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Mental Health Injuries + Mental Health Claims AFCS

Gnr0634

Swinger
Has anybody on here had any successful mental health claims through the armed forces compensation scheme? Any unsuccessful claims also welcome + Reconsiderations & Tribunals etc please share below your experiences. There is a lot of criticism regarding mental health caused wholly or partially by service on this forum. It would be great if people could share their experiences if they feel comfortable to do so. This will help others suffering from the same or similar to understand their position better, also raise awareness that mental health injuries are as real as physical injuries and should be took seriously. For those who believe anything other than PTSD is not caused by service i urge you to read my post and take in what others have to say about their injuries. The aim of this thread is to educate and also to advise each other when possible.

I served from 2009-2014 i were medically discharged from the forces as i sustained a traumatic back injury whilst serving. To be specific i injured my back in 2012 .. Basically i slipped a couple of disks in my lumbar spine one which were bulging up against my sciatic nerve roots giving me shooting pains down the back of my legs. I received steroid injections into my lumbar spine to try and prevent the disk from aggravating the sciatic nerve roots. This did work short term although time to time i will get shooting pains now and again. I always have a constant pain in my back which affects me in everyday life. Obviously getting downgraded to P7 temp before P7 Perm i were restricted of most duties except running the odd errant which were very annoying and stressful. I were given numerous medication for my back e.g tramadol codeine etc also sleeping tablets as i were struggling to sleep due to pain and started suffering sleep paralysis. I were hearing things that were not there and it were driving me crazy as i never had any mental health problems previously.

Sleep paralysis is a temporary inability to move or speak that happens when you're waking up or, less commonly, falling asleep.
Although you're awake, your body is briefly paralysed, after which you can move and speak as normal. The paralysis can last from a few seconds to several minutes. Sleep paralysis doesn't cause you any harm, but being unable to move can be very frightening.

Now with my traumatic back injury and also my sleeping problems + my downgrade to P7 i reported to the medical officer as i became withdrawn from the world and i had lost interest in most things. The medical officer decided to refer me to DCMH (Departments of community mental health). Because my discharge date were near by i were asked to seek mental health advice through the NHS after medical discharge June 2014. This were frustrating for me as i had to start the whole process again just to get a diagnosis of what were going on with me. I did not feel myself and i finally got around to seeing a consultant level psychiatrist in November 2015. I were diagnosed with Bipolar disorder and Agoraphobic disorder.

Agoraphobic Disorder usually develops as a complication of panic disorder, an anxiety disorder involving panic attacks and moments of intense fear. It can arise by associating panic attacks with the places or situations where they occurred and then avoiding them. A minority of people with agoraphobia have no history of panic attacks. In these cases, their fear may be related to issues like being in a traumatic accident. Another theory is an imbalance in levels of neurotransmitters in the brain can affect mood and behaviour. This can lead to a heightened stress response in certain situations, triggering the feelings of panic.

Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression, is a condition that affects your moods, which can swing from one extreme to another. If you have bipolar disorder, you will have periods or episodes of:
  • depression – where you feel very low and lethargic
  • mania – where you feel very high and overactive (less severe mania is known as hypomania)
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder depend on which mood you are experiencing. Unlike simple mood swings, each extreme episode of bipolar disorder can last for several weeks (or even longer), and some people may not experience a "normal" mood very often. Bipolar although usually caused by a genetic factor can also be caused by a traumatic injury.

Depression
The depression phase of bipolar disorder is often diagnosed first. You may initially be diagnosed with clinical depression before having a future manic episode (sometimes years later), after which you may be diagnosed with bipolar disorder. During an episode of depression, you may have overwhelming feelings of worthlessness, which can potentially lead to thoughts of suicide.

Mania
During a manic phase of bipolar disorder, you may feel very happy and have lots of ambitious plans and ideas. You may spend large amounts of money on things you cannot afford and would not normally want. Not feeling like eating or sleeping, talking quickly and becoming annoyed easily are also common characteristics of this phase. You may feel very creative and view the manic phase of bipolar as a positive experience. However, you may also experience symptoms of psychosis (where you see or hear things that are not there or become convinced of things that are not true).

I have been prescribed the drug Quetiapine a mood stabilizer which i am still taking to this day which helps me and prevents me from flowing deep down into the depressive side of things and also prevents me from the manic stage sometimes. I have tried two jobs since leaving the army both which i have had to come out of as my physical and mental injuries have prevented me from being able to progress. I received £6000 for my permanent back injury which i claimed for through the AFCS. I asked for a reconsideration however i were rejected as in order to move up the tariff the injury needs to match certain criteria so i were pretty much buggered on that one. With regards to my mental health claim it is still ongoing and i am due to hear back within the next couple of months due to backlogs. I have all of my previous medical records which i have included which show that i have no prior mental health conditions + No family mental health conditions also that i joined the army fit and well both physically and mentally. I will let you know the outcome however for now its a waiting game as it has been for months.

