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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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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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Thank you, BroncVet and Vetquest for your guidance.  First thing I want to address is the forgiveness portion.  I am 100% in agreement about the forgiveness that Christ requires of us.  I don't know what particular portion of the content gave the impression of unforgiveness.  I forgave him years ago.  The reason I gave some of the history and facts was to provide a background as to the circumstances surrounding the original denial of PTSD due to MST.  I had not planned to refile until in 2018 when I saw watch the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.  That entire process triggered the PTSD like never before and I had to get in counseling again right away.

I understand the pyramiding prohibition.  When I received the MDD, they did not acknowledge the MST.  In 2018 when I was asked did I ever refile since the MST/PTSD was denied prior to the OIG audit directly concluding that the VA had improperly denied a lot of MST/PTSD cases prior to 2011, and the VA urged denied PTSD/MST claimants to allow them to re-evaluate the claim, that's what I am doing.

I don't need revenge because just knowing that his evil deeds finally were brought to light was vindication enough for me.  I don't hate him.  I just want the VA to acknowledge that I provided them truthful information originally and they now have substantial evidence in my re-opened claim to validate that the information in the original claim was valid as well.  That's what I want from them as well as the acknowledgement of both mh conditions.  I know they can acknowledge both, combine the rating into one and that's all I am requesting.  The mh providers have broken down the symptoms that I have that are related to MDD and PTSD separately in the DBQ and IMO.

This is what I was trying to find out:  

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 was trying to understand how that might be viewed.

Thank you for being transparent about the need for us to demonstrate the characteristics of Christ because many people would not have acknowledged that and I respect and appreciate that wholeheartedly.

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Thank you, Berta, for your encouragement and input.  

I think this time around they will acknowledge the MST and both diagnoses and combine the rating.  That's all I want.  I suffer from both and I know they can combine the ratings.  Every doctor that has seen me has clearly identified two distinct mh conditions.  This has taken a terrible toll on my physical health as well.  I have chronic insomnia, sleep apnea, hypertension that started during the pregnancy and has never been controlled since I was 20 years old.  I suffer from IBS, gerd, endometriosis, chronic pain and the list goes on.

Armed with my IMO from Dr. Ellis addressing all of the medical conditions I am hopeful that I will be granted 100% P&T.  I am self employed and have been since I left the military because I refuse to work under a man's authority.  That has been detrimental at times to me financially, but I cannot put myself in a position where another man has control or power over me and because I am in need of income I allow him to force me to do anything that I am not willing to do from my heart.  My marriage ended 11 years ago because I can't and don't show emotion or affection, no desire for intimacy.  I tried dating once since the divorce and that was a nightmare.  I am 50 years old and refuse to date or allow any man close to me or my children.  I was 18-20 years old when all of this happened to me in the military and it's has altered every aspect of my life to present day.

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Sorry to hear what happen to you.

On the bright side if there is any....>  I believe you will have no problems with your MST Claim  they will probably diagnose you with MST PTSD, they can diagnose you with MDD also but as Vetquest mention they will only give one rating for MH disability but you certainly  can be diagnose with both.  Usually the symptoms  follow the PTSD Criteria 

Also you may want to look at the possibility's of another condition the Medication you are prescribe  that can be related to or cause another disability condition to arise   these type of claims are called secondary claims to an already S.C. Condition. 

As an Example

OSA OR SLEEP DISTURBANCE

Sleep Apnea can be caused or related to PTSD. as a secondary condition to PTSD

Check on these other possible conditions or any condition that you may have that arises because of your medications.

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Thank you, Buck52.  I will.  At this point, I have made the decision that I want my life back and I want to live the best life I can on the other side of 50.

Finally getting the confidence to open up on this forum has been very therapeutic for me.  Thank you all for being lifetime servants.  That's my goal is to help other veterans the rest of my life.

 

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You posted, 

Quote

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?

Its probably not probative evidence all by itself.    You need evidence he assaulted YOU.   

As I explained, you are given one rating for your cumulative  mental health disorders, not one for EACH mh disorder.  Since you have sc for depression, you pretty much cant get any more benefits with a new diagnosis and sc for PTSD/MST.   Additional compensation would require new symptoms, which were not already considered with your old mdd rating.  And, its even more complicated as VA may try to "divide" the symptoms attributable to mdd and those attributable to mst.  

 The route to go is to apply for an increase if your symptoms have worsened since you were rated, that is, from purely a benefits dollars and cents point of view.  

VSO's do have it right that its much easier to get an increase than a new service connection.  You dont need to reprove Caluza elements for a new SC, you simply need to show your condition got worse.  

Again, from a benefits standpoint only, your best bet is to apply for an increase if your symptoms worsened. 

For benefits, its usually best to take the shortest and easiest route, not the most complex or difficult.  This is why I normally suggest an appeal when possible and only file a CUE when you have passed the one year appeal period and, you can meet the onerous CUE standard of review.      

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