SouthEast Vocational Experts

provides vocational consulting services to the community, schools, Government, and also in the form of litigation support, vocational assessments, and testimony in court. Vocational assessments include psychometric testing, loss of earning capacity calculations, labor market surveys, and transferable skills analysis, as well as specific job analysis in order to determine essential functions of an occupation.

Current areas of practice include IDEA Transitional Evaluations, IEP review, WOIA Transitional Evaluations, Return to Worker Services, Personal Injury PI, workers’ compensation, long term disability LTD, medical malpractice, product liability, ADA discrimination, and marital dissolution.

We also provide Veterans Disability Services in Disability Evaluations and Total Disability Individual Unemployability Evaluations.

http://sevocationalexperts.com/

http://transitional-evaluation.com/

http://veteransdisability-vocationalexpert.us/

 

Georgia Vocational Evaluation Disability Evaluation Vocational Expert

Divorce, Veteran, LTD, SSA/SSI –

SouthEast Vocational Experts: Leaders in Forensic Mental Health & Vocational Evaluations.

Disability Evaluation process and procedures differ depending on the Venue as well as the issued involved in the case.

this will cover the major aspects – each case is different and therefore will have different needs, we do not have a one size fits all assessment process.

Disability Evaluation – Forensic VOCATIONAL EVALUATION  PROCESS

1) Document Review – General list:

Hospital, Physician, Psychiatrist, Psychologist, & Counselor records, Disability Forms.

2)  We Use Both a Structured and Unstructured Diagnostic  Vocational Interview

This will be a review of the Veteran’s history and will also outline the Veteran’s age, education, current work status, past work experience, skills, current medical & psychological impairment(s), treatments, and physical & psychological limitations.

(This can be in-person or through SKYPE)

3)  Assessment of Current Information and determining if more documentation is needed.

– If needed we will create Medical and/or Psychological Source forms and/or Mental Residual Functional Capacity (MRFC), Physical Residual Functional Capacity (RFC).  This will be the disabled individual or their Representative responsibility to get completed and returned to us.

4)  Vocational & Forensic Mental Health Evaluation (Psychometric Assessments) (most cases will require one or more tests)

Based on the case we will determine what assessments need to be completed. We will assess not only aptitudes but also may measure Attention, Concentration (ADHD), Memory, Cognitive Abilities, IQ, Mental Health / Psychiatric Measures (Depression, Bi-Polar, Acute Anxiety,  GAD, PTSD, Schizophrenia, etc.)

5)  Perform a Vocational Diagnostic Assessment of Residual Employability.

this includes a Transferable Skills Analysis

6)   Labor Market Research (if needed)

Private, local, state, and federal government labor market studies to determine if any significant number of jobs exist that the claimant can perform in the local and national labor market.

The results of the vocational evaluation enable the Vocational Expert to render an opinion as to the employability of the permanently injured veteran’s and their ability to perform substantial gainful work activity based on quantifiable, accurate, and current information using Veteran’s Disability standards.

SouthEast Vocational Experts and

Tennessee Vocational Expert Disability Evaluation

– Divorce, Veteran, LTD, SSA/SSI –

SouthEast Vocational Experts: Leaders in Forensic Mental Health & Vocational Evaluations.

Disability Evaluation process and procedures differ depending on the Venue as well as the issued involved in the case.

this will cover the major aspects – each case is different and therefore will have different needs, we do not have a one size fits all assessment process.

Disability Evaluation – Forensic VOCATIONAL EVALUATION  PROCESS

1) Document Review – General list:

Hospital, Physician, Psychiatrist, Psychologist, & Counselor records, Disability Forms.

2)  We Use Both a Structured and Unstructured Diagnostic  Vocational Interview

This will be a review of the Veteran’s history and will also outline the Veteran’s age, education, current work status, past work experience, skills, current medical & psychological impairment(s), treatments, and physical & psychological limitations.

(This can be in-person or through SKYPE)

3)  Assessment of Current Information and determining if more documentation is needed.

– If needed we will create Medical and/or Psychological Source forms and/or Mental Residual Functional Capacity (MRFC), Physical Residual Functional Capacity (RFC).  This will be the disabled individual or their Representative responsibility to get completed and returned to us.

