Initial Consultation – VA Compensation PTSD


Dr. Worthen is not accepting new referrals at this time.


Initial Consultation – VA Compensation PTSD

Purpose

To determine if further clinical-forensic psychological services from Dr. Worthen would be helpful to support an original VA compensation PTSD claim,i or an appeal of a claim decision. 

Cost

Initial Deposit: $200 – I will spend about 45 minutes reviewing information you provide me about your claim or appeal, and I will communicate initial impression and recommendations by phone or encrypted email for about 15 minutes.ii 

Initial Impression

After spending about 45 minutes reviewing your information, I will give you an initial impression by phone or encrypted email. The results of an Initial Consultation will usually fall into one of the following categories:

Insufficient Evidence

I do not see enough evidence, from a psychological perspective, for a successful claim or appeal.iii

Looks Good, But More Time Required

Your claim or appeal has a reasonable chance of success, from a psychological perspective, but I need more time to review your records. In this case, I will tell you approximately how long it will take me to review the rest of your records, and you can then pay for that amount of time if you want me to proceed.

Looks Good, But Additional Records Required

Your claim, request for reconsideration, or appeal has a reasonable chance of success, from a psychological perspective, but I need more information. In this case, I will tell you what information I need, how you can obtain it (if I know), and approximately how long it will take me to review the information. 

Looks Good, Recommendations Provided

Based on a 45-minute review, I have enough information to conclude that some basic advice, from a psychological perspective, will probably be enough to help you move forward. My aim is to give you that advice in 15 minutes so we stay you will not need to pay for any more of my services, i.e., not go over $100 total.

Looks Good, C&P Exam Report Critique Recommended

A C&P Exam Report Critique will, from a psychological perspective, probably improve your chances of a successful claim or appeal. I will explain why and you can then decide if you wish to purchase the recommended service. 

Looks Good, Independent Psychological Evaluation (IPE) Recommended

An IPE (independent psychological evaluation), also known as an IME (independent medical examination) will, from a psychological perspective, probably improve your chances of a successful claim or appeal. I will explain why and you can then decide if you wish to make arrangements for an IPE. 

Procedure

If you wish to arrange for an Initial Consultation, here are the steps:

Send me any relevant records. Which records are ‘relevant’ will vary depending on the type of question(s) you have. In general, the more relevant records I can review, the better advice I can give you. Here are lists of relevant records to send, if you have them, depending on your situation:

Original Claim for VA PTSD Compensation

In general, if you have never before filed a VA disability compensation claim for PTSD or another mental disorder, I can make a more well-informed decision if I review most or all of the relevant documents. However, if you wish to request an Initial Consultation based on the records you have available now, even if not complete, or based on your description of the basis for your claim or appeal, I am willing to do so. 

See Veterans Military Records for details on how to request copies of your military personnel records, service treatment records, and other relevant documents.

Please send meiv as many of the following documents that you have:

i) DD-214 – A copy is fine. You should keep your original DD-214 or a certified copy. 

ii) Service Medical Records (SMRs) – Also known as Service Treatment Records (STRs), these are your medical treatment records from your active duty service. 

iii) VA medical records, particularly mental health, substance abuse (if applicable), primary care, neurology, OB/GYN or Women’s Health (if applicable), physiatry (rehab medicine), social work, homeless services, and vocational rehabilitation.

iv) Private medical records. 

The most important medical records, for PTSD and other mental disorder claims, are:

a) Mental health and substance abuse treatment records, including Vet Center records.

b) Primary care medical records.

c) Select speciality care records, e.g., neurology, physiatry (rehabilitation medicine), psychiatry, and, for female veterans, particularly in MST (military sexual trauma) cases, OB/GYN records. 

See the Veterans Military Records page for details on how to request copies of your military personnel records, medical records, and other relevant documents.


Footnotes

iAlthough I frequently refer to PTSD, because it is the most common mental health-related VA disability claim, everything here applies just as much to other mental disorders such as depression, anxiety disorders, etc. 

ii) Note that professionals in private practice are running a small business, even though some people seem to think we should give away our expertise. Maybe I would give away my expertise, if my power company, grocery store, and accountant would do the same. On the other hand,  that would be communism, so let’s scratch the idea altogether. ;o)

iii) If it takes me less than an hour to review your information and communicate my impressions to you, I will refund the difference, calculated at $20 per 6 minutes. Example: It took me 21 minutes to review your information, and 15 minutes to talk about it with you, then I would refund $80 to you. 

iv) See the Sending Records to Dr. Worthen page. 

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