback in an email. Was a little 'too honest'.  Nothing I said was wrong, but I clearly did not like where I was, who I was with, and did not trust them.  Probably shouldn't put that in an email.  To this day I stand by what I said.  Some good guys, some idiots.  Was sent for a psych eval for 'erratic behavior'.  Initially cleared.  Nope--sent for another one.

I said screw that, these people are jerks, and I transferred into the Navy Reserve.  Had 2 good years there.  Enjoyed it thoroughly.

Graduated college, moved across country.  Wasn't enthusisatic about the hassle of drill weekends.  Wasn't making anything as an E-4.  Prospective employers were always wary 'so you can get called up', and 'oh, so when do you get out.'  I realized I needed to cut ties.  I was out of college.  Did what I came to do.  See ya.

9/11 happened and I was nearly recalled to Active Duty.  But I lucked out, stayed in my civil service job, and was transferred to the IRR per my request.  I kept up pooints for good years in the IRR, but had no real intention of going back.

Had a change of heart, and economics were getting tight.  Re-enlisted and went back to the drilling reserve.  Found a loophole in my previous contract, and intentionally took a demotion to change career fields.  Muhahaha.  Then advanced first cycle each time.  A year later, was an E-5.  Took all the extra orders I could.  Did pretty well.  Spent a year on and off active duty orders in the reserve.  Job market sucked and I liked traveling to new places.  New York City was a highlight.  Went twice.  

But wife got into nursing school.  We'd have to move.  You go where you have to.  And she was busy as hell.  Loans were piling up.  I figured--take a deployment.  In the meantime, I volunteered to go to New Orleans to help with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.  And en route, got hammered by Hurricane Rita there (anybody remember that?).  

  • Started having sinus issues from the mold that was now everywhere (not in my service record)
  • Started feeling extremely depressed, slept every free moment I could (the post-deployment questionnaire shows that somewhere)

A few months later, got the magic phone call.  Deploy now if I wanted, but not with my unit.  Or not.  But I knew I would probably get yanked to go to Iraq with the Seabees (now I was one), Korea with the Coastal Warfare unit I was now in, or maybe not get yanked for a year.  But eventually I would.

Economics rule.  I opted for NOW.  But the catch was--it was with the ARMY.  And it was a year-long.  And it was Afghanistan.  

The deployment sucked--why would you expect different?  I enjoyed a lot of it.  But the issues I felt during Katrina got intense.  The isolation from the real world sucked.  I was fighting the 'just war'.  But we didn't do much anything most of the time.  We were ON the front lines.  Basically not doing anything all day.  I was trained for all this combat stuff, and was stuck all day on the tiny FOB.  And if you don't engage the enemy, they come to you.  First night of tower guard, gunfire.  Turns out if was a runaway 50cal on a Humvee.  Tracers into the sky.  An accident.  And accidents, more than anything else, were to mar the deployment over and over.

In short:

  • Stationed with ABSOLUTELY IDIOT medical types who didn't document anything.  Totally worthless people.  And now it matters more than ever.
  • Broke a toe on my right foot (have the x-ray for that)
  • Howitzers are loud.  Mortars 40 feet from your tent are louder (tinnitus really sucks--but need formal diagnosis)
  • Body armor and Humvees don't mix well off-road (2-3 weeks in physical therapy)
  • Anxiety sucks.  Got demoted with a feud with my CO, and he ended up relieved of command a couple of weeks later.  But anxiety was worsening, and now I was having up to 15 attacks PER DAY.  Son of a bitch tried to ruin me.  
  • Had a former co-worker I knew in my civilian days, take a mortar shell to the helmet.  He woke up in Germany.  9 people didn't
  • Had to go to a funeral for 2 fallen airman.  They died in a suicide bombing--getting MAIL in Kabul--and if they waited 1 day, it came by helo.  Some COs don't understand that's an idiot risk. Made a quick enemy with my CO over the issue.  And then it spiraled.  He demoted me, but then was relieved of command.  LONG LONG story.
  • Smashed in the face with a Humvee door (not in service record)
  • Finally got tired of anxiety attacks, saw an Army psychiatrist.  Guy basically said 'too bad, deal with it, and sent me back to the front lines'.  Anxiety attacks now were almost continuous.  
  • Was deprived of sleep constantly because a few CO-loyalists though it fitting to assign me extra duty whenever possible.  No joke--sleeping maybe 2 hours a night for days/weeks on end.  Was sleeping instead of eating lunch.  Slept every free moment I had.
  • Base was attacked a few times.  That sucked.  But I was more upset about missing lunch--serious.  Started to notice I was detached from my surroundings.  Sort of felt invincible in terms of the war around me, but extremely vulnerable too.  Was more suspicious of people.  Feared my own people more than the Taliban--absolutely dead serious.
  • Was stuck for months hosting the Local National Detail--basically locals who could work on the base doing menial tasks.  They got paid for janitorial stuff mostly.  And I had to drive and escort them to the BURN PIT.  Sometimes 5 times a day.  It was awful.  And some Army guys threw ammunition into the trashcan.  Nothing like rounds going off when you drive down there. Seriously.  A car battery sounds like a car bomb.  Crazy.  
  • Could have been killed by a mortar that blew up just feet out of the tube.  Had it not been an illuminating round...
  • Had many suicidal thoughts during the deployment.  Instead, just volunteered for crazy stuff.  Figured result would be the same.
  • If we had any medical issues at all, the Navy tried to hold us hostage at Norfolk.  I had to sign out AMA (Against Medical Advice) so I could finally go home after being gone 13 months.  