4)  Vocational & Forensic Mental Health Evaluation (Psychometric Assessments) (most cases will require one or more tests)

Based on the case we will determine what assessments need to be completed. We will assess not only aptitudes but also may measure Attention, Concentration (ADHD), Memory, Cognitive Abilities, IQ, Mental Health / Psychiatric Measures (Depression, Bi-Polar, Acute Anxiety,  GAD, PTSD, Schizophrenia, etc.)

5)  Perform a Vocational Diagnostic Assessment of Residual Employability.

this includes a Transferable Skills Analysis

6)   Labor Market Research (if needed)

Private, local, state, and federal government labor market studies to determine if any significant number of jobs exist that the claimant can perform in the local and national labor market.

The results of the vocational evaluation enable the Vocational Expert to render an opinion as to the employability of the permanently injured veteran’s and their ability to perform substantial gainful work activity based on quantifiable, accurate, and current information using Veteran’s Disability standards.

VA TDIU Total Disability Individual Unemployment – Vocational Expert Services for Veterans Disability

 A veteran is entitled to a 100% disability (Total Disability) rating if he can establish that his service-connected disability[ies] preclude him from substantial gainful employment, Individual Unemployment

We have been providing Vocational and Occupational assessments for over 17 years. We have also served as an unbiased expert for the U.S. Government in more than 1,000  cases. We have performed over 3,000 assessments.

We can provide a Vocational Evaluation (Social & Industrial Surveys) in Veteran’s Disability cases to prove Total Disability Individual Un-employability in (TDIU) Cases.

Total Disability & Individual Unemployuability  (TDIU)

VA adjudicator must consider a report documenting the Veteran’s un-employability from a Vocational Expert.

∞ TDIU Vocational Evaluation

A Social & industrial survey (Vocational Evaluation) done by a Vocational Expert can be used as valuable evidence to support a veteran’s TDIU Claim, and help get Faster Decisions.

Many times the VA uses a Social Worker to fill a basic form out, but a Social Worker isn’t an Expert in Medical & Psychological issues in disability nor are they an Expert in Vocational Issues.  This is why you need this performed by a Vocational Expert.

Forensic Vocational Experts have the clinical knowledge and expertise to bridge the gap between a person’s medical & psychological limitations and how they will affect the persons employability, so that the VA Adjudicator will be informed as to how the medical and psychological limitations affect a person’s employability.


Vocational Expert in Veterans Disability & TDIU Assessment

 Vocational Expert


We serve Veterans with disabilities & Veteran Advocates nationwide, including clients near all VA regional offices and their areas of jurisdiction: places such as Montgomery, Alabama; Houston, Texas; Dallas, Texas; Anchorage, Alaska; Phoenix, Arizona; Little Rock, Arkansas; South Carolina; North Carolina; San diego, California; San Fransisco, California; Los Angeles, California;  Oakland, California;   San Diego, California; Denver, Colorado; Hartford, Connecticut; Wilmington, Delaware, Washington, D.C.; St. Petersburg, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; Honolulu, Hawaii; Boise, Idaho; Chicago, Illinois; Indianapolis, Indiana; Des Moines, Iowa; Wichita, Kansas; Louisville, Kentucky; New Orleans, Louisiana; Togus, Maine; Boston, Massachusetts; Detroit, Michigan; St. Paul, Minnesota; Jackson, Mississippi; St. Louis, Missouri; Ft. Harrison, Montana; Lincoln, Nebraska; Reno, Nevada; Manchester, New Hampshire; Newark, New Jersey; Albuquerque, New Mexico; New York City; Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Fargo, North Dakota; Cleveland, Ohio; Muskogee, Oklahoma; Portland, Oregon; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Providence, Rhode Island; Columbia, South Carolina; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Tampa, Florida; Nashville, Tennessee; Houston and Waco, Texas; Salt Lake City, Utah; White River Junction, Vermont; Roanoke, Virginia; Seattle, Washington; Huntington, West Virginia; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Atlanta, Georgia; Columbus, Georgia; Savannah, Georgia; Jacksonville, Florida; Pensacola, Florida; Mobile, Alabama; and Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Alabama Vocational Expert

– Divorce, Veteran, LTD, SSA/SSI –

SouthEast Vocational Experts: Leaders in Forensic Mental Health & Vocational Evaluations in Alabama.

Disability Evaluation process and procedures differ depending on the Venue as well as the issued involved in the case.

this will cover the major aspects – each case is different and therefore will have different needs, we do not have a one size fits all assessment process.

