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      How to get your questions answered. A few observations, and requests of all members. All folks who come here are volunteers who do this on their own time and their own dime.To avoid burning out our best contributors please follow these guidelinesf you are reading a post and it reminds you of a question you want to ask, start a new topic, if you place your question in someone thread it will be difficult to distinguish your question from the original poster, you will get better results posting a new topic with your question. 1. Before Posting please do a search and see if your question has already been answered. If you find the answer print it out and put it in a file to use as a reference file, I find this helpful myself. 2. If you can not find the answer and you do post a question, please print out those answers and refer to them to avoid duplicate questions. 3. Refer to the Frequently Asked Questions4. Duplicate questions will come up from time to time but the keeping them to the minimum will lighten the load on the regular volunteers.5. Respect folks privacy do not request their personal phone numbers for claims help, it is inappropriate and not why they are here.6. Keep the topics focused on veterans issues, in closing Search first Search ... Ask second.it may save a lot of time or at the very least enlighten you.
    • Listen Live Every Wed 5:30 PM CST to SVR Radio, Veterans Issues are discussed with various guests.

      Listen Live Every Wed 5:30 PM CST to SVR Radio, Veterans Issues are discussed with various guests. Please check the little home I am carving out for our SVR partners. http://www.hadit.com/svr.html
    • A bit about Tbird and HadIt.com for those who've asked...

      The following is on my About page, but some have been asking how this all happened. So here is my little story. Tbird US Navy 1983 – 1990 E-6 HadIt.com the website domain registered Jan 20, 1997 the domain is registered and paid for through Jan 21, 2023 at which time I plan to register it for another 15 years Lord willing and the creek don't rise. I guess the best place to start is Jan 1991; I had gotten out of the navy Dec 1990. At my separation seminar, there was a DAV rep Jim Milton he told us to bring our medical records in and he would look through them for us and let us know if we should file a claim with the VA. Well, bless his heart, he opened my medical file, reads the first insert, looks me straight in the eye, and says you will be 50% for the rest of your life and he would file the claim for me. 50% was for surgery I had in the service. True to his word he met with me and talked with me for a long time filled out my paper work and urged me to file for PTSD. I would not file the PTSD claim, nor even discuss it. By Feb 1991 I had moved to the San Francisco bay area and was staying at a friends apartment and pretty much I was just a puddle. In desperation one night I called suicide hot line, I had no job, no idea about going to the VA. They talked with me for a long time and explained to me that I could go to the local VA hospital even if I did not have insurance. Now, I know what you are thinking if I was 50% why didn't I just go to the VA in the first place, two reasons 1, this was Feb 1991 and the 50% didn't come till May and 2, even if it had come through it is unlikely that I would have had the mental acuity at the time to put the two together. I relate this here because it is where so many of our brothers and sisters are coming from, perhaps where you started. Fuzzy and unsure, in pain and sometimes homeless they come to the VA hospital for help. And that is where I ended up. Up to the pysch ward I went, blah, blah, blah, a few days later I was released with a promise of a call from the out patient program, which I would soon be entering. Blah, blah, blah, after many missed communications, and no call backs I was at the Day Hospital everyday M-F. And this brothers and sisters is where I began to learn and formulate my plan for HadIt.com. Veterans, veterans everywhere…I spent a year in the day hospital and about another year at a sheltered workshop before I got back on my feet. So I just talked to veterans everyday waiting for appointments, waiting for prescriptions, waiting for a vet rep and I started to learn the system. While in the navy I was data analyst and had to learn a 5 volume manual and just about anything you were suppose to do was in that manual. So I figured there must be a manual on how to do a VA claim or at the very least regulations. So I found out about the Code of Federal Regulations, United States Code, Veterans Affairs Manuals and so on and so forth. Of course this was 1991/1992 I was living in a tiny studio apartment in a particularly bad neighborhood, working in a sheltered workshop making a nickel per envelope I stuffed throw in PTSD and you will see that it was a difficult task for me to get somewhere where they had copies of these, let alone that they would let me look at. And there was so much knowledge around me, it was like the gold rush in those days, I could just sit on a bench a veteran would sit down next to me a little conversation later I had another nugget, I made copious notes. Phone numbers to call, ask for this guy or that guy he'll give you the straight scoop and they'd slip me a piece of paper with a number on it. You want to read this regulation or that one and another slip of paper into my hand. I spent a lot of time on those benches watching the squirrels they gathered their nuts and I gathered mine :) So I'm thinking I could put a little handbook together print it out and hand it out at the VA. Or perhaps fliers. Still formulating, time goes by, 1994/1995 I am being treated for PTSD regularly and doing and feeling much better and I go to work for a company as a marketing systems analyst and I discover the internet. Well let me tell you that was perhaps one of the most significant life changing events I have ever experienced. And I might add finally a positive one :) It seemed only natural to me that surely there must be a website that contained all the knowledge I wanted, well as it turned out not so much, lots of stuff but I wanted to get straight to the claims information and there was a lot of stuff to wade through to get to it. So taking my lesson from the squirrels earlier I started to gather, gather, gather…and learn HTML and work as a marketing systems analyst and work my claim. 1996/1997 major PTSD cork blows and unemployed. Working my claim, working the website. 20 Jan 1997 register HadIt.com domain name right after getting off the phone with the VA and saying I've had it with this. As fate would have it the old DAV board goes down just as mine opens up and folks start to wander in. So HadIt.com has two main components the website which supports the discussion board with links, articles, research resources etc. The website starts to grow, I can't tell you how many times I had to switch servers for space and features. I continue on a downward trend and in 1998 ended up back home in St Louis living in my sisters basement in therapy and working it, I swear I would have swung a dead chicken around my head at midnight naked if I thought it would have helped. The website continued to do great during this time, I just stayed in the basement bought new software, new books, and learned how to make things work and I continued to use this knowledge to make HadIt.com better. My 100% finally came through from the VA and I had a friend who is an advocate who helped me thru my SSDI claim, he was literally at my side thru the entire process and that came through for me. My therapist and sister continued to try and get me to leave the basement, but to no avail. At some point in 1998 or 1999 I put a counter on the website and was shocked to discover how many visitors we were getting. Time goes by my sister gets married and I move from the basement to the upstairs, there is much celebration that Aunt T is living in the light again. More time goes by and I settle into my life in St Louis and spend more time on the site trying new things, finding more information. 2003 I buy my own home VA loan. For years now I have just considered HadIt.com my job and I get up every morning go to the office and work for several hours, take an afternoon break and see where the rest of day takes me. I have a place in the office to use the computer and a comfortable to place to read journals and articles and take notes. Blah, blah, blah so that is my story and HadIt.com's intertwined.
    • HadIt.com Pass It On Cards

