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 Post subject: My claim and your advice please ...
PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 6:21 am 
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Posts: 55
Your Gulf War Unit: 1st ID, 3rd AD, 181st Chem Co, 84th Chem, 46th Chem.
I served in the gulf for the whole 9 yards and I am sure I saw as much as many and maybe not as much as some. I never went to a VA hospital except for a Gulf War Registry exam they gave me back a few years after leaving the military until recently when I decided to place a claim.

I filed this claim in late June or early July of this year. The claim is for PTSD, Sleep Disorder, Anxiety, Constant Fatigue, and Joint Pain I guess. At least that would seem as though that is what they are focusing on. So far this is what has happened:

1.) I had an initial physical exam at the local outpatient clinic where they put me on blood pressure medication.

2.) I returned for blood work at the same clinic.

3.) I met with a psychologist / psychiatrists for about an hour where he prescribed me a shit load of medicine and scheduled me for another appt with him on the 2nd of December. He also asked me to give him copies of the follow up documentation that I prepared for the claim that the VA requested. He seemed very fair in this meeting and seemed genuinely concerned as well. This too was at this small outpatient clinic.

BUPROPRION
BUSPIRONE
TRAZODONE

( Well it seems like a shit load of meds when combined with medicine for inflammation, blood pressure, fish oil capsules, acid reflux meds, and my 81 mg Bayer aspirin) lol

4.) Went to Atlanta for a C&P Examination where the doctor seemed to focus mainly on my shoulder injury and the lack of mobility that I have associated with it.


Now for my question: At what stage do any of you with experience in making a claim and the procedures think I may be at and why have they, in my opinion, seemed to have been timely in the manner of attentiveness to this claim.

I have read quite a few people here that don't seem to be as far as I am in the process that say they have been trying to get approval for a claim for 5, 6, 10, 11 etc.. years or more. Is it because I have never went to the VA before now yet have been experiencing these symptoms for 15 years or more. Or am I just delusional and on the very beginning of a long plight?

I didn't go to a advocate to file and just did it on my own. I think??? I mean they have a small office on the back of the local clinic where I filed. That guy did the initial paperwork but I prepared all the follow up documentation and letters, summaries, statements, etc.. when they sent the request.

Also I wonder how my statements, or package, I prepared compares to others that have filed that were both succesful and unsucceful in the process?

Oh and btw; Hello!

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 Post subject: Re: My claim and your advice please ...
PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 8:13 am 
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Good Soldiers Never Die
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Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 6:36 pm
Posts: 1009
Location: North Carolina
Your Gulf War Unit: 24th Infantry Division, 197th Infantry Brigage, 72 Engr Co.
Welcome wdroberson to the forum bro. The VA is a monster and every state office moves at a different pace. Usually a good rule of thumb in my adventures has been it takes a year from the time you give your claim. Being in Atlanta you may have longer. I went to the VA in Atlanta in '96 or so and got the run around the shaft and the police to escort me out. They rated me a 0% disability from my arm. They were really poor. They totally ignored my PTSD symptoms so I didn't file for it then. So I never got help for that until last year. I really had a bad time with them. I really hope they are better to you!

There are others on here that are a lot of help. I'm glad you joined us. GO GET A VA REP! They will help you with your claim and they can tell you how far along the process you are and help if you need to appeal. That is the best thing I can tell you to do. Go to the DAV or your county administrators office and see the VA rep in there.

You should get results from the VA in a year or so. The folks waiting years may be appealing or refiling or who knows. It will take time but not a decade. Expect a year or so. Get a rep and they can look in the computer and tell you where your file is in the process.

If you have had your C&P, you are almost done couple of months and you should have a decision.

The package you sent in is probably the same as all of us, I would guess. You have the same anxiety it seems. :)

You are on the same meds as most of us. Trazodone is very popular. I'm on Buspar and Buprprion (Welbutrin). It took me abuncha different med changes to get the ones that fit my disposition.

Look forward to hearing from ya. Hope this helped. Welcome and happy Vet day!

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 Post subject: Re: My claim and your advice please ...
PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:47 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:13 am
Posts: 55
Your Gulf War Unit: 1st ID, 3rd AD, 181st Chem Co, 84th Chem, 46th Chem.
Thanks for the quick reply.

Well it sounds like I may be further along in the process than I thought I was. I can only assume that the psychiatrist that prescribed the medication for me did so because he diagnosed me with having PTSD or the symptoms that COULD be related to PTSD?

I wonder how that will go down because the doctor that conducted the C&P exam/interview did not focus on that much at all. He focused on my left shoulder that really has no direct relation to the gulf war but, I claim, just to military in general because that is where I first experienced the pain and discomfort. I wonder if that psychiatrist at the outpatient clinic will be the one that is the determining factor on the PTSD?

