AFCS Interim Review Questions

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

 
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.
 

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