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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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  • 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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JWMN89

Normal C&P for Depression?

Question

I was given a medical discharge for depression from the service about 20 years ago and have a 20 year history of ongoing mental health treatment.  I finally decided to file for VA benefits (I've always worked) and had my C&P exam a couple weeks ago and wondered if this was a normal experience.

The exam lasted almost three hours and I had to take a long test of a couple hundred questions.  The doctor (psychologist) was very nice and he seemed interested in my case but asked a lot of questions about my childhood.  My case  involved childhood MST and repressed memories of it until a flashback while I was on active duty brought everything out.  I was tossed in the hospital and given a medical discharge for depression, existing prior to entry, service aggravated condition per the medical board.

I'm a bit worried the doctors focus on my childhood means he was trying to say I was depressed prior to the service which isn't the case.  With the repressed memory of the rape I had a pretty normal growing up experience after the event and had friends and a stable family.  He seemed to be trying to get me to say my current problems with trusting people were related to what happened then.  Obviously they are but I was concerned he spent hardly any time on the in-service stressor that led to the flashback or the fact I've been pretty miserable since then.

I had a friend tell me not to worry that it's normal and he may be trying to figure out what percentage of my disability was existing prior to entry versus how much was service aggravated.  I've got the service connection thing taken care of with the "service aggravated" note on the medical board and my private psychiatrist wrote a nexus letter and completed a DBQ stating my conditions are related to my service.  I'm thinking I have enough medical evidence to show it but I'm concerned about the C&P examiners report. 

Do you think I need to worry about this? (I have anxiety issues too).  Is a three hour exam normal?  Do you think the examiner was just being detailed and it'll be OK?  He said it would be a couple weeks to view his report and I'm still waiting but I'm a nervous wreck. 

JW in MN

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When you were medically discharged, did they give you a percentage at that time?

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Yes, a C and P exam is often "normal" when you apply for benefits.  I dont think you should worry about your C and P exam.  Instead, get your hands on a copy and read it.  If its favorable, and says something close to "the Veterans MST is at least as likely as not due to xx experience while in military service", then you dont have to do anything but wait for your award letter, and be ready to appeal.  An "unfavorable" exam means the examiner did not attribute your MST to service, or sometimes did not diagnose or confirm a diagnosis of same.  You must have all 3 Caluza elements for benefits:  1) current diagnoisis, 2) in service event (stressor), and 3) nexus statment.  Focus on those basic 3.  

If the exam is unfavorable, then take some action:  

1.  Find out the credentials of your examiner.  Was he board certifed in treating sexual trauma?  If not, challenge the compentency of the examiner.  

2.  Consider getting an IMO/IME to refute the bad exam.  

Worry wont fix anything, taking action will.  

Edited by broncovet

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20 minutes ago, MikeR said:

When you were medically discharged, did they give you a percentage at that time?  

MikeR.  I wasn't rated.  It was a very bad time in my life and I never followed thru with a claim then.  Stupid of me but that's life.  The reason now is after twenty years nothing is better and the VA diagnosed me with depression and PTSD due to the flashback and the doctor asked why I had no rating.  I work a good job and have gotten use to the struggle.

JW in MN

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17 minutes ago, broncovet said:

Yes, a C and P exam is often "normal" when you apply for benefits.  I dont think you should worry about your C and P exam.  Instead, get your hands on a copy and read it.  If its favorable, and says something close to "the Veterans MST is at least as likely as not due to xx experience while in military service", then you dont have to do anything but wait for your award letter, and be ready to appeal.  An "unfavorable" exam means the examiner did not attribute your MST to service, or sometimes did not diagnose or confirm a diagnosis of same.  You must have all 3 Caluza elements for benefits:  1) current diagnoisis, 2) in service event (stressor), and 3) nexus statment.  Focus on those basic 3.  

If the exam is unfavorable, then take some action:  

1.  Find out the credentials of your examiner.  Was he board certifed in treating sexual trauma?  If not, challenge the compentency of the examiner.  

2.  Consider getting an IMO/IME to refute the bad exam.  

Worry wont fix anything, taking action will.  

BroncoVet.   Thank you for replying.  The examiner was a Phd VA Psychologist.  The nexus letter and DBQ I have is from my personal board certified Psychiatrist.  I'm hopeful I'm just worried over nothing.  If denied I plan to seek out an IMO professional.  I have a good job but that's about all I have going good in my life and that's a struggle too.  At least I can afford an IMO or two if needed.

The MST I experienced was as a child.  The memory of it was repressed and didn't come out until the flashback in service.  That led to the depression and my constant state of MDD since getting out.  The fact service aggravated was noted with the diagnoses by the medical board makes me believe the service connection to be likely versus doubtful.

JW in MN

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Ok, I hope so. Are you a combat vet?

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