Disability Evaluation – Forensic VOCATIONAL EVALUATION  PROCESS

1) Document Review – General list:

Hospital, Physician, Psychiatrist, Psychologist, & Counselor records, Disability Forms.

2)  We Use Both a Structured and Unstructured Diagnostic  Vocational Interview

This will be a review of the Veteran’s history and will also outline the Veteran’s age, education, current work status, past work experience, skills, current medical & psychological impairment(s), treatments, and physical & psychological limitations.

(This can be in-person or through SKYPE)

3)  Assessment of Current Information and determining if more documentation is needed.

– If needed we will create Medical and/or Psychological Source forms and/or Mental Residual Functional Capacity (MRFC), Physical Residual Functional Capacity (RFC).  This will be the disabled individual or their Representative responsibility to get completed and returned to us.

4)  Vocational & Forensic Mental Health Evaluation (Psychometric Assessments) (most cases will require one or more tests)

Based on the case we will determine what assessments need to be completed. We will assess not only aptitudes but also may measure Attention, Concentration (ADHD), Memory, Cognitive Abilities, IQ, Mental Health / Psychiatric Measures (Depression, Bi-Polar, Acute Anxiety,  GAD, PTSD, Schizophrenia, etc.)

5)  Perform a Vocational Diagnostic Assessment of Residual Employability.

this includes a Transferable Skills Analysis

6)   Labor Market Research (if needed)

Private, local, state, and federal government labor market studies to determine if any significant number of jobs exist that the claimant can perform in the local and national labor market.

The results of the vocational evaluation enable the Vocational Expert to render an opinion as to the employability of the permanently injured veteran’s and their ability to perform substantial gainful work activity based on quantifiable, accurate, and current information using Veteran’s Disability standards. We provide services nationally as well as in Alabama and the South East.

Quick FACTS – Military Sexual Trauma – MST – PTSD

MILITARY SEXUAL TRAUMA
Disabilities determined by VA to be related to your military service can lead to monthly non-taxable compensation, enrollment in the
VA health care system, a 10-point hiring preference for federal employment and other important benefits. Ask your VA
representative or Veterans Service Organization representative about Disability Compensation, Pension, Health Care, Caregiver
Program, Career Services, Educational Assistance, Home Loan Guaranty, Insurance and/or Dependents and Survivors’ Benefits.
DISABILITY COMPENSATION FOR CONDITIONS RELATED TO
MILITARY SEXUAL TRAUMA (MST)
Disabilities determined by VA to be related to your military service can lead to monthly non-taxable compensation, enrollment in the VA health care system, a 10-point hiring preference for federal employment, and other important benefits. Ask your VA representative or Veterans Service
Organization representative about Disability Compensation, Pension, Health Care, Caregiver Program, Career Services, Educational Assistance, Home Loan Guaranty, Insurance and/or Dependents and Survivors Benefits. Some Veterans may have experienced sexual trauma while serving in the military. These kinds of experiences can affect Veterans’ mental and physical health, even many years later. Veterans can
apply for disability compensation for any current difficulties that are related to their service, including difficulties related to MST.

HOW DOES VA DEFINE MST?
MST is defined by Title 38 U.S. Code 1720D
as “psychological trauma resulting from a physical assault of a sexual nature, battery of a sexual nature, or sexual harassment which occurred while the Veteran was serving on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training.” Sexual harassment is defined as “repeated, unsolicited verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature which is threatening in character.”