Post deployment:

  • Had extremely strong irritable bowel symptoms 1-2 months later.  This had plagued me at Fort Bragg and intermittently throughout the deployment.  Had a barium exam.  Horrible.  Results: inconclusive.  Something has plagued me since, and it has been 10 years.
  • Very strong anxiety, PTSD, and particularly depression.  Formally diagnosed at the VA hospital.  Finally had something.  Meds: Prozac.
  • Moved across country for Graduate School: may have experienced a manic episode.  Adjusted meds.  Felt better.
  • Diagnosed with SEVERE chronic obstructive sleep apnea by the VA.  Been on a CPAP now for 7 years.
  • Struggled with a lot of change.  Medications had side effects, things were rough.  Been on a mental health see-saw for years.
  • Changed meds to Cymbalta.  Bad idea--if I took it an hour later than usual, I started to feel withdrawal 
  • Changed meds to Wellbutrin to address worsening anxiety.  It did not work.  Had almost immediate depression severity.  Had to discontinue after 3 weeks--was literally suicidal.  Scary as hell.
  • Change to Pristiq.  Seemed better than other choices.  Took that for 2 years.
  • Moved again, new doc prescribed Lamotrigine as a mood stabilizer.  Took for 1 year
  • Recently, sleep really got bad.  Prescribed Ambien
  • Anxiety attacks nearly daily.  Prescribed Adivan.  Eventually doubled the dose just to sleep.  Having recurrent dreams of being isolated, stuck in the Navy, in trouble, etc.
  • Finally fed up with the doc, transferred to the VA.  Initially thought the pyschiatrist was a bit weird.  But she said a few things that amazed me.  And unlike the previous psych doc, she listened to my concerns.  Changed sleep meds to Tramadol.  Changed meds to Clonipin for PTSD, anxiety.  Still taking Pristiq and Lamotrigine. Feeling somewhat better but not where I want to be, but closer than before
  • Oh yes, and my feet are killing me now.  I wonder if my foot geometry shifted after the broken foot and basic training injuries

Overall, its been a real struggle.  Survivors guilt, being abused by some peers and superiors, some issues from PTSD, and a propensity to want to talk about things, but nobody wants to hear your story.  No one.  Everyone wants to believe the Afghan campaign was the 'right war'.  And they don't want to know we tried but basically failed.

There were no war heros in my FOB.  One purple heart.  A LOT of close calls.  And tons of accidents.  Tons.

It took me almost 10 years to finally march myself into the VA and say 'finally, let's do this'.  I have pain, nightmares, anxiety attacks, and I've not tackled them.  I go to the VA and feel out of place--30 years younger than everyone else there.  And 'I'm not as bad as that guy' feeling.  And especially thinking someday about re-enlisting, and not wanting a foot of paper to need a waiver for everything.

But then I realized, its very unlikely I would re-enlist.  And I was getting older.  I had the time.  Let's roll.

I am wary of the VA, just as I was wary of the medical departments all along.  There is so much missing in my service records.  Our unit corpsman didn't write anything down.  It will be a struggle to argue service connectivity for many things, being that its been 9 years since I came 'home'.  It sucks.  I remember times/dates/places vividly.  That may not matter.

But its a fight many of you know all too well.  I have questions.  Many.  And truly, thank you for your service.  

We weren't all patriots.  Some needed money for college, others to feed their families.  And many drafted without a choice.  Most old, and a few young ones.  But we are all veterans.