      Hi I've updated our HadIt.com Pass It On Cards. They are in a PDF format you can print them out cut them there are 12 to a page. If you have found HadIt.com helpful and would like to pass it on to other veterans this is an easy way to do it.I hope you find them helpful, feel free to leave a few anywhere veterans gather, veterans centers, veterans hospitals, public libraries, be creative. Please make sure though, that if you want to leave some at any business you ask permission first.Here you go http://www.hadit.com...it_on_cards.pdf
    • VA Training and Fast Letter Forum Index

      VA Training and Fast Letter Forum Index The following is the index with links to the various Training and Fast Letters plus a few miscellaneous. These letters are not necessarily in the original formatting. I have tried to present them in an easy-to-read form instead of some forms as originally presented. Some of the paragraphs were WAAAAYYY too long. lol - HadIt.com Member fanaticbooks Something to be aware.... Some of these letters may be rescinded, outdated, or otherwise no longer viable. I have still included them because sometimes they provide additional insight or just plain more information than the newest version. Use them wisely. The oldest letters will display at the bottom with the latest letters displayed at the top, all in sequential numbers. Coding of the letters... FL = Fast Letter TL = Training Letter First two numbers = last two digits of year of origin Training Letter http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40694-va-tl-00-07/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40693-va-tl-00-06/ Fast Letter Number Title http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/44262-va-fl-11-15/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/44260-va-fl-11-13/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/44261-va-fl-11-11/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/44310-va-fl-11-09/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/42151-va-fl-11-03/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40957-va-fl-10-49/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40958-va-fl-10-46/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40959-va-fl-10-45/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40960-va-fl-10-42/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40961-va-fl-10-39/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40962-va-fl-10-35/ 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Ptsd Claims And C&p Exams