ARE VETERANS GRANTED DISABILITY COMPENSATION FOR MST?
Veterans are not granted compensation for the traumatic event itself, but can be granted disability compensation for conditions that result from MST.  Compensation – April 2015
CAN YOU DEVELOP POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS DIS ORDER (PTSD) OR OTHE R MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS AS A RESULT OF MST?
Yes. Exposure to any trauma can potentially result in PTSD or another mental health disorder. PTSD is the most common mental health diagnosis related to experiencing MST.
WHAT EVIDENCE CAN SU PPORT A DISABILITY C LAIM FOR PTSD AS A R ESULT OF MST?
Department of Defense forms used in reporting incidents of sexual assault or harassment, as well as investigative reports during military service are direct evidence to support these claims. However, VA knows that events involving sexual trauma are not always officially reported. Therefore, for PTSD claims related to MST VA has relaxed the evidentiary requirements and looks for “markers” (i.e., signs, events, or circumstances) that provide some indication that the traumatic event happened.
These include, but are not limited to:  Records from law enforcement authorities, rape crisis centers, mental health counseling centers, hospitals, or physicians Pregnancy tests or tests for sexually transmitted diseases Statements from family members, roommates, fellow Servicemembers, clergy members, or counselors Requests for transfer to another military duty assignment. Deterioration in work performance Substance abuse. Episodes of depression, panic attacks, or anxiety without an identifiable cause.  Unexplained economic or social behavioral changes Relationship issues, such as divorce Sexual dysfunction
VA RELAXED THE STAND ARDS OF EVIDENCE FOR COMBAT RELATED PTSD. ARE T HE STANDARDS OF EVIDENC E FOR MST – RELATED PTSD CLAIMS MORE STRINGENT THAN OTHER PTSD CLAIMS?
No. In fact, VA relaxed its evidentiary standard for disability claims related to MST in 2002 to ensure all available evidence supporting these claims is considered. Because military service records may lack corroborating evidence that a stressful event occurred, VA regulations make clear that evidence from non-military sources may be used to corroborate the Veteran’s account of the MST. Further, when direct evidence of an MST is not available, VA may request a medical opinion to consider a Veteran’s account and any “markers” to corroborate the occurrence of the MST event as related to current PTSD symptoms.

CAN PREVIOUSLY DENIE D MST RELATED P TSD DISABILITY CLAIM S BE RE – EVALUATED?
Yes. Increased awareness of MST issues resulted in special training beginning in December 2011 for all VA regional office personnel who process MST-related claims and the mental health clinicians conducting the examinations related to these claims. This ongoing training focuses on discovering “marker” evidence to support the claim. VA wants all Veterans who filed MST-related PTSD claims before December 2011 to receive the benefits of this nationwide training. If your claim was submitted before that date and denied, you can request a re-evaluation from your local VA regional office.
WHAT DO VETERANS NEE D TO DO TO GET A PRE VIOUSLY DENIED MST- RELATED PTSD DISABILITY CLAIM RE – EVALUATED?
Veterans who want VA to review their previously denied MST-related PTSD claim can start by contacting their regional office, calling 1-800-827-1000 or logging into their free eBenefits account at www.eBenefits.va.gov.
CAN VETERANS PROVIDE NEW INFORMATION FOR A RE-EVALUATION OF A PREVIOUSLY DENIED MSTRELATED PTSD DISABILITY CLAIM?
Yes. VBA will accept new evidence to be reviewed when a claim is re-evaluated. It’s best to send any new evidence at the same time as you request a re-evaluation. Veterans Service Organizations, as well as MST specialists and/or Women Veterans Coordinators available at every VA regional office, can help you determine what type of information is best to submit.
DO I NEED TO BE SERVICE CONNECTED FOR MY CONDITIONS RELATED TO MST TO GET TREATMENT?
No. VA provides free health care for physical and mental health conditions related to experiences of MST. No documentation of the MST experiences or disability compensation rating is required. Some Veterans may be able to receive this free MST-related health care even if they are not eligible for other VA care.
HOW CAN YOU APPLY FOR DISABILITY COMPENSATION?
You can apply for disability compensation by completing VA Form 21-526, Veteran’s Application for Compensation and/or Pension. You may also apply online at www.ebenefits.va.gov, or you can appoint an accredited Veterans Service Officer (VSO) to assist you. Male and female MST coordinators are available at every VA regional office to assist Veterans filing claims related to personal assault or MST. You can call 1-800-827-1000, and VA will put you in touch with an MST coordinator, or you can email the MST coordinator at your local regional office from the list of Compensation – April 2015 coordinators located at http://www.benefits.va.gov/benefits/mstcoordinators.asp . For informationabout MST-related treatment, visit ww.mentalhealth.va.gov/msthome.asp.

Overview

Female deep in thought.

Military sexual trauma (MST) is the term that the Department of Veterans Affairs uses to refer to sexual assault or repeated, threatening sexual harassment that occurred while the Veteran was in the military. It includes any sexual activity in which one is involved against one’s will – he or she may have been pressured into sexual activities (for example, with threats of negative consequences for refusing to be sexually cooperative or with implied faster promotions or better treatment in exchange for sex), may have been unable to consent to sexual activities (for example, when intoxicated), or may have been physically forced into sexual activities. Other experiences that fall into the category of MST include unwanted sexual touching or grabbing; threatening, offensive remarks about a person’s body or sexual activities; and/or threatening or unwelcome sexual advances.