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The VA rating criteria contains a list of diagnostic codes and are broken down by categories/systems.

http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?rgn=div5;node=38:1.0.1.1.5

Just be sure to read the entire text of sections which might draw your interest. For example, the gastro issues section describes which codes overlap each other. There is a lot to read. I just didn't want you to search for the table with your disabilities and think that was all that matters.

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23 hours ago, Berta said:

Hiring an attorney depends on many factors....and it seems you have not been denied yet...

 

Thanks for the advice--this is truly great stuff and very helpful especially to newcomers to the process.

Well, its complicated but I sort of was denied.

The VSO here submitted a bunch of forms 'on my behalf' without telling me.  I don't even recall signing them.  I had butted heads with the VSO since she was unfriendly, hostile, and didn't lend herself to answering any questions I had.  I remember that she printed off a bunch of forms, spelled my name wrong on them (and gave me the biggest eyeroll and sigh ever when I asked her to fix it) one form for each claim (I think), and told me to 'go check my records' and bring back what I had.  Well, it took me months to get them and go through them--and then QTC came calling.

No one had ever told me that QTC was a contractor that schedules appointments.  Apparently the VSO had submitted my info in June, pretty much right after I visited.  So now I was being scheduled for all sorts of appointments I didn't know about, one I had already missed (!).  

First thing I noticed, an appointment in the same day as another, but the second appointment was an hour later, and 350 miles away.  But to be nice, they had included directions for me :lol: 

I talked to them about this, and apparently had an appointment scheduled that I didn't know anything about, and had missed already.  And another one the next morning.  Apparently QTC doesn't ask when you want an appointment, and think you never have anything to do. I asked to cancel these and allow me to reschedule--basically I said, 'let me call you'.  And they said that was okay.  I guess not!

Sorry for the long explanation, but to summarize, I was denied on basically every claim because "I had missed my appointment" on some of them.  Others said something like 'your service record has no mentions of....' (not surprising to me), and the others said something like 'there is something in your service record about this, but your claim is denied due to a lack of a diagnosis, etc.'

So I don't know if the VSO had put these in as a FDC, or a standard claim.  But filing it without me knowing it, especially when I was working diligently to get records--jeez.  I am currently looking for another VSO.

So, I guess I was denied by default.  Makes me mad.  As was typical in my career, always obstructed through no fault of my own.

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19 hours ago, Buck52 said:

usually you need to be denied before seeking an attorney  but you can get one if your able to pay out of pocket to help you with your claim or claims to prepare your claim before sending it in to the VA Raters.

or better yet  just come here to hadit and ask questions.

Thanks--I don't know if I expect the attorneys will make much difference in the beginning to me, since its either the VA and/or the attorney saying 'go do your homework'.

But I'm finding as I already thought, much of the medical record is completely missing, etc.  What remains is over 4" thick, and it has a lot of evidence (good). I was in tears reading some of it.  There's a huge part of me that wants to give up on the VA process already.  Its painful to relive a lot of it. 

For some of these claims, they are legit but I'm going to have a hell of a time finding evidence in support of them.  I was hoping not to go the buddy letter route--one guy with the best knowledge was a tentmate, and a huge jerk.  We parted on very bad terms.  A few were like that.  After being bullied by some of them, just the thought of contacting people I've tried to avoid for over 10 years is horrifying.  I can get letters from other people, I suppose.

My other problem I'm having already is eHealth, or forgive me if I am using the wrong terminology for it.  Whatever 'the thing' is that has the VA Blue Button--when I use it, it is missing a ton of records.  It shows some of the newer appointments, results, etc., but nothing from 2007 onward, except maybe a flu shot.  2007 was when I had a barium colonoscopy for suspected IBS/Crohns/parasite (which was 'inconclusive'), when I was diagnosed by the VA with depression, etc.  All that was within 2-3 months of discharge, at the moment.  I can't tell when I had the initial diagnosis for sleep apnea, but 'of course' I expect it was outside a year of discharge, just short of 2 years.

I would like to figure out the IMO process soon.  But for me, probably means I need to find an in-network IMO provider or prepare to pay $$$.

I'm looking into the Burn Pit Registry at the moment, but not expecting anything on that.

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VA denies every claim when you miss a C and P exam.  They dont schedule those at your convience, you must adjust your schedule to theirs.  

Its a very, very bad idea to miss a C and P exam.  When you do, you just put a bullet in the head of your claim.  

