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Vietnam Claim For Ptsd -Ongoing Since 1994


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11 replies to this topic

#1 NSA-Saigon-ET

 
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Posted 23 October 2010 - 10:10 AM

This is a summary of my PTSD claim I want to present to DRO at local hearing. The VA has all my supporting documents.




Claim by veteran for service connected disability of PTSD



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



VA Rating Decision 8/13/1994 claim denied.

VA Rating Decision 8/13/2003 claim denied, but reopened.

VA Rating Decision 2/03/2009 claim denied.

NOD filed at Houston VARO for DRO and local hearing 2/10/2009-currently waiting for local hearing to be scheduled.


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

Evidence submitted to VA in 1994

Veterans SMR.

Veterans SPR

Treatment records from Lovelace Medical Center

Treatment records from Vet Center Manchester, NH.

Treatment records from VAMC Manchester, NH.

Written statement by Veteran



Evidence submitted by veteran in 2003

Additional veteran statement dated 2003 restating stressors from Vietnam service

Supporting information taken from a USN Internet web site

Photographs taken from a shipmate in Vietnam

Photograph of shipmate who performed similar service in Vietnam;

USN performance document supporting service in Vietnam

Outpatient records from VAMC Bay Pines 2003

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

Evidence submitted by veteran in 2007

Independent medical opinion from Dr. Glenn Boyd

Outpatient treatment records from VAMC Houston 2004-2008

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

Evidence submitted in August 2009 by veteran:

NPRC report containing ARMY Third Field Hospital in-patient treatment for veteran in 1969 at Saigon, RVN.

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





I. Service connection claim for PTSD



The veteran submitted statements detailing all events as remembered. The account also contained detailed information as to witnesses, dates and locations whenever possible. The veteran did not keep a log or diary of service in Vietnam and many assignments were performed alone in travelling and work performed. The veteran served a total of 18 months in Vietnam and normally worked alone when on assignments to the various detachments scattered in II thru IV Corps in Vietnam. The veteran travelled with many current copies of TAD orders on his person. These orders were of a Priority II status which allowed for travel by any military means to any military organization within the confines of RVN. These orders were issued from the Repair division of NSA Saigon at NHA BE and signed by his division officer. The effective dates on these orders were usual a range of 3 month intervals and were renew as needed.<BR style="mso-special-character: line-break"><BR style="mso-special-character: line-break">



The veteran has submitted stressor letters of events he remembers. One of the traumas was suffering a foot injury because of an explosion while riding from a work assignment in Saigon. This incident resulted in a 5 inch shrapnel wound to the right heel. He was treated at the Army Third Field Hospital and admitted for 2 weeks for further treatment.



The veteran has found the actual treatment records from the Third Field Hospital which documents his treatment as stated for his injury to the right foot in Saigon in July, 1969. He has submitted this document to the VA as evidence.



The veteran has documents supporting his work throughout Vietnam

And has submitted other documents from shipmates which were submitted to web sites on the internet.



Veteran also has document in SMR for a head injury resulting from an automobile accident in 1971. There was trauma to the head with loss of teeth and a laceration of the lower jaw across the chin. His resulted in a hospital stay for treatment at the naval hospital in Portsmouth, VA.



The veteran feels he has sufficient documentation submitted to establish at least one traumatic event while serving in Vietnam.



The Veteran has sought help many time from the VA and other medical institutions for his readjustment after his military service.

The veteran tried to self medicate for years after his service to numb the feelings he had stemming from his chronic PTSD. Eventually serving jail and prison sentences because of his drug related activities. He had a history of alcohol abuse which was a means of survival for this untreated disorder.



The veteran appealed to the VA for mental counseling at the Vet center in Manchester, NH. He asked for help stemming from his Vietnam service and instead, he received some drawn out sessions pertaining to his childhood. When he repeatedly asked why he was not being helped with his PTSD symptoms. He was told he did not have PTSD, but Dysthmia. The veteran finally realized he was not going to get the help he needed from this center and quit the sessions.



