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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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C&P Exam Results Potentially 70-100%


In recently received my C&P exam and here is a summary of the results. What do you believe my raiting would be? This was done using the DSM 5 standards.

The examiner found that you do have a diagnosis of PTSD that meets the DSM V criteria.  He also opined that your PTSD was at least as likely as not incurred in or caused by the claimed in service stressor event.  It was also noted that your primary diagnosis is bi-polar

Veterans Diagnosis:

  1. Depressed mood
  2. Anxiety
  3. Suspiciousness
  4. Chronic Sleep Impairment
  5. mild memory loss, such as forgetting names, directions or recent events
  6. disturbsncea in motivation and mood
  7. difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances including work or work-settings 
  8. suicidal ideation 
  9. impaired impulse control, such as unprovoked irritability with periods of violence

i do well when I work and worry if I get  100% if I cannot continue my contracting for the military which would really hurt my kids support and make things more stressful. Though I have difficulty working when things get bad, Is it possible to be 100% without unemployability?

just would like some feedback and opinions 

Sincerelrey Just Some POG 


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Based on what you posted, that you are currently working, this shoots 100% out the window.  Read the criteria for 70 and 100 percent.  (I wont repost those criteria here, they have been posted many many times).  The criteria for 100 percent is "Total occupational impairment".  If you are working, then you dont have total occupational impairment.  You cant be just working and stressed..you have to be not working.  VA wont pay you for total occupational impairment if you think you can no longer work, but are working.  


Seventy percent is even doubtful, given what you posted.  Yes, you do have SI, as in the 70 percent criteria, but you are still working so that suggests a lower percentage.  Remember, VA is compensating you for the loss of earnings, and if you are working, well, that is unlikely to be 70 or 100%.  

I got 30 percent while (trying) to find work, even with SI.  Read over the criteria and see how your symptoms meet the criteria, tho, as I dont fully understand your symptoms.  Im sure you know those much better than I do.  

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@broncovet my contract vehicle is ending on december 16 so i will be unemployed unforunately I also submitted a letter stating that fact. With me breaking down due to all the stress it has made things 10x worse in my own head..I have more details if you want to take a gander. Maybe we can take this offline in PM'

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Ok.  You have to understand the difference between "unemployed" and "unemployable".  To get TDIU, you have to be the latter.  Millions of people get unemployed for many reasons, including job cutbacks, the economy, layoffs, and much more.  

To be unemployable, means that a DOCTOR says you are unable to work due to Service connected condtions.  That is, your service connected condition renders it impossible for you to maintain substantial gainful employment.  

Maybe you are unemployable.  I dont know.    Read your medical file, and you can find out if a doctor says you are unable to work due to service connected condtions.  

Being unemployed is not enough.  If GM lays off 1000 people, and Im one, that makes me unemployed, but not unemployable.  

The VA will contact your last employer and ask why you no longer work there.  Yes, they do that.  If you were laid off due to a contract ending, then they will presume you are employable.  In other words you worked until the contract ended.   Can you get what the VA is suggesting here?  If you can work, you do and finish the contract.  If you can not work, then you get fired before the contract is done.  

This may be what you dont want to hear, but, you will be much better off knowing its this way.  As always, you must have the Caluza triangle documented in your records, not in your head.  Caluza triange (for TDIU) is 

1.  Service connected diagnosis.  (not just a diagnosis)

2.  In service event, such as a stressor for PTSD.  The doctor would have to say something like, "This Veteran witnessed a horrific event in service (such as watching a friend burn to death), and this is at least as likely as not the cause of his PTSD".  

3.  Nexus or link.  A doctor needs to make a statment something very close to "   your PTSD (or other service connected conditions) is at least as likely as not preventing you from obtaining and maintaining Substantial Gainful Employment."

Beyond this, you need to meet the schedular requirements for TDIU or TRY to get a special exception if you are seeking extraschedular TDIU.  

Im trying to save you a lot of trouble, get your cfile and see if a doctor actually says these things (caluza triangle), because there is no chance of getting TDIU without the Caluza triangle documented.  It does not matter that you think you can not work, the VA will NOT connect the dots, a doctor must say it, and it must be in the records.  

Im trying to help here, you do not have to listen to me.  By the way, I have been fighting for TDIU since 2002, and continue to fight for it, now with a lawyer.    Im 100%, but lost my home in 2005, and am seeking back benefits to when I applied in 2002.  It took  my RO 14 years and 17 RO decisions, 3 BVA decisions, and 3 CAVC decisions and Im not there yet.   The VA did not even adjuticate my TDIU until 2009, they said it was "moot" because I got 100%.  I appealed and the BVA agreed with me so it was remanded.  The VA denied again, and I appealed to the BVA again.  Again I was denied by the BVA and appealed to the CAVC.  I just got a remand from the CAVC, have a lawyer now, and it is back to the drawing board, but I am hopeful this will be settled in 2017 or 2018.  That will be 16 years.  Alex got his after about 20 years, and much fighting.  

Get ready for a very long fight...yes, you may be one of the 15% who get it in a year or less, but make sure every i is dotted and t is crossed to have any chance of that.  