You need to call back the examiner's office and reschedule immediately.  Be available whenever they want you to.  Its your only chance, without IMO/s or IME's.  

 

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If you can reschedule now, even if the exam was long ago, you can resubmit that as new and material evidence under 38 cfr 3.156, and you can survive the bullet to the head wound to your claim.  Just dont try it again.  The va will say you abandoned your claim, which they are already doing, unless you take effective action, now. 

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  • Similar Content

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      Within the last 3 weeks i had a 3rd & 4th "exam". The third was a MD who was reviewing my records as well and asked alot of the same questions, she was also unaware this was a secondary claim for aggravation and had seen no evidence submitted or my entire file so i went through it with her again.  The 4th exam was another psych interview which i was told was to examine my secondary claims to OSA, but knowing the VA i knew it was basically another review of my ENTIRE PTSD claim ive had as well.  Vets should be aware that even if a exam is about something specific any evidence or statements made that can negatively effect an existing general disability & will be held against you.  This was quite clear when he just asked about current PTSD symptoms and never ONCE asked about my OSA, etc. So i had to bring that up myself. 

      VA.gov check claims hasnt been updated since a week after my claim submission. my OSA claim has said "we dont know your status" even now and my other new/increased claim stopped after "request for more information" (i.e. requesting new QTC exams).  So ever few days i check that as well as ebenefits to see if any of the DBQ's show up in my blue button (none have but im guessing because QTC doesnt have to update the way in house VA does).
      Finally today i see on my disabilities list that OSA was granted secondary to PTSD for 50% bringing me to 90% with an effective date of 4/24/20.  I know that this ISNT the same as a letter from the VA but i know someone who is a VA rater who has been giving me updates on my record so im 99% certain this ebenfits update is accurate.  
       
       
      The takeaways are this.
      1) Do the damn research and work the claim yourself, no VSO or rep is going to care as much as you do. You care about your case, they have 15,50,100 other vets whos cases they are working and even if they are a great VSO/rep they cant possibly give a crap as much as you do.  dont hope the VA just "gives" you the rating you deserve make it so they cant NOT give it to you with the proper evidence.
      2)IMO's are golden. I know not everybody can afford them, i couldnt per say and had to sell some things to come up with the $500 for Dr. Tripi and $1500 for Dr. Anaise, but they were well worth it, without them i definitely wouldnt have gotten my OSA approved. I think have both a MD stating both the phyiscal and mental nexus and a Psychologist stating the pure mental side gave it a one two punch.  
      3) Along with the IMO go to doctors/specialists in your area and get documented evidence of you issue, ask them to be detailed in the exam notes.  I even emailed a couple time asking the doc (this wasnt for OSA but a different claim, but good general advice) asking them to update the notes to specifically include certain symptoms and effects upon quality of life.  Having this helps alot, combined with IMO's its very difficult for a random NP to override their  findings with one exam or phone interview.  Remember the VA is military based in that the ranking officer rules.  So if you only have a NP (nothing against NP's this is just how the VA works) from a urgent care saying you have OSA caused by PTSD or that your shin splints are 8/10 pain and they have a pulmonologist, MD or specialist say its only 1/0 and doesnt effect guess who wins. If you have two psychologists but yours has great bonafides and background and theirs has only been practicing for 5 years solely at the VA yours wins.  Im not saying dont go to a primary care to document because youll only see a NP all evidence helps but be aware if they pull out a MD who counters that exams findings youre likely to lose. Because they will always want to lean to denial and if their person has more experience or is a specialist that will win over what  you submit. Dont give them an option, and even if they do decide to rule against you, you can make a great appeal based on the fact they sided with their NP over a specialist in the field your making a claim for who knows more.

