CP done. Here are results.

MoparFin

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
The claimant's responses on the PHQ-9 produced a score of 16 - in the "Moderately - Severe" range A a 37 y.old Vet, a husband and father, lives with the family, works as a safety manager. He was medically discharged in 2015 due to his spine problems. He states that since he had a surgery for a herniated disc in 2014 his medical condition went worse and he has been suffering from pain and inability to perform his duties as husband and father. HE reports being irritable, angry, dysphoric, having problems dealing with others, becoming secluded, also suffering from guilt and shame. He reports continuous issues at his work places - was fired in 2017 for being rude to the supervisors, now has verbal reprimands for 'harsh" treatment of the staff. Since Sept 2018 he has been evaluated and then treated for the DX of Depressive Disorder and also the DX of Adjustment Disorder at the VA system - the tx is ongoing - see the CPRS.
____________________________________________________ _________________________ _
Given the claimant's presentation and history, and considering his records, the undersigned opines: The claimant meets criteria for Major Depressive Disorder unspecified and it is more likely than not that the claimant's condition diagnosed as above has developed in response to his struggle with Lumbar Radiculopathy .

Judging by this statement, I am thinking I will get 30%

Occupational and social impairment with occasional decrease in work efficiency and intermittent periods of inability to perform occupational tasks, although generally functioning satisfactorily, with normal routine behavior, self-care and conversation


Thoughts?
 

Jfort

Registered Member
I would have to disagree with you thinking %30 I'd be more apt to saying around %60 or %70 of course just my oppion
 

MoparFin

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
I would have to disagree with you thinking %30 I'd be more apt to saying around %60 or %70 of course just my oppion

Hopefully you are right!!! I was going by just the verbiage though. Someone had posted a chart that had this exact wording listed at 30%.
 

tony292

PEB Forum Veteran
General Rating Formula for Mental Disorders:

Total occupational and social impairment, due to such symptoms as:
gross impairment in thought processes or communication;
persistent delusions or hallucinations; grossly inappropriate
behavior; persistent danger of hurting self or others; intermittent
inability to perform activities of daily living (including maintenance
of minimal personal hygiene); disorientation to time or place; memo
loss for names of close relatives, own occupation, or own name 100%

Occupational and social impairment, with deficiencies in most areas,
such as work, school, family relations, judgment, thinking, or mood,
due to such symptoms as: suicidal ideation; obsessional rituals
which interfere with routine activities; speech intermittently illogical,
obscure, or irrelevant; near-continuous panic or depression affecting
the ability to function independently, appropriately and effectively;
impaired impulse control (such as unprovoked irritability with periods
of violence); spatial disorientation; neglect of personal appearance and
hygiene; difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances (including
work or a worklike setting); inability to establish and maintain
effective relationships 70%

Occupational and social impairment with reduced reliability and
productivity
due to such symptoms as: flattened affect; circumstantial,
circumlocutory, or stereotyped speech; panic attacks more than once
a week; difficulty in understanding complex commands; impairment
of short- and long-term memory (e.g., retention of only highly learned
material, forgetting to complete tasks); impaired judgment; impaired
abstract thinking; disturbances of motivation and mood; difficulty in
establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships 50%

Occupational and social impairment with occasional decrease in work
efficiency and intermittent periods of inability to perform occupational
tasks
(although generally functioning satisfactorily, with routine
behavior, self-care, and conversation normal), due to such symptoms
as: depressed mood, anxiety, suspiciousness, panic attacks (weekly or
less often), chronic sleep impairment, mild memory loss (such as
forgetting names, directions, recent events) 30%

Occupational and social impairment due to mild or transient symptoms
which decrease work efficiency and ability to perform occupational
tasks only during periods of significant stress, or; symptoms controlled
by continuous medication 10%

A mental condition has been formally diagnosed, but symptoms are not
severe enough either to interfere with occupational and social
functioning or to require continuous medication0%
 

tony292

PEB Forum Veteran
Here’s what you need to do.

1. Ask your current psych doctor who has been treating you to fill out a DBQ.
2. Comb through your records and find statements in your medical notes that talk about some of the examples of higher rated criteria. For example, suicidal thoughts/plans, specific examples of “inability” or “difficulty” establishing and maintains relationships, difficulty in work or work like setting... panic attacks...etc.
3. Once you have gathered these examples spell the out carefully in a VARR and you’ll likely end up with an increase.

