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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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Newbie question...


I have put in for PTSD claim at the Atlanta VA. They sent me to an offsite Veteran's Health Administration (VHA) for a 2 month therapy session. HOWEVER,

On the first and second visits, they gave me a form that states and they explicitly told me the following:

"Veteran's Health Admin.(VHA) services, including those offered by this program, are for the purposes of healthcare/treatment and are not provided for the purposes of establishing or increasing disability payments, which you may address more appropriately with the Veterans Benefits Admin. (VBA). In fact, the overall aim of this treatment program CONFLICTS with goals related to establishing oneself as disabled. As such, participation in this program could harm any goals related to obtaining or increasing disability pay. Similarly, please consider that you might not be able to engage productively in a recovery oriented treatment for a condition you are simultaneously trying to obtain disability payment for, as this frequently increases treatment sabotaging behaviors like using session time to list symptoms rather than working to eliminate them, not completing homework assignments, and overall pre-occupation with maintaining diagnoses that could influence disability ratings rather than working to eliminate those diagnoses."

My question:

Will this keep me from getting disability?  I appreciate any help the VA can give me, but I can't hold a job because of my ptsd and need benefits. I don't want this to hurt my chances of getting rated for ptsd. Should I keep going to these VHA sessions?  Also, where should I go to get guidance for my PTSD claim??? I'm clueless. Thanks in advance.


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Buck and others, 

Thanks for the replies and input. The paragraph I quoted came from the therapist I was referred to by the VA. But it is not at the Atlanta VA hosp. It is an offsite office where Vets go for  treatment, I guess.

I want to get all of the help I can for the symptoms I have. However, I just thought it was odd because I just put in for a PTSD claim last month.

Who should I go to for help on my claim?? An attorney? 

I appreciate any guidance you can offer.

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§4.130   Schedule of ratings—Mental disorders.

The nomenclature employed in this portion of the rating schedule is based upon the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) (see §4.125 for availability information). Rating agencies must be thoroughly familiar with this manual to properly implement the directives in §4.125 through §4.129 and to apply the general rating formula for mental disorders in §4.130. The schedule for rating for mental disorders is set forth as follows:

9201   Schizophrenia

9202   [Removed]

9203   [Removed]

9204   [Removed]

9205   [Removed]

9208   Delusional disorder

9210   Other specified and unspecified schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders

9211   Schizoaffective disorder

9300   Delirium

9301   Major or mild neurocognitive disorder due to HIV or other infections

9304   Major or mild neurocognitive disorder due to traumatic brain injury

9305   Major or mild vascular neurocognitive disorder

9310   Unspecified neurocognitive disorder

9312   Major or mild neurocognitive disorder due to Alzheimer's disease

9326   Major or mild neurocognitive disorder due to another medical condition or substance/medication-induced major or mild neurocognitive disorder

9327   [Removed]

9400   Generalized anxiety disorder

9403   Specific phobia; social anxiety disorder (social phobia)

9404   Obsessive compulsive disorder

9410   Other specified anxiety disorder

9411   Posttraumatic stress disorder

9412   Panic disorder and/or agoraphobia

9413   Unspecified anxiety disorder

9416   Dissociative amnesia; dissociative identity disorder

9417   Depersonalization/Derealization disorder

9421   Somatic symptom disorder

9422   Other specified somatic symptom and related disorder

9423   Unspecified somatic symptom and related disorder

9424   Conversion disorder (functional neurological symptom disorder)

9425   Illness anxiety disorder

9431   Cyclothymic disorder

9432   Bipolar disorder

9433   Persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia)

9434   Major depressive disorder

9435   Unspecified depressive disorder

9440   Chronic adjustment disorder

General Rating Formula for Mental Disorders

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. 0


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Broncovet, I read your response and twice you mentioned your 'opponent at law'.  The biggest charade in this game is the representation that the proceedings are non-adversarial, until and unless you get to the CAVC.  My highest hope is that one day this farce will be reversed and the proceedings become adversarial in nature.  For all practical purposes the VA is your opponent and they should arm us with the tools necessary to fight an opponent.

I guarantee you that if these VA doctors knew they probably will be cross-examined on their opinions, things would improve.  But in order to help up they took away all the helpful tools.  Sad really.

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The VA telling Vets this is a "claimant friendly non adversarial system" reminds me of a kidnapper who tells the person he is kidnapping:  "Be quiet and you wont get hurt".  

If this WERE a "claimant friendly non adversarial system", why does the 'VA hire about 500 lawyers who's only job it is to oppose the approval of Veterans claims?  

Also, as Supreme Court Justice, Roberts, stated:  "He was suprised when he found out the VA takes a position that is substantially unjustified about 60 % of the time".  You see, EAJA pays the Veterans fees when the court determines the VA was 'substantially unjustified" in denying the claim.  

What this means is that VA is "making stuff up" to deny us, in hopes many of us wont appeal.  Even when we do appeal, they still fight us tooth and nail, even when they dont have a leg to stand on (legally).    

Edited by broncovet

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