Male deep in thought.Both women and men can experience MST during their service. All Veterans seen at Veterans Health Administration facilities are asked about experiences of sexual trauma because we know that any type of trauma can affect a person’s physical and mental health, even many years later. We also know that people can recover from trauma. VA has free services to help Veterans do this. You do not need to have a VA disability rating (i.e., “service connected”) to receive these services and may be able to receive services even if you are not eligible for other VA care. You do not need to have reported the incident(s) when they happened or have other documentation that they occurred.

This website has information about the health care services that VA has available for Veterans who experienced MST.  For information about VA disability compensation for conditions related to MST, please view this fact sheet about Disability Compensation for Personal Assault or Military Sexual Trauma.

Psychiatric Disability

 

In our experience, mental health disabilities tend to be some the most disabling conditions an individual can suffer from, which often prevent them from even being able to do sedentary work.

Mental disabilities including depression, Anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are complex cases that can be further complicated because they often co-exist with PTSD or TBI.Veteran Suffering Mental Illness Psychiatric Disability

Many Veterans suffer from Psychiatric/Mental Health issues. If they are service connected you may wish to have them Objectively Assessed by a Vocational Expert for your Veterans Disability or TDIU Claim.

In general, in order to get VA benefits for a psychiatric disabilities such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, you need to establish the main elements of service-connection between your psychiatric disability and your time in the military.

First, you need to get a current OBJECTIV diagnosis of a mental disability. You must be diagnosed with a mental illness other than a personality disorder. The VA will not grant disability benefits for a personality disorder because they are considered to be a condition you are born with and thus not caused by your time in the military. Second, you need evidence of an in-service occurrence or aggravation of a disease, injury or precipitating event. Third, you must establish a link between the in-service event and the current mental disability.

A mental disability does not have to be your primary disability type in order to get VA benefits. For instance, if you are service-connected for a knee condition and a low back condition that produces such severe chronic pain as to cause depression, then you can get service-connection for the depression secondary

Many Doctors and Psychologist will give you a mental health diagnosis in their notes but do no OBJECTIVE tests or Measures, and therefore your left with Subjective information that the VA and Judge can give little to no weight too.

YOU NEED OBJECTIVE Evidence and we at SouthEast Vocational Experts provide Objective Testing and Assessments.

Florida Vocational Expert Disability Evaluation

– Divorce, Veteran, Disability,  LTD, SSA/SSI –

SouthEast Vocational Experts: Leaders in Forensic Mental Health & Vocational Evaluations.

Disability Evaluation process and procedures differ depending on the Venue as well as the issued involved in the case. We specialize in Psychological Disability Evaluations.

this will cover the major aspects – each case is different and therefore will have different needs, we do not have a one size fits all assessment process.

Disability Evaluation – Forensic VOCATIONAL EVALUATION  PROCESS

1) Document Review – General list:

Hospital, Physician, Psychiatrist, Psychologist, & Counselor records, Disability Forms.

2)  We Use Both a Structured and Unstructured Diagnostic  Vocational Interview

This will be a review of the Veteran’s history and will also outline the Veteran’s age, education, current work status, past work experience, skills, current medical & psychological impairment(s), treatments, and physical & psychological limitations.

(This can be in-person or through SKYPE)

3)  Assessment of Current Information and determining if more documentation is needed.

– If needed we will create Medical and/or Psychological Source forms and/or Mental Residual Functional Capacity (MRFC), Physical Residual Functional Capacity (RFC).  This will be the disabled individual or their Representative responsibility to get completed and returned to us.

4)  Vocational & Forensic Mental Health Evaluation (Psychometric Assessments) (most cases will require one or more tests)

Based on the case we will determine what assessments need to be completed. We will assess not only aptitudes but also may measure Attention, Concentration (ADHD), Memory, Cognitive Abilities, IQ, Mental Health / Psychiatric Measures (Depression, Bi-Polar, Acute Anxiety,  GAD, PTSD, Schizophrenia, etc.)

