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On The Verge Of Loosing My Job Because Of Ptsd


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#1 60 percent disabled PTSD

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 01:21 PM

Is there any protection for a disabled vet against an employer terminating a vet cause he failed a test or Cannot remember OHMS Law?.....

Here is some back ground info.

I am technician for DOT and have been employed for 3 years right out of the war... I have a hard time consentrating or multi tasking but when I Organize and set everything up One at a time, I do Fine.

I was in an IED and have lost memory and parts of hearing and suffer a few other effects from it. This is all documented in my disability...I was just recently approved 60% disabled by the VA...

anyways.

I was asked to complete nemerouse courses since my employemnet with DOT and have scored sucsefully everytime except this last time..I just cant consentrate or remember everthing in the book...and I end up failing it. (I studied the book for three months)..Then my boss proceeds to questions me about OHMS LAW and I couldnt remember so then he thinks thats why I failed, and that Im not a good tech....He preceeded to threaten me with addition school work and loossing my Job if I dont pass this course...

Is there anything I can do if he takes action or if I fail the course again?...

He is also a Vet from the early 80's...wouldnt a vet help a vet? wouldnt he tell me on the side.."look I undestand your having some problems concentrating, here are some supplimental books that might help you, or even say this course isnt for you here try a different one...But no..I think he wants to get rid of me and then my PTSD starts acting up even more and I get so stressed out inside but i have no place to release my anger. Cause i would never do that at work. I just take it and push it way down where it wont ever be seen again...like that ever worked for me... I have kids and Im divorced and pay childsuport..They rely on me to provide for them and I feel helpless because of this and then i get depressed and start drinking alot...its just a no win situation if this continues,...I dont know if I should quit because its so stressfull to work with him asking me things like that..Its demening to me...I really feel abused after our "little talks". I just need some guidance and to feel more secure about my position..If there is any protection from this type of work realted tacticts on Disabled Veterans?

Thanks

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#2 Bill (USAF Retired)

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 12:06 PM

Is there any protection for a disabled vet against an employer terminating a vet cause he failed a test or Cannot remember OHMS Law?.....

Here is some back ground info.

I am technician for DOT and have been employed for 3 years right out of the war... I have a hard time consentrating or multi tasking but when I Organize and set everything up One at a time, I do Fine.

I was in an IED and have lost memory and parts of hearing and suffer a few other effects from it. This is all documented in my disability...I was just recently approved 60% disabled by the VA...

anyways.

I was asked to complete nemerouse courses since my employemnet with DOT and have scored sucsefully everytime except this last time..I just cant consentrate or remember everthing in the book...and I end up failing it. (I studied the book for three months)..Then my boss proceeds to questions me about OHMS LAW and I couldnt remember so then he thinks thats why I failed, and that Im not a good tech....He preceeded to threaten me with addition school work and loossing my Job if I dont pass this course...

Is there anything I can do if he takes action or if I fail the course again?...

He is also a Vet from the early 80's...wouldnt a vet help a vet? wouldnt he tell me on the side.."look I undestand your having some problems concentrating, here are some supplimental books that might help you, or even say this course isnt for you here try a different one...But no..I think he wants to get rid of me and then my PTSD starts acting up even more and I get so stressed out inside but i have no place to release my anger. Cause i would never do that at work. I just take it and push it way down where it wont ever be seen again...like that ever worked for me... I have kids and Im divorced and pay childsuport..They rely on me to provide for them and I feel helpless because of this and then i get depressed and start drinking alot...its just a no win situation if this continues,...I dont know if I should quit because its so stressfull to work with him asking me things like that..Its demening to me...I really feel abused after our "little talks". I just need some guidance and to feel more secure about my position..If there is any protection from this type of work realted tacticts on Disabled Veterans?

Thanks


Some thoughts:

1) Choose not to drink, my friend. Seriously. It just makes a bad situation worse, and you have business to take care of.

