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Many people are not aware of how important it is to be connected with the VA. Here is the Matrix why you should be.

This website is NOT FOR TREATMENT.  It is An Accumulation of Information found on many websites that are linked to. You too can “Google It” just as I did. It is up to you to know how you approach your health care and disabilities with the VA. Everyone is not the same so every individual will have a different way of achieving their own outcome.

There is a Health Care Side of the VA and a Compensation Disability Side of the VA. All veterans need Health Care but all veterans thank God do not have a service-connected disability.  The VA Blog has some tips for Filing for a VA Disability. The first sentence speaks volumes “Filing the first claim for disability compensation can be a stressful experience. “ You do NOT file anything without a VSO. See the second step.  You have to understand VASRD (Veteran Affairs Schedule for Rating Disabilities).  The VA Follows this Code of Federal Regulations: 38 CFR Book C, Schedule for Rating Disabilities. The parts for Mental Disorders are  CFR-38 4.125 through 130 For PTSD you must know about DSM-5.

You are facing a federal bureaucracy to prove you have a service-connected disability. There will be disappointments and roadblocks. When they deny your claim you will refile. Be persistent. Do not be discouraged and stop. It takes time. Be honest, speak out, be consistent.

You’re ready now that you know about 38 CFR 4.14  VASARD and DSM-5.


This 11 step guide is for any contact with the VA for any disability. The first step is about MST.

You can help by sending in your own tip. Contact me. View our Tip’s by Veterans Page.

First: About MST

  • This is the VA Promise to MST Victims.Treatment for any physical or mental health conditions related to a Veteran’s experiences of MST is FREE. No documentation of the MST experience or VA disability compensation rating is required. Some Veterans can receive this free MST-related care even if they are not eligible for other VA care. MST can occur on or off base and while a service member—man or woman—is on or off duty.”  There is absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain by contacting an MST Coordinator.
  • The VA is very serious about giving health care to MST Victims.
  • Every VA health care facility has an MST Coordinator, who you should call as soon as you are ready to.
  • The VA has a TOP 10 Program for MST.
  • It does not matter how long ago the MST took place.
  • Follow the VA Guidelines for MST.
  • The VA provides a PDF about what markers they are asking for. Print that list then start writing on it how they apply to you when the MST took place. Do it with someone. Two heads are better than one. Many times the MST takes place while in transit or right before a transfer. Any family member can help you. Refresh your memory with your Military Records: How to get your Military Records.
  • The VA looks at MST as an event NOT a disability. File for a disability for every physical and mental injury caused by the MST and all other service-connected disabilities. PTSD is not the only thing to file for. How were you hurt when you were attacked? What are your Effects and Aftermath of being raped? What are the injuries and wounds caused by rape?
  • The VA is very aware of Chronic Pain that women suffer.  It will cause depression. It would be rated as mental health disorders. You do NOT file anything without a VSO. See the second step.
  • Some Victims of MST experienced violent attacks where blunt force trauma caused Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) The VA tries to combine TBI with PTSD since they have similar symptoms. File for TBI as a separate disability when you file for PTSD caused by MST. TBI Causes Headaches, Blurred vision, Hearing problems, Difficulty speaking, Dizziness, Changes in your sense of taste or smell, Difficulty concentrating or remembering things, Repeating yourself, Becoming easily angry or frustrated. There are many Videos on YouTube to help you.
  • 2nd time I have said this: You have to understand VASRD (Veteran Affairs Schedule for Rating Disabilities).  If you have multiple disability ratings, the VA uses them to calculate your combined VA disability rating.  38 CFR Book C, Schedule for Rating Disabilities
  • The VA is calling for you to be Re-Evaluated for Previously Denied MST Claims. Simply call your regional office to speak to an MST Coordinator. Send any new evidence when you request your re-evaluation. Find the VSOs, MST Coordinators, or Women Veterans Coordinators near you.
  • You are NOT ALONE … victims of MST, have Thoughts and Feelings and Reasoning. Learn more about Self Defense The goal:  STOP the attack. INCAPACITATE the suspect.  FLEE to safety.  Get Treatment for MST.  For some, it helps to Make A Connection.

Second: If you have any service-connected disability do this before applying for Health Care.

