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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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Guest DocCarter

Increase in PTSD/Horrible at handling stress

Question

Guest DocCarter

Hello all, 

I have been reading around on this forum for a while now and did have some questions regarding my PTSD, my inability to work, and my chances at receiving an increase. May 2016 I was granted 50% in PTSD. This rating was based solely on my C&P exam due to the fact that I hadn't been seen by a professional regarding my issues in the world. Since then, I have been in therapy at the VA and have been given medication to help. I got out of the military 2010, and I have had 13 jobs since then, each not lasting more than 3 months due to my anger and inability to handle the stress. One day will come that someone ticks me off just enough to the point where I just walk out. And this has been at ALL 13 positions since leaving the military. On top of that, I was only able to get fast food jobs, nothing I would consider sustainable. My stress and anxiety drove me to gambling, which completely shattered my life, divorce followed. 

Now my question, I put in for a reconsideration in their initial decision for at least 70% for PTSD. Would it help my case to send in a Statement In Support of my claim, detailing these positions and the reasons why I left, or would it hurt me?

I would really appreciate any and all feedback. I look at this situation as being extremely irresponsible because I really needed these jobs, but in these moments, my rage was from 0 to 100 and I could care less. Please provide some insight. Thank you.

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"Now my question, I put in for a reconsideration in their initial decision for at least 70% for PTSD. Would it help my case to send in a Statement In Support of my claim, detailing these positions and the reasons why I left, or would it hurt me? " It might help but hard to know.

VA will contact some of your past employers, maybe they go 5 years back...I dont know how far back....when you apply for TDIU, and will have their statements as evidence.

Make sure, even with the Reconsideration Request filed, that you also file a timely NOD.

Is there any way you could get copies of any of your employer personnel records?

You can apply for TDIU with any rating. (The 21-8940 form)

The decisions states how they came to award the 50% but they might have overlooked something.

Has any VA MH professional suggested the 21 day in House PTSD program to you?

Have you ever been denied for VOC Rehab solely due to the PTSD?

Do you get SSDI solely for the PTSD?

My husband applied for TDIU at 30 % SC for PTSD. He died and I continued the claim and they awarded posthumously 100% SC for PTSD.

I had a lot of evidence, much of it from the VA itself and the Electric Company-his past main employers.And many psychological test results. 

The 50% decision should tell you what evidence was lacking for a higher rating.I think you should apply for TDIU if you are unemployed now.

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Thank you so much for your reply. Well the thing is, I haven't really considered TDIU as an option for me yet. I have used my GI bill and finished my Bachelor's last year and I really want a chance. My therapist suggested that I file to get a higher percent because I "clearly" should be rated more. As far as 70% for PTSD is concerned, my inability to handle stress with work and with my family is extreme according to my therapist. From my understanding, TDIU I would not be able to work and I still would at least like a chance, since it's only been a year now that I know without a doubt my past behaviors were from PTSD and I've been in treatment. I want to know about the jobs and reasons for leaving statement help to get an increase to 70% or are you suggesting that I apply for TDIU as well?

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Doc

check out these criteria ratings   see the second paragraph for 70%

General Rating Formula for Mental Disorders

   Rating

Total occupational and social impairment, due to such symptoms as: gross impairment in thought processes or communication; persistent delusions or hallucinations; grossly inappropriate behavior; persistent danger of hurting self or others; intermittent inability to perform activities of daily living (including maintenance of minimal personal hygiene); disorientation to time or place; memory loss for names of close relatives, own occupation, or own name.100

Occupational and social impairment, with deficiencies in most areas, such as work, school, family relations, judgment, thinking, or mood, due to such symptoms as: suicidal ideation; obsessional rituals which interfere with routine activities; speech intermittently illogical, obscure, or irrelevant; near-continuous panic or depression affecting the ability to function independently, appropriately and effectively; impaired impulse control (such as unprovoked irritability with periods of violence); spatial disorientation; neglect of personal appearance and hygiene; difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances (including work or a worklike setting); inability to establish and maintain effective relationships.70

Occupational and social impairment with reduced reliability and productivity due to such symptoms as: flattened affect; circumstantial, circumlocutory, or stereotyped speech; panic attacks more than once a week; difficulty in understanding complex commands; impairment of short- and long-term memory (e.g., retention of only highly learned material, forgetting to complete tasks); impaired judgment; impaired abstract thinking; disturbances of motivation and mood; difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships.50

Occupational and social impairment with occasional decrease in work efficiency and intermittent periods of inability to perform occupational tasks (although generally functioning satisfactorily, with routine behavior, self-care, and conversation normal), due to such symptoms as: depressed mood, anxiety, suspiciousness, panic attacks (weekly or less often), chronic sleep impairment, mild memory loss (such as forgetting names, directions, recent events).30

Occupational and social impairment due to mild or transient symptoms which decrease work efficiency and ability to perform occupational tasks only during periods of significant stress, or symptoms controlled by continuous medication.10

A mental condition has been formally diagnosed, but symptoms are not severe enough either to interfere with occupational and social functioning or to require continuous medication.

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Thank you Buck. I feel that a I clearly carry symptoms that more closely match the 70% rating. It clearly explains everything I've been going though since 2010. I appreciate it. I think Im going to go with suggestions and apply for IU. 

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Doc, your 5/16 PTSD Award's anniversary date is fast approaching, have you filed your NOD yet? A Request for Reconsideration, does not stop the 1 year NOD Clock!

The somewhat harsh reality of your situation is, what you feel you should be rated at SC % wise, really doesn't matter. It all comes down to the VA Forensic C & P Psychiatrist or Psychologist PhD's completion of the Forensic PTSD DBQ.

Do you have a copy of your PTSD C & P DBQ, if so, post a redacted copy of the DBQ and your PTSD Award Letter. We need to see what your working with.

Consider applying to the VA Vocational Rehabilitation Program via your E-Ben Comp filing account. You should be able to get an appointment with a VRC in about 2 - 3 weeks. If your VRC agrees that your Unemployable and currently unable to pursue a Voc Rehab Path, a VR Denial Letter would be a piece of Gold, as Evidence for a IU Claim Filing.

With IU, you have to prove that your unable to do even Sedentary Work that would provide earnings of more than $12,400 (The VA SGI) cut-off. A full or even part-time job at Mickey D's would pay more than that.

Semper Fi

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