C.W. hired Friedman Disability to represent him in January 2017 after the VA denied his claim for a schedular rating of greater than 30 percent for his post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) even though his PTSD symptoms had prevented him from working since 2010.
C.W. was drafted into the United States Army in 1968, and served a full combat tour in Vietnam before being honorably discharged in 1969. During his service, C.W. witnessed a fellow soldier die after stepping on a landmine. After his discharge, C.W. worked in a civilian capacity for the Air Force as a construction inspector on an airbase, a job that suited his PTSD because it required minimal interaction with coworkers and supervisors. However, the stresses of those infrequent and superficial interactions were too much for CW to tolerate, and, after several angry confrontations with his supervisor, he left his position in 2010.
Our firm obtained C.W.’s complete V.A. and private medical records, and obtained sworn declarations from the veteran and his wife regarding CW’s inability to be around others and anxiety about leaving his home on a regular basis. These declarations demonstrated that C.W.’s PTSD satisfied criteria for a 70 percent higher schedular rating, including an inability to adapt to stressful situations, suicidal ideation, unprovoked irritability, and difficulty leaving his home. Our firm filed a Notice of Disagreement (NOD) showing that he was entitled to a 70 percent or higher rating for his PTSD and a total disability rating based on individual unemployability (TDIU).
After the VA awarded C.W. only a 50 percent schedular rating for his PTSD in 2017, our firm filed a second NOD. As part of this appeal, we referred C. W. to a psychologist experienced in treating veterans with PTSD and obtained a favorable medical opinion from the psychologist which we submitted to the VA. In a September 2018 rating decision the VA granted C.W. a 70 percent schedular rating for PTSD and granted him a TDIU rating with a 2015 effective date and current disability paid at the 100 percent rate.