1 year re-eval for PTSD - bad news?

dustoffguy

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All, hoping for some thoughts. I was put on PDRL in 2013 for PTSD, 50%. I had my first re-eval in 2018, and was continued at 50%, which I believe was correct. Not reallly better, not really worse, despite 2 years of counseling.

I just got a call for another re-eval, just a year later. My understanding is every 3-5 years is normal. I called the VA, and after just 35 minutes on hold, was told that the contractor doc from last year recommended a 1 year re-eval. He never mentioned that to me, and the re-eval last year was very perfunctory, less than 20 minutes. 15 of which he spent talking.

I am afraid that he wrote something about me not really deserving 50%, even though that criteria matches my life almost exactly to this day. I do hold down a complex job (pilot), but I still fight with this the same since OIF in 2006, and am pretty worried I'm about to get railroaded.

I'd appreciate if anybody has been through or has any insight. Thanx in advance.
 

brohammer

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I am curious how hard was it to obtain a class 1 medical with the FAA with that diagnosis? I want to fly just as a private pilot, only class III medical needed, but my disability is more severe and would need a special issuance.

As for your question, It may be because of the job you hold, is this a recent addition to your life? The VA views disabilities with employability, if you are able to hold a stressful job, like being a pilot, they may believe it could be lowered. They likely want to monitor if you are able to keep the job for a certain period of time. You should be happy you can hold an awesome job like that! But in your argument, you can let them know how whatever treatment plan you are on is an absolute necessity for maintaining your job.
 

Warrior644

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All, hoping for some thoughts. I was put on PDRL in 2013 for PTSD, 50%. I had my first re-eval in 2018, and was continued at 50%, which I believe was correct. Not reallly better, not really worse, despite 2 years of counseling.

I just got a call for another re-eval, just a year later. My understanding is every 3-5 years is normal. I called the VA, and after just 35 minutes on hold, was told that the contractor doc from last year recommended a 1 year re-eval. He never mentioned that to me, and the re-eval last year was very perfunctory, less than 20 minutes. 15 of which he spent talking.

I am afraid that he wrote something about me not really deserving 50%, even though that criteria matches my life almost exactly to this day. I do hold down a complex job (pilot), but I still fight with this the same since OIF in 2006, and am pretty worried I'm about to get railroaded.

I'd appreciate if anybody has been through or has any insight. Thanx in advance.
In my experienced opinion, you should immediately obtain a copy of the DoVA C&P examination performed by the contracting physician in the 2018 calendar year. It's best to know all of the documented detailed comments written by the contracting physician for the DoVA; no assumptions!

As mentioned in your comments above, it would seem that the verbiage written in the DoVA C&P examination supported continuation of a DoVA 50% rating for PTSD since the DoVA Rating Agency didn't determine that a VA rating change was warranted at that particular point in time; this is good and no worries!

Nonetheless, if your medical symptomology for PTSD hasn't changed then it's vital to mention that at the re-evaluation via a new DoVA C&P examination so that the physician can accurately document all symptomology in order to efficiently complete the PTSD DBQ. Upon the DoVA Rating Agency's review of the PTSD DBQ and other available medical documentation, a determination will be rendered in accordance with the criteria as annotated in 38 CFR VASRD.

Bottom line is that if you disagree with the re-evaluation results of the DoVA Rating Agency upon receipt of their DoVA decision letter then it's best to invoke your participation (via submitting a DoVA appeal) in the new DoVA Rapid Appeals Modernization Program (RAMP) for potentially a faster decision and/or an earlier resolution under its multiple review (e.g. Supplemental Claim Lane or Higher-level Review Lane) options. Take care!

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

Best Wishes!
 

chaplaincharlie

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The examiner may have wrote to re-rate you in a year for a permanent rating. Ultimately, it would be great if your were well.
 

oddpedestrian

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The examiner has no control over when your next eval will be the RSVR does and its basically a dropped down checkbox broken into many increments 12, 18, 24, 36, or 60 months. When they schedule the evals close it usually means they think you will get better BUT for those vets that have been service connected for at least five years it takes two exams claiming you are better to reduce this could be going on right now with your case but since I don't know what your other exam looks like I can't speculate.
 

dustoffguy

PEB Forum Regular Member
I am curious how hard was it to obtain a class 1 medical with the FAA with that diagnosis? I want to fly just as a private pilot, only class III medical needed, but my disability is more severe and would need a special issuance.

As for your question, It may be because of the job you hold, is this a recent addition to your life? The VA views disabilities with employability, if you are able to hold a stressful job, like being a pilot, they may believe it could be lowered. They likely want to monitor if you are able to keep the job for a certain period of time. You should be happy you can hold an awesome job like that! But in your argument, you can let them know how whatever treatment plan you are on is an absolute necessity for maintaining your job.

I actually hold a class II. Used to fly 121 but now for the government. Believe it or not the FAA takes a pretty enlightened view of PTSD. It also helped that my flight surgeon is the former chief flight surgeon of the Air Guard, and so was sympathetic to my cause.

Also I had been flying with it for years before I finally owned up and got help. So, in a bassackwards way I had proved I could. It isn’t uncommon in professional aviation.

For certain types of flying now you may fall under the new “basic med” rules where a medical isn’t even required. Not sure if a known condition would disqualify you from basic med, though. A good flight surgeon or even better, AOPA, is your best bet to get accurate guidance. Good luck.

If you have more questions let me know.
 
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