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Posted

I am attempting to assist my husband in his claim for SC PTSD but am lost in a process and world I do not understand. His claim was initially filed in June 2004. It was quite by accident as I went to the County VA Rep. attempting to get him treatment through the VA. After several years of treatment through private psychiatrists and psychologists, two psychiatrists finally diagnosed his problem as PTSD which resulted from his buddy being killed in a tank which was known to malfunction. It would do things after the main power was cut off but they were ordered to use it anyway. His buddy was caught in the turret. Although my husband and another friend tried to save him, he passed away. When the interview with the Rep was completed, the Rep. told me he had filed a claim for compensation and to go over to the VA Med Center to apply for treatment which is where he has been treated since that time for which we are most grateful. We gave the Rep. names of the witnesses and the victim as well as informing him my husband was told there would be a CID investigation and he and the other buddy who found their friend were ordered to guard the tank that he was killed in that night. I even did research and found the SS# for his deceased friend in the SSDI and conveyed that to the VA. I was most dismayed when he received a denial earlier this year stating they found no record of the death, or any CID report nor record of the existence of his other buddy witness or the Sgt. who came running to help extricate the victim. I was to understand THEY would help locate the information. Although I was unsure how to proceed, I began doing research on the internet and found the widow who kindly provided a copy of Certificate of Overseas Death, and the CID report. I also found his other friend who was a witness and the Sgt. who, to my UTTER DISBELIEF considering he wasn't supposed to exist, was a Retired Sgt. Major of the Army who also wrote a buddy statement. I also submitted the scant military records my husband still had showing he was receiving high scores and praise prior to his friend's death in June but after his performance deteriorated to the point that by November of that year he was receiving penalties ( I don't know the technical term) for being AWOL and not in formation, etc. and lost his rank. He has stated he went to medical for help and they gave him small pills (which he thinks were Melloril) and was told he would be alright. He begged to get out of tanks and back to his MOS of Forward Observer but was denied. The VA claimed there is no record of either his requests for transfer or the medical visit. Unfortunately, that is the only documentation I have not managed to access to refute what they say. The status now is that the new VA Rep "resubmitted" it under a "failure to assist" and my husband has an appointment for a C&P exam here in Western North Carolina, but they are not sending him to the VA psychiatrists who treat him but to a private psychiatrist contracted by them. This concerns me. Given the performance of the VA thus far, I'm not sure I can trust a doctor on their payroll and even if ethical, how can they assess my husband's condition in one appointment? I have had so much on me in the last 2 years, I feel as though I'm drowning. It's difficult enough to deal with his illness and all of our financial and personal things as well as keeping a home operational. For those of you who understand PTSD, I don't have to tell you he refuses to leave the house most of the time except for mandatory errands and bill paying. Any information you could give me on the claims process in re: PTSD, C&P exams, or support groups for PTSD Vet's wives, I would appreciate. I've asked at the VA Med Center but they know of nothing for the wives. The last couple of months he has been what I refer to as "closed for business" or "checked out" punctuated by fits of rage. The last couple of weeks it has worn so thin I feel as though I would like to crawl in a hole and not come out. Unfortunately, I don't have that luxury.

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25 answers to this question

Posted

Ginger welcome to Hadit and thanks for sticking by your Veteran. As you probably are figuring out the VA is not helpful and even when you provide the info they ignore or overlook it. From your Post I can see that you have done most of the grounf work.

Have you asked for a DRO Hearing? I suggest that if it has not been done that you should request a Hearing and present your case to a real live person.

Please don't give up.

Pete

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Posted

Ginger welcome to Hadit and thanks for sticking by your Veteran. As you probably are figuring out the VA is not helpful and even when you provide the info they ignore or overlook it. From your Post I can see that you have done most of the grounf work.

Have you asked for a DRO Hearing? I suggest that if it has not been done that you should request a Hearing and present your case to a real live person.

Please don't give up.

Pete

Thank you for the reply. I understand it is in the ratings board again and they need the C&P exam before making a decision. Do you think this C&P exam will be useful? Is the DRO the Decision Review Officer? Should I request that if he receives another denial from the ratings board? I just don't understand the whole process and what should be done. I wish someone would present a worse-case scenario step-by-step procedure. I'm flying blind.

Ginger

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Posted

Ginger

One way to get familiar with VA procedures, is to go here;

http://www.hadit.com/faq.htm

and scroll down to get an overall picture of the steps in filing and pursuing claims.

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Posted

Ginger

Here's the perfect Avatar for you, if you want to use it.

post-13-1126318523_thumb.gif

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Posted

Yet another good reason to seek private psychiatry when you have PTSD....they would HAVE to take your civilian doctor's evaluation especially if he has been seeing you for a prolonged period of time. A treating doctor is always FAR better then a quick C&P exam and if they force you to go to a C&P exam anyway then refuse and NOD it to the BVA (actually CUE it under the reg that says they MUST accept civilian documentation if it is throrough).

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Posted

ginger, you have to report for C&P exams or they can refuse to rate him, they will also more than likely not allow you into the room for the exam, they would not allow my wife, in my case I gave them dates and times of the attack on me, they first said the incident was my fault for being drunk, they never attempted to get corroborating statements, the CID reports, MP reports or even the general court-martials, 2 1/2 years into it I got lucky and a lady at HQ DA JAG, Clerk of Court office ran a name search using my name and she found the four general court martials of the men who tired killing me in alaska and when I gave them the court martials at a "informal meeting" in Jan 05, they finally scheduled me for a C&P exam, they did nothing as far "as duty to assist" they didn't even list the court martials on the evidence they used to award my claim, they used all the information they had for the previous 3 years, the hospital report from Alaska, showing 3rd party liability and my stressor statement. They are just bogus people at the VARO and you have to keep appealing until you get what you want. I applaud you for sticking by him, I have 4 ex's that didn't #5 is happy they didn't, she understands the PTSD and she is part of the treatment we work together for our future.

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Posted

Have you sent the NARA an SF 180 yet?

I would send them another one if you already have- requesting all personnel records to include all disciplinary action reports.

(as well as SMRS)

when someone experiences severe trauma their behavior can change quickly and radically and these reports and the dates they occurred would help prove the claim.

