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First of all  wanted to start this out by saying thank you to all the members on this site. I have been doing all my own research and very often arrived here. Today I decided it might be better to get direct contact instead of lurking in the shadows.

The short version is that I have not been able to find work after separating, I'm currently on unemployment to keep myself out of debt while I figure this all out. I was in school for a few months and while I was struggling a bit I did my best to push through which was kind of working out for awhile. Eventually I started getting to the point where I could only manage to push myself to get to class and landed right back in bed afterwards. This effect snowballed and now I have just been medically withdrawn from university after missing 2 weeks of class. Those two weeks I could not get out of bed almost the entire time, I have been taking my meds and everything but sometimes depression just decides its going to mess your life up and you don't have the will or energy strong enough to overcome and keep going. But back to the point, the VA awarded me 30% for depression, anxiety and insomnia combined into one rating. Trying to figure out how I am going to get by and what I can do to survive brought me to the vets group on campus where one of the other guys after hearing what was going on suggested trying to get my rating increased and possibly seeing if I am eligible for individual unemployability. After reading how the VA scores depression I believe I might be in the 70% range but I'm not sure how to go about this. I've got the NOD paperwork but didn't want to fire off half cocked. I look to you all for some help with this as time and again I've seen this community help each other navigate the labyrinth that is the VA.

My question here is multifaceted, which I will break down for easier reading and responding. 1. When filing a NOD should I go for DRO or traditional? 2. What evidence should I include with this to increase the likelihood of conveying my situation properly? 3. Should I talk to my doctor about trying to raise my percentage or keep the two separate? 4. Should I focus on the depression or give information on insomnia and anxiety as well/ would they all go together? 5. Lastly What sort of timeframe should I expect, I've seen people saying a few months and others waiting years later. Thank you all for any help you can provide and if you need any more information or clarification I will gladly supply it. (There are other things in my disability claim but they are much minor to the mental health issues and I believe the ratings I received for the others were fair or fair enough.)

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 You said:

"After reading how the VA scores depression I believe I might be in the 70% range but I'm not sure how to go about this."

Your profile says you are 70% now.But I think you mean the 30% depression rating was only part of that

When VA made the 70% rating were you employed at that time? If Not did the VA know that?

Do you get SSDI and is it solely for the depression?

Are you a VOC Rehab student and if so, did the VA Voc Rehab counselor ever fine this program unfeasible for you, solely due to the SC depression or solely due to the SCs that combine to the 70% you have now?


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Yeah apologies for the confusion, 70% total rating 30% for depression.

I wasn't employed but I had just separated so I didn't think it was going to be an issue finding new work, I didn't realize that employment could affect ratings. Should I contact them about that as a separate thing or just include it in the NOD?

Not currently collecting SSDI, I looked into it a bit but the odds seem very against me being able to utilize that. I might try and apply if I continue not being able to find work and if my rating did get increased. I'm kind of at a loss of how best to deal with the situation as a whole or which steps should be taken first.

I was using my GIBill, didn't think about voc rehab till after I started university, so no counselor or anything in regards to school and combined SC.

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