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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims

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    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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  • 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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Another question concerning PTSD rating


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Good afternoon, Have a question regarding PTSD.  I was rated at 30% for it about 7 months ago.  I think I should have been rated higher, but who cares what I think.... My question is I was offered counseling by a V.A doctor,   but I have yet to take them up on it. Does this hurt me because I'm going to put in for an increase in the next few months. Should I take them up on this offer? Bonus Question, should I  appeal the first decision or just apply for an increase? Thanks  in advance!

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It depends on how much time you have to do this, but they are typically very good.  I go to the vet center here and they are good.  I think it is good just to show them where you are at and the issues

By declining "counseling", you dont necessarily hurt your chances at getting an increase.  I will give 2 examples which may help. Example 1.  You get a rating for PTSD and then "discontinue" all

On your 30% you need to check the rating criteria and look at the boxes beside the rating percentage's  check each symptom that you have and line it up with the rating criteria   ask a MH Dr to fill o

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6 hours ago, USMC_VET said:

 This is anecdotal but i have heard of the VA using the fact you didnt refill say back pain meds or other meds as a sign your condition is "improving" since in their minds if you dont need them as often to refill regularly it MUST mean youre "getting better".

 

 

Actually, that is wrong. You can deny any med without repercussion. They cant force you to take medication. And they cannot hold it against you. I refuse meds as I have kidney disease (as do 1 in 5 adults). Therefore most meds are dangerous, and after forced anthrax vaccines, and the opioid crisis, it is your choice. And, they do not trully know what harm any med can do til YEARS later. Look at zantac.

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It depends on how much time you have to do this, but they are typically very good.  I go to the vet center here and they are good.  I think it is good just to show them where you are at and the issues you are having.

As for the appeal, if you feel it is not right then you should!  If you are within a year appeal!  Keep that original date alive as back pay can be big

 

 

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By declining "counseling", you dont necessarily hurt your chances at getting an increase.  I will give 2 examples which may help.

Example 1.  You get a rating for PTSD and then "discontinue" all treatment..you never set foot in a VAMC again.  This doesnt bode well..it could be interpreted that you are a malingerer and, once you got your benefits you were cured.  No, Im not accusing you of this, but its best to remain in treatment, but not necessarily counseling.  

Example 2.  You get a rating for PTSD but dont feel counseing will help.  So you keep seing the doc, and he prescribes pills and you take them and keep yoru appointments.  You should still be able to get an increase if you meet the criteria for a higher rating.  

    Generally, Va requires "continuity of SYMPTOMS" not continuitiy of treatment.  Treatments vary, and they change over time.  You may change meds, go off them, get back on, try other stuff.  

Bonus question:  If you are in the 1 year appeal period, by all means appeal.  It could mean a nice retro check.  If you apply for an increase but do not appeal, then you could still get an increase but at a later effective date and, thus, a smaller retro check.  

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1 hour ago, thegat said:

Good afternoon, Have a question regarding PTSD.  I was rated at 30% for it about 7 months ago.  I think I should have been rated higher, but who cares what I think.... My question is I was offered counseling by a V.A doctor,   but I have yet to take them up on it. Does this hurt me because I'm going to put in for an increase in the next few months. Should I take them up on this offer? Bonus Question, should I  appeal the first decision or just apply for an increase? Thanks  in advance!

On your 30% you need to check the rating criteria and look at the boxes beside the rating percentage's  check each symptom that you have and line it up with the rating criteria   ask a MH Dr to fill out a PTSD  DBQ,  And see what he checks off...some VA Doc's wil do that and some won"t  but the thing is you need to see if you have more symptoms have increase since your last rating at 30%.

IF you put in for an increase they will send you to a C&P  the examiner will check your past medical records to see if your symptoms have increase or have got worse.

Here is a rating formula for PTSD  (below)

Remember they rate Mental Disorders  (PTSD) by  your symptoms , the more severe your symptoms the higher they rate. 

70% and 100% are fairly close = 70% you  comb your hair and brush your teeth and wear clean clothes...ect,,,ect,, that is only the basic difference.=100% you don't do the above  (Hygiene) and Total occupational and social impairment                                                                         : gross impairment in thought processes or communication; persistent delusions or hallucinations; grossly inappropriate behavior; persistent danger of hurting self or others.

Also you may want to file on secondary conditions your MH condition may cause or related to  example  ''sleep apnea'' if they do a sleep study on you and diagnose you for S.A. and your required medically to use a C-pap machine and the VA prescribes one for you to use..that's normally a 50% rating and depending on how severe your apnea's are?

  if you have severe sleep apnea  or  higher  that's 100% ,  once they grant the sleep apnea secondary to your PTSD or Medications it becomes part of your MENTAL HEALTH CONDITION  but they rate them separate.

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 work like 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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I think it helps to evaluate yourself with the information with the post above.

I was on the meds, but realized at some point I was on borrowed time. I quit my last job after dealing with a real fun boss. I told him in writing that if he can't handle a few F bombs that perhaps he should hand in his "Man Card." I was working for the Government at the time, and had applied for FERS Disability. I did get that as well, but my boss had a brick on his desk because he thought he might have to use it against me. I did get SSDI so fast my head spun around. I was lucky to work alone most of the time, and even then I had the hallucinations,  disorientation, memory loss, etc. I have had huge issues with relationships. I have wanted to end my life more than I care to admit, and when I am angry I am dangerous. So I spend a lot of time in my garage away from people. I have trouble with hygiene at times.  

If you are like me, you need to get an advocate and fight this. The VA lowballs almost every Vet.

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