"GO GET A VA REP!" Where exactly do I find one of these and what are they called?

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 Post subject: Re: My claim and your advice please ...
PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 9:16 am 
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Good Soldiers Never Die
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Location: North Carolina
Your Gulf War Unit: 24th Infantry Division, 197th Infantry Brigage, 72 Engr Co.
There is a little bit to it. The C&P guy is the deciding person for disability. He submits his recomendation and the VA office will make its determination. But they pretty much go right along with the C&P doc. The C&P doc interviews you and looks at the evidence you submitted for him to review. Like medical records from Atlanta. The VA reviews other info like buddy letters, statements by you and family, etc. The more evidence you submit the better your case will be. That's where the rep comes in. They can tell you what you need or advise you to get. Your county administration office has a VA rep working for them ( and you ). The DAV has reps for you. Either one is fine but go get one. The VA may deny your claim or give you a very small amount. It hinges on you too. Is 20% disability seem fair to you or does 50% seem more accurate. Find a rep and they'll help. They can answer your questions too better than me probably. But I'm glad to do what I can if anything.

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 Post subject: Re: My claim and your advice please ...
PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:17 am
Posts: 27
Location: Topeka Kansas
Your Gulf War Unit: 4-5 FA Ft. Riley Kansas
redfish wrote:
There is a little bit to it. The C&P guy is the deciding person for disability. He submits his recomendation and the VA office will make its determination. But they pretty much go right along with the C&P doc. The C&P doc interviews you and looks at the evidence you submitted for him to review. Like medical records from Atlanta. The VA reviews other info like buddy letters, statements by you and family, etc. The more evidence you submit the better your case will be. That's where the rep comes in. They can tell you what you need or advise you to get. Your county administration office has a VA rep working for them ( and you ). The DAV has reps for you. Either one is fine but go get one. The VA may deny your claim or give you a very small amount. It hinges on you too. Is 20% disability seem fair to you or does 50% seem more accurate. Find a rep and they'll help. They can answer your questions too better than me probably. But I'm glad to do what I can if anything.



Get with any one but the DAV in your area. I have done rework on some GWI claims and they are some of the worst that I have worked with. The legion is not to bad there. Since they put you on medication for hypertension, file for " hypertension secondary to PTSD".
Next get a copy of the guide I wrote on GWI
http://www.ngwrc.org/docs/2010%20health%20guide.pdf
It will cover many thins about GWI and PTSD.

Get a veteran service officer to help you.

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2611 SW 17th Street
Topeka, KS 66604
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 Post subject: Re: My claim and your advice please ...
PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 2:34 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:13 am
Posts: 55
Your Gulf War Unit: 1st ID, 3rd AD, 181st Chem Co, 84th Chem, 46th Chem.
Well I have been going to that Doc since last reported and he has changed up my medicine a bit here and there but to tell the truth I think emotionally I am worse off now taking all this crap. I sit and watch a movie with my wife and if it comes to a sad part I cry now. WTF is up with that???

I forget to ask him, or mention this, when we meet. My memory is not that great anymore and hasn't been for a long time. We only meet every 8 to 10 weeks I think.

Anyway they have scheduled another C&P Exam for me and this one, I believe, is directly related to the evaluation of compensation for claim of PTSD. It is with some outside contracted medical group and they said the exam will not be like meeting with my regular care provider and that the examiner is under strict instructions from the VA to ensure all benefit determination requirements are adhered to.

Any advice? Other than getting a VA Advocate or DAV Rep. I have a really tough time meeting new people and have to Psyche myself up to do things like that a lot of the time. Right now has been one of those time periods for me. I have secluded inside my home since June. I only go out when I absolutely have to.

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 Post subject: Re: My claim and your advice please ...
PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 2:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:17 am
Posts: 27
Location: Topeka Kansas
Your Gulf War Unit: 4-5 FA Ft. Riley Kansas
This is what PTSD does to us. I am the same way too. Keep a pocket note book and write down things that happen. them you will have it to talk to your doctor.

Have your wife help to. Mine is doing this with me for my doctors now so I can remember to ask them about medical thing that is going on with me.

List out everything you want to talk about before you see your doctor and do not leave until your get it taken care of. write down what he tells you and if you can have your wife with you.


wdroberson wrote:
Well I have been going to that Doc since last reported and he has changed up my medicine a bit here and there but to tell the truth I think emotionally I am worse off now taking all this crap. I sit and watch a movie with my wife and if it comes to a sad part I cry now. WTF is up with that???

