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Ptsd Claim Approved- Hoow Do I Get Into Group Therapy Sessions?


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#1 mrs rockman (widow of vet)

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 05:10 PM

I am writing this for Rockman.
I was not sure if this was the right forum or not. If not, you can place it where it does belong.
Rockman went to his his last one on one CPT therapy on 03/07/11 at our local CBOC with his mental health lady.
The mental health lady had him make an appointment for one month out. That way he could see how he was doing without coming to her.
His PTSD C& P was on 03/08/11. When he went back to see her, he asked if she could see in his file as what he should do next. He told her that the examiner did diagnose him with PTSD. She had no clue as to how to look it up in his file. Rockman asked her about group therapy and she did not know what to do. She said that she would find out and call him. He called her back several days later and she did not know anything and it was like don't call me, I will call you. It is like she is saying" thank you for your insurance money and you have a good day now and the heck with you. I am done period. "
She did say that the group that comes weekly near our house is more of a social gathering. He would not mind that, but right now knows that he needs more. He may be able to go to both.
What should he do now? Should he try and call his PCP @ the same VA CBOC or could that cause trouble? We do not want trouble, he just wants to attend group therapy.
It took him almost 40 years and now he wants to, it just seems that she could care less.
The longer he waits for group, he has more of a possibility of going in the reverse direction and undoing it all. If he does that, he may say- heck with it all.

At the end of his PTSD C&P C-File, it has this:

5. If possible state prognosis for improvement of psychiatric condition and impairment in functional status:
The prognosis for him is guarded.

I believe that this says it all.

Help-I feel for him and want to see him get the help he needs and deservers.

Mrs. Rockmsn









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#2 Notorious Kelly

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 07:05 AM

Mrs Rockman,

Good on ya for continuing to care for your man.

You might check with a vet center for their assistance. Others here will respond soon but it seems those vet centers have good resources.

I wish you and Rockman well! :smile:

#3 stillhere

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 09:05 AM

As Kelly says you can check with the Vet Center and they should be able to place him. If you are talking about therapy for in house at a VAMC that has to be requested by your VA shrink.

good Luck either way both are good programs. I prefer the one on one rather than group because I am almost deaf!! Huh??

#4 carlie

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 10:47 AM

Here's a direct link that tells you more about the Vet Centers.

At the top right is an area to click on that will let you easily locate
the Vet Center nearest you.


http://www.vetcenter.va.gov/

#5 Susan

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 01:29 AM

She did say that the group that comes weekly near our house is more of a social gathering. He would not mind that, but right now knows that he needs more. He may be able to go to both.
What should he do now? Should he try and call his PCP @ the same VA CBOC or could that cause trouble? We do not want trouble, he just wants to attend group therapy.

Mrs.Rockman,
You are right. I believe Rockman will enjoy a group session. My husband (now deceased) was in a local group. He did get one on one time with a psychiatrist from the same group. At the time, (over ten years ago)the VA contracted the psychiatrist/counselor for each session. We lived 30 miles from one VA hospital and 60 miles from another and probably sixty miles from the vet center at the time. I was amazed that for a long time my husband went to every meeting weekly. I think he only missed twice in what seemed like several years. Out of town once and sick the other time. So do try the Vet Center and also check at the VA clinic or hospital for any vet group that they may have available.

#6 mrs rockman (widow of vet)

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 07:02 AM

Mrs Rockman,

Good on ya for continuing to care for your man.

You might check with a vet center for their assistance. Others here will respond soon but it seems those vet centers have good resources.

I wish you and Rockman well! :smile:



Thanks- we will be checking on all resources.
Mrs. Rockman

#7 mrs rockman (widow of vet)

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 07:08 AM

As Kelly says you can check with the Vet Center and they should be able to place him. If you are talking about therapy for in house at a VAMC that has to be requested by your VA shrink.

good Luck either way both are good programs. I prefer the one on one rather than group because I am almost deaf!! Huh??