2) Get in touch with the disability resource center at DOT; they'll give you further guidance about the laws and regulations governing DOT personnel in the civil service. http://www.drc.dot.gov/ra.html One thing that may help you is "request for accommodation." If you can do your job by having Ohm's Law and other required formulae in a notebook, ask for that as accommodation. The disability folks at DOT can explain it further.

3) I know EXACTLY how you feel, because I'm going through it right now myself. PTSD and depression; boss criticizes me constantly when I'm there and complains about my absence if I'm gone. I can't win. Being somewhere I'm not wanted all day is not exactly conducive to feelings of self worth :D

4) Don't let the b@stards get you down.

Best,
Bill

#3 pete992

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 12:20 PM

Before it gets worst, you can contact the HR and find out about disability retirement through the federal government. If you lose your federal government job because of your service connected disabilities , you can file for TDIU or an increase in VA disability.

#4 billy2

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 01:03 PM

I think you are entitled to 480 hours FMLA, 14 weeks, each year. This may buy you some time.

Bill

#5 carlie

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 06:48 PM

http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/fs-ada.html



The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Facts About the Americans with Disabilities Act
Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies and labor unions from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. The ADA covers employers with 15 or more employees, including state and local governments. It also applies to employment agencies and to labor organizations. The ADA’s nondiscrimination standards also apply to federal sector employees under section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended, and its implementing rules.

An individual with a disability is a person who:

Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;
Has a record of such an impairment; or
Is regarded as having such an impairment.
A qualified employee or applicant with a disability is an individual who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the job in question. Reasonable accommodation may include, but is not limited to:

Making existing facilities used by employees readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities.
Job restructuring, modifying work schedules, reassignment to a vacant position;
Acquiring or modifying equipment or devices, adjusting or modifying examinations, training materials, or policies, and providing qualified readers or interpreters.
An employer is required to make a reasonable accommodation to the known disability of a qualified applicant or employee if it would not impose an “undue hardship” on the operation of the employer’s business. Reasonable accommodations are adjustments or modifications provided by an employer to enable people with disabilities to enjoy equal employment opportunities. Accommodations vary depending upon the needs of the individual applicant or employee. Not all people with disabilities (or even all people with the same disability) will require the same accommodation. For example:

A deaf applicant may need a sign language interpreter during the job interview.
An employee with diabetes may need regularly scheduled breaks during the workday to eat properly and monitor blood sugar and insulin levels.
A blind employee may need someone to read information posted on a bulletin board.
An employee with cancer may need leave to have radiation or chemotherapy treatments.
An employer does not have to provide a reasonable accommodation if it imposes an “undue hardship.” Undue hardship is defined as an action requiring significant difficulty or expense when considered in light of factors such as an employer’s size, financial resources, and the nature and structure of its operation.

An employer is not required to lower quality or production standards to make an accommodation; nor is an employer obligated to provide personal use items such as glasses or hearing aids.

An employer generally does not have to provide a reasonable accommodation unless an individual with a disability has asked for one. if an employer believes that a medical condition is causing a performance or conduct problem, it may ask the employee how to solve the problem and if the employee needs a reasonable accommodation. Once a reasonable accommodation is requested, the employer and the individual should discuss the individual's needs and identify the appropriate reasonable accommodation. Where more than one accommodation would work, the employer may choose the one that is less costly or that is easier to provide.

Title I of the ADA also covers:

Medical Examinations and Inquiries
Employers may not ask job applicants about the existence, nature, or severity of a disability. Applicants may be asked about their ability to perform specific job functions. A job offer may be conditioned on the results of a medical examination, but only if the examination is required for all entering employees in similar jobs. Medical examinations of employees must be job related and consistent with the employer’s business needs.