I am baffled- if they have all of this evidence, the denial seemed inappropriate-

can you tell us the exact wording VA used to deny the claim?

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Posted

PS Ginger -I forgot- our local VAMC- Bath NY has a PTSD spouse group-

One of the vets who works there has PTSD and his wife started it and the VA gave her the community room to use for meetings.

We put up flyers and the meetings I attended were pretty good.

We have the BEST PTSD Shrink in the VA system-Dr. Quirion-a Vietnam vet himself- and he has spoken to this group. The group tries to meet the same night that the PTSD group for vets meets, this gives spouses a place to go while their significant others are in the vet group meeting.

It did not take much for this spouse to start this group- she was pretty frustrated at the need for it and yet there was nothing the VA itself offered.

This is not a group to sit around and gripe about PTSD vets- the idea is certainly to share but also to understand what a spouse can do to live with PTSD as it is a contagious disease in many respects and NOT the fault of the veteran.

Many spouses are happy just to be with others for a while who understand as so many people really dont understand PTSD.

It might not be too difficult to start a group like this yourself- even on the web- and actually there might be websites for PTSD spouses already.

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Posted

Ginger,

Just wanted to add in that you have done everything perfectly well thus far in the process; and SUPER job locating and collecting critical evidence on your own!

The VA claims process is TOPS in frustrating, annoying and generally wearing down claimants and families, hoping they will give up and just go away. Don't fall into that trap. Keep the concise and intelligent thought processes reflected in your post no matter how devoid of logic the VA decisions are. (I know, easier said than done!) You're doing a fine job so far. Bless you for your patience...

Walter...LOVED the ginger Avatar! Had to stare at it awhile, though...

--Susan

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I am attempting to assist my husband in his claim for SC PTSD but am lost in a process and world I do not understand. His claim was initially filed in June 2004. It was quite by accident as I went to the County VA Rep. attempting to get him treatment through the VA. After several years of treatment through private psychiatrists and psychologists, two psychiatrists finally diagnosed his problem as PTSD which resulted from his buddy being killed in a tank which was known to malfunction. It would do things after the main power was cut off but they were ordered to use it anyway. His buddy was caught in the turret. Although my husband and another friend tried to save him, he passed away. When the interview with the Rep was completed, the Rep. told me he had filed a claim for compensation and to go over to the VA Med Center to apply for treatment which is where he has been treated since that time for which we are most grateful. We gave the Rep. names of the witnesses and the victim as well as informing him my husband was told there would be a CID investigation and he and the other buddy who found their friend were ordered to guard the tank that he was killed in that night. I even did research and found the SS# for his deceased friend in the SSDI and conveyed that to the VA. I was most dismayed when he received a denial earlier this year stating they found no record of the death, or any CID report nor record of the existence of his other buddy witness or the Sgt. who came running to help extricate the victim. I was to understand THEY would help locate the information. Although I was unsure how to proceed, I began doing research on the internet and found the widow who kindly provided a copy of Certificate of Overseas Death, and the CID report. I also found his other friend who was a witness and the Sgt. who, to my UTTER DISBELIEF considering he wasn't supposed to exist, was a Retired Sgt. Major of the Army who also wrote a buddy statement. I also submitted the scant military records my husband still had showing he was receiving high scores and praise prior to his friend's death in June but after his performance deteriorated to the point that by November of that year he was receiving penalties ( I don't know the technical term) for being AWOL and not in formation, etc. and lost his rank. He has stated he went to medical for help and they gave him small pills (which he thinks were Melloril) and was told he would be alright. He begged to get out of tanks and back to his MOS of Forward Observer but was denied. The VA claimed there is no record of either his requests for transfer or the medical visit. Unfortunately, that is the only documentation I have not managed to access to refute what they say. The status now is that the new VA Rep "resubmitted" it under a "failure to assist" and my husband has an appointment for a C&P exam here in Western North Carolina, but they are not sending him to the VA psychiatrists who treat him but to a private psychiatrist contracted by them. This concerns me. Given the performance of the VA thus far, I'm not sure I can trust a doctor on their payroll and even if ethical, how can they assess my husband's condition in one appointment? I have had so much on me in the last 2 years, I feel as though I'm drowning. It's difficult enough to deal with his illness and all of our financial and personal things as well as keeping a home operational. For those of you who understand PTSD, I don't have to tell you he refuses to leave the house most of the time except for mandatory errands and bill paying. Any information you could give me on the claims process in re: PTSD, C&P exams, or support groups for PTSD Vet's wives, I would appreciate. I've asked at the VA Med Center but they know of nothing for the wives. The last couple of months he has been what I refer to as "closed for business" or "checked out" punctuated by fits of rage. The last couple of weeks it has worn so thin I feel as though I would like to crawl in a hole and not come out. Unfortunately, I don't have that luxury.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Ginger, You are doing a terrific job in basically doing the VA's job!! Unfortunately your case is pretty much what usually happens, you can not assume that the VA will really provide assistance. I believe the "Duty to Assist" for most VA RO's means sending a "Duty to Assist" letter to the veteran !!