We will check. They wanted him initially in the inhouse program for 6 weeks. He could not do that with his job. He does like the one on one, but would also do group. I guess you would have to try group to see which one is better for you, then made your decision. I hope the local CBOC mental health will get out of her chair and see about gettting him to some sort of group. If he goes to group, will they still pay for travel? It is a 2 hour drive from the house.
Mrs. Rockman

#8 mrs rockman (widow of vet)

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 07:13 AM

She did say that the group that comes weekly near our house is more of a social gathering. He would not mind that, but right now knows that he needs more. He may be able to go to both.
What should he do now? Should he try and call his PCP @ the same VA CBOC or could that cause trouble? We do not want trouble, he just wants to attend group therapy.

Mrs.Rockman,
You are right. I believe Rockman will enjoy a group session. My husband (now deceased) was in a local group. He did get one on one time with a psychiatrist from the same group. At the time, (over ten years ago)the VA contracted the psychiatrist/counselor for each session. We lived 30 miles from one VA hospital and 60 miles from another and probably sixty miles from the vet center at the time. I was amazed that for a long time my husband went to every meeting weekly. I think he only missed twice in what seemed like several years. Out of town once and sick the other time. So do try the Vet Center and also check at the VA clinic or hospital for any vet group that they may have available.

Thanks. We live over 80 miles from the VAMC. Can they send him to somewhere closer to our house or do we have to drive that all of the time? Do they try to contract it out when you lilve in a rural area? That is remarkable that your husband did keep up with his appointments. That is very important. Thank you for your imput and you have a blessed day!
Mrs. Rockman

#9 Chu Lai69

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 10:00 AM

Thanks. We live over 80 miles from the VAMC. Can they send him to somewhere closer to our house or do we have to drive that all of the time? Do they try to contract it out when you lilve in a rural area? That is remarkable that your husband did keep up with his appointments. That is very important. Thank you for your imput and you have a blessed day!
Mrs. Rockman

In some rural like you, the VA can send someone to you. Its worth asking. I have heard that in some rural areas there is VA MOBILE HEALTH Vans that will come to you. Again call a social worker at your VAMC and explain that to them. Might be worth that call if there is flat out nothing closer. I do know for fact that they have MOBILE Vans that go to rural areas to help file for benefits (DAV, American Legion, etc) You may even get transportation provided from them to get you to the VAMAC. The Social Workers at the VMAC are good about these things. Check them out if you have not all ready.

Edited by Chu Lai69, 16 April 2011 - 10:25 AM.


#10 mrs rockman (widow of vet)

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 10:18 AM

I just wanted to give an update- if you can call it that.
The mental Health lady finally called Rockman back and she did not know anything more than she did when he had his last sedssion. Shouldn't it be her "JOB" to call and find out and to do a consult?? Without the consult, he cannot do a thing!
She told him to called the 800# @ the VAMC. He asked her who to call. She gave him 2 extension numbers, but had no name to go with them.
He called the VAMC and talked to someone there. He used his own way of who to call. Memphis called back and said that she did indeed have to call herself to do the consult.
They said we had three choices:
1) call the mental health lady and tell her he needed a consult. This would be a learning experience for her. They said she should know what to do.
2) call our PCP @ the same CBOC
3) call the VAMC and talk to the patient advocate and let them know that there is no support on his options.
We told them we would try option #1 first. We have a good relationship with our PCP and want it to remain that way. If she does not do a consult, then we will address the issue with his doctor.
When he had his C&P for the PTSD, the examiner wondered why the mental health lady wasted his time. (insurance- that is what it is called). She can only counsel him if she does diagnose him with PTSD. She had him to the entire 12 weeks first. I guess that if she waits for a diagnosis, she can still bill his insurance company for all of the 12 + sessions. She did tell him that he had PTSD early on, but I guess that was to make him feel better and to keep coming to her-I do not know.
Well this makes sense- since before he started the 12 week sessions, she did ask-"you do have private insurance-do you not?" We did not know. We thought that he needed to do the therapy sessions with her. Knowing what we know now, we would have driven to Memphis for our sessions. She basically has left him worse off than before he started going to her!!
His last session was on 04/04/11. Time is wasting.
We went to the CBOC yesterday and gave the front desk a note to give her on needing her to do the consult. We will see what and how long it takes for things to happen!
Unfortunately we wil be gone for the next 2 weeks. That is a long time to go without treatment. I hope that she does not turn him off and make h im want to throw in the towel. I just pray everyday that things will work out.
Thanks for listening.
Mrs. Rockman

#11 mrs rockman (widow of vet)

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 10:22 AM

She can only counsel him if she does diagnose him with PTSD

I meant to say she caan only counsel him if she does not have a PTSD diagnosis.
Thanks,
Mrs. Rockman

#12 Rangerwaldo

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 02:36 PM

Dear Mrs. Rockman,

I had an Appt. with my PCP. I told her I needed to see someone for my PTSD. She took me down the hall to a psychologist and she got the ball moving quickly. I have seen her twice and met with a guy at the national PTSD center this morning. Put it on them and tell them you need help! Hope this helps.

