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Rating question brain injury, deeply appreciate input VA personnel


Otrgypsy

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I have a brain injury that is very similar in effect to many TBI's. It is an organic brain syndrome or more specifically chronic solvent encephalopathy. I need to tell the psychologist who is doing a DBQ and MO DBQ for me, is she supposed to give opinions on the medically diagnosed cognitive and behavioral issues that are caused by the brain damage OR is she just supposed to just diagnose and explain the effects of the accompanying depression and anxiety?

A related question that may give me the answer:

When a psychologist is answering a DBQ on a TBI, and they go through that checklist for TBI does the psychologist answer the questions about cognitive impairment, social skills and judgment etc.

I am guessing I know the answer right now or at least have a good guess. Where can I find a TBI checklist to go with a mental this are's DBQ? And what is it called?

Edited by Otrgypsy
Correction and in addition
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  • HadIt.com Elder

Yes, absolutely. It would be best if she did the DBQ, answered the questions, and then typed up a separate statement basically summarizing the same thing with professional rationale, observed behavior(s), noted cognitive deficit, etc. and how it affects your daily living activities AND how it affects you, or would affect you, in an occupational environmental setting. 

VA doctors fill out 2 dbqs for service connection- the one you have with all the questions/testing, etc, and then a separate one for the opinion. Unless you are within a year of RAD the  opinion is required, meaning that even if your exam is scheduled within that year if they send in the DBQ after the year has elapsed (i.e. your exam was close to the end of that year) they will get it kicked back for the accompanying opinion, so its better to just do it all up front. Medical Opinion.pdfMedical Opinion.pdfMedical Opinion.pdf

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I guess what I was trying to get at is this: Will they rate brain injury separate from depression and anxiety if you work with the forms right? I believe it's true that the depression and anxiety are separate and different different from the frontal lobe issues. But will they ever give more than 70% for the combination of brain damage and resulting psych issues if the person is capable of living alone?

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  • HadIt.com Elder

That I have no idea, im not a rater. TBI is its own exam, as is Depr/Anx, etc. Usually the Depression/anxiety are rated as secondary to the TBI but there are some requirements like 'how long after the TBI did the depression and anxiety start',. Other cognitive deficits, headaches, etc. can be rated separately as well depending on the circumstances. I see a lot of PTSD/TBI mixed residual claims that are part of the MST claims that I work and the hardest part is separating the cognitive deficit from the PTSD vs the cognitive deficit from the TBI. (as an example- You didn't say anything about PTSD but im trying to give you some context within what im more familiar with). 

The important part is "what" is your condition, and "how" it is caused by your military service- thats the biggie question she will will have to answer and do an opinion on. The affects of your disability(s) on you and your quality of life are secondary to that. If you aren't SC for it first the rest of it doesn't matter with regards to a VA rating-(Im not trying to minimize anything you have going on 🙂 )

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Posted (edited)

Thanks but No, SC is not my issue at this point. The bimbo VA  MD that screwed up my claim 8 years ago has corrected the baseless factual errors she made and reversed her opinion stating that it IS service connected.

Depression was the first symptom documented along with a few others all of them now acknowledged as being symptoms of solvent poisoning. So, I am looking to maximize the rating. I'm a shoe in now for Individual unemployability as even she acknowledged that in the original C&P. So has the VA's best on toxic issues and the original private neurotoxicologist, and a new neurotoxicologist/neuropsych. The only one saying otherwise is an LHI whore that ignored everything and whose "opinion" is based on her original factual errors. Those have been eliminated.

I have read over the last few years that members of the political party that refuses to make the rich pay taxes keep suggesting that they change the law and end individual unemployability. I want to ensure that I am not affected if they do that.

Edited by Otrgypsy
clarification.
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  • HadIt.com Elder

If they were to do that it would affect us all anyway. Congress wrote the laws.  They try to do it every few years, it usually dies before committee. 

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Due to quick and extreme backlash from national VSO organizations, many members of congress and senate and many individual vets, the then VA Secretary Shulkin was forced to testify in Oct 2017 in front of U.S. Senate and both apologize and reassure everyone publicly that he had no intentions of terminating the TDIU rating in spite of his earlier proposal to do so to save money from TDIU and spend it on health care for other vets.  He also issued a written public letter for the national press and here it is.

image.thumb.jpeg.96892ffbb3e46dc5a3a058c0b0c91183.jpeg

Also here is more information from Star & Stripes.  According to knowledgeable others this is reason TDIU and P&T TDIU vets keep filing claims to reach 100% scheduler as the TDIU rating was not created by Congressional Law and is not protected by the Congressional Code but is a creature of VA regulations only.  So VA SEC has the authority legally to try and terminate but now very highly unlikely they will try this chit again for a long time.

VA secretary promises in writing not to cut benefit program for disabled vets | Stars and Stripes

My comment is not legal advice as I am not a lawyer, paralegal or VSO.

Edited by Dustoff 11
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