If you need help with your VA Claim then I recommend signing up for the VA Claims Insider Elite Program. Here is a video that explains the process https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPmsbvVanv0
If you are interested in learning more about Va Mental Health Claims check out this playlist
In order for me to explain how to file a winning claim for PTSD, I think I should start with how to file a losing claim for PTSD. This is my experience with the va claims process and how I finally filed a winning PTSD claim.
As combat veterans, It feels like we have to jump through hoops to prove that we were traumatized due to something that happened during our military service. I got out in 1991 and I was awarded a 70% PTSD in 2018.
It took VA 27 years to almost award me the compensation that I deserve and I say that because I am still underrated and the more I look inward I see signs of a 100% PTSD rating everywhere I look.
Lets get back to 1991, For the first 15 years, I thought that I just liked to party and I didn’t even know that I was using drugs and alcohol to cope with the symptoms of PTSD. That takes us to around 2004.
Eventually, it dawned on me that I had serious mental health issues so I started to see a private psychiatrist and he started to treat me for anxiety and depression. After about 5 years of that, I started to learn more about PTSD in combat veterans so I decided to see if I “qualified” for a PTSD claim and now we are in 2011.
I didn’t know the law at the time so I didn’t know that I had always “qualified” but I went back to the VA Hospital and I picked out another worthless VSO. Together we put together my first VA Claim for PTSD in combat veterans.
I explained that I had been receiving treatment for about 5 years and he suggested that I get copies of my doctor’s notes and submit those as evidence. He also told me that since I was a combat veteran this should be a strong claim.
This genius didn’t say anything about a diagnosis, DBQ or Nexus letter but his efforts did get me a C&P exam (I had no clue what it was called at the time) and the doctor did agree that I had some anxiety, depression, and alcohol use problems so she diagnosed me with unspecified anxiety disorder and depressive disorder with episodic alcohol use disorder.
I got a decision in about 4 months and I went from 10% to 60% and this time around I was pretty happy. I had a little extra money in my pocket each month and I was over the 50% mark so I could receive full health benefits. Again my VSO told me that I should be happy so I walked away happy.
Lets fast forward to 2018 and doing a bit more research on the topic, I decided that it was time to file a claim again and this time I was going to file a winning claim for PTSD because after all I am a combat veteran with severe mental health conditions.
As I sit here in October of 2019, I know exactly what I need to do in order to prove that I am rated too low at 70% but that is now. A year ago I needed help and that is when I reached out to Va Claims Insider and Dan Quick helped me assemble my winning PTSD claim.
Dan looked through my records and referred me out to a private psychologist who diagnosed me with combat related PTSD and he filled out a DBQ and provided a Nexus Letter stating that my PTSD was at least as likely as not a result of my active duty service.
This was the crucial piece of evidence that I was missing the entire time.
I combed through my C-File and ran a search for PTSD and I found quite a few mentions and tests but I never found an actual diagnosis.
Its almost embarrassing to admit this out loud but then again, many of you have gone down the exact path that I went down and there is probably a good portion of you guys that are still trying to figure out what you are missing. I will tell you right now that it is medical evidence. This is such a simple concept to talk about but in practice, it’s not so easy.
In a nutshell, in order to file a winning claim for combat-related PTSD you must have a Combat Action Ribbon that shows you were involved in a combat situation, you need a current diagnosis of PTSD (which I was missing for years) and you need to fill out your stressor statement.
VA will concede that what you are saying in your stressor statement is true and this is where a little of the benefit of the doubt goes to the veteran comes into play.
I never had an actual diagnosis of PTSD but I had plenty of mentions, symptoms, hints and a handful of other mental health problems that are associated with PTSD.
I am going to take you onto the computer and show you the cliff notes version of how I filed a Va Claim for PTSD and lost and then I am going to show you where I won.