  • Search for Veterans Service Organizations VSO in your area to start a disability claim. They act on your behalf in the preparation, presentation, and prosecution of claims for VA benefits (38 U.S.C. 5902, 5903, and 5904). The VA is a bureaucracy full of paperwork and steps we must take. Contact these professionals on how to deal with the VA.
  • Tell the VSO you are the victim of MST and you want to file a claim for PTSD and all the complications we discussed in FIRST STEP above.
  • My VSO did not require a Fully Developed Claim. I think submitting written evidence along with your claim would be helpful. The VSO does type a paragraph about your disability on the form. All my evidence was my physical and mental condition the rest was what I told the VA.
  • Have a LONG discussion with your VSO about your injuries.  File for as many disabilities that you are entitled to. Don’t make them up. Now is the time to talk about how you want to commit suicide. You might have been exposed to an environment where you served that might have given you a disability. Your VSO will have a list.
  • When you apply for a disability the VA sends you a letter to go to an appointment with a specialist for an exam for each disability. Your Primary Health Care Physician does not make these disability exams.
  • Never miss an appointment the VA makes for you. NEVER MISS APPOINTMENTS Period.  Shit happens so call to cancel to reschedule. They see it as “you do not care so why should they”.
  • These VA appointments are to prove or disprove your disability. The VA will a provide health care for them. Talk long and loud about what is wrong with you. Take a loved one with you to these appointments. Let them speak for you too. The specialist might prescribe treatment, however, they are there to prove or disprove your disability.
  • If the VA agrees you have a service-connected disability you will be given a C&P Exam. Be prepared for these C&P Exams. If they turn your disability down before or after the C&P Exam return to the VSO to refile. This is common practice. Not sure if this is a delay tactic or to see if you are serious.
  • Veterans are responsible for adhering to many deadlines throughout the claims and appeals process. When these deadlines are not met, veterans might not be able to continue with their claim or appeal, resulting in closed cases and lost effective dates. The VSO helps you with this however this is too important to trust someone else.
  • VA Math.  Let’s say you are rated at 90% you might have to get another disability rated at least 30% or more to be given a total of 100% disability. Yep, it is hard to explain. Your disabilities can total 140 and they give you 90%. The process of VA math always considers the highest rating first, and then moves through the remaining disability ratings in order of greatest to least for VA benefits. Also, the VA only considers percentages in increments of 10. This is why 44% is rounded down to 40%.

 

Third: A PTSD rating is not that easy to get. You have to live it to prove it.

  • Take this PTSD Screening test.
  • You must meet certain criteria to be diagnosed with PTSD according to DSM-5 PTSD Diagnosis Tests. 
  • When you meet with a Mental Health Specialist / Social Worker / Doctor spill your guts and heart out to them. You might go to 10 or more meetings before they start the Therapy For PTSD.
  • Read about PTSD and Complex PTSD for more insight.

Fourth: Here is how the VA rates PTSD. See if you are living it.

Fifth: PTSD PHYSICALLY changes your brain.

Our Neurotransmitters respond to threats allowing our Amygdala to make us relive the trauma caused by PTSD. This is something I learned in a PTSD Group.  I thought I was crazy. Now you know you are NOT CRAZY Either: You truly hear, see, feel, smell, taste what happened created by our neurotransmitter in our Amygdala. Talk to your VA Counselor about this. Talk to a professional about this. Read more about this.

Sixth: We all need Health Care but as you see it is step six.

  • Now SIGN UP for Health Care online or go to the Business Office at your local VA Clinic or Hospital.
  • Once you are signed up go to the front desk and tell them you are a new patient and it is URGENT YOU TALK TO THE MST Coordinator who will guide you for care and treatment caused by MST.
  • The VA will provide you with a Primary Health Care Physician and send you a card in the mail with the appointment date and time. Tell this doctor “EVERYTHING”  on your list that is medically and mentally wrong with you. Do not hold back. Now is the time to talk about how you want to commit suicide.
  • IMPORTANT… This doctor is required to ask if you experienced MST. If you are not alone and cannot talk about it in front of that person go back by yourself ASAP. If you have already talked to the MST Coordinator a note should already be seen on your medical records. THAT IS A GOOD THING.
  • When the Primary Health Care Physician asks questions about your health do not say “Oh.  I’m ok.” Talk about it… Tell it like it is. Do not hold back.  Always be truthful and living it.
  • Here is where it is a bit confusing. Tell this doctor what disabilities you have applied for. The disability appointments the VA sends you to are NOT about your health issues. It is to prove or disprove you have a disability.
  • Ask this doctor for Health Care for your disabilities. These appointments provide more evidence to prove your disability. Your Primary Care Physician has NOTHING WHAT SO EVER TO DO WITH YOUR DISABILITY RATING. They will provide health care for it but they will tell you the benefits ratings etc are on the other side of the VA Bureaucracy.

