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*UPDATE* RFE Major Depressive disorder


AirForceVetsWife

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Update so far...husband just got called back by the doctor, he said my wife is here with me, the doctor looked at me and said "I'd like to see him alone, please"

Doesn't give me good feelings. 

 

He's been anxious this whole 2.5 hour drive. He's been quiet. He's been anxious in this waiting room. 

He said he believes it went well. He said the doctor suggested highly that he sees someone. He said he had to ask if he could close the blinds because he was uncomfortable, he said he was taking quite a bit of notes. I hate I wasn't in there but my husband said it seemed very favorable. Hopefully he's right. 

Hi all!

My husband is going in next Thursday for a C&P for his SC major depressive disorder. He's at 70% now and I guess I'm looking to calm our nerves. His effective date was June of 2013 so well over 5 years. To me, I see symptoms everyday. I've written a letter that's in his file now. When he first went in for the initial exam in 2013, he didn't even ask for depression...they asked him the questions and then bam 70% major depressive disorder. He thought he was just answering routine exam questions. I'm just worried over this exam. I know it's out of our control on if we get a good person to do this C&P but I've read all the things about it being over 5 years and they would more than likely need more than one exam to prove he's better. I don't see that's he's better. The only issue is he's so stubborn about it and hasn't really seen anyone for this issue and I'm afraid that'll be a huge thing. 

 

Just looking to calm my nerves. 

 

Thank you!

Edited by AirForceVetsWife (see edit history)
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They will need a new c&p and it is always good to have some records to back up your conditions.  There might be better people here to answer this but it really depends on the exam. 

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He will need medical evidence to show his 70% has indeed got worse   you need to make sure  you get all his medical records from the VA and any notes off myhealthevet or from private Dr he went to..and find any thing where the Dr's have opine on his current condition  or what ever condition he is asking for increase. that he is actually worse or has got worse over the last 5 years.

this is what the C&P Examiner is looking for  if you don't have it  its likely no increase...but more than likely keep him at the same sc rating.

Its to late for an IMO/IME  but if he is denied then think about getting one.

so I advise to get all his medical records and notes and look very carefully in them  and see what the Dr's have mention these last 5 years.

high lite the parts in his records that a dR HAS NOTICE HIS CONDITION HAS GOT WORSE.....TAKE THEM TO HIS C&P ask the examiner to present them as new evidence  if they are not in the computer?   which they should be  but some times  the examiners do not read enough in the computers...so be sure and let the examiner know you do have his records with you.

if he is denied his increase  put the reason they denied him on here and appeal  we can help him better. to get his increase.

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Going from 70 to 100% is difficult- im not trying to scare you , but basically, this is the stuff they are looking for, or will be asking about-and if you see something on here that they don't ask about, make sure you note it yourself with examples of his behaviors that coincide with it. (or have him tell them). The occupational and social impairment parts are a big deal. At the point that I had finally applied for an increase I had been unemployed for several months and had made some really bad money decisions to cope and compensate, among other things. I was kinda off the rails for awhile. I was in active treatment/counseling too, so that helped a lot because I had current records going back almost a year of either meds, CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), or both. 

 

http://www.militarydisabilitymadeeasy.com/mentaldisorders.html

Remember- the list above is not comprehensive- he doesn't need to exhibit ALL of them, but if you can provide examples of any of them it will help immensely. Self care, hygeine, hiding out in the house ( I used to be so bad I couldn't go to the door to talk to the mail man, I was was so socially anxious. Dishes would stack up for 3-4 days, I wouldn't cook for myself or my kids. My wife is a saint, and while she put up with some of it, she was also a stick when she needed to be. Meds helped a lot, too, but im on them all the time now so I can sort of function. Im a stay at home dad now, at 42, and while its still really challenging with my kids, they are upper elementary, HS, and a college student, so its not as bad as it was a few years ago when they were younger and at home all the time. I basically wandered around the house like  a ghost. My sleep was all off, I had no regular or normal schedule. 

Good luck! I don't blame you for feeling apprehensive at all- and he's probably a mess worrying about it, too. Best you can do is be supportive and watch for any uptic in behaviors in the next week or so, and just be aware that its his symptoms acting up and nothing personal. 

Edited by brokensoldier244th (see edit history)
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Look for these things that brokensolder put up   they need to be in his medical records   and you need to get them before he has his C&P ..the exmainer needs evidence that his condition has got worse  and if he has seen VA Docs over the last 5 years or even private Dr  these medical records may hold his increase..he will need an additional 50% rating or combined ratings to meet the 100% 

compare on this chart brokensoldier put up  to his 70% rating and then compare the 100% to see the difference he needs for the increase &  hopefully the Dr's have gave their opinion in these records that he has got worse over the last 5 years...if any doubt   doubt goes to the Veteran.

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Here is the form they will be filling out on the computer, either during or after the exam.