      4) Never let claims die. Dont make a new claim until your ready to with great evidence (file a intent to file first though to preserve backpay/effective date) If denied make sure you keep a reminder about the NOD date and when you do file a NOD make sure that is certified mail with return receipt to prove you mailed it/VA received it before the deadline, because if you dont and they can make a case it was received 24 hours after the NOD deadline you lost you backpay date and possibly years of backpay.  Now there are situations where claims die but if theres a opportunity to still make it on appeals hire a GOOD (there are alot of crappy ones) appeals attorney and move forward. I know they take 20%+ of your backpay but if you aent comfortable enough to navigate the appeals process its well worth it.  
      5) stay up to date on new VA regs, Hadit is a great source for this you dont want to be like me thinking that certain avenues are still open and they arent. If I had stayed up to date i wouldve been able to file earlier for the OSA and preserve YEARS AND YEARS of backpay now im only going to get 2 months.
      6) I didnt do this for this claim although i should've and kept a diary of when i was using the CPAP, roughly when i ripped it off, data on how long i wore it, frustrations over not being able to wear it, info on my nightmares causing me to rip it off etc.  years of diary entries wouldve been a help. I didnt need it in the end but if you cant afford a IMO things like this can help because theres NO SUCH THING AS TOO MUCH EVIDENCE.  A diary is one of the key things that helped me win my migraines case.  for months prior I kept a diary of my headaches and effects, then transcribed them into ebenefits health diary.  I am not perfect at it but i now write as much as i can as often a i can in this diary about ANY service connected or possibly service connected illness (especially things that could be considered aggravated by a service/possible service connected disability).  That way when you are making a claim or fighting a reduction you can pull out timestamped entries for months/years relating to it and it makes it harder for a rater to think you pulled this out your but last month to make a claim. 
       
      A big thanks to everyone on HADIT.  i did alot of research here through the years to help make my claims better and it worked
      Another big thanks to Dr. Anaise and Dr. Tripi for their outstanding IMO's that helped me win this. 
    • By Ztmiller8
      Hey all,
      First off, love this page it has been extremely helpful! 
      Background: currently at 90% / 70-ptsd, 50-migraines, 10-iritis, 10-tinnitus, and I’m in the running for 100 at the moment. 
      Current day: Was content at 90 but after all these years I have finally come out about my MST when I was in the infantry. Still working stuff out on that end as this is still fresh...
      Anyway, I submitted a claim for sleep apnea because of the MST. I submitted the following: picture of CPAP machine I use in my house, nexus statement from issuing doctor, Nexus statement from other doctor stating the sleep apnea is due to trauma from MST,  copy of sleep study confirming I have sleep apnea from doctor listed above and buddy statements as well as the formal submission paperwork of my MST to three levels of my chain of command, NCO, O3, O5 etc...
      Wrap this all up with a successful expedited hardship approval and you now have me waiting for answers. Well today (a few moments prior to writing this) I found out I am getting a C&P exam for this...I almost feel like this is a slap in the face...I mean how am I to go up to that examiner and explain all this when I literally gave it all to them...
      Has anyone been in my shoes before???
       
      Thank you all.
    • By ThomasGray
      First off, hello and thank you in advance for any help that can be provided. Also, I apologize if something is not clear, trying my best to keep things concise.
      On Friday, May 15, I received letter from the VA, dated May 11, proposing a rating reduction from 100% to 70% for PTSD. The only evidence for the change listed is Rating Decision - Narrative(17SEP18) and DBQ PSYCH PTSD Review(06MAY20), whereas on my initial decision letter there was an abundance of evidence used. The major takeaway appears that my medical records(both prior to and after the initial rating, also from VA facilities) were not considered in this proposal. Is this normal?  
      I have yet to obtain the most recent C&P as I just received the proposal letter, but intend to attempt on Monday, May 18. Looking at the proposal letter though it seems that examiner didn't check a few specific boxes that were checked on my previous C&P. Other than that the differences appear to be minor. The two lists are as follows: Original C&P Gross impairment in communication Suspiciousness Depressed mood Suicidal ideation Near-continuous depression affecting the ability to function independently, appropriately, and effectively Disturbances of motivation and mood Chronic sleep impairment Near-continuous panic affecting the ability to function independently, appropriately, and effectively Difficulty in understanding complex commands Total occupational and social impairment Panic attacks (weekly) Difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances Neglect of personal appearance and hygiene Difficulty in adapting to work Inability to establish and maintain effective relationships Flattened effect Panic attacks (less than weekly) Intermittent inability to perform maintenance of minimal personal hygiene Difficulty in adapting to a worklike setting Anxiety Difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships Intermittent inability to perform activities of daily living Gross impairment in thought processes New C&P Forgetting names Occupational and social impairment, with deficiencies in most areas, such as work, school, family relations, judgement, thinking, and mood Depressed mood Suicidal Ideation Near-continuous depression affecting the ability to function independently, appropriately, and effectively Disturbances of motivation and mood Mild memory loss Forgetting recent events Chronic sleep impairment Near-continuous panic affecting the ability to function independently, appropriately, and effectively Difficulty in understanding complex commands Panic attacks more than once a week Difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances Neglect of personal appearance and hygiene Difficulty in adapting to work Inability to establish and maintain effective relationships Impairment of short- and long-term memory Flattened effect Difficulty in adapting to a worklike setting Anxiety Difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships Forgetting directions I bolded the important items not that were not checked on the new c&p which led to the reduction proposal. It seems strange to me that new symptoms were added, however the very specific ones that would've caused the rating to remain the same all disappeared in just 1.5 years even though there is no noted improvement in my actual medical records.  
      What exactly is my next step? I have written a few statements of disagreement contesting the proposed reduction and pulled my VA medical records and will be getting a copy of the new C&P shortly. I have no idea were send the items as it is unclear in the packet. It says I have 30 days for one option and 60 days for the other. I don't think I need a notice of disagreement or start the appeal process as the final decision hasn't been made(this is a poorly worded question)?  
      Can I also request that they consider TDIU if the rating reduction is finalized or will I have to start a new claim for that? Should i send TDIU forms with my statements of disagreement and records?  
      I have been avoiding poking the bear and not filing claims for other conditions, some of which are caused by the various medications they have me taking, should I start filing claims for those as well?  
      And finally, if I do have to file for TDIU separately, should I start the claim now so that the date is saved? Do I submit the claim before or after I receive the final decision on the proposal? Sorry for the long post. I'm lost as to what to do next. It took me over 5 years of being denied before they would actually service connect anything and now this. Thanks again for any help, it is appreciated.
    • By Wise Guy
      I have a current claim for several injuries to include PTSD. I did some research and found out the best way of getting a rating for migraines is to have a diary through the VA of the migraines. For my PTSD which I got diagnosed through the VA in February, I'm taking Doxazosin (Nightmares), Hydroxyzine (Anxiety), and Sertraline (Mental Health). All of the medication causes headaches. However, the Sertraline only causes headaches within the first 2 weeks. I was going to wait until the claim was complete before filing for Migraines because I wanted to already have the rating for PTSD first so I can claim the migraines as secondary. But is there a way to still file for it now to still say it's because of the medication for the PTSD? Which route should I go or is there a better one? And should I talk to my VA counselor/medication doctor to get him to state that my migraines are caused by my PTSD and medications? I heard every time you file for a new claim, then everything gets re evaluated so it would be ideal if there was a way to get everything done now. 
       
