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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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PTSD Vs Complex PTSD


I have been rated for PTSD 309.81/F43.12 since 94 then i got a new Doc who I hated and he put down Complex PTSD. Does this affect my Rating at all from what I have read compex ptsd is not combat related whereas my PTSD has always been combat related. My last PTSD doc left the Complex PTSD on my active health problems but put the F43.12 in parentheses next to it and under the DSM 5 has PTSD with MDD, I was made P&T with IU back in 2008 for the PTSD and Stress Related headaches so the big question is does this complex PTSD change any of that. They do have me down as 90% with IU for 100% P&T still but I know the VA is big on these diagnostic codes and I do not want to lose anything. Thanks I hope someone here can ease my mind, well somewhat anyway. Thanks

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The odds are exceptionally low that it would change anything. A few facts to know:

* If VA used ICD-11, a vet could theoretically be diagnosed with Complex PTSD due to childhood trauma and due to combat trauma.

* Complex PTSD is an ICD-11 diagnosis, but the VA uses DSM-5/ICD-10-CM, which does not have Complex PTSD as a diagnosis.

* I'm neither a veterans law attorney, nor an expert on the regulations, but I think you fall under 38 C.F.R. § 3.951(b), which states in part:

"A disability which has been continuously rated at or above any evaluation of disability for 20 or more years for compensation purposes under laws administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs will not be reduced to less than such evaluation except upon a showing that such rating was based on fraud."

See also M21-1 III.iv.8.C.1.a. Protected Evaluations for Compensation Purposes Under 38 CFR 3.951(b).

And see M21-1 IV.ii.2.F.5.b. Discontinuance of Monitoring for Changes in Employability Status. Here's a quote:

"Monitoring changes in employability status is not required when the Veteran ... as an IU rating that has been in effect for 20 or more continuous years ..."

All the best,


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I am not sure what complex PTSD is.  I am rated for non combat PTSD, an injury in the line of duty that almost killed me, so PTSD does not infer combat.  

That said, as long as you have a continued rating it really does not matter whether they call it complex or not.  You can only be rated for a single mental health rating and it may be that he wanted to add the MDD.  Possibly he did you a favor by pointing out a secondary mental health condition.  I believe MDD is major depressive disorder and if so it only adds to your disability.

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I Looked up the definition of Complex PTSD

''Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD; also known as complex trauma disorder) is a psychological disorder that can develop in response to prolonged, repeated experience of interpersonal trauma in a context in which the individual has little or no chance of escape.//

It's pretty roughjust my opinion but maybe its associated with MST? but I think as for as being rated it will still have the same symptoms of PTSD Diagnose

I seem to think that Any Veteran who has a Diagnose for PTSD would be complex.

the effect it has on each Individual. 

but I'm not a Psychiatrist or Any professional for mental health.

just my opinion.

Edited by Buck52

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Complex PTSD usually results from sustained, awful childhood abuse - sexual, physical, or mental/emotional - often all three. I've diagnosed Complex PTSD several times, usually with female MST survivors.

A crucial point for C&P psychologists:

  1. Either opine that military sexual trauma aggravated the pre-existing mental disorder beyond its normal course and progression; or 
  2. explain how adult trauma can, in a sense, "reawaken" dormant or subthreshold trauma-related symptomatology.

It's rare these days for VBA to claim a disorder pre-dated military service, but the last thing I want is someone with horrible PTSD to receive a denial. 

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My complex PTSD was obtained entirely in service.  The Dx does not require or infer childhood trauma, that is simply a common example.  Combat is very much an inescapable and recurrent trauma.  Flashbacks and emotional disturbance after returning home can act as multipliers for the war and contribute to the overall trauma.  Complex PTSD is a God send for many vets that experienced fundamental changes to their personality and dissociative traits to cope with ongoing trauma. In the past, these were often attributed to personality disorders that the VA insists are incurred in childhood and cannot be caused by trauma. So, no, I would not worry that they're going to turn around and undo everything based on that. It might be worth asking your providers if there will be any alterations to your treatment plan or goals, given the added criterion.

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