 

https://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-21-0960P-2-ARE.pdf

 

Here is the actual list from VA

 

(you want 4.130)

https://www.benefits.va.gov/WARMS/bookc.asp#r

 

If you have access to MyHealthVet, you can download about 3 yrs worth of doctors notes, too, so if he's been seeing anyone from VA for it you can pull those down and look through them in the next week. C/P examiner will be able to see the same things unless they are a contractor, but its always good to know ahead of time what you are working with and what your notes say. If nothing else, and you are relatively close to a VA Medical site you can go to release of records and request them printed off right there, too, if you can't log into MyHealthVet. 

Edited by brokensoldier244th (see edit history)
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yes but unfortunately veterans can only recieve one mental diagnoses... Major Depression Disorder is a form of mental health. 

Either try a secondary condition To his S,C, MDD (Any other conditions it is related to or caused by) Like medications  ect,,,ect,,,

 or see  if a Dr has increased his MDD Medication  OR THAT IT HAS WORSEN WITHIN THE LAST 5 Years   any un-ordinary behavior or events that has been recorded in his medical records?

also a good lay statment from his spouse   as you witness a  change in your hubby behavior  within the last 5 years due to his S.C. MDD?? or higher dose of prescribe medications.

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Thank you all for your answers! 

Honestly we aren't even seeking an increase. Sorry if I wasn't clear on that. This is just a 5 year re-eval they put in for. We would be fine with staying where he is as we didn't even expect that. From what I've heard it's hard to even get to 70%. 

We are just a bundle of nerves over re evaluation and everything that goes into it. I think I read the horror stories and get worked up. 

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5 hours ago, Buck52 said:

yes but unfortunately veterans can only recieve one mental diagnoses... Major Depression Disorder is a form of mental health. 

Either try a secondary condition To his S,C, MDD (Any other conditions it is related to or caused by) Like medications  ect,,,ect,,,

 or see  if a Dr has increased his MDD Medication  OR THAT IT HAS WORSEN WITHIN THE LAST 5 Years   any un-ordinary behavior or events that has been recorded in his medical records?

also a good lay statment from his spouse   as you witness a  change in your hubby behavior  within the last 5 years due to his S.C. MDD?? or higher dose of prescribe medications.

I wrote a lay statement and I hope it's good. Unfortunately I thought of more info after I submitted it so I have that as a copy and a list of things I notice and how often

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8 hours ago, brokensoldier244th said:

Going from 70 to 100% is difficult- im not trying to scare you , but basically, this is the stuff they are looking for, or will be asking about-and if you see something on here that they don't ask about, make sure you note it yourself with examples of his behaviors that coincide with it. (or have him tell them). The occupational and social impairment parts are a big deal. At the point that I had finally applied for an increase I had been unemployed for several months and had made some really bad money decisions to cope and compensate, among other things. I was kinda off the rails for awhile. I was in active treatment/counseling too, so that helped a lot because I had current records going back almost a year of either meds, CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), or both. 

 

http://www.militarydisabilitymadeeasy.com/mentaldisorders.html

Remember- the list above is not comprehensive- he doesn't need to exhibit ALL of them, but if you can provide examples of any of them it will help immensely. Self care, hygeine, hiding out in the house ( I used to be so bad I couldn't go to the door to talk to the mail man, I was was so socially anxious. Dishes would stack up for 3-4 days, I wouldn't cook for myself or my kids. My wife is a saint, and while she put up with some of it, she was also a stick when she needed to be. Meds helped a lot, too, but im on them all the time now so I can sort of function. Im a stay at home dad now, at 42, and while its still really challenging with my kids, they are upper elementary, HS, and a college student, so its not as bad as it was a few years ago when they were younger and at home all the time. I basically wandered around the house like  a ghost. My sleep was all off, I had no regular or normal schedule. 

Good luck! I don't blame you for feeling apprehensive at all- and he's probably a mess worrying about it, too. Best you can do is be supportive and watch for any uptic in behaviors in the next week or so, and just be aware that its his symptoms acting up and nothing personal. 

I really appreciate the help!

Yea I really can't bring it up. I tried just asking about it and we got into a huge fight. So I'm trying to be sensitive about it. 

 

They obviously saw something in his records and with his first exam to warrant it.  He was always very against social interactions to begin with and that hasn't changed. He won't even go to my work Christmas party

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5 hours ago, Buck52 said:

yes but unfortunately veterans can only recieve one mental diagnoses... Major Depression Disorder is a form of mental health. 

Either try a secondary condition To his S,C, MDD (Any other conditions it is related to or caused by) Like medications  ect,,,ect,,,

 or see  if a Dr has increased his MDD Medication  OR THAT IT HAS WORSEN WITHIN THE LAST 5 Years   any un-ordinary behavior or events that has been recorded in his medical records?

also a good lay statment from his spouse   as you witness a  change in your hubby behavior  within the last 5 years due to his S.C. MDD?? or higher dose of prescribe medications.

Buck is right, I have a condition where I was not seen for a long time and my wife filled out a lay statement and it tipped the scales.  You might also want to talk to him and see how he is really doing as I was pretty good at hiding my pain most days.  I have trigger days where something happened in my past and I would be in a really bad mood and not know why, but after some therapy I found out those dates corresponded with events in my past. So now I can better deal with those days and my wife knows if this happens to ask if I need anything, but to let me deal with it.

