I've read what all of you have said and pointed out. The first that continues to jump out at me, is that the VA Examiner used the same evidence in my records as the medical board used to come to their diagnosis. To my knowledge and going by what is present in my medical files, I was never given any such psych test by the VA Examiner, but I was tested during my hospital stay while in the service.
Wouldn't the VA Examiner have to rebutt the findings of those tests by the Navy Dr's/psychiatrist, in order for the VA to use the alternative diagnosis as fact? Since they didn't offer any new evidence to support their alternative diagnosis theory, It only seems right that they should have done so.
By the way, which catagory of personality disorder does an inadequate personality associated with inadequate educational experience fit into?
I had applied for benefits within one year of service, and I have been fighting the same VA insistance that nothing new or material to support a change in their decision of a personality disorder, even when I submitted in a later claim, that questioned the validity of the VA examiners diagnosis and in part supported my claim of a psychiatric disorder and most certainly a depression disorder since my episode in the service.
An error occured in how my claim was adjudicated and I hope my latest claim will finally bring this out into the open for someone to see. I honestly believe it is just a matter of time and whether I have to take it all the way to the COVA for it to been seen.
Jim, I am responding to this post and another post this evening. I work on your questions quite a bit. You have good questions and I have always been of the opinion that the VA jammed you.
At the time of your diagnosis of personality disorder in 1970 the diagnosis was considered by many psychologists as having no objective basis. Thus when the DSM IV was published many changes were made in the criteria for the diagnosis. This I am paraphrasing from my readings in the DSM IV. I started studing psychology in 1970. I have read every DSM printed. I had 147 quarter units toward a BS at UCLA when I quit school in 1986.
Military psychologists and doctors threw around the diagnoais of personality disorder for the purpose of expalining behavior that was not main stream. These diagnosis were made after short 20 min. interviews. They did this specifically because it was not service connectable. My source on this is a long standing VA employee. As I said before there was another hadit member who worked for the VA who posted that the VA "Hated like anything to service connect veterans who were discharged for personality disorders or immiturity".
The rest of this post is some thing I wrote for another subject I am pasting it below.
I agree that all of those things should have been done. It appears that your claim was denied as the result of the adjudicator interpreting the C&P exam as replacing the military diagnosis. I agree that the statement by the C&P examiner that he did not fully agree is ambiguous. The problem occurs that the decision was not appealed and became final. When you go to the VA does the computer show the claim as re-opened or is it the original 1972 claim date and shown as being closed?
At this time what do you do? I went through the same problem on one of my many claims. Submitting new and material evidence can reopen a claim. That is what I did and the claim was reopened. I am not sure what a denovo review is. If it part of the standard appeal process and your claim was not appealed then they would still require new and material evidence. As far ac CUE goes I am also not knowledgeable of CUES. I do recall that the failure to review medical reports available at the time of the decision can be a CUE. The failure to properly interpret the medial reports or to properly apply the law may be reason to appeal yet not sufficient to be a CUE. In your case I am of the opinion that replacing the in service diagnosis withy a personality disorder diagnosis was not proper. This is because it does not sound like the C&P examiner addressed the issue as to when the personality disorder first manifest symptoms. Although, personality disorders usually manifest symptoms prior to the age of 18, there are cases that do not manifest until later in life. Thus, the only way the adjudicator could have used the C&P examiners report to replace a diagnosis established in the military would be based on clear and convincing evidence. When a diagnosis is established in the military and a diagnosis of a condition that developed post service an assessment that the current symptoms are caused by the post service condition can only be used if the evidence is clear and convincing. It sound like the adjudicator used preponderance of evidence. That is the wrong evidentiary standard.
When you submit letters arguing that what they did was wrong on a closed claim may not get you any where. They are looking for medical evidence. Your opinion is not considered medical evidence. You do have a strong argument that at this time a new medical report either submitted by you or as the result of them scheduling a new C&P exam is in order. This is due to the fact that the DSM IV changed criteria justifying the use of personality disorders. Also the fact that the personality disorder could have been caused by the in service condition and subsequent discharge was not addressed by the C&P examiner. This is especially relevant because at the time of the original denial personality disorders were considered as being developmental. And lastly the symptoms you experienced in the military could have been symptoms of conditions that are known to develop over a long period of time.
When I was discharged in 1970 I was diagnosed with Chronic allergic condition, knee condition and personality disorder. Upon discharge I went to the VA and submitted a request to service connect the knee condition and the allergic condition. Without even requesting that the personality disorders be considered the VA adjudicated a claim for the personality disorders and denied it, citing that personality disorders were considered developmental.
Currently, many personality disorders are considered to be secondary to other psychiatric conditions. Thus the medical field has changed their perception of the condition and new medical investigation is justified. There was also the perception as far back as the 60’s the giving people a medical discharge for a psychiatric condition could spawn ongoing adjustment conditions for the veteran post service. As a result people with personality disorders were give administrative discharges rather than medical discharges. There was a bupers instruction or department of defense code justifying the administrative discharges.
I think it is very important for your case to plead your case with a psychologist or a psychiatrist and get a current diagnosis and a GAF score. Submit these report to reopen the claim. Personality inventories such as the MMPI etc. could diagnose a personality disorder. However, it does not indicate when the disorder onset. As I said before the idea that the C&P examiner could have used your subjective recollection of events in the military for the basis of his personality disorder diagnosis is totally bogus and also prohibited by current M21 adjudication procedures. It is not a question of whether or not they used the same reports to come up with two different diagnoses. It is a question of what justification the C&P examiner used for his diagnosis. It sounds like he pulled it from a place where the sun does not shine.
In any event it does not appear that you appealed the original denial and you have to get the claim re-opened. The VA might be prohibited from re-adjudicating a claim that was closed on the same evidence that was used for the original denial. This is why they are asking you for new and material evidence. What I am saying is battle the CUE and submit the new medical evidence FROM A DOCTOR at the same time, if possible.