F.R. hired Friedman Disability in January of 2017 after the VA denied his claim for a total disability rating based on individual unemployability (TDIU) for his service-connected post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). F.R. joined in the United States Army in 1967 and served for three years before being honorably discharged in 1970. After his discharge from the Army, F.R. established a successful counseling practice, but stopped working in 2014 due to his worsening PTSD symptoms.
To support F.R.’s appeal, Friedman Disability obtained his complete VA and private medical records in addition to his VA claims file, in order to identify the favorable medical evidence of record that the VA had either overlooked or improperly rejected without cause. Our firm’s examination of the evidence found that the VA’s own treating physicians as well as the examining psychologist who performed F.R.’s Competency and Pension (C&P) exam had identified a number of the PTSD symptoms that had caused F.R. to stop working, including an inability to establish and maintain effective relationships, impaired impulse control, impaired memory, and angry outbursts. Furthermore, the examining psychologist who performed F.R.’s C&P exam expressly found that F.R. had an “inability to continue in his occupation.” In addition to these facts, our firm obtained a report from a vocational expert with extensive experience working with disabled veterans, which explained why someone with F.R.’s symptoms would be unable to follow a substantially gainful occupation (SGO).
Based on this favorable evidence, our firm filed a Notice of Disagreement (NOD) on the veteran’s behalf showing the VA why F.R. was entitled to a TDIU rating. Thanks to these efforts, in May of 2018 the VA issued a new rating decision granting F.R. a TDIU rating with a 2014 effective date. This resulted in an award of more than $55,000 in past-due benefits in addition to continuing current disability paid at the 100 percent rate.