AFCS Interim Review Questions

High Horse

Swinger
Hi All

I am currently 6 months into my first interim review period for PTSD. I was awarded level 13 in September just at gone and told my case would be reviewed in Sep 2021 (12 months).
AFCS have taken my onset date as Nov 2019 as they have said this is the date I begun EMDR and prior to that date there was no core symptoms of PTSD present in my medical records. One of the most debilitating symptoms for me is the detachment and dissociation/depersonalisation which I have suffered from chronically throughout. I have obtained a report from my GP providing evidence that disassociation is a core symptom of PTSD and evidence that I had sought help on numerous occasions for this prior to 2019. I also have a report from my EMDR / TF-CBT therapist stating that my dissociation symptoms are due to PTSD and have been present since 2016. 2 questions really, what are the chances of my onset of PTSD symptoms date changed at this review because of my newly provided evidence? Also, I am still suffering after 20 sessions of EMDR and 10 sessions of TF-CBT, what is the expectation from AFCS with regards to continued treatment? Are you supposed to continue having these treatments throughout the interim review period regardless or is it OK from an AFCS perspective to accept (in some instances) that they haven’t worked and move to talk therapy (with medication) to manage symptoms? I don’t want them to claim that I am no longer suffering and not following best treatment practices if I stop the EMDR/TF CBT (which is expensive as I am private) and continue with general talk therapy.

Thanks in advance.
 
Are you still serving?
 
If you read the legislation you will see that Mental Disorders must be diagnosed by a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist, so it’s quite possible they will not accept anything from your GP or therapist. The AFCS panel can only go on evidence and if that’s not in your medical records then you will find it very difficult to get them to change their position.

If you are awarded a tariff level twelve then the date of onset makes little difference as you won’t receive a Guaranteed Income Payment (GIP), you may be better off by having the later date as the amount of each award was uplifted a few years ago.

If you are asking AFCS to consider you as a tariff level 10 then onset date becomes more important as this attracts a 30% GIP and it would be backdated to the onset date or date you left service, whichever is later. It will also matter as a level 10 tariff is:

Mental disorder, causing functional limitation or restriction, which has continued, or is expected to continue for 5 years.



Table 3.

As far as how your ongoing treatment affects your AFCS application I cannot answer that. Direct a question to Veterans UK.

You should also contact Help 4 Heroes Hidden Wounds who can offer you support and advice

 

High Horse

Swinger
Thanks for the advice dingerr, much appreciated.

I have another appointment with the consultant psychologist in a few months so I will present the medical notes and evidence to her to hopefully be included in the next report. I believe that I should have been assessed as level 12 initially (suffering for 4 years at that point), so level 10 at this next review yes. Looks like this may go on for a few more years yet.
 
Thanks for the advice dingerr, much appreciated.

I have another appointment with the consultant psychologist in a few months so I will present the medical notes and evidence to her to hopefully be included in the next report. I believe that I should have been assessed as level 12 initially (suffering for 4 years at that point), so level 10 at this next review yes. Looks like this may go on for a few more years yet.
Unfortunately you won’t be awarded anymore than level 10... unless you use a private solicitor. The levels above are permeant mental disorders which need to be proven to be permeant, As in every type of medication, therapy and so on has been tried and you still suffer with symptoms after. Very hard to get above level.
 

Mosquito

Old-Salt
Unfortunately you won’t be awarded anymore than level 10... unless you use a private solicitor. The levels above are permeant mental disorders which need to be proven to be permeant, As in every type of medication, therapy and so on has been tried and you still suffer with symptoms after. Very hard to get above level.
That's a really interesting statement. Out of curiosity, has anyone managed to increase their/someone's award above level 10 without going through a solicitor and, if so, how did you get the required evidence?
 

Dani930

Clanker
That's a really interesting statement. Out of curiosity, has anyone managed to increase their/someone's award above level 10 without going through a solicitor and, if so, how did you get the required evidence?
I believe a few here have a tariff 6 from tribunals without solicitors. It’s all about substantiating your position in my experience.