I forget to ask him, or mention this, when we meet. My memory is not that great anymore and hasn't been for a long time. We only meet every 8 to 10 weeks I think.

Anyway they have scheduled another C&P Exam for me and this one, I believe, is directly related to the evaluation of compensation for claim of PTSD. It is with some outside contracted medical group and they said the exam will not be like meeting with my regular care provider and that the examiner is under strict instructions from the VA to ensure all benefit determination requirements are adhered to.

Any advice? Other than getting a VA Advocate or DAV Rep. I have a really tough time meeting new people and have to Psyche myself up to do things like that a lot of the time. Right now has been one of those time periods for me. I have secluded inside my home since June. I only go out when I absolutely have to.

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Executive Director
National Gulf War Resource Center
2611 SW 17th Street
Topeka, KS 66604
785-221-0162
Toll free 866-531-7183
WWW.NGWRC.ORG


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 Post subject: Re: My claim and your advice please ...
PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 2:23 am 
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Good Soldiers Never Die
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:35 pm
Posts: 1899
Location: Central Florida
Your Gulf War Unit: 2nd Brigade 1st Infantry Division
I just got my paperwork from the VA for after I filed my claim. Now for the collection of info.

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 Post subject: Re: My claim and your advice please ...
PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:20 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2010 5:49 pm
Posts: 59
Your Gulf War Unit: Eagle Troop 3ACR
although I am new here, I am not new to the VA comp system. I have seen the best advice printed in several different topics and posts from the guys here.... arm yourself with KNOWLEGE!!!! The more you are versed on each specific claim you talk to comp exam doctors about, the better your chances of getting the award you deserve. I wish you the best.

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 Post subject: Re: My claim and your advice please ...
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 3:46 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:13 am
Posts: 55
Your Gulf War Unit: 1st ID, 3rd AD, 181st Chem Co, 84th Chem, 46th Chem.
It has been a while but I figured I would update those that are interested in what has happened to me thus far.

I went to that last scheduled C&P Exam and it was with an outside contractor. I think the meeting didn't go to well.

She kept asking me a ton of questions about work history and wanted me to be more specific than I was prepared to be. She was asking questions about jobs that I had when I was 16 years old ( I am now 45 ) and wanting detailed answers. Also the questions that she was asking about any stressful gulf war experiences were generating exactly that .... Stress. Not so much because of bringing up the memories of the dead, scuds, etc... I just don't like being asked that many questions. I felt like a dog that was cornered. Before to long I blew a gasket and was visibly pissed off. I finally just starting answering "yes" and "No" only. I couldn't even look at that woman anymore!

Anyway I have yet to hear anything on the claim. I probably screwed everything up on that. She probably sent a letter with a big DENIED stamped on it. Truth is I don't even care. I have since not been able to make any of the psychiatric sessions with the doctor at the local clinic because of transportation problems. Not that it is a huge loss. They were only lasting for 30 minutes and were in a extremely rushed environment. I don't really think they would result in any significant progress anyway.

It is coming up on a year since I first filed. If I hear of anything I will be sure to pop in here and share the outcome and, if successful, share details on how I got there.

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 Post subject: Re: My claim and your advice please ...
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:55 am 
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Recruit
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Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:51 pm
Posts: 42
Your Gulf War Unit: HHC 1st Engineers 1st Infantry
wdroberson wrote:
It has been a while but I figured I would update those that are interested in what has happened to me thus far.

I went to that last scheduled C&P Exam and it was with an outside contractor. I think the meeting didn't go to well.

She kept asking me a ton of questions about work history and wanted me to be more specific than I was prepared to be. She was asking questions about jobs that I had when I was 16 years old ( I am now 45 ) and wanting detailed answers. Also the questions that she was asking about any stressful gulf war experiences were generating exactly that .... Stress. Not so much because of bringing up the memories of the dead, scuds, etc... I just don't like being asked that many questions. I felt like a dog that was cornered. Before to long I blew a gasket and was visibly pissed off. I finally just starting answering "yes" and "No" only. I couldn't even look at that woman anymore!

Anyway I have yet to hear anything on the claim. I probably screwed everything up on that. She probably sent a letter with a big DENIED stamped on it. Truth is I don't even care. I have since not been able to make any of the psychiatric sessions with the doctor at the local clinic because of transportation problems. Not that it is a huge loss. They were only lasting for 30 minutes and were in a extremely rushed environment. I don't really think they would result in any significant progress anyway.

It is coming up on a year since I first filed. If I hear of anything I will be sure to pop in here and share the outcome and, if successful, share details on how I got there.