      Also, I did get diagnosed through the VA for Sleep Apnea back in February,. So, can I say that the migraines was also caused by the Sleep Apnea?
    • By Jerry E
      BACK PAY:  Does  VA give retro back pay all at once or do they break it down...I used a va retro calculator and in low end and high end scenarios I came up with $40,000 plus....7 year back pay on one condition 5 years on another..long story short called VA because after waiting 2 plus weeks from receiving award letter they stated I had a payment of only half that being scheduled for this week couldn't give any info on any future if any payments 
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      Your question has probably been asked before so the fastest way to find the information you need is to search for it.
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    • How to get your questions answered...


      All VA Claims questions should be posted on our forums. Read the forums without registering, to post you must register it’s free. Register for a free account.

      Tips on posting on the forums.

      Post a clear title like ‘Need help preparing PTSD claim’ or “VA med center won’t schedule my surgery” instead of ‘I have a question’.


      Knowledgable people who don’t have time to read all posts may skip yours if your need isn’t clear in the title. I don’t read all posts every login and will gravitate towards those I have more info on.


      Use paragraphs instead of one huge, rambling introduction or story. Again – You want to make it easy for others to help. If your question is buried in a monster paragraph there are fewer who will investigate to dig it out.


      Leading to:

      Post clear questions and then give background info on them.

      Examples:

      A. I was previously denied for apnea – Should I refile a claim?


      I was diagnosed with apnea in service and received a CPAP machine but claim was denied in 2008. Should I refile?



      B. I may have PTSD- how can I be sure?

      I was involved in traumatic incident on base in 1974 and have had nightmares ever since, but I did not go to mental health while enlisted. How can I get help?



      This gives members a starting point to ask clarifying questions like “Can you post the Reasons for Denial from your claim?” etc.

      Note:

      Your firsts posts on the board may be delayed before they show up, as they are reviewed, this process does not take long and the review requirement will be removed usually by the 6th post, though we reserve the right to keep anyone on moderator preview.

      This process allows us to remove spam and other junk posts before they hit the board. We want to keep the focus on VA Claims and this helps us do that.
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    • Exams that were being sent strictly to contractors before, due to VAMCs not being open, are starting to be routed back to VAMCs. This is going forward from last Friday- not sure if prior scheduled exams will be re-created for VAMC vs vendor.
      • 7 replies
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