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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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HowIWish

FDC rigmarole

Question

On August 27th I finally completed and submitted my husband's FDC. We used Valor 4 Vets for an IMO, and I submitted over 1800 pages of medical records. Michael at Valor was great to work with, and he assured me I had covered all the bases with everything we submitted. I'm not sure my husband even needed the IMO, but once I had all the records, buddy letters, DBTs (3 of them,) and family letters, it all looked overwhelming and disjointed to me. I felt having one letter tying everything together from Bethanie at Valor 4 Vets would help tie everything together since my husband had so many providers giving opinions over a one-year span. Also since the VA had denied his mental illness diagnosis and has refused to test him for PTSD, or allowed him to even TALK about his combat experiences, I thought the IMO wouldn't hurt.

Since his claim has been submitted his status has been "gathering evidence." Three weeks ago there was a request for additional records. However ebenefits didn't specify what they wanted. A week later we got a letter from the VA requesting medical records from all of the doctors we had already submitted all of his records from. 

My husband called the VA (when I wasn't home of course, and his mind isn't the best,) and he spoke with a man who confirmed they had all the records they were requesting. He said he made a note of it and told my husband to fill out releases for the VA to get any other records they need, or click the "request a decision" button on ebenefits. Since we've already given them all the records, we clicked the "request a decision" button.

That was 2 weeks ago and the request for all of his medical records is still on ebenefits, and it says they're past due. His completion date keeps moving back. All of the records show up in his uploaded files.

Is this normal? I'm worried they are going to make a decision using no records! 

Also, ebenefits shows that they requested a C&P exam on October 3. But then nothing. No appointments have been scheduled. I'm guessing that's normal, but it seems like after almost a month there would be something scheduled?

If anyone has experience with this please let me know. If there is something else we need to do to make sure the VA utilizes the 1800 pages I've already uploaded but they keep requesting!

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Sorry it's been a long time! I just saw the notification on your reply.

My husband has the CIB/ Combat Infanty Badge. He has 3 C&P exams this week, PTSD/mental health, Sleep Apnea and Audiology. I'm a nervous wreck because he's been really messed up the past 2 months. He stopped taking his meds and is saying "The VA was right, I have personality disorders and don't need these meds." But he's in a really bad place and is delusional. I joined a PTSD veteran wives group on FB and he fits in exactly with what their husbands experience, with him being at the more extreme end of PTSD. 

 It really upsets me the way the VA has treated him. They basically invalidated everything he experienced in Iraq. He was involved in serious combat and many firefights. He saw some really bad things, some of which she hasn't told anybody about that I know about because some of his military buddies have told me. 

 He's refusing to prepare for the C&P exam,  and I'm really nervous that the doctor is going to do with they are known to do. Get him all worked up about how bad I am, and then say that all of his issues are marital issues. That's what the doctors have done so far. They told us we need marriage counseling.  

 Marriage counseling doesn't help somebody who's extremely paranoid and angry and delusional and thinks that their wife is the enemy.  Every single doctor he is seeing outside of the VA is very clear about what his issues are. And they all say he needs to get help from the VA because they have the best treatment for his issues.  I just pray that he gets a good doctor that doesn't screw us over. 

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Sorry to hear that your husband is getting the run around. Fortunately the C&P exam is pretty cut and dry. I remember when I went through my mental health C&P. The examiner didn’t really want to hear anything from me other than the answers to their questions. They didn’t want me to elaborate on anything, or go into specific details. They just asked me a battery of questions, and then it was all over in about 10-15 minutes.

Apparently, they get whatever they need directly from those questions, though, because the rated me at 50% for my anxiety. 

Hopefully your husband has a similar experience. 

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"Also since the VA had denied his mental illness diagnosis and has refused to test him for PTSD, or allowed him to even TALK about his combat experiences, I thought the IMO wouldn't hurt."

That is a very concerning situation.

Was the C & P exam done at a VAMC? If so their records access officer can obtain a copy of it for him.

Something seems definitely wrong here.

Have they questioned the stressor (s) he gave to them? You mentioned some here and said 

"He was involved in serious combat and many firefights. He saw some really bad things, some of which she hasn't told anybody about that I know about because some of his military buddies have told me. "

I dont doubt that for a minute but the VA wants a stressor that can be verified.

Unit firefights are often noted within Morning Reports.

"was shot directly at multiple times"  (documented in buddy letters,) my husband too. One shot killed the marine next to him, they were close together in a bunker trench,he heard the next shot wizz past his ear, and was barely missed by a shot on Christmas Eve 1965, and Hanoi Hanna said his unit would be overrun that night.The shot went into a tent pole.   He never claimed any of that stuff.

What he claimed was the horrific things that combat can involve.In those days we used to say the VA wanted blood and gore.In some respects they still do.

Your husband  might have to tell the VA of the "really bad things", or  at least one of them that he can pinpoint the date and place of...something that VA or he himself can confirm.

Even with the CIB on his DD214 I dont think he comes under the 2010 PTSD regulations so this might be why they were not acknowledging or conceding a stressor.

I am sorry for all this.I had to fight the VA to even get my husband to be treated as a SC veteran ( they were treating him only as a VA employee and many years of his VA MH care was sessions with their employee counselor who didnt have a clue on PTSD.

When I finally got them to send him to their actual PTSD expert MH psyche, everything changed.

Did the IME doctor administer the Combat related MMPI to him?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Something is wrong here. 

Edited by Berta
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Sorry, for some reason I am not getting notifications of responses!

I have a good update, finally! He had his C&P exam in mid January and the examiner wrote a good, solid, fair report. The exam was over 3 hours long, and the psychologist that did it said it was one of the longest in his career of over 20 years with the VA. 

He wrote that my husband does have PTSD, he checked every single box on the symptom list, and he wrote that his PTSD is as likely as not to be directly caused by his combat in the Army. He also wrote that my husband's other MI diagnosis is exacerbated by his PTSD and cannot be separated. He then wrote that my husband has not been able to work in over 16 months and "will face significant barriers to finding and maintaining employment" and then listed several reasons why. 

It was a very fair and honest evaluation, and it helped my husband. He has had a very difficult time since his initial hospitalization at the VA because they treated him really badly and basically called him a liar. This PhD psychologist seemed to right that wrong in my husband's mind, and that's worth more than any rating at this point. 

My husband's claim moved to Prep for Decision on Friday, 2/9, so we will see how it all works out. But today I was able to take him to the PTSD clinic and he is being evaluated for treatment tomorrow morning. He had refused to go back to the VA, but being treated with respect and dignity by the C&P examiner really helped him. I wish more VA professionals understood how their actions can affect veterans. The VA should be the one place vets can be honest about PTSD. It took him 12 years and a complete breakdown as it was! 

I'll keep you all updated when we find out anything! Thank you so much!

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I am so glad this seems to be working out OK for your husband.My notification thing doesn't work anymore either.

I wish more VA professionals understood how their actions can affect veterans".

I sure can relate to that. I know a VA employee who has been burned recently by the Accountability Act of 2017.

Veterans as well as their family members are supposed to be treated with Respect and the July  2017 Accountability Act has given a new impetus to VA employees regarding their conduct, in treating veterans and their family members. It has done a lot more than that as well and will  help prevent future medical negligence.(I hope)

 

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