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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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Depression Due To Chronic Pain


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I was discharged from the military December of 2004 due to multiple convalescent for Right Knee issues (4 Knee Surgery's).  I am Service Connected for Right Knee Medial Meniscal Tear  with Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome and Degenerative Arthritis that has been getting worse over time. 

Due to the nature of the pain, I am submitting a (Secondary) claim for Depression due to Chronic Pain.  Any advise on what I should do before/after submittal to support my claim?

Example:

Should I see a Counselor about my Depression First or wait for the VA C&P Exam?

 

Thanks in Advance!

 

 

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Go ahead and submit the claim, unless you have too much money, then wait forever.  The "claim date" is often the date which determines your retro, so a later claim date is less retro.  

However, you will need to see a VA doc before benefits are actually awarded, but by applying early, you get an earlier effective date.  You will need 2 things:

1.  Current diagnosis (of depression).

2.  Nexus, or doc's statement that your depression is "at least as likely as not" due to pain from your (service connected condition(s).  

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Thanks for the rapid response to my question Broncovet.    You mentioned I would need the following:

1.  Current diagnosis (of depression).

2.  Nexus, or doc's statement that your depression is "at least as likely as not" due to pain from your (service connected condition(s).  

 

So that I am clear, I don't currently have a diagnosis (of depression).  Will I need to obtain that before the VA sees me?

As for the Doctor statement, I understand it basically needs to say that more likely that not caused by the pain correct?

What is Nexus?

Thanks for looking out for the "Boot" of the site. :)

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You can submit the claim to secure the date, but its going to be a lot easier if you have a series of notes from a provider rather than just relying on the C&P guy. I think my depression was being treated for at least a few months before I submitted my claim and then I kept going (and still do, though Im medicated and stable now) . They had a lot of evidence to show for it, and I made copies of my notes from Release of Information or MyHealthVet Blue Button and highlighted the relevant parts that pertained to my pain and where I talked about it in each session. I had a cover page with some quotes from those notes on the top with page numbers so they could flip through it like a book and find what they wanted/needed. 

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In my case a doctor in pain management had sent me to another doctor for pain coping skills and he diagnosed me with depression from my service injuries. When I had the C&P exam I don't know if the doctor had all the records to look at. I know the exam was very short in my memory. It seems like just a few questions about how I felt and how I was doing and he seemed to be nodding his head and leading me on. 

I you get a good C&P exam you may not have any trouble, but if you don't then I think you will have to find a doctor to diagnose you and opine about it being secondary to your military injuries.

Good luck.

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