Medical records are confidential. The basic rule is that with limited exceptions, employers must keep confidential any medical information they learn about an applicant or employee. Information can be confidential even if it contains no medical diagnosis or treatment course and even if it is not generated by a health care professional. For example, an employee’s request for a reasonable accommodation would be considered medical information subject to the ADA’s confidentiality requirements.
Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Employees and applicants currently engaging in the illegal use of drugs are not covered by the ADA when an employer acts on the basis of such use. Tests for illegal drugs are not subject to the ADA’s restrictions on medical examinations. Employers may hold illegal drug users and alcoholics to the same performance standards as other employees.
It is also unlawful to retaliate against an individual for opposing employment practices that discriminate based on disability or for filing a discrimination charge, testifying, or participating in any way in an investigation, proceeding, or litigation under the ADA.

Federal Tax Incentives to Encourage the Employment of People with Disabilities and to Promote the Accessibility of Public Accommodations

The Internal Revenue Code includes several provisions aimed at making businesses more accessible to people with disabilities. The following provides general – non-legal – information about three of the most significant tax incentives. (Employers should check with their accountants or tax advisors to determine eligibility for these incentives or visit the Internal Revenue Service's website, www.irs.gov, for more information. Similar state and local tax incentives may be available.)

Small Business Tax Credit (Internal Revenue Code Section 44: Disabled Access Credit)
Small businesses with either $1,000,000 or less in revenue or 30 or fewer full-time employees may take a tax credit of up to $5,000 annually for the cost of providing reasonable accommodations such as sign language interpreters, readers, materials in alternative format (such as Braille or large print), the purchase of adaptive equipment, the modification of existing equipment, or the removal of architectural barriers.
Work Opportunity Tax Credit (Internal Revenue Code Section 51)
Employers who hire certain targeted low-income groups, including individuals referred from vocational rehabilitation agencies and individuals receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may be eligible for an annual tax credit of up to $2,400 for each qualifying employee who works at least 400 hours during the tax year. Additionally, a maximum credit of $1,200 may be available for each qualifying summer youth employee.
Architectural/Transportation Tax Deduction (Internal Revenue Code Section 190 Barrier Removal):
This annual deduction of up to $15,000 is available to businesses of any size for the costs of removing barriers for people with disabilities, including the following: providing accessible parking spaces, ramps, and curb cuts; providing wheelchair-accessible telephones, water fountains, and restrooms; making walkways at least 48 inches wide; and making entrances accessible.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This page was last modified on September 9, 2008.

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#6 JR Reihs

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 07:35 PM

60%,

Since in your post it appears that you can do the core functions of your job with or without accomodations, I suggest that you take your new VA award to HR, put them on notice that you are requesting accomodations for learning retention as you are forgetting things due to your TBI.

This will give you some protection, but you need to follow up on this with a paper trail....who , what, when , where and why...CYA not theirs.

If you get flack from this you always have the EEOC and the MSPB.

#7 Vync

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 08:17 PM

Hey 60%,
I hope things work out for the best for you.
I am taking a college course and we just finished studying the brain and results of brain injuries. "Plasticity" is one characteristic of the brain. Depending on the type of damage you experienced, it is possible that healthy parts of your brain may learn to compensate and eventually replace some of the functionality you lost during the IED.
Also, check with the provider of your courses. Disability support services may be available that provide special accommodations during your term of study. Be sure to see a professional counselor (at the VA or elsewhere). Definitely stop drinking, because that will make things worse.

If you choose to continue taking courses, here are a couple of links that might be helpful:
http://www.usnews.co...th-college.html
http://www.cleinc.net/home.aspx

#8 60 percent disabled PTSD

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 11:29 PM

Thank you all for your replies...

News Update from my office

My boss has been reading the regulations on how to get rid of me... He wants to put me on ODP Now..(oportunity to display proficiency) and retrain in math.. he dont understand, I cant remeber things as well..Yes Ill pass those courses like others before but if you ask me a questions a month later and I cant remember the answer...