Im not suggesting, ever, you try to game the system.  Instead, I am suggesting you work until your doctor says you can not do it anymore.  If your contract ends, try to get another job or another contract, and keep trying until your doctor says its hopeless due to service connected conditions.  I have no idea how much longer you can work, if at all.  You may well be done in december, I just dont know.  But, to get TDIU a doc will have to say it.  

By the way, I tried to get more work for about 2 years before a doc told me I was unemployable due to SC conditions.  EVen when the doc said it, I did  not beleive him and tried to get work for another year.  

Edited by broncovet

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    • Yes 

      After a PTSD/Unspecific MDD Diagnose From the VA Dr's

      The gold standard for diagnosing PTSD is a structured clinical interview such as the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS-5). When necessary, the PCL-5 can be scored to provide a provisional PTSD DSM 5 diagnosis.

      Any clinical clinician such as MD ,Psychiatrist even a L.C.S.W. (Certified)can perform the Diagnostics Evaluation Employed by the the VA

      ...They just need to figure out your symptoms and put together a list of your symptom's that you possess or show from the evaluation...I am not 100% Sure just how they do this ?

      being I am not a Dr or clinical clinician 

      Once a Diagnoses of PTSD is given they try to set you up with a Therapist to help with your New dx And how to adjust or cope with the Anxiety and Depression the PTSD can cause.

        you learn the tools to cope with and depending how severe your symptoms are ? 

       They test /screen you with phychoeducational type therapy treatment usually at first.

       Warning  some of this therapy can be very rough on a Veteran  from holding on to guilt  from the trauma its self or you maybe in a  ''stuck point''from memories and guilt or from the stressor's or anything that reminds you of the trauma you endured.

      The therapy works  even if we think it don't,  I recommend Therapy for all PTSD Veterans  it could very well save your life once the correct therapy is in place and the Veteran makes all his Clinical Appointments.

      I still have Combat PTSD it probably will never be cured completely but we can learn the tools it takes to cope with this horrible diseases 

      even learning breathing techniques  Helps tremendously during a panic attact.

      I have guilt from the war in Vietnam  ( I ask my self what could I have done to make a better outcome/difference?..and also I am in what the therapist calls stuck points. working on that at present once a week for 90 minutes.  I am very fortunate to have the help the VA gives me and I am lucky I have not turned to alcohol or drugs to mask my problem.

      But I have put my family through a living hell with my angers of burst.and they all stood by me the whole time years and years of my family life was disrupted because of me and my children &spouse  never deserved it one bit.

      That's all I want to say about that.

      At least I am still around. and plan to be tell my old age dying day.
    • No timeframe gotta love that answer it’s even better when you ask 1800 people or call the board directly they’ll say you’ll know sooner then later. I had mine advanced and it was about 2 months later until I had the decision in my hand which seems forever but in the present system in 2016 lightning fast...
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    • I am serviced connected for ankylosing spondylitis back in 1985. I had a C&P exam on 7-7-19 since I am asking for an increase in my cervical, thoracic, and lumbosacral ratings. After speaking with the DAV to find out progress and info on my exam, the Rep. noted sort of what I expected. Radiculopathy was noted and ROM was 0-15 for cervical, and 0-25 for back. I am currently rated as Cervical 30%, Thoracic 10%, and Lumbosacral 40%. The main question that I have is relating to the thoracic 10% and lumbosacral 40%. I am confused on these two. Is Lumbosacral separate from the thoracic/others ? Since my back ROM is at 0-25, does this mean that my thoracic might increase from the 10% to a higher rating ? I am confused how they break down my ratings from cervical at 30%, Thoracic at 10%, and Lumbosacral at 40%. Also, with the radiculopathy, is this something that they will rate also ? I am currently at 90% total combined for all my disabilities. I hope this helps for someone to give me advice/answers.
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    • Thank you @GeekySquid for your reply. 


      I have redacted personal information for my documents listed below. 

      I look forward to your reply. 

      HEADACHE STR 2006 copy_Redacted.pdf


      Pages from Original Denial-Grant Reasons_Redacted.pdf
    • Hello Defenders of freedom!

      I have a question pertaining to this denial for headaches. The decision letter is quoted below. 


      3. Service connection for headaches.

      "We may grant service connection for a disability which began in military service or was caused by some event or experience in service.

      Your STRs are negative for any treatment of or diagnosis of headaches. On your post-deployment exam in 2005 you denied any headaches. On separation, you denied any headaches. VA treatment records are negative for any treatment of or diagnosis of headaches. On VA exam, the examiner stated there was no evidence of any residuals of a traumatic brain injury.

      We have denied service connection for headaches because the evidence of record fails to show this disability was incurred in or caused by military service."

      From my understanding these 3 points must be overturned to successfully win a CUE case:

       (1) either the correct facts, as they were known at the time, were not before the adjudicator or the statutory or regulatory provisions in existence at that time were incorrectly applied; 

      (2) the error must be undebatable and of the sort which, had it not been made, would have manifestly changed the outcome at the time of the prior determination

      and (3) a determination that there was CUE must be based on the record and law that existed at the time of the prior adjudication in question.  

      @Berta, or veterans out here who have knowledge/experience, tell me what facts you think would be needed to prove this denial for headaches was an error? 
      • 14 replies
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