The veteran has received counseling from the VA at the VAMC in Houston since 2004 and has a private doctor treating him for his PTSD. Dr. Glenn Boyd has given the proper current diagnosis of PTSD and has provided the service connection NEXUS needed by the VA for this claim.



The veteran filed for Social Security benefits as a disabled person because of his PTSD & MDD and was awarded this disability in 2008. He has submitted the award letter to the VA and also submitted the form for sharing of information.



Under the old rules his veteran has all three conditions to support a claim of PTSD.


Now what I don't know is if this claim will be reviewed under the old rules or the new ones. Under the old rules I believe I am ok, but under the new one will probably have to have a VA doctor ok the stressors, just more time wasted.



The irony of all this is that when I applied to the SS for disability it just sailed thru in 7-8 weeks total time. I then recieved a retro check for 18k and have been drawing SSDI every since.


#2 Philip Rogers

 
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Posted 23 October 2010 - 01:37 PM

If your claim was being prosecuted prior to the new rules, then the rules that are more favorable to you are supposed to be used and probably will be. If your claim was continually prosecuted from 1994, they would need to follow the rules from then also, again, whichever is more favorable to the vet. And the same would go for a CUE.

pr

#3 NSA-Saigon-ET

 
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Posted 21 November 2010 - 06:15 AM

Hi all,
I have rewritten my claim for PTSD to be presented at my upcoming local hearing. I believe that I have connected the dots and presented my claim in clear terms.
I have all three elements for a disability and service connection.

I have attached the edited document without my personal data. It might help others if the form makes sense.

Please comment if you see errors!

-donald

Attached Files



#4 Berta

 
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Posted 21 November 2010 - 06:53 AM

This is well written and you gave good citations.


Did the VA have a copy of the NPDB report when they last denied?

Did they refer to your PTSD award from the SSA in that denial?

#5 Berta

 
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Posted 21 November 2010 - 07:40 AM

PS- have you formally claimed the scarring and any muscular involvement or other residuals for the schrapnel injury?

#6 NSA-Saigon-ET

 
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Posted 21 November 2010 - 08:17 AM

This is well written and you gave good citations.


Did the VA have a copy of the NPDB report when they last denied?

Did they refer to your PTSD award from the SSA in that denial?



Hi Berta,
Thanks for the review.
I think the earlier rating decision just ignored everything I submitted and did a rehash of their old decision. I see this now as my fault as I never tied everything up in a package for them to read and approve.

I believe the problem we vets have when submitting new evidence is that we simply send in the data. Either thru our VSO or just by ourselves. What we don't do in the begining is "connect the dots". I think we all believe that we will get a fair reading of the evidence and that the rater will be able to see our issues clearly, but is just doesn't appear to be true.

I understans now that the time constraints on the rater is enormous from their supervisors. I also see that they are told to deny if the claim is not clearly defined. I don't believe that the VA will defy regulations, but at the same time from all the posts I have read, it seems clear the veterans rush the process in the beginning.

This time around I have a local appeal looming in the background. I will read and submit my appeal at that time into the recorded session, including the document titles I used for reference.

I suggest all concerned vets post to these boards as they develop their claims and get the benefit from others experience as I have.

-donald

#7 john999

 
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Posted 21 November 2010 - 11:12 AM

If the VA denies you again hire a lawyer. I assume you are going for 100% or IU. The lawyers like to take these kinds of claims since the retro is usually large. It seems the VA is just looking for an excuse to deny you because it is easier to just continue to deny than to read your claim. With the hospital records I just don't see how they can deny unless they say you cannot prove the wound came from hostile fire.