The lay statement is only a page and a half long so you might need more than one.  

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1 hour ago, shrekthetank1 said:

Buck is right, I have a condition where I was not seen for a long time and my wife filled out a lay statement and it tipped the scales.  You might also want to talk to him and see how he is really doing as I was pretty good at hiding my pain most days.  I have trigger days where something happened in my past and I would be in a really bad mood and not know why, but after some therapy I found out those dates corresponded with events in my past. So now I can better deal with those days and my wife knows if this happens to ask if I need anything, but to let me deal with it.

The lay statement is only a page and a half long so you might need more than one.  

You describe exactly what happens with him. I can tell by dates when things are starting to get worse.

I had attached a lay statement on the VA form on VA.gov with his claim file. I have more that I needed to add. Should I attach that one too as a continuation or bring it with us? I didn't want to seem like I was trying to over do it with the statements but after I wrote the first one about a month ago I thought of more to add.

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Yes attach any favorable evidence that will help your hubby keep what he has or go for increase  if he is worse. make copies and bring them with you to the exam or anything favorable you have bring to the exam  make your self copies and leave at home    this way you can give them to the examiner  he can write it up in his report.

sometimes these examiners do not read for enough in the computer to find all the information that is before them.

I suggest you go in to the exam with your hubby and speak up if he don't ?just ask the examiner if its ok that you come in with your hubby  he is a lot worse and he needs you.

Edited by Buck52 (see edit history)
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3 minutes ago, Buck52 said:

Yes attach any favorable evidence that will help your hubby keep what he has or go for increase  if he is worse.

sometimes these examiners do not read for enough in the computer to find all the information that is before them.

I suggest you go in to the exam with your hubby and speak up if he don't ?just ask the examiner if its ok that you come in with your hubby  he is a lot worse and he needs you.

Yea I definitely figured I needed to go in with him. He said at the exam back in 2013 that they talked to me separately and asked me questions but in all honesty, I don't remember that.

 

I think I'll write out the other lay statement then that's adding to it and also bring it with me.

 

I mean, like with his sleep, he will sleep and sleep...if I wouldn't wake him up on the weekend, he would sleep all day.
He is working, but he's gone through three jobs in a year. He just doesn't keep them. He gets a good one and then he's like, nope don't like it I can't deal with this and moves on.

I have to lay his clothes out for him, etc. I take care of everything. There's times where he would just rather have his face buried in his phone and he seems so disconnected but I can't bring it up or he gets angry. His moods are all over.

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Try to relax before the exam and know this examiner is just a man same as your hubby,(if you get a male examiner?),,also think about this   these exams are for a good reason  to help us all get our deserved benefits.its our time to show our disability up close..and the examiner is there to check our medical condition and report on what they find...so actually a C&P Exam is a good thing.

   they can determine if your hubby is about the same  or if he has got worse  a good examiner will listen to you and your hubby and take notes..if this happens  its usually a good sign for increase  but we all have to wait and see what they wrote up   some times its a disappointment   just try to do the best you can and report any behavior that your hubby may have since his last exam  but remember not to over exaggerate   the examiner will certainly pick up on that  just be honest with your answers.

I believe you guys will do ok. 

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46 minutes ago, Buck52 said:

Try to relax before the exam and know this examiner is just a man same as your hubby,(if you get a male examiner?),,also think about this   these exams are for a good reason  to help us all get our deserved benefits.its our time to show our disability up close..and the examiner is there to check our medical condition and report on what they find...so actually a C&P Exam is a good thing.

   they can determine if your hubby is about the same  or if he has got worse  a good examiner will listen to you and your hubby and take notes..if this happens  its usually a good sign for increase  but we all have to wait and see what they wrote up   some times its a disappointment   just try to do the best you can and report any behavior that your hubby may have since his last exam  but remember not to over exaggerate   the examiner will certainly pick up on that  just be honest with your answers.

I believe you guys will do ok. 

Thank you so much! I truly appreciate the input. It helps calms the nerves a little for sure.

Yea, honestly, we would be happy with just staying the same, he really feels guilty having the percentage he does since there's so many of you guys out there that have gone through so much and are still fighting for the right rating. When they called him in for a C&P for initial rating of this he didn't even think he had major depressive disorder let alone any depression and then they thought he was bad enough to be at 70%. He just answered the questions like they were just random questions.

 

I got my second statement finished up, I was just afraid of doing exactly that, over exaggerating. But I think I got it pretty cut and dry and not going overboard. I was just afraid the first lay statement didn't have enough information after I started thinking about it.

Edited by AirForceVetsWife (see edit history)
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With the whole stabilized rating thing...with it being over 5 years, and I know everything is wait and see and different throughout the VA. But, do they generally recognize that. His is almost at 6 years, 6 years would be June of this year. My thought was that if they do want to reduce they would have to call him back in a certain amount of time for another exam to see if the improvement is there. I think I read 12-18 months out.

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