Seventh: “Memory? I wish I had one.” Depend on being organized.

  • Some VETS say write a daily journal. If you’re concerned about privacy password to protect it in a folder or free cloud.
  • I did not know this… A fellow vet gave this tip about the BLUE BUTTONS on MyHealtheVet. You see that is why you must send your tips.
  • Keep all the letters, forms, documents in an accordion folder, and create a file system. You are not going to believe how much paperwork you are going to have.
  • Do not ignore what the VA sends to you. Take it to your VSO if you do not understand it. You will be given handouts pamphlets brochures from many sources. You cannot trust your memory.
  • Write Notes on the back of the First Page of every letter you get from the VA. Write about the who what why where when how issues and what actions you have to take or took.
  • The VA is very big on burying you with paperwork. They send 5 to 10 or more pages per letter. Staple them together in numeric order. Write the date you received it at the TOP of the first page.  Be organized to find it quickly. Take it with you to every VSO and VA appointment.
  • Get an account on My HealtheVet . Also, get an account on VA.gov as another gateway to the system.

Eighth: Talk to other vets.

Start now talking to Veterans about their experiences with the VA. When you go to your appointments there is a lot of hurry-up-wait in rooms with other veterans like you. Talk to them. Exchange information. Hear their story and tell your story. There is a wealth of information sitting next to you or you can give information to the next veteran.  We are all brothers and sisters. I am not saying believe what you hear but check it out with your VSO or Doctors to find the truth.

Social Media has many groups about Vets Helping Vets but I have seen way too much anger in them, misguided information, and people actually lying about the VA. Use it at your own risk.

Ninth: SSI

As a veteran rated 100% P&T, you can expedited processing for Social Security Disability Benefits.  You can receive compensation from the VA and SS at the same time. I am too old to apply for SS Disability Benefits so I have no further information. I have heard other vets say it is easy and only takes 30 days.

Tenth: Caregivers

Have someone become your Caregiver.  Caregivers are given compensation. You must be rated 70% or more to qualify.

Am I a “Caregiver”?

Often people do not identify themselves as a “caregiver.” They are daughters, wives, husbands, sons, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, partners, and friends. Caregivers manage a wide range of responsibilities for which they’re being compensated. If you do get a caregiver give them this web address to see what you have had to deal with all these years.

Eleventh: VA Pays for Past and Present Emergency Care

If you are paying a hospital bill or turned into a debt collector for Emergency Care outside of the VA System the VA must pay for it now.  It helps to call the VA within 24 hours after treatment by the phone number on the back of your VA ID. However, if you did not call they still must pay. It was Illegal for the VA to refuse to pay. On September 9, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) ruled in a case styled Wolfe v. Wilkie, that VA’s 2018 reimbursement regulation violates the Emergency Care Fairness Act of 2010 (ECFA) that requires VA to reimburse veterans for the emergency medical expenses they incur at non-VA facilities that are not covered by the veteran’s private insurance.

If you need any help with any of the above and have no one to turn to CALL the Veteran Crisis Line:
Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1
  • A crisis can lead to suicide. Call Them. They will help you.
  • This free support is Confidentially Available every day, 24/7
  • And serves All Veterans All Service members National Guard and Reserves and Their family members and friends

GOOD LUCK AND BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.

The VA is here to help us. When you make contact with anyone in the VA be respectful. Never lie to anyone at the VA. Never do anything that is considered illegal such as theft or fraud. If you feel triggered let them know and they will help you. The VA is not trying to deny anything you are entitled to. They freely give all the information, you will find here, on the VA Websites. You just have to look for it.  Here is the best link to access THE VA.

You can now view the first page of this website.
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