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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.
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    • 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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Vet Center And Gaf

8 posts in this topic

Posted · Report post

I have posted in the past that I don't like going to the Vet Center and want to pack it in but I was advised

not to do that because I have a claim pending for an increase for my PTSD. My question today concerns

a GAF score. Does the psychogolist at the Vet center give a GAF score for our meetings? Who gives one?

Does the NP that I see for meds assign one? I know the Doctor that did the C&P gave me one. I don't want

to walk into the Vet Center and say everything is great because I don't want to be there and then get a GAF of 90.

Bill

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Posted · Report post

The percentage level of disability granted for mental health

disability involves many factors other than GAF scores.

A GAF score can change from day to day - week to week.

When you go to the Vet Center or any medical provider I always

suggest to present yourself as the way you really are.

If you have a claim in requesting an increase and you have some updated

medical evidence you might want to submit copies of it to your VARO.

Also, the VARO will most likely send you for another C&P exam in response

to your request for increase.

Your VARO has no clue you are receiving any treatment unless you tell them so.

The VAMC's and the Vet Centers do not just automatically send your treatment records to the VARO,

unless the claimant submits copies of them or clearly points out to the VARO that treatment records

from XX/XX/XXXX thru XX/XX/XXXX should be used in the adjudication of your claim issues.

In most cases a GAF is not assigned at every meeting you have with a mental health provider.

jmho

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Posted · Report post

Billy, The Vets centers are there to help vets with their problems not try and screw with you through the VA. They as carlie said are total separate and their computers are not hooked up to VA's. The only way someone can get your records from what you say there is by you giving them permission. Don't believe ask your counselor next time you go.

When I filed I asked my counselor who had seen me for over 6 months every two weeks if she would write a letter in support. She did and I believe that is what helped me get my rating that I did.

As far as gaf goes never heard my counselor state whether she did that or not. Again ask the next time you go they truly are their to help you. Hope you get to feeling better about your treatments and opening up!

I have just lost my counselor for the past year and really need to get in and see the new one but I am kind of balking just like you are. I know I need the help and I will do it I just have to convince my mind!

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Posted · Report post

Billy,

If I had a claim in for increase in compensation for PTSD I would surely

be getting treatment. I would also ask my mental health providers at the Vet Center,to write me

a brief letter of support OR if the provider is at the VAMC, I would ask them to enter current findings

to include GAF scores into my progress notes.

If they have the right pedigree / authority, there should be no problem doing this.

Ask yourself this.

If you were a decision maker at the VBA and someone requests an increase, wouldn't it be

an important issue to consider in the claim - well has this vet continued to receive care, treatment,

medications for this disability ?

What does the evidence of record show in regards to support that this vets disability has become worse ?

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Posted · Report post

Billy,

I go to the vet center every week and look so forword to it as do the other vets in the group, we are a close knit group including our psychologist. Everything is highly confidential, what is said in the group stays in the group and the information as the others has stated is not linked to the VA, it can only help you in the long run.

SR

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Posted · Report post

My regional va prefers to look at GAF's as they use these when making their determinations...when My 3 psychologists left over a period of 6 mths( pain one, ptsd gp one, and regular counseling one) the new one did not use Axis scale. I requested she use it once a month especially as I had an increase in...one was granted from 30 to 50 and had a NOD in when the VA settled with me for 100% PT no future exams...So it is a component in determining your mental health % as noted in your grant award letters it states such and such rating warrents X amt and you did or did not meet the say 41-50 range so you will stay at the level you were previously granted. These are just examples used but were on all of my decision letters. I averaged 40 for 3 yrs and stayed at 50%. Was 27-50 in the beginning 3 1/2 yrs. Many components are used in the determination as stated but the higher the score I have seen the lower the % granting. JMHO. Go to the appts. Group therapy just says you attended, the topic, and if you were an active participant, and if you had other stressful problems to add. No Axis used here, only in personal counseling sessions.

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Posted · Report post

GAF;s are only part of what is used to rate a Veteran. I think way to many worry about GAF's and defer treatment.

It is highly unlikely that anyone would assign a GAF based on group therapy.

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Posted · Report post

GAF;s are only part of what is used to rate a Veteran. I think way to many worry about GAF's and defer treatment.

It is highly unlikely that anyone would assign a GAF based on group therapy.

My post did not refer to GAF used here, in fact it said no axis used in group therapy...it advised the pt to attend all therapies including group therapies. My components of awardance decision letters all have referrenced the % criteria used with GAF scoring PLUS the diagnosis and documentation via the psychologists/psychiatrist. I was encouraging attendance to all/anything that may help the vet with coping skills..."no axis used here, only in personal counseling sessions."

Gaf's in my region are very misleading. A component as I stated but, one looked at by all. Have you never received one with your grant/awardance letter?

DAV hooked me up to that a few yrs ago with how I had been lowballed, and they are not my VSO's.

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