I submitted a VARR and got my MH rating increased form 50 to 70. Search the site for “VARR that worked” for more details.
 

PEBMember2017

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Hopefully you are right!!! I was going by just the verbiage though. Someone had posted a chart that had this exact wording listed at 30%.
Unfortunately, Jfort is incorrect. That's rating criteria for 30 percent disability to the T.
 

oddpedestrian

Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Negative we don't really know because you didn't list all the symptoms the examiner checked. Question four and the symptoms need to line up I have the "occasional decrease" checked but I'm 70% because the symptoms supported that rating. The examiners are just all over the place with these exams I've seen total impairment checked with only a few symptoms on the 30% range, It sucks but the rater can land anywhere when this happens.
 

MoparFin

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Here is this:

b. Relevant Occupational and Educational history (pre-military, military, and post-military): He served from 2003-2015, medically discharged ( cervical and back problems), since that he has been working as a security manager, changed companies, has reprimands from his supervisors for his "harsh" treatment of others- he agrees with the critique but states that he feels irritable and angry due to the pain and physical limits and cannot adequately control his reactions and responses. He was fired from one his jobs - in Nov 2017- for disrespecting his direct supervisor and the next level supervisor (reportedly, called each of them an "idiot" or something to that effect)

[X] Depressed mood [X] Anxiety [X] Chronic sleep impairment [X] Difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships [X] Difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances, including work or a work like setting [X] Impaired impulse control, such as unprovoked irritability with periods of violence

4. Behavioral observations ------------------------- A 37 y.old male, looks older than his chronological age, appears irritable and upset, no other issues in his MS, no avh, no S/H/D
 

PEBMember2017

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
As @oddpedestrian pointed out, those symptoms are all over the map and can align to a 30, 50, or 70 percent rating. The key is the VA Rater is "supposed" to assign the highest rating available IF the evidence on the DBQ supports the bulk of that associated symptomology corresponds to a certain higher percentage (when they overlap). That of course doesn't always happen.

However, based on what you had provided earlier, it did appear that the bulk of the evidence supported a 30 percent rating as per the VASRD.
 
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MoparFin

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
So....guess I need to look at it as a minimum of 30, possibly higher. Seems that of the symptoms listed I have 3 listed in 30%, 1 out of 50%, and 2 out of 70%.
 

PEBMember2017

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
So....guess I need to look at it as a minimum of 30, possibly higher. Seems that of the symptoms listed I have 3 listed in 30%, 1 out of 50%, and 2 out of 70%.
Yes, breaking it down that way *could* follow in the similar mindset of a rater, UNLESS you had other additional medical and lay evidence that overall supports a higher rating. I was hoping @oddpedestrian could shed light on where in writing it states the VA is supposed to go with the higher rating. I am aware of the "preponderance of evidence" and "benefit of the doubt" clauses, but you still see veterans run into the need to appeal.
 

oddpedestrian

Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
I wouldn't accept 30 here and would appeal if it's proposed, the symptoms support more 50% the entire disability is around "social and occupational impairment" based on whats checked here I believe the evidence supports higher than 30%. The anxiety and depressed mood are redundant symptoms to a PTSD claim as its already implied its the other three that matter.
 

PEBMember2017

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
I wouldn't accept 30 here and would appeal if it's proposed, the symptoms support more 50% the entire disability is around "social and occupational impairment" based on whats checked here I believe the evidence supports higher than 30%. The anxiety and depressed mood are redundant symptoms to a PTSD claim as its already implied its the other three that matter.
I wouldn't either, and I didn't mean to default to such a position, but if you do continue to have evidence that supports that higher rating, you need to go after the rating and benefits you both deserve and earned.
 

Rfaber

Registered Member
My first comp and pen results were very similar to yours however it started with Occupational and social impairment due to mild or transient symptoms. And I was rated at 50%. That being said it's hard to determine your case. If you're thinking 30% that's great, because I think you'll be surprised when you get 50% or more. Also I feel your pain, I'm going through a MEB/PEB and just got re-evaluated. Good Luck!
 

MoparFin

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
So far, VA.gov says evidence was reviewed 3/20. Not other update since that. Expected completion date is September sometime. Claim was started 2/4/19.

Thank you and Good luck to you Rfaber!
 

MoparFin

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Well. Claim status on Ebenefits now says Review of Evidence and estimated completion date is 8/19-12/19. It was previously at Prep for Decision.
 
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