This has literally affected my whole life from relationships to day to day basics and hopefully once hearing back from the AFCS i will be able to put closure to most of this and carry on with what i can do in life. I hope that one day their is a vast improvement in waiting times from the armed forces compensation scheme as it is is a painful experience having to wait months and months for a decision. Keep fighting and never give up and please share your experiences below its not a subject that most know much about but you are not alone in your struggle.

I advise that if medically discharged you keep CTP careers transition partnership upto date in relation to your injuries. I advise this as if your injuries prevent you from getting the full benefit from your resettlement grants these can be placed on hold until you have recovered to a certain extent.

I also advise you speak to the following if you need help with regards to benefits or help with your afcs claim etc;

www.britishlegion.org.uk
www.helpforheroes.org.uk
www.ssafa.org.uk/Forces-Charity
www.armyofangels.org.uk/
www.combatstress.org.uk/


I hope this thread can be helpful to those who need it and informative for those who are interested. I would not wish mental health injuries upon anybody.
 
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will_2513

Swinger
I had a successful claim for ptsd in 2010. Was placed in tarrif 12 and given 10k. I was told in 5 yrs if i am still gettimg reated to ask for a reconsideration. 1st one was rejected. So i did it again then asked for an exeptional review and found out last week it has been awarded in my favour inam just to wait for a letter. I was originally in tarrif 12 so i am thinkimg and hoping that ehen they said it was favourable they ment ill be moved up a level into tarrif 11 so i think that means ill also qualify for GIP. Anyone know if that GIP would be back dated
 
I have been awarded a gip for depression and ptsd as well as a back injury. I cant work as a result and until I was awarded a GIP I was paid at the higher rate of ESA. Now I have my non taxable GIP the benifits people have decided to cut my ESA by three quarters. Is this right? my understanding was that an atributable GIP was a form of ongoing compensation and shouldn't be taken into account for benifits? Help please
 
I live permanently overseas.

First contacted SPVA regarding several worsening physical injury conditions in 2009 and have been awarded successive uprates to WDP after submitting numerous Redress's with RBL help after every denial by SPVA.

PTSD finally accepted by Vets UK this year, backdated to 2016, and am having to Redress again - both the percentage awarded and start date.

Had another SPVA/Vets UK letter today refuting one type of medication and (Thai) hospital fees so another Redress will have to be submitted for compensation matters. Mental health care here is only available at private hospitals and is not covered by medical insurance.

Combat Stress are unable to help veterans outside UK, but polite e-mails received, however an RBL HQ person referred my shrink to NHS Lancashire Trust for PTSD assessment guidance which was the final tipping point for my successful claim (despite ongoing treatment since 2010). My shrink also contacted US Veterans Affairs and completed, then submitted, their PTSD Assessment Criteria with NHS documentation.

I contacted my MP, with the kind support of Col (Ret'd) Bob Stewart DSO after my MP twice failed to respond, and eventually got a response from Mark Lancaster, (former) Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Defence Veterans, Reserves and Personnel. Mr. Lancaster asserts that the SPVA/Vets UK five plus years ongoing consideration and processing of my case is “reasonable”.

Finally, I have found that every person that I have personally spoken to (via Skype 'phone calls) at SPVA/Vets UK has been incredibly polite, understanding and very helpful. My only, and ongoing, issues are the time that it takes to get everything done and the lack of detailed information available to maximise success at the first/earliest opportunity.

Good luck to you all in your attempts, I'll try my best to help any peers who request it via PMs.
 
I left in 1994 before PTSD was even a thing since then after a tour of Sarajevo and constant bombardment.
I was agoraphobic for many years and still am - In my 30s I had terrible times and was pretty mixed up and still am now its 20 years ago. Ive only this year realised I probably had and still have PTSD and still I have anxiety and depression on occasion. The war in Bosnia changed me significantly - and I'm still suffereing the after effects. Considering the time since I wonder if I should claim due to the impact on my life.
 