I feel hes singled me out for the next firing and im wondering why? I Think Its Because of my PTSD.....There are other techs not so smart in our office...(im trying to being nice)... and I show them what to do and sometimes save their life cause they about to make a huge mistake with electricicty and shock themselves or blow up a transformer or ruin the equipment...and those are senior techs been working there 10 years pluss testing High Voltage, 2000 VAC with a freakin multi meter thats set for 600 vac..or trying to test insulation on a cable and they testing the wrong wire.(feeding back into the power pole)...lol... but to my boss im the one whos incompetent because my memory isnt so good...I can see and read...thats how I saved their lives..But if I was to tel the boss that a senior tech did those things, my fellow techs would be mad at me for telling....I respect my fellow soldiers, co-workers and tech's and still maintain my military berings and watch out for them..but the cevilian world im finding only protects themselvse...I dont see anyone in my office supporting me...I think Im Done with this...I dont want my boss to win...but my mental state isnt what it was and I know Im no match for his know how in the federal government cevilian work place and he knows all the ins and outs to protect himself from such matters as a simple vet trying to fight for his rights to be a tech...thats why im trying to reach out...

Also, I Just found out that because I havent completed this course I failed, that I wont be given whats called an SCI...(Supperior contribution insentive) or a raise this year, I also found out that there are other techs in my office that were asked, like me, to take a course and they never completed it because they never read the book for the courses assigned to them but they are receiving an SCI...(I am so upset over this..)I know most people only remember the bad even if you did a hundred good deeds)...but this is just double standards to me and Im sure is unethical.. Now I cant help but feel that there is something going on with my boss.."is perinoia a trait of PTSD?" anyways, I dont think it is right or even legal for my boss to do that..Should I file a complaint...I mean his reasoning is, (how I see it), is that other workers didnt complete the course by not doing it...and they get rewarded...where I as at least I tried but failed n get shit on..is it ok to say that...

In short...He said if it wasnt for failing the course I would be getting a raise...BUT...Other techs never tried to take the courses assigned to them and get a raise

One criteria for the raise is to "complete assisgned courses in a timely manner"..Thats It..Doesnt say, failed.

(I failed it, Yes)....But they never did their courses that is on their list...so I think that I should have let him complain about me not doing the course and get a raise like the others...Am I Wrong? I think I should call him on this double standard or report it to his boss..


Thanks again

#9 60 percent disabled PTSD

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 12:07 AM

Thanks Bill

Im gona look into that...I told My boss that if I need a formula I have it writen down or even on my laptop..we take our laptop everywher we go..His reply was "I learned that when I was 17 and that should always be your mind when working on a system...

Im gona go to HR and submit all my disablities since they are now approved by the VA...

Could they fire me Now that MY disabilities were approved?...I told them I was disabled but couldnt get the extra 10 percent hiring preference cause it wasnt approved, and they never asked me to disclose my disablities or if I was in the prosess of claiming a disability..I was hired right out of the Military..I was still in the prosses of fileing my claims...
hmmm...I wonder if they would try...

#10 john999

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 10:53 AM

If you are a 10 point disabled vet you would have to attack your supervisor, or bite someone to get fired from the feds. If it gets too much for you what you do is file for diability retirement and for TDIU. I was a federal employee. I took disability retirement and then filed for SSD and TDIU. The agency I worked for was not wanting to accommdate me any longer so they threw me into the briar patch.

#11 Pete53

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 01:57 PM

I know that its hard but maybe asking for Medical Retirement may be way to go. Your Medical Record and what your Boss is doing actually is setting you up to be able to get it.

Good Luck

Just my opinion I retired cause I could no longer hold a job and I know its hard to deal with when you have worked for a long time.

#12 Victor_C3

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 12:40 PM

I faced a similar issue just recently.

