Playing the Claim Game


I know that my posts have been sporadic and far apart lately. I have to say, that filing my Comp & Pen claim took just about everything out of me. With all of the real life, day-to-day drama that is this fiasco I like to call my life, I just had nothing to give. So many emotions and turmoil, that I just didn’t know how to put it into words.

I have been in a serious depression/funk for weeks. Of course that is to be expected, but it is hard to deal with. My daughter officially moved out about a month ago, and I have been going through the Empty Nest Syndrome on top of everything else. I still haven’t been able to pack up her stuff, I just look at it and want to cry. My baby girl is all grown up, and making so many mistakes, and I can’t save her. I just have to let her make them, and be there when she needs me.

In the midst of all of this, I got a letter from the VA during the last week of October. They stated that they had received all of my detailed statements, evidence and medical records (256 pages worth), but they needed more information. Let me state again, they said they had received my statements, medical records, buddy statement, and medical records. And I do have killer evidence, if Joan does say so herself.

So, what was it they needed further from me? They wanted a detailed statement, giving all of the details of the MST, and how it caused the PTSD, anxiety and so forth. Did I mention they said they already had this? They wanted any evidence I could give in regards to the rape in Ft Gordon, but she told me on the phone she already had all of that. Then they wanted my medical records, that they stated they already had. They wanted detailed accounts of how all of the episodes of MST had affected me, and it would be beneficial if I had ever been reported for child abuse/neglect or been committed for substance abuse or anything of that nature. That was honestly in the letter. Luckily for me, my dad and sister DID try to have me committed for substance abuse long before I had my daughter, but they were unsuccessful in that mission.

Joan told me to calm down, and just write another statement, answering the 3 page letter point by point, and warned me not to take a tone. Oh she knows me too well. So, on Halloween, I set aside the entire day, and responded, point by point. It took me 6 hours, and it was about 6 pages when I was done. The life was just sucked right out of me after that. I am sure there will be more letters, and more repeating myself in return statements, but that is the price I have to pay.

But the thing that really got me, and it got Joan too, was when a harsh guy from the American Legion in Des Moines called, and left a horrible message on my answering machine. I need to explain that Joan is my 1st power of attorney in dealing with the VA, the Legion is secondary, but they bypassed her. The message was asking for Mr Brigid (you would understand if you knew my real name, but that is my secret). Then the message went on to state that they were calling, because the VA wanted to know why it was I was filing a claim. I listened to the message 4 times, and each time I got more angrier. I called Joan, played the message for her, and she got even more mad than I was. She called him the next day, faxed him her copy of my POA, and explained that in the future, he needed to be sure of the sex of the individual. And also, due to the ‘extreme sensitive nature of the claim’ that his message was very disturbing to me. He immediately caught that I was an MST survivor, and felt like a cad. Joan was very kind to him, and educated him to make sure he also checked what the claim was about before attacking the next poor soul. THANK YOU JOAN.

My therapist is gathering all of my 10+ years of treatment records to send to the VA, and I have now requested all of my oncology records and hospital records. We decided to add the cancer to the claim, as the stress factor contributed greatly to my cancer, and reduced my chances of survival, so I need all of those records as well. The nice part about that is in those records, it references my suicide attempt while I was in chemotherapy (which is also in my military medical records).

My therapist decided that it was time to send me to a hypnotherapist, because I have had severe intestinal issues since February, and all tests have been done that can be. It is stress, but is debilitating at times. As luck would have it, the hypnotherapist is just like me, it is like talking to myself. Just imagine, 2 of me in the world? SCARY! This woman does what is called medical hypnosis, which is used as pain management. I will reiterate that I am not on any medications for anything, those pesky little paradoxal side effects do kind of scare me too much to try anything.

Would you like to know what my hypnotherapist does as a side job? You won’t believe it, because I couldn’t. She does Comp and Pen analysis here for the VA. Of course, she can’t do mine, because it is a conflict of interest, but the VA has already contacted her about a female MST victim in the community who recently filed a claim, and wanted to set up an appointment with her. We are fairly certain that would be me. Much to both of our chagrin, she can’t do it, but she said if she could, I would get full benefits if it were up to here. That is somewhat comforting and promising.

That is about all I have to say right now, I was just feeling a little guilty for not posting lately, but it was just too painful. I promise to post more regularly, and try to go into greater detail of this Comp and Pen process. But I ask for your patience if I slack off again.

