Claims after Service. Non-Combat PTSD

MrPhotographer06

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#1
Hello all, It has been some time since I posted last.

I am working with a private firm to possibly get my rating increased, as well as starting the process to get my mental health diagnosis on paper.

During a rating increase exam, my VA examiner suggested I see someone because I fit the bill for PTSD. As a non-combat veteran, It will be harder to push. Who has successfully completed this? I am currently pursuing a job in Germany at a MEDDAC which would obviously put me out the country, so I'd like to get this handled here ASAP if possible.

Thanks in advance!
Search was hard to find info...

-CK
 

Warrior644

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#2
Hello all, It has been some time since I posted last.

I am working with a private firm to possibly get my rating increased, as well as starting the process to get my mental health diagnosis on paper.

During a rating increase exam, my VA examiner suggested I see someone because I fit the bill for PTSD. As a non-combat veteran, It will be harder to push. Who has successfully completed this? I am currently pursuing a job in Germany at a MEDDAC which would obviously put me out the country, so I'd like to get this handled here ASAP if possible.

Thanks in advance!
Search was hard to find info...

-CK
Indeed, welcome back to the PEB Forum! :)

In retrospect, there are many types of DoVA claims for disability compensation. As such, they are as follows: original disability claim, new disability claim, reopened disability claim, claim for increased disability, and secondary disability claim.

The DoVA VBA has a special process called the Fully Developed Claims (FDC) program which is an optional initiative that offer military veterans and survivors faster decisions from the DoVA on compensation, pension, and survivor benefit claims. The FDC program states "Veterans and survivors simply submit all relevant records in their possession, and those records which are easily obtainable, such as private medical records, at the time they make their claim and certify that they have no further evidence to submit. VA can then review and process the claim more quickly" as annotated on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' website.

As such, military veterans may file an FDC for disability compensation for the following reasons:
  • An injury, disability, or condition believed to have occurred or been aggravated by military service
  • A condition caused or aggravated by an existing military service-related condition
"By filing an FDC, Veterans and survivors take charge of their claim by providing all the evidence at once. By then certifying that there is no more evidence, VA can issue a decision faster.

File an FDC without risk. Participation will not affect the attention your claim receives from qualified VA rating staff or the benefits to which you're entitled. If VA determines other non-federal records exist and are required to decide a claim, VA will simply remove the claim from the FDC program and process it through the traditional claims process. Once you initiate your FDC, you'll have up to one year to complete it. Should VA approve your claim, you'll be paid back to the day you initiated your claim" as discussed on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' website.

Naturally, the best method to file an FDC is electronically via eBenefits while the DoVA VBA recommends the appointment of an accredited Veterans Service Officer (VSO) to help you initiate your claim, gather the required medical records and evidence, then submit your disability claim. Hopefully, your hired private firm is VSO accredited so that the entire process of submitting an FDC for PTSD shall go as smooth as procedurally possible.

Moreover, for your own historical knowledge, I would highly suggest that you review URL https://www.benefits.va.gov/FDC/checklist.asp for detailed information about the "FDC Checklist for Disability Compensation" which shall help to ensure that the FDC is properly supported by the required applicable evidence.

In response to your comment about "...I fit the bill for PTSD. As a non-combat veteran, It will be harder to push...;" that may or may not be the actual case. In reference to DoVA disability compensation, the DoVA Rating Agency shall use the 38 CFR VASRD §4.130 Schedule of ratings—Mental disorders under "General Rating Formula for Mental Disorders" to rate the medical symptomology for a DoVA code "9411 Posttraumatic stress disorder" medical diagnosis or condition. The DoVA Rating Agency should be provided a Review Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Disability Benefits Questionnaire (DBQ) from a DoVA C&P examination clinician. The PTSD DBQ is a medical examination form used to capture essential information for evaluating DoVA disability compensation and/or pension claims.

That all said, please review URL https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-i...b57e548f8&mc=true&node=se38.1.4_1130&rgn=div8 for detailed information about the schedule of ratings for mental disorders and the general rating formula for mental disorders as annotated in the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. I hope for a favorable outcome in your overall pursuit for increased DoVA disability compensation. Take care!

Thus, I quite often comment that "possessing well-informed knowledge is truly a powerful equalizer!"

Best Wishes!
 
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oddpedestrian

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#3
hmm, you said you had a C&P for BH are you currently service connected for an MH disorder? If so the ratings are the same additional MH diagnosis will not change that this is called "pyramiding" and as Warrior said they will just go off 38 CFR VASRD §4.130 for all MH rating percentages. Make sure you focus on occupational and social impairment going forward with MH increases.
 
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