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Healingfor777

Reopened Previously Denied PTSD due to MST claim

Question

Hi Everyone,

I have been silently reviewing this site for quite a while and finally have the confidence to speak out.  I was written up and reprimanded for reporting sexual harassment by an officer iwhen I was 18 on active duty.  I was verbally reprimanded and written up and punished for two years with no favorable treatment for misrepresenting the conduct of an officer.  I hand wrote a 10-page appeal letter to my battalion commander begging him to listen to me and stating I only wanted this lieutenant to leave me alone and stop harassing me.  Well, that fell on deaf ears.  In that letter at the age of 18, I told him if anything like that ever happened to me again, I would just shut up and let them do whatever they wanted to me because my rank was so insignificant that no one would listen or believe an enlisted soldier's side of the story.  Well, two years later, I was sexually assaulted by my company commander on numerous occasions.  I did not report it and nearly had a nervous breakdown because I was married and never told my husband.  He was a married white male, and I was a black female married to a black male.  A couple of months prior to the assaults, my husband and I were trying to start a family, so I stopped using birth control.  Well the sexual assaults were unprotected sex and of course when I didn't want or expect it to happen, I popped up pregnant immediately.  I didn't know the paternity/race of the child until I delivered.  I was tortured, stressed and in unbelievable torment the entire pregnancy.  There's a lot more to this tragedy, but I will jump forward. 

In 2009, I finally was receiving counseling due to extreme depression and suicidal thoughts among other mental health issues, and I was diagnosed with PTSD at a VA facility.  I filed the claim for sexual harassment at the time and PTSD due to MST in 2009.  The claim was denied in 2011.  I was devastated.  They denied PTSD and granted MDD.  That was another slap in the face.  In 2018, during the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court hearings, I experienced a trigger watching Dr. Ford testify and try to explain why she didn't report the assault until 30 years later.  It was like re-living my own story because here is a powerful man, supported by more powerful men and this highly educated professional woman did not stand a chance, coincidentally it has been 30 years for me too.

Since then, I have been in intense counseling and was advised to refile the claim due to the OIG audits and the changes in the law regarding the lower burden of proof.  I worked with a VSO that helped me think of how to identify markers in my 201 file and think outside the box to re-file the claim.  My new therapist is a VA doc that completed a powerful DBQ and included a nexus statement in her remarks section,.  She used the more likely than not for PTSD and MDD due to MST. 

One night fearing my commander would find me and harm me for re-filing this claim if he finds out, I could not sleep.  I decided to Google his whereabouts.  I found out that he was prosecuted for having an extramarital affair with an enlisted soldier in his command, fathering a child outside of wedlock, fraud and a few other crimes.  The details surrounding his case are almost identical to what I said he did to me in my 2009 claim. The only difference was my husband was the father and not him 

In my 2009 claim, I named him specifically as the person who abused his authority, forced me to have unprotected sex with him on numerous occasions.  When I was up trying to research his whereabouts, I discovered he had been prosecuted two years prior to me filing my complaint in 2009.  He was still on active duty when he was charged with the fraud, etc.  He was allowed to retire prior to his trial and conviction.  He was convicted and sent to prison for a couple years.  The details of my claim were identical  to the circumstances of the extra marital affair other than the fact he admitted to being the father of this other child by a married enlisted female in his command.  He didn't father my child.  I have come to accept that this man was a predator and I was somehow chosen to be one of his victims.  Maybe when he became commander he was briefed that I had reported the sexual harassment previously and was just coming off of the two year punishment and would be the perfect candidate.  I will never know.

In my new filing, I have filed the DBQ with the nexus from the VA psychologist, an IMO from Dr. Ellis, out of the 12 marker examples the VA lists, I had 9 in my 201 file.  I have met the Caluza elements in this filing.  I was sent for a C&P exam last week and don't know the results yet.  I also claimed hypertension, IBS, migraines and FSAD secondary to PTSD.  Based on the DBQ and IMO, they both have me between the 70-100 rating range. 

Do you think the evidence I was able to recover on Google about his criminal prosecution, the timing of the prosecution and identical facts of his fraternization with an enlisted female and pregnancy involvement in both cases is strong evidence since I didn't initially report the assaults?