I started working as a warehouse manager for Amazon.com almost immediately after I got out of the Army in OCT 2007. I started off doing a stellar job and things slowly went to crap for me. Without getting into the long story, my PTSD started to rear its head and my performance started to go to crap. I started not being able to do my job, not able to focuss, snapping in and out of my "war zone" and needing a lot of time to cool off during work. I often just had to go home because I would start crying and basically melt down at work. They have a lot of former military working at Amazon.com and they were very lenient with me and gave me a lot of patience. Eventually my mouth and impulse control got me into trouble and they suspended me back this last MAR 09. The VA upped me from 30% PTSD to 70% PTSD and they let me come back to work. My performance at work kept going down hill and I kept needing more and more time away from my job so that I could get my head back together. I would spend 1-2 hours a day just sitting in the break room in my "freak out" mode just getting my head back together enough so that I could go back to work. Well, this OCT my mouth and impulse control got me in trouble again and they straight up fired me. I've been unemployed since 8 OCT and more and more of my life keeps going down hill. Honestly, I'm really not mad at Amazon.com for how they treated me. They were more than fair in my opinion and gave me a lot of second chances to get it together. Even though I was terminated because of my behavior, they did me the favor of not fighting my claim for unemployment. I'm so thankful to them for that. They have a business to run and can't afford to constantly throw money and chances at a person who couldn't do what they needed.

I think that getting fired is more favorable for you and your disability claim than quitting your job unless your doctors suggest in writing that you quit. I would think that getting fired because of your service connected disability is much more beneficial to you and your claim than quitting. Just be aware that if you quit you may not be able to get unemployment.

Keep on keeping on and do the best that you can. If you always give it your 100% what is supposed to happen to you will happen. Just tell the VA people the truth and be sure to get everything documented.

My local VA has an OIF/OEF returning veteran program complete with case workers. Everytime I see them, they always update my record and write down everything I tell them. Each time I had trouble at work I would see my OIF case worker then next day and they would document that on my record. When claim time comes, you'll have a decent history of issues with employment so long as you let them know. The OIF/OEF people at my clinic are great.

#13 justrluk

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 12:00 PM

I know this is an old post, and hope those involved or experienced would chime in. I'm in a similar boat: boss is asking me to travel, even though I've had bad experiences flying and can't drive long distances by myself. I've asked for reasonable accommodation to NOT travel, and as it's a part of my position description, he said he couldn't guarantee that I wouldn't be required to travel. I've not had to for the past year, so I don't see the big deal, but he's now pushing the issue. I asked in writing to him for reasonable accommodation, but he hasn't responded. I talked to our HR rep, and she said they would have to review my position and determine if it was reasonable. My job performance has been great; they put me in for supervisor of the quarter. I've received raises, etc., but just can't handle travel. I'm finally stable, and have asked my providers to write letters to this effect. Has anyone out there had any other Federal Government experience like this?? I've read the regs and think I have a valid request, but can't afford to lose my job. I'm pretty sure they'd have to place me in a like position if all else fails due to my length of service. Just need some advice, if anyone out there would be so kind!

#14 john999

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 05:10 PM

You know what I did when the post office fired me was to claim workers compensation for aggravation of my service connected condition. I put in for disability retirement at the same time. I actually got workers compensation until I was approved for TDIU and SSD. If the actual working conditions of your federal job aggravate your SC condition you have a shot at either getting accomdation or collecting workers compensation. It is not easy, but I did it.

#15 justrluk

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 07:13 AM

Thanks for the reply. Did you eventually get a disability retirement from the government? If I'm forced to leave, I know the amount they would pay a vested employee is much greater than social security. I've heard it's extremely hard to get for even the worst cases with readily apparent disabilities. Also, how much time was involved? I can't go for very long without at least that much plus 100% from the VA - my wife is unemployed and hasn't been able to find work for 2 years. I don't want to pull the trigger on something here without knowing what to expect. I know no one can predict the future; I'd just like to know what my odds are... Internal people are no help at all either - not that I expect them to help ME as they represent the government.