Make copies of everything that you send to the VA, you will win in the end!!

Your husband is very lucky to have you as his advocate.

regards, Liz

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I am attempting to assist my husband in his claim for SC PTSD but am lost in a process and world I do not understand. His claim was initially filed in June 2004. It was quite by accident as I went to the County VA Rep. attempting to get him treatment through the VA. After several years of treatment through private psychiatrists and psychologists, two psychiatrists finally diagnosed his problem as PTSD which resulted from his buddy being killed in a tank which was known to malfunction. It would do things after the main power was cut off but they were ordered to use it anyway. His buddy was caught in the turret. Although my husband and another friend tried to save him, he passed away. When the interview with the Rep was completed, the Rep. told me he had filed a claim for compensation and to go over to the VA Med Center to apply for treatment which is where he has been treated since that time for which we are most grateful. We gave the Rep. names of the witnesses and the victim as well as informing him my husband was told there would be a CID investigation and he and the other buddy who found their friend were ordered to guard the tank that he was killed in that night. I even did research and found the SS# for his deceased friend in the SSDI and conveyed that to the VA. I was most dismayed when he received a denial earlier this year stating they found no record of the death, or any CID report nor record of the existence of his other buddy witness or the Sgt. who came running to help extricate the victim. I was to understand THEY would help locate the information. Although I was unsure how to proceed, I began doing research on the internet and found the widow who kindly provided a copy of Certificate of Overseas Death, and the CID report. I also found his other friend who was a witness and the Sgt. who, to my UTTER DISBELIEF considering he wasn't supposed to exist, was a Retired Sgt. Major of the Army who also wrote a buddy statement. I also submitted the scant military records my husband still had showing he was receiving high scores and praise prior to his friend's death in June but after his performance deteriorated to the point that by November of that year he was receiving penalties ( I don't know the technical term) for being AWOL and not in formation, etc. and lost his rank. He has stated he went to medical for help and they gave him small pills (which he thinks were Melloril) and was told he would be alright. He begged to get out of tanks and back to his MOS of Forward Observer but was denied. The VA claimed there is no record of either his requests for transfer or the medical visit. Unfortunately, that is the only documentation I have not managed to access to refute what they say. The status now is that the new VA Rep "resubmitted" it under a "failure to assist" and my husband has an appointment for a C&P exam here in Western North Carolina, but they are not sending him to the VA psychiatrists who treat him but to a private psychiatrist contracted by them. This concerns me. Given the performance of the VA thus far, I'm not sure I can trust a doctor on their payroll and even if ethical, how can they assess my husband's condition in one appointment? I have had so much on me in the last 2 years, I feel as though I'm drowning. It's difficult enough to deal with his illness and all of our financial and personal things as well as keeping a home operational. For those of you who understand PTSD, I don't have to tell you he refuses to leave the house most of the time except for mandatory errands and bill paying. Any information you could give me on the claims process in re: PTSD, C&P exams, or support groups for PTSD Vet's wives, I would appreciate. I've asked at the VA Med Center but they know of nothing for the wives. The last couple of months he has been what I refer to as "closed for business" or "checked out" punctuated by fits of rage. The last couple of weeks it has worn so thin I feel as though I would like to crawl in a hole and not come out. Unfortunately, I don't have that luxury.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Ginger,

Yes, We know!! Same old same old!! It is a frustrating journey. Email T bird and I will tell her to give you my email address, apparently we don't have that capacity on this system?

Here are some other sites: Veteran Benefit Netowrk, VBN @ ezboard.com. Can be helpful, but has a lot of Alpha A!!!

Vetwives@yahool.com group of vetwifes, sign others dealing with PTSD, etc. Terri, a vetwife at this site has her own website.

Try Chris at www.the AftermathofWarPTSD2@msn.com

combatptsd@aol.com

She has other vetwives links at her site as well.

I have found hadit and its members to be very friendly and very helpful. They do not mind questions. I am still learning. Been here a little over a year now. Good folk, here. Some get a little testy at times, but hey, that is what I deal with at home.

What type of Vet was your husband? Vietnam? What type of meds is he own, any sideaffects?

You are dong great!! It is exhausting, the PTSD and dealing with the Claim. Trust me, no one is going to care more than you about whether he gets his just due.

My husband as countless number of other vets, did not get the advice from the DVA SO that he needed. He was in denial for a long time. He still is!! Now we are starting to "deal" with the issue around his weight. He is a dry alcholic, the 2nd MOS of a young Army Vet!! I am pooped!! Now I have to learn how to unplug, but this is difficult as....financially we are too tied together, and he now has an ever increasing problem with his memory and cognitive skills!! PTSD? Yes, and the A/O and other herbecides.