Also, since I signed the document in 2009 for the VA to assist with my claim, it's obvious no one checked to see if this man had any history or other claims against him because they denied a claim for the exact person that was being prosecuted starting at least a year or more before I filed my claim.  They completely ignored the fact that I named him specifically and gave details almost identical that came out during the trial that ended before my claim was filed.

I also have a buddy statement from a soldier that served with me that I didn't have before that I confided in during the time the assaults were taking place.  I know this is a lot, and it took a lot to publish this because of my anxiety and nervousness of my identity being discovered.

Your feedback and advice is greatly appreciated.

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Welcome to hadit:

You posted:

  

Quote

  They denied PTSD and granted MDD

From a pure BENEFITS standpoint, its no difference if you are rated 50 percent for PTSD or MDD.  They are rated using the same schedule.  

Again from a benefits standpoint, if you have BOTH PTSD and MDD, the VA will only rate you on the one with the worst symptoms.  Pyrmading prevents the VA from rating you for both.  (The VA prohibits you getting paid for the same symptom twice)  

    What this means is to increase your benefits, file for an increase, not another mh condition.  

     (Your VSO should know this)

To see if your Mh disorder(s) meet the criteria for the next higher level(s), compare your DOCUMENTED symptoms with these which follow, noting the mh disorders are all "clumped together into one":

 
Quote

 

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

  Rating
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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In the rating criteria, above, see if your symptoms more closely match those of "100 percent" or "70 percent" if you are currently rated 50 percent for mh disorders.  Then file for an increase.  

 

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Good advice from Broncovet.  I know that getting a rating for MDD may seem like a slight in your case but as Broncovet stated you can only be rated for one.  I am diagnosed with PTSD and MDD but I can only be rated at 70% for the PTSD.  As for this man did, the VA is not interested in him, only getting you better.  I would focus on your health right now.

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Vetquest and I are on the same page.  Yes, go and seek to maximize your compensation.  

But if you are seeking some sort of revenge on your attacker, even tho he probably deserves your wrath, for your health you are much better off not trying to seek revenge.  

In my case, I was severly depressed and obsessed with getting revenge on a man who had wronged me.  That revenge consumed me.  

I actually "got" that revenge.  How did I do it?  By forgiving him.  Oh, no, not just forgiving him "on paper" or with words, but with a sincere heart.  

If you carry a burden, one pastor called "toxic unforgiveness", it will consume you.  

Is it hard to forgive?  Very.  Is it worth it?  More than anything you have ever done.  Do you need help with forgiveness?  Yes.  Seek that forgiveness from the one who forgave those who beat him and killed him on the cross.  He will help you.  

That forgiveness will unburden you from carrying around hatred for someone.  No, Im not saying this person "deserves" your forgiveness.  Quite the contrary.  But YOU do deserve forgiveness.  Dont forgive him to help him...forgive him to help YOU.  

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What happened to you was horrific.

You asked:

"Do you think the evidence I was able to recover on Google about his criminal prosecution, the timing of the prosecution and identical facts of his fraternization with an enlisted female and pregnancy involvement in both cases is strong evidence since I didn't initially report the assaults?"

Yes I do. Your 201 file had many markers in it. This type of assault would definitely affect anyone's ability to continue, as usual, in the Military.

"Also, since I signed the document in 2009 for the VA to assist with my claim, it's obvious no one checked to see if this man had any history or other claims against him because they denied a claim for the exact person that was being prosecuted starting at least a year or more before I filed my claim.  They completely ignored the fact that I named him specifically and gave details almost identical that came out during the trial that ended before my claim was filed."

The VA's Duty to Assist is so basic ,it is almost meaningless rhetoric.

You did what every claimant should do, -you became the best vet rep you will ever have and you got the evidence you needed.

"I also have a buddy statement from a soldier that served with me that I didn't have before that I confided in during the time the assaults were taking place. "  Great!

I believe in forgiveness myself as Broncovet does, .......but I sure NEVER forget.

I know this was difficult for you to share this with us. There are others here ,as members, both men and women, who know how you feel because they went through MST too. 

"Maybe when he became commander he was briefed that I had reported the sexual harassment previously and was just coming off of the two year punishment and would be the perfect candidate."

You have excellent insight-I agree with you- predators often seek victims who already have been victimized.

I have personally experienced that. I think you will do OK with your claim.

VA has learned over the years more and more about MST. So has the Military ( I hope)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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