Brother
Don't let it bring you down or stress about it. Truth of the matter is that you helped yourself more than you think. There is transportation help for apointments through the DAV, try them. It is important that you make this apointments. My email is jmartinez14p@hotmail.com get in touch with me and I can help out more. I have been waiting on my claim since 2008 and have not heard much on it, but through the wait I have learned to coach other through their claims.
J


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 Post subject: Re: My claim and your advice please ...
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 6:01 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:13 am
Posts: 55
Your Gulf War Unit: 1st ID, 3rd AD, 181st Chem Co, 84th Chem, 46th Chem.
jmartinez wrote:

Brother
Don't let it bring you down or stress about it. Truth of the matter is that you helped yourself more than you think. There is transportation help for apointments through the DAV, try them. It is important that you make this apointments. My email is jmartinez14p@hotmail.com get in touch with me and I can help out more. I have been waiting on my claim since 2008 and have not heard much on it, but through the wait I have learned to coach other through their claims.
J



Thanks for the encouragement.

You have been waiting on a decision on your claim since 2008? Damn three years? Wow! I called the VA and asked them about the status about a month ago and they looked it up in the computer and said it is in the decision phase.

I guess I would not be that concerned about the status of my claim if it were not for the bills piling up for the co-payment charges. The amount is not huge by any means but I just do not have the resources to pay the bill and I was hoping that a decision for a disability rating would come and the back pay would more than cover the current bill and maybe make it to where I would have no co-pay for future medications. Add to that they did a biopsy on my prostate and I have cancer. I was able to buy a hopefully reliable used van that will allow me to make my appointments 130 miles, one way, to the Augusta, Ga. VA hospital and get that taken care of before I run out of credit with Uncle Sam! lol

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 Post subject: Re: My claim and your advice please ...
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 8:13 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 6:36 pm
Posts: 1009
Location: North Carolina
Your Gulf War Unit: 24th Infantry Division, 197th Infantry Brigage, 72 Engr Co.
Sorry to hear your news bro. The co-payments with the VA will go away when you get your rating. I hope everything works out good for ya.

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 Post subject: Re: My claim and your advice please ...
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 12:01 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 4:53 pm
Posts: 418
Location: ky,
Your Gulf War Unit: 72nd. ENGR. CO. 197TH INF. BDE. 24TH INF
sorry to hear about everything...... i found out friday that there"s about 90% chance that i got glaucoma. started me on eye drops. between my back, neck, legs, eyes, hearing, i'm just dealing with it all, one day at a time.
i've been waiting on claim since sept 2010. not expecting much, if anything. i hear the same thing everytime they find different things wrong, did"nt happen from your time in service! :roll: .
now you take someone our age, that did'nt serve an compare their health to ours...........enf said.

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 Post subject: Re: My claim and your advice please ...
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:17 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:13 am
Posts: 55
Your Gulf War Unit: 1st ID, 3rd AD, 181st Chem Co, 84th Chem, 46th Chem.
I filed a Hardship Claim for Waiver today and hopefully that will get rid of this little bit of debt I have right now. If not then I am going to start selling plasma. Hehehe

I get the Prostate surgery in a month or so probably. Going back down for a pre-op type thing next Monday. Then I guess I get to wear diapers for a while.....Not really sure how that will go.

You guys kept on saying that I needed to get a VA Rep and I finally went looking for one today. Come to find out that the guy that submitted my original claim form nearly a year ago was my rep all along. Imagine that.....Never even knew it. Never a phone call. Nothing.

Oh well now I will head down there and let him review that packet I submitted for the claim and see what advise he has .......a year later!!! lol

Checked out that eBenefits thing today also and gave the government my consent to search my computer at will. Allows you to see what phase the claim is in anyway. Few other useful things as well. They are getting really automated but I think it is more for them then us.

Just kind of rattling on here. Been up all night again. Maybe I will take some pills tonight and try to get back on a normal schedule. I got a couple of things in there that he gave me for sleep. He gave me benadryl pills this last time I think.

I asked him the last time I visited him ( the head doc ) if he has diagnosed me with anything? He looked at me pretty funny like and said well you have anxiety. I said well I mean am I a manic depressive, delusional, what? He seemed as though he was holding something back? I really don't seem to be able to come out of those 30 minute sessions with a feeling of gaining much traction. After I left I think I know why he looked at me kinda funny when I asked him that......I think I asked him the same thing 6 or 8 weeks earlier. lol

He keeps pushing 'Group Therapy' on me though. Seems like the answering machine message for the lady that calls for that scheduling keeps getting erased by accident.

Keep fighting the good fight and I will too. Maybe my rambling will give someone really bored something to entertain themselves with. lol

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