Good support here, try the other groups and see what fits best. With my own PTSD, not much does!! LOL!!

This is fambly, yes, spelled correctlyas this fambly like all "families" is a littel screwball at times!! But I have seen a lot of caring good people on this site. They email each other outside, they call, they respond to posts. Not perfect, but none of us are. Keep doing a bang up job, I think you will make a GREAT Vetwife Advocate!!!, In fact, forget that, you ARE a great Vetwife Advocate, you are DOING IT!! Now as the funny boys say, "GITTER DONE!"

1. Make sure you get all of his records. All SMR's, All VAMC. Everytime he goes to an apptmt, get a copy. Get a copy of all of his C&P's.

2. Copy of his full and complete C-file

3. Read all old applicable posts from hadit. Wally is right about this, as there is so much you can learn by just reading these. B) Find and keep a sense of humor, it has been my salvation from Nutsville!!

4. Read about PTSD and Oh, by the way, you probably have Secondary PTSD and if you didn't quite have it, you do now since dealing with the VA!!

5. Make the rounds with the different Vet groups/ Vetwife groups. You will find where you are most comfortable.

6. Get completely comformatable with the Duty to Assist ruling.

7. Post exactly the words they denied him with.

8. Ask for a letter from your VAMC Dr. regarding his inability to work and his PTSD.

9. Anythig your SO send, have him send you a copy.

l0. Anything you send to SO/VARO, make a copy, send Certified RR and put on the receipt what is was!!!

11. Hadit teaches the importance of a papertrail.

Hang in Ginger. Brenda

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Ginger

Here's the perfect Avatar for you, if you want to use it.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Wally,

Thanks for the Avatar, but I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to use it. I couldn't even open it for viewing after download.

Ginger

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Have you sent the NARA an SF 180 yet?

I would send them another one if you already have- requesting all personnel records to include all disciplinary action reports.

(as well as SMRS)

when someone experiences severe trauma their behavior can change quickly and radically and these reports and the dates they occurred would help prove the claim.

I am baffled- if they have all of this evidence, the denial seemed inappropriate-

can you tell us the exact wording VA used to deny the claim?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Berta,

I requested his complete records a long time ago through the SO, but as yet have not received them. I am going to call him again on Monday and ask. To clarify, when the claim was originally filed, I was not aware I had to locate people or evidence from 27 years ago. So the claim was originally submitted with his civilian medical records with the PTSD diagnosis and the PTSD statement of what happened including the names of all the participants. I thought the VA would produce the records they needed. I won't make the mistake again of thinking they will do anything to assist.

Ginger

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Ginger

One way to get familiar with VA procedures, is to go here;

http://www.hadit.com/faq.htm

and scroll down to get an overall picture of the steps in filing and pursuing claims.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Wally,

I did, and thank you. It was informative.

Ginger

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PS Ginger -I forgot- our local VAMC- Bath NY has a PTSD spouse group-

One of the vets who works there has PTSD and his wife started it and the VA gave her the community room to use for meetings.

We put up flyers and the meetings I attended were pretty good.

We have the BEST PTSD Shrink in the VA system-Dr. Quirion-a Vietnam vet himself- and he has spoken to this group. The group tries to meet the same night that the PTSD group for vets meets, this gives spouses a place to go while their significant others are in the vet group meeting.

It did not take much for this spouse to start this group- she was pretty frustrated at the need for it and yet there was nothing the VA itself offered.

This is not a group to sit around and gripe about PTSD vets- the idea is certainly to share but also to understand what a spouse can do to live with PTSD as it is a contagious disease in many respects and NOT the fault of the veteran.

Many spouses are happy just to be with others for a while who understand as so many people really dont understand PTSD.

It might not be too difficult to start a group like this yourself- even on the web- and actually there might be websites for PTSD spouses already.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Berta,

I asked at one point if there was a support group for Vet wives at our VAMC in Asheville, NC but I received only bewildered expressions in response. As I asked several people who were in positions to know, I'm fairly certain none exists. However, I do believe that one should be initiated and I intend to make the attempt. Thanks for your input.

Ginger

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ginger, you have to report for C&P exams or they can refuse to rate him, they will also more than likely not allow you into the room for the exam, they would not allow my wife, in my case I gave them dates and times of the attack on me, they first said the incident was my fault for being drunk, they never attempted to get corroborating statements, the CID reports, MP reports or even the general court-martials, 2 1/2 years into it I got lucky and a lady at HQ DA JAG, Clerk of Court office ran a name search using my name and she found the four general court martials of the men who tired killing me in alaska and when I gave them the court martials at a "informal meeting" in Jan 05, they finally scheduled me for a C&P exam, they did nothing as far "as duty to assist" they didn't even list the court martials on the evidence they used to award my claim, they used all the information they had for the previous 3 years, the hospital report from Alaska, showing 3rd party liability and my stressor statement. They are just bogus people at the VARO and you have to keep appealing until you get what you want. I applaud you for sticking by him, I have 4 ex's that didn't #5 is happy they didn't, she understands the PTSD and she is part of the treatment we work together for our future.