5)  Perform a Vocational Diagnostic Assessment of Residual Employability.

this includes a Transferable Skills Analysis

6)   Labor Market Research (if needed)

Private, local, state, and federal government labor market studies to determine if any significant number of jobs exist that the claimant can perform in the local and national labor market.

The results of the vocational evaluation enable the Vocational Expert to render an opinion as to the employability of the permanently injured veteran’s and their ability to perform substantial gainful work activity based on quantifiable, accurate, and current information using Veteran’s Disability standards.

 

Florida Vocational Expert

FACTS – Military Sexual Trauma – MST – PTSD

MILITARY SEXUAL TRAUMA
Disabilities determined by VA to be related to your military service can lead to monthly non-taxable compensation, enrollment in the
VA health care system, a 10-point hiring preference for federal employment and other important benefits. Ask your VA
representative or Veterans Service Organization representative about Disability Compensation, Pension, Health Care, Caregiver
Program, Career Services, Educational Assistance, Home Loan Guaranty, Insurance and/or Dependents and Survivors’ Benefits.
DISABILITY COMPENSATION FOR CONDITIONS RELATED TO
MILITARY SEXUAL TRAUMA (MST)
Disabilities determined by VA to be related to your military service can lead to monthly non-taxable compensation, enrollment in the VA health care system, a 10-point hiring preference for federal employment, and other important benefits. Ask your VA representative or Veterans Service
Organization representative about Disability Compensation, Pension, Health Care, Caregiver Program, Career Services, Educational Assistance, Home Loan Guaranty, Insurance and/or Dependents and Survivors Benefits. Some Veterans may have experienced sexual trauma while serving in the military. These kinds of experiences can affect Veterans’ mental and physical health, even many years later. Veterans can
apply for disability compensation for any current difficulties that are related to their service, including difficulties related to MST.

HOW DOES VA DEFINE MST?
MST is defined by Title 38 U.S. Code 1720D as “psychological trauma resulting from a physical assault of a sexual nature, battery of a sexual nature, or sexual harassment which occurred while the Veteran was serving on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training.” Sexual harassment is defined as “repeated, unsolicited verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature which is threatening in character.”

ARE VETERANS GRANTED DISABILITY COMPENSATION FOR MST?
Veterans are not granted compensation for the traumatic event itself, but can be granted disability compensation for conditions that result from MST.  Compensation – April 2015
CAN YOU DEVELOP POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS DIS ORDER (PTSD) OR OTHE R MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS AS A RESULT OF MST?
Yes. Exposure to any trauma can potentially result in PTSD or another mental health disorder. PTSD is the most common mental health diagnosis related to experiencing MST.
WHAT EVIDENCE CAN SU PPORT A DISABILITY C LAIM FOR PTSD AS A R ESULT OF MST?
Department of Defense forms used in reporting incidents of sexual assault or harassment, as well as investigative reports during military service are direct evidence to support these claims. However, VA knows that events involving sexual trauma are not always officially reported. Therefore, for PTSD claims related to MST VA has relaxed the evidentiary requirements and looks for “markers” (i.e., signs, events, or circumstances) that provide some indication that the traumatic event happened.
These include, but are not limited to:  Records from law enforcement authorities, rape crisis centers, mental health counseling centers, hospitals, or physicians Pregnancy tests or tests for sexually transmitted diseases Statements from family members, roommates, fellow Servicemembers, clergy members, or counselors Requests for transfer to another military duty assignment. Deterioration in work performance Substance abuse. Episodes of depression, panic attacks, or anxiety without an identifiable cause.  Unexplained economic or social behavioral changes Relationship issues, such as divorce Sexual dysfunction
VA RELAXED THE STAND ARDS OF EVIDENCE FOR COMBAT RELATED PTSD. ARE T HE STANDARDS OF EVIDENC E FOR MST – RELATED PTSD CLAIMS MORE STRINGENT THAN OTHER PTSD CLAIMS?
No. In fact, VA relaxed its evidentiary standard for disability claims related to MST in 2002 to ensure all available evidence supporting these claims is considered. Because military service records may lack corroborating evidence that a stressful event occurred, VA regulations make clear that evidence from non-military sources may be used to corroborate the Veteran’s account of the MST. Further, when direct evidence of an MST is not available, VA may request a medical opinion to consider a Veteran’s account and any “markers” to corroborate the occurrence of the MST event as related to current PTSD symptoms.