Waldo

#13 mrs rockman (widow of vet)

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 03:52 PM

Dear Mrs. Rockman,

I had an Appt. with my PCP. I told her I needed to see someone for my PTSD. She took me down the hall to a psychologist and she got the ball moving quickly. I have seen her twice and met with a guy at the national PTSD center this morning. Put it on them and tell them you need help! Hope this helps.

Waldo



Dear Waldo,
Rockman had to go into the clinic for a re-test of his labs. After he signed in, he told the girl at the front desk that he needed to talk to someone sometimes about his PTSD. She immediately called the psychologist up front (the same worthless one he is dealing with now). She asked him to come back and they ended up talking over a hour. She told him that he needed to come back and see her in a week or two and he made the appointment. Rockman will probably wait until about Friday to see if she has done the consult. If not, he will, I know, call doc ( who is in the same clinic) and explain to him how he wants to continue treatment, but not getting any assistance. On his last appointment with doc, his therapy appointment made him late with doc. Doc just switched patients and had Rockmand go @ 3:30 instead of 3:00. He is always on time, but she never saw him on time (and no patients were before him). You would think she would see him on time knowing he was going to see doc after her. At least doc and the nurse knew where he was and that he is seeking mental health treatment. At least he and doc have a good relaltionship. In fact, doc was our family doctor before he came to VA. I just hope that she does not take her sweet little time and go on and do the consult. He does not want to undo everything he worked so hard for. Bringing up 40 year old Nam memories is tough. If she waits too long and he has to start at square one, I doubt he will bother. It has been 3 weeks since he saw her. With us being out of town for the next two weeks, it could be awhile before he gets into group. He will be going back to work and will have to see when he can get off after that. Right now, with his PTSD, he can only handle 2 days a week to work. He asked her about getting a stress leave and all she did was sideswipe the subject. Thank you for your comments and sorry I am long winded. Will post any updates.
Do you just go to one on one? He said that he would try group first. If he needs one on one- he will try and go to Memphis. He said he will not see her again!!
Have a good day!
Mrs. Rockman

#14 Rangerwaldo

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 07:55 PM

Hi Mrs. Rockman,

They are going to start me off in group ( not crazy about that) and then down the line one on one. Like anything else with VA, Keep knocking on the door!


Best,

Waldo

#15 mrs rockman (widow of vet)

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 08:37 PM

Hi Mrs. Rockman,

They are going to start me off in group ( not crazy about that) and then down the line one on one. Like anything else with VA, Keep knocking on the door!


Best,

Waldo



Yes, if you keep knocking on the door---sooner or later, probably later- they will come to the door and answer it.

#16 Susan

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 12:58 AM

Thanks. We live over 80 miles from the VAMC. Can they send him to somewhere closer to our house or do we have to drive that all of the time? Do they try to contract it out when you lilve in a rural area? That is remarkable that your husband did keep up with his appointments. That is very important. Thank you for your imput and you have a blessed day!
Mrs. Rockman


The VA contracted a psychologist within ten miles of where we lived in a town of 35,000 people. My husband had a good rapport with others in a similar situation in the group and the doctor was very good. I believe they all enjoyed the group from what I could tell without being there or knowing what went on. My husband called himself a "loner" ,so I was amazed that he wanted so much to be a part of the group. They were supportive of each other. It does us all good in jobs and other situations to know that we are not the only one who feels the way we do.

Sorry it took so long to get back to you. Glad you are getting options to get into group or one on one sessions.
Susan

#17 john999

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 08:39 AM

Go to a Vet Center. They usually have groups going all the time.

#18 mrs rockman (widow of vet)

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 03:35 PM

Go to a Vet Center. They usually have groups going all the time.



