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Can the VA asl the examiner to change his decision?


Gny Skinner

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I filed for Mood disorder - Unspecified.  I went to my C&P and had a PH D Psychologist complete my DBQ stating the claimed condition was at least as likely as not incurred in or caused by the claimed in service injury.  His rationale included the fact that my service records didn't reflect anything because of fear of impact on military service and opinions of others.  This was not a claim of PTSD which is important.  It is for Mood disorder - Unspecified.  In the Dr. complete write up he referred to my hyper vigilance.  The claim was denied stating "service treatment records do not contain complaints, treatment or diagnosis for this condition.  Evidence does not show an event, disease or injury in service.  It goes on to state that although we received the lay statement from your spouse and by yourself and the examiner provided a positive opinion, service connection is denied because there were no in service event found in your service treatment records to show a link between your current mood disorder, unspecified and your military service.

I appealed and wrote another statement.  In that I stated the 3 reasons they gave for denial 1)not in service records, 2)no in service event and 3)VA did not find a link.  I went on to state 1)VA contractor gave a positive diagnosis, 2)VA contractor gave a positive rational supporting an in service event and 3) (using their own words) SC may be granted for a disability which began in military service OR was caused by some event OR experience in service.  I stated the credentials of the Dr. and restated his diagnosis and his rationale.

My appeal was denied and here is what they said:

We have denied your claim for SC for mood disorder, unspecified (claimed as mental condition) because your service treatment records are silent for a complaint of, treatment for, or diagnosis of a mental condition.  VA examination dated 6/13/18, provided an incorrect medical opinion.  We can not grant sc on subjective reported incidents or reported stressor since separation from service.  There has to be objective medical evidence of a condition during service.  We went back with the criteria for sc and required the examiner to review the objective data and the examiner provided an addendum on 2/15/19, noted that there is no indication of any occupational problems during military service or any treatment during service.  The examiner noted that you did not begin mental health treatment until about 20 years after military retirement.

So, my question, How can the VA do this?  They went back to the Dr. and had him change his diagnosis without even talking to me.  The letters provided by myself and my wife addressed the reason I waited until now, basically it has gotten so bad my wife is saying "GO GET HELP"  My service records don't show any treatment because of just what the Dr said, I didn't want to be labeled a sick bay commando so I didn't go to see a doc, pretty much for anything which is hurting me now big time.  But I just don't see how they can have the Dr change his diagnosis without even talking to me. 

The first time they denied it they said it was because there was no in service event.  The second time they said it was because the Dr changed his diagnosis.  Of course I plan to appeal, but any advice would be helpful.

Thanks

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I can't help you answer the specifics...but it seems to me they clearly are looking for a reason-any reason to deny you. I believe there is a ton of precedence that you can use to your advantage, and I'd recommend that if you don't have anyone helping with your claim, you get some assistance in that area.

Second, I'd begin to research BVA court decisions with this particular issue that your claiming as the key word search and start reading through those for clues to help with your appeals.

Third, learn to be patient and exercise it considerably.  You will have a long wait in front of you, so make the best use of your time by continue to gather evidence (i.e. examples of how your claimed issue is affecting your, and your family's life, work, exercise, and pleasure), and don't give up. I waited for over 7 years for my appeal. It was favorable, and the back-pay was worth the wait. 

Don't give up. The VA wants you to give up. The long they made me wait, the more determined I became to stick it out.

Sgt. Wilky

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23 minutes ago, Sgt. Wilky said:

Second, I'd begin to research BVA court decisions with this particular issue that your claiming as the key word search and start reading through those for clues to help with your appeals.

How do I get to the actual BVA court decisions.  I see others post them on here sometimes but I have never been able to find the site where I can search on issues and find decisions.

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https://www.index.va.gov/search/va/bva_search.jsp?QT=Loss+of+use+of+lower+extremities&EW=Crawford+&AT=&ET=&RPP=50&DB=2018

Erase Loss of use and Crawford and insert what you are looking for then hit search. Choose the years you want to search to refine the decision for checking CUE. 

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Go back to the basics.  You need DOCUMENTATION of the Caluza elements for SC.  

1.  Current diagnosis.  Check

2  In service event or aggravation.  No check.

3.  Nexus, or link between one and 2.  

    You did not mention an "in service event".  What event(s) are you alleging caused your Mood disorder?  

     You can expect continued denials UNTIL you provide docutmentation of an in service event or aggravation, Caluza element 2.   Your buddies, in service, may provide evidence of an in service event.  For example, if they saw something happen that "may" have caused your mood disorder.  

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