CAN PREVIOUSLY DENIE D MST RELATED P TSD DISABILITY CLAIM S BE RE – EVALUATED?
Yes. Increased awareness of MST issues resulted in special training beginning in December 2011 for all VA regional office personnel who process MST-related claims and the mental health clinicians conducting the examinations related to these claims. This ongoing training focuses on discovering “marker” evidence to support the claim. VA wants all Veterans who filed MST-related PTSD claims before December 2011 to receive the benefits of this nationwide training. If your claim was submitted before that date and denied, you can request a re-evaluation from your local VA regional office.
WHAT DO VETERANS NEE D TO DO TO GET A PRE VIOUSLY DENIED MST- RELATED PTSD DISABILITY CLAIM RE – EVALUATED?
Veterans who want VA to review their previously denied MST-related PTSD claim can start by contacting their regional office, calling 1-800-827-1000 or logging into their free eBenefits account at www.eBenefits.va.gov.
CAN VETERANS PROVIDE NEW INFORMATION FOR A RE-EVALUATION OF A PREVIOUSLY DENIED MSTRELATED PTSD DISABILITY CLAIM?
Yes. VBA will accept new evidence to be reviewed when a claim is re-evaluated. It’s best to send any new evidence at the same time as you request a re-evaluation. Veterans Service Organizations, as well as MST specialists and/or Women Veterans Coordinators available at every VA regional office, can help you determine what type of information is best to submit.
DO I NEED TO BE SERVICE CONNECTED FOR MY CONDITIONS RELATED TO MST TO GET TREATMENT?
No. VA provides free health care for physical and mental health conditions related to experiences of MST. No documentation of the MST experiences or disability compensation rating is required. Some Veterans may be able to receive this free MST-related health care even if they are not eligible for other VA care.
HOW CAN YOU APPLY FOR DISABILITY COMPENSATION?
You can apply for disability compensation by completing VA Form 21-526, Veteran’s Application for Compensation and/or Pension. You may also apply online at www.ebenefits.va.gov, or you can appoint an accredited Veterans Service Officer (VSO) to assist you. Male and female MST coordinators are available at every VA regional office to assist Veterans filing claims related to personal assault or MST. You can call 1-800-827-1000, and VA will put you in touch with an MST coordinator, or you can email the MST coordinator at your local regional office from the list of Compensation – April 2015 coordinators located at http://www.benefits.va.gov/benefits/mstcoordinators.asp . For informationabout MST-related treatment, visit ww.mentalhealth.va.gov/msthome.asp.

 

Overview

Female deep in thought.

Military sexual trauma (MST) is the term that the Department of Veterans Affairs uses to refer to sexual assault or repeated, threatening sexual harassment that occurred while the Veteran was in the military. It includes any sexual activity in which one is involved against one’s will – he or she may have been pressured into sexual activities (for example, with threats of negative consequences for refusing to be sexually cooperative or with implied faster promotions or better treatment in exchange for sex), may have been unable to consent to sexual activities (for example, when intoxicated), or may have been physically forced into sexual activities. Other experiences that fall into the category of MST include unwanted sexual touching or grabbing; threatening, offensive remarks about a person’s body or sexual activities; and/or threatening or unwelcome sexual advances.

Male deep in thought.Both women and men can experience MST during their service. All Veterans seen at Veterans Health Administration facilities are asked about experiences of sexual trauma because we know that any type of trauma can affect a person’s physical and mental health, even many years later. We also know that people can recover from trauma. VA has free services to help Veterans do this. You do not need to have a VA disability rating (i.e., “service connected”) to receive these services and may be able to receive services even if you are not eligible for other VA care. You do not need to have reported the incident(s) when they happened or have other documentation that they occurred.

This website has information about the health care services that VA has available for Veterans who experienced MST.  For information about VA disability compensation for conditions related to MST, please view this fact sheet about Disability Compensation for Personal Assault or Military Sexual Trauma.

Veterans Disability – Case Law

Case Law


VA is not requried to obtain a Vocational Expert Testimony or Industiral Survey to Deny Total Disability Individual Unemployement (TDIU) to deny a Veteran Individual Unemployment. But they must use the Vocational Experts findings in thier opinion!

This is a major difference between VA Adjudication and Social Security ODAR Adjudication. Social Security has to use a Vocational Expert at Step 4 and Step 5.