#16 john999

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 07:50 AM

Retirement disability from the feds is pretty easy to get. The problem being that it is not enough to live on and is fully taxable. Workers compensation is enough to live on but it is hard to get for mental condition, but not impossible. You want to start working on such a claim before you get canned. If you are under FERS you have to apply for SSDI when you apply for disability retirement. It taks a few months to get the checks rolling. If it were me I would wait until they fired me and then get a lawyer via MSPB. Unless you commit a crime you can probably get your job back with backpay. How long have you been a federal employee? The main way the feds get rid of employees is by their use of sick leave. If you can manage to show up for work they will have a hard time firing a disabled vet. They may try and screw with you but to fire you I think you have the MSPB avenue. Do you have any kind of union?

#17 justrluk

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 08:51 AM

I'm not in the bargaining unit. I have just under 19 years (was on active duty for 5 years, then civil service, then activated 4 years when disabilities occurred) creditable service. My sick leave is constantly being used for appointments, illness, etc. and my annual is about the same. I've managed to work comp time as I can, then burn it first but the migraines can last for 3 - 4 days. Also, the VAMC I go to is a day trip and I go monthly. I at least earn 8 hours a pay period. My job performance has been great - they put me in for employee of the quarter. It's just the pain and other issues that keep chipping away at my leave, and my request for reasonable accommodation not to travel as it aggravates my issues. I'll put it this way: I had to take a trip (3 hours in the air) 2 years ago, and ended up on pain meds and other meds for a severe migraine for the next two days. Missed the conference that was SO important, and don't remember much of anything else. If one of my coworkers hadn't had the rental car on his orders, I wouldn't have had any other way to eat except delivery pizza. The trip home was worse - pre-medicated, and anxiety over what would happen when I got home. Same story: had to take three days to recover. I don't drive more than an hour at a time per my doctor's instruction, and don't fly at all. If my family doesn't come to see me (I live several states away), I don't see them at all. When we travel as a family, my wife does the driving. I just can't seem to get it through my bosses' head that the request I made in writing has to be responded to within 20 days. He just pulled me aside and had an informal conversation: "I can't guarantee you won't be asked to travel". That tells me I have to take my request to the next level, which changes the game around here. As a prior fed, you know what I mean. I now have to go to our HR function with a set of letters and will probably have to spill all the beans about all conditions - then people will start to look at me funny (not in a good way, it's a small organization). Can't wait for that to happen...



Sorry for such a long response. I'm at my end of frustration, can't afford to lose my job and am not getting local support. I've gotten to the point that something has to be done formally, or I'll have to risk not complying with the requirements in my PD. Then I'm screwed.



#18 Gridsmasher11

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 09:06 AM

I Know what you are going through...I worry about them firing me all the time...I am still fighting with VA over my PTSD but am 10% for another factor.....But I miss a lot of work.Between appointments and being not able to function my sick leave stays low......Last week I had to leave on Thursday at lunch because I felt horrible, missed Friday and again on Monday.......This was all caused by things I am trying to get rated for or as a result of side effects from the medication that the VA psych has prescribed to treat my Major Depression and PTSD that she has diagnosed me with that the claims side keeps ignoring................I have decide not to worry about it...If I am terminated then I will file for TDUI and workmans comp...Plus being fired may help my PTSD claim....So now I take it ONE DAY at a time..If I am hurting so bad I can't function oe so groggy from my meds that it is dangerous for me to drive I will stay at home and let things fall where they may........Like someone else on here told me...We are broke, don't try to be hardcore strack trooper anymore....Make the VA see that it is effecting you and your ability to function normally...

#19 justrluk

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 09:17 AM

AMEN to that. I'll call my psych as well and see what he can do. I'd prefer not to lay it all out on the table, but if I have to, I will. They can stick me in a corner - I'm not looking for a promotion and won't see another increase for 3 years other than the jesture they make for cost of living increases. Thanks for the advise. Keep me posted on how you're doing as well.




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