#8 LarryJ

 
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Posted 21 November 2010 - 11:57 AM

All previous posts to this thread notwithstanding, there is ONE thing that you MUST have, and I do not care how many "civilian" doctors opine that you have PTSD.........hell, the head of the psychiatry dept at Harvard Med School could say that you definitely have PTSD and that it is ALL because of your service. But, if you DO NOT have a CURRENT diagnosis from a VA psychiatrist or BOARD CERTIFIED psychologist............then you're up shit creek without a paddle. You can send them "statements" til the cows come home, but you MUST have this diagnosis and it must be SINCE the new regs took effect. But, having said all that, you do have and will most probably get, retro back to your original claim.

but, wtf do I know?

#9 NSA-Saigon-ET

 
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Posted 21 November 2010 - 01:05 PM

All previous posts to this thread notwithstanding, there is ONE thing that you MUST have, and I do not care how many "civilian" doctors opine that you have PTSD.........hell, the head of the psychiatry dept at Harvard Med School could say that you definitely have PTSD and that it is ALL because of your service. But, if you DO NOT have a CURRENT diagnosis from a VA psychiatrist or BOARD CERTIFIED psychologist............then you're up shit creek without a paddle. You can send them "statements" til the cows come home, but you MUST have this diagnosis and it must be SINCE the new regs took effect. But, having said all that, you do have and will most probably get, retro back to your original claim.

but, wtf do I know?



I thank you for your input. i agree that they might schedule a C&P for a PTSD screen once again since the new regs came out. But even then, I feel I will be ok.

-donald

#10 LarryJ

 
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Posted 21 November 2010 - 03:56 PM

I thank you for your input. i agree that they might schedule a C&P for a PTSD screen once again since the new regs came out. But even then, I feel I will be ok.

-donald


You're not okay unless you have a current diagnosis of PTSD by, as I said, a VA psychiatrist or board-certified psychologist.

but, then, WTF do I know, right?

#11 NSA-Saigon-ET

 
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Posted 26 November 2010 - 07:41 AM

You're not okay unless you have a current diagnosis of PTSD by, as I said, a VA psychiatrist or board-certified psychologist.

but, then, WTF do I know, right?


Ok,
your point was and is well taken by me.

My claim may come under the new regulations or not.
If it does, then the VA will have to either get their own medical opinion or schedule a C&P for me to attend.

I have added into my appeal this new section.
It is me giving the VA notice that I am aware of the new regulations and I am also aware of their responsibility to me.

"The veteran is aware of the new VA regulations pertaining to PTSD claims. The veteran is not sure of the effects this will have on this claim. However, the veteran is sure that the VA will comply fully to 38 CFR 3.159. That should insure that the VA will make every effort to assist the claimant in acquiring any additional medical confirmation of the PTSD diagnosis and the nexus given by Dr. Boyd in this issue. This may mean the VA requesting either an additional medical opinion or a complete C & P examination. In either case a qualified VA affiliate should review all pertinent documents in the veterans folder to aid in the medical opinion or before interviewing the veteran.(see 38CFR 3.159 VA Duty to Assist) "

I realize that there is no guarantees that the VA doctor or PA will agree with the documents submitted, but I will be very surprised if they don't.

I thank you for the input and this new section will help.

-donald






#12 GuaymasJim

 
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Posted 26 November 2010 - 12:39 PM

LarryJ, I am working on a claim similar to NSA-Saigon-ET's claim. It started before the new regulations and is still ongoing as a pre-new regs C&P dx'd PD and MDD, but not PTSD. Numerous pre-new regs VA PTSD dxs and several post-new regs PTSD dxs by both a VA psychiatrist and psychologist. Since this straddles the new regulations, which apply. Up until now the VA has always denied on the basis of no verifiable stressor. The stressor was verified and now the VA rater says no PTSD, but the VAMC PTSD clinic diagnoses PTSD. The vet has not had a new C&P since the new regs, but has several VA PTSD dxs since the new regs.

What do you think about claims like these that straddle the new regs? The book says that the VA must apply the regs most favorable to the vet, but the new regs seem to short circuit that approach. We, like NSA, aren't certain if the new regs apply to an older claim or how. Which should be stressed at the upcoming BVA hearing? What a mess!