 


 

Smith v. Shinseki, 2010 U.S. App. Vet. Claims LEXIS 1470 (U.S. App. Vet. Cl., Aug. 11, 2010)
OVERVIEW: The veteran had a combined service-connected disability rating of 80 percent. Although the Board found that his 80 percent combined rating (with at least one disability rated at 40 percent) met the threshold requirements for a TDIU claim, it denied his claim after taking into account his work history, his educational background, and reports from VA medical examiners. While the medical examiners did not suggest that he could perform his previous employment as a laborer in the coal mines or a carpenter, they concluded that he was not prevented from performing light or sedentary jobs. The court rejected the veteran’s argument that VA was required to obtain an industrial survey from a vocational expert to evaluate his claim. Given that a TDIU determination under § 4.16 did not require any analysis of the actual opportunities available in the job market, the court declined to conclude that an industrial survey was “necessary” for that purpose in connection with TDIU claims. Because job market information was not required, the duty to assist under 38 U.S.C.S. § 5103A did not require the VA to provide such information through an industrial survey.

 This is why you need a ∞ TDIU Vocational Evaluation  performed by a Vocational Expert so that the court will have the inforation assessed for them, unlike Social Security which has to use Vocational Experts, 

The VA doesnt, BUT must apply the Vocational Experts opinion to the VA’s Decision.

The Court was left scratching its head as to what jobs this disabled veteran could obtain and work since VA did not address that:In a later case in July 2014 the Appeals Court for Veterans Claims reasoned in McClain v. Gibson that VA must provide a detailed explanation when it decides that a severely disabled veteran is ’employable’ as opposed to unemployable.

 

Evan McLain, Appellant, v. Sloan D. Gibson, Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Appellee.
No. 13-2264
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR VETERANS CLAIMS

2014 U.S. App. Vet. Claims LEXIS 1235   July 17, 2014, Decided

“McClain [Veteran] argues that the Board provided an inadequate statement of reasons or bases for its denial of TDIU. To show entitlement to TDIU, the evidence must demonstrate an inability to undertake substantially gainful employment as a result of a service-connected disability or disabilities. 38 C.F.R. § 4.16(a) (2014) (TDIU is awarded when a disabled person is”unable to secure or follow a substantially gainful occupation as a result of service-connected disabilities”). The Board “may not reject [a claim for TDIU] without producing evidence, as distinguished from mere conjecture, that the veteran can perform work that would produce sufficient income to be other than marginal.”Beaty v. Brown, 6 Vet.App. 532, 537 (1994). Although the Board need not find that  [*2] a particular job exists in the economy, Smith v.Shinseki, 647 F.3d 1380, 1385 (Fed. Cir. 2011), the Board’s statement regarding employability must do more than “merely allude to educational and occupational history, attempt in no way to relate these factors to the disabilities of the appellant, and conclude that some form of employment is available.” Gleicher v. Derwinski, 2 Vet. App. 26, 28 (1991). Moreover, the Board’s explanation for its determination must be understandable to the claimant and facilitate judicial review. Allday v. Brown, 7 Vet.App. 517, 527 (1995) (Board’s statement “must be adequate to enable a claimant to understand the precise basis for the Board’s decision, as well as to facilitate review in this Court”).

Mr. McLain argues that the Board inadequately explained its TDIU determination because it did not address how difficult it would be for him to find employment given the limitations noted by medical examiners. The May 2010 and January 2012 examinations relied on by the Board found that Mr. McLain’s disabilities did not preclude him from employment in a loosely supervised setting, with minimal social interaction, where there was little background noise or phone  [*3] communication, and where alarms and exact communication would not be needed. Record (R.) at 36, 48-49. Although the Board relied on these examiners’ ultimate conclusions that Mr. McLain could be employed in some kinds of jobs, the Board did not address the limitations noted by the examiners, nor did it attempt to relate these limitations to Mr. McLain’s educational and occupational history or explain what kinds of jobs Mr. McLain could obtain. See Beaty andGleicher, both supra. The Board’s failure to do so renders its statement of reasons or bases inadequate and warrants remand.1Allday,supra; see also Tucker v. West, 11 Vet.App. 369, 374 (1998) (remand is appropriate where the Board has, inter alia, failed to provide an adequate statement of reasons or bases).”

 

NOTE: McClain is an unpublished opinion and not to be cited as precedent.  However I believe its teachings and principles are important to grasp in the area of TDIU claims.