I’m in table 4 and it’s taken several medico-legal expert reports to get above tariff 12 and as yet I still don’t know the exact award I’ve been given following my reconsideration. I still assume I’ll be going to a tribunal given my evidence to a tariff 6 and the jump from a 12 to a 6
 
That's a really interesting statement. Out of curiosity, has anyone managed to increase their/someone's award above level 10 without going through a solicitor and, if so, how did you get the required evidence?
Just incase anybody's interested after waiting four years due to the afcs misplacing my paperwork (no shit)i was awarded level ten in 2016 and another interim review in two years. At that point they finalized my review stipulating my condition isn't permanent due to my Psychiatrist saying my condition probably is permanent due to its severity (of complex ptsd and a secondary condition of "chronic fatigue syndrome) and length of time of suffering( my original diagnosis at 2010 ten years later still in therapy) . But refuses to say that "that no improvement is expected".
I have now asked for a reconsideration in late September last year with evidence of reaching my maximum medical improvement on in 2014 which it did make some improvements especially with my agoraphobia. How ever i still avoid busy places and still deal with anxiety dealing with panic attack's daily and even pain! While continuing with treatment.
My new therapist who i have been seeing for two years who has a PhD in clinical psychology agrees that my condition is permanent
I have not heard anything from the afcs except an acknowledgement of my reconsideration request. How ever i will be willing to go to a tribunal if they don't recognize my condition as permanent..
 
Has anyone had a tribunal for PTSD and not completed CBT. I’m single parent and therapy has not started as they want me to be in a more stable position mentally before CBT starts - feel like it’s not my job as a patient to be telling/asking the medical professionals for therapies etc.
 

StressVet

Clanker
If you haven had any CBT treatment for ptsd it will be difficult to argue your case at tribunal as veteransUK can use that against you that you haven followed best practice treatment.My advise will be to try and do a cbt course of atleast 12 sessions and then approach your tribunal.I have had alot of treatment with Combat stress,Aipts and ifnt before i left the military and vets UK still used other nonsensical ways to try and stop me from my entitlement. It's very important you have some sort of psychological treatment before your tribunal.
 
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Hi new to the group........but not to dealing with AFCS and mental health. Very very long story short, I was awaiting a Tribunal date, then out of the blue Vets UK have offered me Level 8 Permanent with 50% GIP, from Level 10, anyone heard of a Consent Order? It has to go to the Tribunal Judge for final approval etc.
Permanence.........to normal folk it's simple, AFCS seems to have their own dictionary without a consult diagnosis, forget it, you have no case. You don't need a consultant to deem your condition permanent, I didn't. What I did show was that given the time, previous treatments, ongoing medication, reports and letters that given the balance of probabilities it's more likely to be permanent than not.
The tariff wording and footnotes are written to be evasive in terms of evidence. My case hinged on the effect it has on my daily life and ability to work at the level I was before the onset of symptoms..............Vets UK accepted service caused my condition, if you can function at the same level with medication and treatment then they will "chin you off".
I've been dealing with them for 11 years, they refuted my case at every stage, and they lost at every Tribunal, I found the Judges to be very fair, they see you and effect your condition is having on you. My RBL advocate was a ninja, tore the Vets UK guy to shreds...........before the Judges had their go
 

StressVet

Clanker
Go to tribunal pal you deserve a level 6 if your condition is still costing you.Afcs are just slow killers and will kill you slowly with stress bringing up some very silly and immature arguments for nothing.Have you had a first tribunal for permanency level yet?or yet to attend a tribunal hearing for it?Or did vetsUK just offered you the level out of the blues?I am on the same boat with you pal being suffering since 2019 and still been drugged on by VetsUK.I had a tribunal few weeks back but they didnt include non of my military Meds docs in my budle and the judge asked them to re-review my case which they are currently doing and my file is with the Chiefe MA,Hopefully they come out with some sensible decision this time.
 
Slow killers, amen to that.........whole thing makes my teeth itch the evidence gathering, use and interpretation is laughable, I've never say I couldn't work, but certainly not at the level I used too. I get the sense Vets UK are offering me the Consent Order for two reasons, 1. avoid the next permanent tariff and 2. publically admit to making some monumental c##k ups with my case. I live in France, so you can imagine how comms have been.
 

StressVet

Clanker
The tribunal would give you the level you deserve Pal dont get manupulated by their silly offer is all to buy you cheap.They know you deserve level 6 and thats it.The other thing is how about write them a letter telling them you deserve a level 6 and if they can agree with you then no need going to the tribunal with it and might make things quicker.
 

StressVet

Clanker
Ooo great i did 22 sessions of tf cbt then 12 session emdr and 1 week occupation therapy workshop with combat stress and other cbt courses i started but couldnt complete due to difficulty concenterating.but i finally managed to complete a whole course of 22 session last year via Zoom.Hope this will be judge as adequate?
 
"best practice treatment of adequate duration" as AFCS like to put it, comes in various forms, what you learn during your treatment gives you the tools to manage your condition going foward................your symptoms don't stop at the end of your final session, mental health practitioners understand this, AFCS seem not too.
 
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