I left in 1994 before PTSD was even a thing since then after a tour of Sarajevo and constant bombardment.
I was agoraphobic for many years and still am - In my 30s I had terrible times and was pretty mixed up and still am now its 20 years ago. Ive only this year realised I probably had and still have PTSD and still I have anxiety and depression on occasion. The war in Bosnia changed me significantly - and I'm still suffereing the after effects. Considering the time since I wonder if I should claim due to the impact on my life.
@jaller79
There is no time limit on claims, though your claim cannot be backdated.
War Pension Scheme advice in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
War Pension Scheme: what you need to know

More importantly, if you are still suffering, get help.
Self Help

Help for you
 
Military PTSD Claims | Irwin Mitchell Solicitors

I'm going to talk with these guys - there was no such thing as PTSD in 1994 it was just man up - i cant believe I didn't realize that it was affecting me dso much the agoraphobia and panic attacks went on for 5 yrs or so. There was no claim culture then - but the world has changed significantly since 1990s.
What does back dated refer too - I know the term I mean backdated to the event or the recorded medical condition in 1994.
Thanks

John A
 
@jaller79,
If you were to claim via the War Pension Scheme, you would only receive compensation from the date of the claim, it would not be backdated to 1994.
I would urge caution about using Irwin Mitchell (or any other solicitors) to claim.
The first thing I noticed about their website is that they only mention the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS).
You will not be able to claim under the AFCS as it provides compensation for injury, illness and death caused by service on or after 6 April 2005.
You will have to claim under the War Pension Scheme War Pension Scheme: what you need to know.

Again, I would urge you to get help, they will be able to assist you in claiming, but more importantly, will help you get better.

Self Help

Help for you
 

Gnr0634

Swinger
Hi all,

Just an update, I received

TARRIF 10 - Mental disorder, Causing functional limitation or restriction, which has continued or is expected to continue for five years. £27,000 + 30% of GIP (£680 PM)

the above is an interim award and is due to be reviewed towards the end of this year. It was awarded to me as my back injury sustained whilst serving caused severe chronic depression & anxiety + sleep paralysis to which I am still suffering today. The tribunal ruled in my favour a few year ago.

My question is, the next tariff up is the following:

TARIFF 8 - Permanent mental disorder, causing moderate functional limitation or restriction.

Tariff 10 states ‘which has continued or is expected to continue for five years’ my mental health injuries have now been going on for 7 years & I have medical evidence to back this. (Still receiving anti depressants, attending talking changes, family Witness statements, fit notes etc) will I automatically fall into tariff 8 due to what tariff 10 states? If it goes beyond 5 years is it then classed as permanent?

I have been unable to be successful with any employment due to my injuries & I am currently living off my savings. Every day is a struggle & no light at the end of the tunnel.

has anybody been moved up at level 8 & 6 from level 10 on interim?

best wishes,
 

J4ckdw

Crow
Wow firstly thanks for sharing I have been through somthing terribly similar. But until now never even realised there was somthing like this to help. I basically got forced out the army three years ago and since been diagnosed with bipolar. When I had my final med I was given a un fit for army service to wich I never really knew what or why. I’d love to know how you did this, is it just through the army compensation scheme etc. I feel like the army new about my condition etc hence why I was forced through the door but didn’t really want to help me with it. It rages me inside. Any thanks again
 

Richie1305

Swinger
Hi all,

Just an update, I received

TARRIF 10 - Mental disorder, Causing functional limitation or restriction, which has continued or is expected to continue for five years. £27,000 + 30% of GIP (£680 PM)

the above is an interim award and is due to be reviewed towards the end of this year. It was awarded to me as my back injury sustained whilst serving caused severe chronic depression & anxiety + sleep paralysis to which I am still suffering today. The tribunal ruled in my favour a few year ago.

My question is, the next tariff up is the following:

TARIFF 8 - Permanent mental disorder, causing moderate functional limitation or restriction.

Tariff 10 states ‘which has continued or is expected to continue for five years’ my mental health injuries have now been going on for 7 years & I have medical evidence to back this. (Still receiving anti depressants, attending talking changes, family Witness statements, fit notes etc) will I automatically fall into tariff 8 due to what tariff 10 states? If it goes beyond 5 years is it then classed as permanent?

I have been unable to be successful with any employment due to my injuries & I am currently living off my savings. Every day is a struggle & no light at the end of the tunnel.

has anybody been moved up at level 8 & 6 from level 10 on interim?

best wishes,
Hi mate,

Yes I was on a level 10, been awarded a level 8 if I cancelled the tribunal, which I'm not. I have the tribunal next week so will keep you updated.

My ptsd was from 2012 which resulted in my discharge after 18 years service. The AFCS always attempted to give the lowest award, which I always refused and appealed. I won up to the last review, and was offered the level 8, but after 8 years, not being able to work and still having to visit combat stress twice last year and in Jan did a 6 week intensive course, the RBL told me to go to the tribunal, so its next week. Main point is to collate EVERY visit to your GP, your meds, your therapy, and keep it so that they cannot delay by asking for more evidence, which they will.

If you need any advice, I'm no expert by any means, but will always try to help, and some very knowledgeable people on here to so ask away and good luck with it all. RBL are also fantastic so give them a shout too pal.
 
What AFCS level are you expecting?
 

Richie1305

Swinger
I've been offered level 8 mate, but RBL told me to not accept and go for level 6 so will see how it goes tomorrow morning. Ill keep you posted
 

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