Testvet,

I'm glad you have a good woman by your side. Stick with her like glue as they are apparently few and far between. When we are queried by staff at the VAMC on our length of marriage and I respond 19 years, most of them look shocked. I bet they don't hear that too often. Unfortunately, a lot of women don't take the vows "in sickness and in health" and "for better or for worse" seriously. When the going is tough, they want to bail. When my husband was in the hospital the last time, most of the other Vets recounted how their wives had left them (sometimes several wives.) I KNOW it isn't easy. We've both been robbed of the joy and happiness in life we should have had, but PTSD can happen to anyone. It's just a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong circumstances. There's an old saying: "There but for the Grace of GOD go I." That helps put things in perspective.

Ginger

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Ginger,

Yes, We know!!  Same old same old!!  It is a frustrating journey.  Email T bird and I will tell her to give you my email address, apparently we don't have that capacity on this system? 

Here are some other sites:  Veteran Benefit Netowrk, VBN @ ezboard.com.  Can be helpful, but has a lot of Alpha A!!! 

Vetwives@yahool.com  group of vetwifes, sign others dealing with PTSD, etc.  Terri, a vetwife at this site has her own website.

Try Chris at www.the AftermathofWarPTSD2@msn.com

combatptsd@aol.com

She has other vetwives links at her site as well.

I have found hadit and its members to be very friendly and very helpful.  They do not mind questions.  I am still learning.  Been here a little over a year now.  Good folk, here.  Some get a little testy at times, but hey, that is what I deal with at home. 

What type of Vet was your husband?  Vietnam?  What type of meds is he own, any sideaffects?

You are dong great!!  It is exhausting, the PTSD and dealing with the Claim.  Trust me, no one is going to care more than you about whether he gets his just due.

My husband as countless number of other vets, did not get the advice from the DVA SO that he needed.  He was in denial for a long time.  He still is!!  Now we are starting to "deal" with the issue around his weight.  He is a dry alcholic, the 2nd MOS of a young Army Vet!! I am pooped!!  Now I have to learn how to unplug, but this is difficult as....financially we are too tied together, and he now has an ever increasing problem with his memory and cognitive skills!!  PTSD?  Yes, and the A/O and other herbecides. 

Good support here, try the other groups and see what fits best.  With my own PTSD, not much does!! LOL!! 

This is fambly, yes, spelled correctlyas this fambly like all "families" is a littel screwball at times!! But I have seen a lot of caring good people on this site.  They email each other outside, they call, they respond to posts.  Not perfect, but none of us are.  Keep doing a bang up job, I think you will make a GREAT Vetwife Advocate!!!, In fact, forget that, you ARE a great Vetwife Advocate, you are DOING IT!!  Now as the funny boys say,  "GITTER DONE!"

1.  Make sure you get all of his records.  All SMR's, All VAMC.  Everytime he goes to an apptmt, get a copy.  Get a copy of all of his C&P's.

2.  Copy of his full and complete C-file

3.  Read all old applicable posts from hadit. Wally is right about this, as there is so much you can learn by just reading these.  B) Find and keep a sense of humor, it has been my salvation from Nutsville!!

4.  Read about PTSD and Oh, by the way, you probably have Secondary PTSD and if you didn't quite have it, you do now since dealing with the VA!!

5.  Make the rounds with the different Vet groups/ Vetwife groups.  You will find where you are most comfortable. 

6.  Get completely comformatable with the Duty to Assist ruling.

7.  Post exactly the words they denied him with.

8.  Ask for a letter from your VAMC Dr. regarding his inability to work and his PTSD.

9.  Anythig your SO send, have him send you a copy.

l0.  Anything you send to SO/VARO, make a copy, send Certified RR and put on the receipt what is was!!!

11. Hadit teaches the importance of a papertrail.

Hang in Ginger.  Brenda

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Brenda,

Thank you for the detailed response. It's getting late, and I've been on longer than I should already. I have lots of questions in re: Your post. So, hopefully, I will be able to respond tomorrow, but I wanted to let you know how much I appreciated it.

Thanks,

Ginger

P.S. Note: I am very fastidious with my paper trail. I just detest the "paper chase." B)

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I am concerned about something you said Ginger-

The SO or vet rep requested the military records????

I would- if I were you-ask him for a copy of the SF 180 he sent.

This process does take time but in 2 months most vets ether have their SMRs or the NARA sends them a letter as to where the records are- (which might be with the VARO) -

I needed my husband- he served in USMC and the Navy -they sent me Navy stuff and a letter stating his SMRs USMC were at the Buffalo VARO- which is where they should be-

I am attaching a SF 180-just in case the SO did not send for them

Have a question for all- will post searately

standard_form_180.pdf

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Ginger,

One thing, I have PTSD and I was being seen by a shrink at the VA. She kept telling me I should go to the Vet Center. Hell I thought I was already there. Finally I had a meeting with a social worker and she told me where the "Vet Center" was. Basically it's a place located off of the VA grounds, but is funded by the VA.