Brigid

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7 Responses to “Playing the Claim Game”

  1. Jerry Says:

    You should also e-mail your Senator and reread your denial of benefits from your C&P exam. I found many descrepancies and included that in my appeal. The advocate who works for the VA did not pull all of my medical records so there was know way the C&P examiner could make an accurate decision. My case is in appeal and it should be settled soon. My VA psychologist is an alcoholic with an arrest record so I don’t know why he would be allowed to make a decision about my PTSD being Service Connected. The C&P examiner told me she was a Greish (Shayman) and my fate lie in her hands. If this isn’t settled soon I will go to the media and file suit in Federal Court. There is still alot of prejudice where this kind of abuse is concerned. contact the Va in Washington via the iris site with your concerns and they will be in touch with the Regional Office handling your case. God Bless.

  2. enemyinthewire Says:

    Jerry,

    Always great to hear from you!! I’m so glad that your is moving forward and I will keep you in my prayers that the outcome is good.

    Brigid hasn’t done her C&P exam yet – but I have no doubt that they will find in her favor. She has documentation that most people would kill for.

    I appreciate your recommendation of contacting a Senator – but I would like to advise people to be incredibly careful. My experience with a Congressman’s staff was a nightmare! She contacted one of the people whose name she saw in my paperwork. She passed my file, unedited, all over Washington DC. God only knows how far that was spread or how much my privacy has now been compromised! The sad thing is…all I wanted was for them to see where my claim was in the VBA…since it had been over 6 months. They sought ME out…I had mentioned something in a meeting to the Congressman about the back log and he asked me if he could check on the status. It was BS…it was awful! I’m not recommending against that step…but if anyone takes that step they should be very, very careful and very clear!

    VSO’s are good and VSO’s are bad. We all know this. It really helps if you can find someone local that can advocate on your behalf. Yup, the guy who called MR. Brigid didn’t mean to be an idiot…but he was. On the up side…he really understood the mistake he had made, he was horrified by it…I promise you, he will always look twice next time. He got an education, in a kind manner, but an education none the less. Isn’t that our role here…to educate, to inform. So, in that case, Brigid you are really making a difference – because someone who needs to know how to do this, really now understands how to do this! He will NEVER be an insensitive jerk like that again.

    To quote Jay – We are like seeds. One tree grows from one seed – but then that tree releases thousands of seeds over it’s lifetime. Each of those seeds makes a tree – which releases thousands more seeds. It is one seed at a time…but one and one and one and one….changes the world!

    Joan

  3. Jerry Says:

    I’m really suprised that they would be passing your medical records around Washington with the strict HIPPA privacy rules in place. A Senator can write a letter on your behalf to the VA. John McCain wrote one for me as I do alot of political posting on different web sites. Brigid may be turned down and have to file for an appeal. I never thought I would have to with all of the documentation that I have. I did recieve an invitation to attend Mark Kirks inaugural reception in DC on 11/29/10. I have made contact with Susan Burke to join the class action law suit. They plan to file the paperwork in Feb.

  4. enemyinthewire Says:

    Jerry,

    There is always a possibility that things go wrong and we get turned down or we don’t get what we deserve. I hope they don’t put her through that but right now everything looks incredibly positive!

    Yeah – I would have figured that too – but apparently this woman isn’t exactly the quickest bunny in the hutch. I have tried complaining up her chain-of-command and haven’t gotten far – but you just wait until I get my hands on that Congressman! He is going to hear it from me directly as there are many occasions for us to run into one another.

    Joan

  5. Jerry Says:

    That’s why it’s good for us to correspond. We learn more. You must have an important position if your mingling with politicans. Have a restful weekend. Regards, Jerry

  6. enemyinthewire Says:

    Jerry,

    I have to LOL at that one. Nope, I am a bottom feeding scum sucker when it comes to my position. I just happen to be a Commander for the local American Legion post. As a result – I have friends who are in relatively important positions. Every now and again I have the opportunity to make myself a pain in their butts! I consider it a gift of mine…to be a thorn in the side that just doesn’t go away very easy 🙂

    Joan

  7. Jerry Says:

    It’s good to have fiends in important positions and if you have to give them a hard time once in a while, so be it. Peace

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