Thanks. Is there much difference in going to a Vet Center and going to your VAMC for group? I know the VA has numerous groups for the PTSD and I am sure the Vet Center does also. The Mental Health Department in Memphis did say that the psychologist does need to do a consult for Rockman. He has to have a consult to get into a group.
This will also give us travel pay to go to Memphis and I guess then it will be also in his VA records. We need to have all of the paper trails that we can.
With only working 2 days a week, he still is having a hard time with the PTSD and stress of the job. He sees the inmates at work as the enemy. When he gets through burning up his paid time off, he will file for short term disability. Then, he will file for an increase for h is PTSD. He will then file for SSDI.
Again, thank you all again for all of your input.
Mrs. Rockman

#19 john999

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 05:44 PM

One thing you don't want to do is to let the VA make the claim that it is the stress of his job that is the reason he is becoming unemployable. You want to relate everything to his service experience. If he sees inmates as the enemy it is because of military experience. If he has PTSD it is not due to working with inmates but due to military. When a cop files for PTSD the VA may say that his experience as a cop is the true stressor and cause of his current PTSD. The job may aggravate his PTSD but it should all point towards military experince as the principal cause. Rockman should always keep this in mind every time he opens his mouth at the VA. You want a papertrail but you want one that helps you.

#20 mrs rockman (widow of vet)

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 09:41 AM

One thing you don't want to do is to let the VA make the claim that it is the stress of his job that is the reason he is becoming unemployable. You want to relate everything to his service experience. If he sees inmates as the enemy it is because of military experience. If he has PTSD it is not due to working with inmates but due to military. When a cop files for PTSD the VA may say that his experience as a cop is the true stressor and cause of his current PTSD. The job may aggravate his PTSD but it should all point towards military experince as the principal cause. Rockman should always keep this in mind every time he opens his mouth at the VA. You want a papertrail but you want one that helps you.

I think I understand what you are saying. You are saying that his PTSD is aggravating his stress level and making it hard for him to work, are you not? He has an appointment with his outside doctor on Monday. He has to get a medical leave slip if he takes off more than 3 days. He will be taking off the next two weeks for a stress leave. Is there any certain way he should tell his doctor? We want to make sure that it is worded the best way if he ever needs to show it. By sometime in July, he should have used all of his time off.
When he is ready to file for short term disability with his job, do you have any suggestions as to how that should be worded also?
When we file for SSDI, he has a compassionate disease, the pulmonary fibrosis. He also is 60% on his IHD. His PTSD is @ 30% ( we thought that it should have been at least 50%). We do not know whether we should list the lung & the heart and then the PTSD or not. I know you want to have what your service-connected conditions are as your sole reason for filing SSDI. If we list the pulmonary fibrosis-which is chronic- it is not service connected. If the lung was service connected, then we would not have a problem what we list as his disabilities.
We are just confused the proper way to do this. I will post later on trying to get his lung as secondary to his heart ( provided that the cardiologist says that it makes the heart worse and it is in his medical records).

Thank you for your help. Rockman would have answered you himself, but he is at work today.
Mrs. Rockman

#21 john999

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 11:13 AM

Any records you are going to use for VA purpose you want it to be about SC conditions only. You don't want to give the VA alternative explanations for a TDIU claim. If you are going to use SSD records then make sure they are for SC conditions. If there is anything in your evidence for IU that is not SC the VA will pounce on that to deny TDIU. If you have enough to get TDIU without SSD and non-service connected issues you don't have to worry. If Rockman has any problems with work point the finger at his military PTSD. If he retires on disability make it for SC conditions.

#22 mrs rockman (widow of vet)

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 03:52 PM

Any records you are going to use for VA purpose you want it to be about SC conditions only. You don't want to give the VA alternative explanations for a TDIU claim. If you are going to use SSD records then make sure they are for SC conditions. If there is anything in your evidence for IU that is not SC the VA will pounce on that to deny TDIU. If you have enough to get TDIU without SSD and non-service connected issues you don't have to worry. If Rockman has any problems with work point the finger at his military PTSD. If he retires on disability make it for SC conditions.



Thank you for your imput. This answers my question about what to file his SSDI with. The only reason he was going to do the pulmonary fibrosis was because it is on their compassionate list and they (Social Security) are to expidite your claim. This tells us what we need to do. Have a good day!
Mrs. Rockman




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