A lot of them now, have a wives group they do once a week. If you could find the one closest to you, it might help you some, and probably help your husband a lot. I'm a Somalia vet but have been well recieved by the Vietnam vets. It's just a good place to be with others that harbor the same feelings.

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That is a heartening post-veteran-there are many here who understand you too- Somalia, Vietnam, WWII , Iraq- PtSD is PTSD-that goes for non combatant PTSD too-a very real disorder- I am so glad you got to that vet center-

Yesterday a 101st Airborne Iraq veteran was on CNN -she had written a book about being a service person and also being married to one who also was in a war zone.She was right on about PTSD and told the interviewer that the VA really isnt doing all that can be done and it is even worse for reservists coming back to their reserve units- alone with other non combatants. The VA screening process now at discharge- how could that possibly uncover PTSD- the "post" part means after- and the manifestations can be many years 'after'.

The Book title- I did not catch- but will sure try to find out the title-

Veteran- I worked in a vet center in the 1980s as a volunteer- my life did a complete 180-

never been the same since- I was honored to be accepted into the vet center's PTSD Combat rap group and it changed my life forever-

As Shoshanna Johnson (POW Iraq) said- vets need to stay in close contact with their units and their buddies if they can- nothing can prevent or cure PTSD but knowing you are not alone is a tremendous help.

Especially when families, civilians, and even spouses do not comprehend it and want you back the way

you were-

that person is gone-they just have accept you all as you are unconditionally and maybe even try to learn more about PTSD themselves.

Welcome Aboard and thank you for your service! Berta

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:rolleyes: Berta, I thank you for your kind words. They mean a lot.

I was on the old board. It's there i was helped to push my PTSD claim. Lord knows the SO didn't want me to.

I basically replied hoping that I could help someone out that was suffering from PTSD, whether it be secondary or firsthand.

I know it's a tough row to hoe. My wife doesn't understand, unfortunately she is too busy with her work to understand that PTSD makes it very hard to cope with everyday life. Makes me fell like a malinguerer..... It breaks my heart but I know deep down we won't make it. She can't change who she is, and Ican't either, not like I haven't tried....

Sorry for the thread hi-jack.

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Ginger:

I have rarely seen a decision without a C&P so yes you need it and if you go prepared it should help. Make sure that they are on task and take ammunition with you.

You can find copies of C&P exam on hadit and also recommend that you review info on how to handle a C&P. Usually a decison is made a few months after the C&P but it still takes a long time.

Good Luck

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The spouses are always left to fend for themselves. Being the "husband" of a PTSD vet has been more difficult then anything I've ever done in my life. When a person is totally reliant on you for everything and cannot even be left alone, it's like having someone who is paralyzed from the neck down (in some cases worse). I deal with constant mood swings, nightly counseling sessions, etc.. The wife rarely helps with our 3 young kids (they cause her a HUGE amount of stress) and can only help with household chores on "good" days and only for very short periods of time.

I am not able to work (trying to find something to do at home at the moment) and I play the role of husband, father, psychologist, psychiatrist, maid, accountant, mentor and VA repressentative on her case.....I increasingly find myself on the verge of insanity and egerly awaiting death, but suicide and depression don't fit into my schedule these days.

What's worse, is that the wife looks normal for the most part (aside from missing eyelashes, eyebrows, and sores from picking and pulling)...Most people see her smile and think, "this guy is just lazy". You see, at least with physical disabilities you get empathy from the majority of the people you meet, in cases of psychiatric problems people just don't understand. The VA may have compensated her from her problems, but what do I get for giving up my life to ensure that she has one? The VA, and society in general, are still in the dark ages when it comes to mental health and the implications therein.

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Ginger, You are doing a terrific job in basically doing the VA's job!! Unfortunately your case is pretty much what usually happens, you can not assume that the VA will really provide assistance. I believe the "Duty to Assist" for most VA RO's means sending a "Duty to Assist" letter to the veteran !!

Make copies of everything that you send to the VA, you will win in the end!!

Your husband is very lucky to have you as his advocate.

regards, Liz

My husband was rated 100% SC PTSD and received the retro pay back to June of 2004 today. I requested the SO to file for P&T as my husband has had severe problems since 1978 and has progressively deteriorated over the years. His VA psychiatrist certified on a few documents that he was "permanently and totally disabled," so I have submitted those as evidence. I know he won't get any better than he's been in the last few years and I'm quite sure they know it as well. He does derive some comfort from speaking by phone with his fellow soldiers who shared the extremely tragic and horrific experience. They seem to understand each other in a way that transcends words, time and geography. Now that the major headache with the VA is over, I can concentrate on taking care of my husband.

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