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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims


    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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You need to know this


Thanks to a private doctor and lawyer. I got a better backdate and am 100% P&T. What I am about to share with you is from my BVA notice.

'The symptoms listed in the general rating formula are examples, not an exhaustive list and it is not required to find the presence of all, most, or even some of the enumerated symptoms. Mauerhan v. Principi 16 Vet. 436 (2002). When determining the appropriate rating to be assigned for a service-connected mental disorders, the focus is on how the frequency, severity, and duration of the symptoms affect the Veteran's occupational and social impairment, rather than on a presence or absence of particular symptoms listed in the schedular criteria. Vazquez-Claudio v. Shinseki, 713 F.3d 112 (Fed Cir. 2013).'

I don't presume to think fellow MST survivors are like myself, but reading this made me cry. I take care of my son and do everything I can as a single parent can. I have my bad days, my manageable days, and my good days. This is why it can be hard for us to get a proper rating. It can really come down to a simple question. 'What job will allow you to miss on average 5-10 days a month?' Answer? None. The last job I had was at Walmart. 3rd shift. I kept that job for 8 months. Longest job I had since leaving the military. I did miss over 7 days a month. Wasn't fired until they found new hires that didn't quit the first week.

The VA has come a long way with MST/PTSD. Please don't be tempted to try to fit the book's definition of ptsd or x rating. Go in as yourself and be honest with your VA doctor. It may take time, but you'll be rated appropriately. Most importantly, your counselor, doctor will be able to more accurately help you in your recovery, treatment.


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@11cvolley you are more forgiving than I ever will be.

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2 hours ago, 11cvolley said:

Thanks to a private doctor and lawyer. I got a better backdate and am 100% P&T. What I am about to share with you is from my BVA notice.


Congratulations on the retro date and what will come with it.

MST is a horrid event for anyone to experience and that it even happens in the military, and between military members, makes my blood  boil. For this to happen/keep happening demonstrates failures in recruitment screening, training and leadership.

I hope counseling will help you progress past those events.

Good Luck and Congrats

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3 hours ago, 11cvolley said:

'What job will allow you to miss on average 5-10 days a month?'

Been there with migraines.  I was missing so much I was no longer dependable and when I was there I was spaced due to all of the medication.  My boss originally thought I was drinking or something.

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3 hours ago, vetquest said:

Been there with migraines.  I was missing so much I was no longer dependable and when I was there I was spaced due to all of the medication.  My boss originally thought I was drinking or something.


I had that happen. At another job I had a panic attack after leaving my boss's office and completely forgot what he just told me. I went back in to ask what he wanted me to do and he asked me if I was high. That was the last day at that job. I was even denied the chance at another job because of the medication I take. I think I fit the 100% definition when it comes to being able to hold a job. Just like after I went through my chapter 7. I got into another car and the person at the dealership looked at me and said, 'you don't seem disabled.' I didn't know how to reply to that and just said, thanks?' So I can completely understand the VA making me fight for it and for an earlier backdate.

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You posted:


 I got into another car and the person at the dealership looked at me and said, 'you don't seem disabled.'

There are 2 "types" of disabilities:  Visible and invisible.  

If you have both legs blown off, that is fairly visible and people, with or without medical training can see you are disabled.  

However, if you have PTSD, for example, people who are not trained in diagnosing and treating PTSD often can not "see" that you have PTSD.  Even if they are trained, they would not be able to diagnose you until they examined you.  

My suggestion when outsiders say tastless things like, "you dont look disabled to me" is you ask them:

"Where did you get your degree in diagnosing and treating mental health disorders?  Do you use DSM V, or DSM  IV?  Also, you must have examined me without my knowledge and consent, so why would you do that?   Did you know you have to have my consent to diagnose me?  Did you know its malpractice to diagnose or treat patients without their consent?  

      I dont suggest you "go off" on people who stay tasteless and hurtfull  stuff like I quoted above.  Just know, in your own mind they are not trained to diagnose your disorders, and those who were trained diagnosed you.  Their know it all attitude, or practicing medicine without a license is not your fault. 

        A "real" doctor would not say stuff like, "you dont look disabled to me.", UNLESS this was his or her area of expertise and he was disputing another doctors diagnosis.  

        Dont even worry about what a know it all says, some people have opinions on everything and think everyone who does not think the way they do is wrong.  

         I suggest you carefully choose who you tell you are disabled.  Generally, one does not have to wear a tshirt with all their medical diagnosis attached.  

         If someone has a "need to know" then disclose your disability.  Your boss, for example, may need to know you need reasonable accomadations to your disability and what they are.  

         Some people want to disclose their disability to everyone, others choose to tell no one, and every where in between.  Since, like you, I have an "invisible disability" I elect to disclose only to person or persons I feel have a need to know.  

        For example, I dont wear a tshirt that says, "Im hard of hearing", but if I need the waitress to speak up, or move next to me before she speaks, I will disclose.  

        As far as my diagnosis of MDD, I dont disclose that pretty much to anyone, unless I feel they are involved in my medical treatment and need to know.  My wife knows, of ocurse, but my brother does not have a need to know.  

        Remember, you dont have to answer every question asked of you.  YOu can decline to answer.  Some are just rude.  Do you walk up to a female, for example that you dont know, and ask her if she has had a hysterectomy?  No, because its none of your business.  It could be your business, however, if you are dating her, because maybe whether or not she can conceive a child is important to you.  I would not ask her this, tho, on a first date.  That would not likely go well.  

        If people ask you if you are disabled, you can answer that you will be glad to disclose your full medical reports AFTER you view theirs.  That usually shuts them up..they probably dont want you to know about when they had a hemmorrhoid operation in 1983.  

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