Help-Med Denied

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by Greg Weber, Sep 3, 2020.

  1. Greg Weber

    Greg Weber Filing Flight Plan

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    I was just notified my class 3 med was denied because I have PTSD on my record from a deployment to Iraq. I’m not on any medications or seeking therapy but it was still denied by the FAA. This seems ridiculous. Any advice on who can help me?
     
  2. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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  3. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Out of curiosity
    1. how did it get attached to your record in first place? An examination with the VA?
    2. have you been receiving any VA benefits with regards to the PTSD?
    3. did you declare any mental conditions on your medical certificate application?
     
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  4. Greg Weber

    Greg Weber Filing Flight Plan

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    I receive monthly disability from the VA and disclosed as such during my exam. The AME provided me the certificate but the FAA has asked for additional information. I provided about 6 weeks ago all my records and explanation and the subsequently denied saying there is no exception per policy for PTSD.
     
  5. Dana

    Dana Pattern Altitude

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    Sigh, another in a long list of prospective pilots screwed by a friendly VA doctor who thought he was doing a vet a favor by getting him some extra money for a partial "disability" that's easy to claim and almost impossible to disprove. Not saying PTSD isn't a real thing or that yours isn't, I don't know your situation, but I do know that if you want to fly anything but gliders or ultralights now you have a long expensive road ahead to prove to the FAA's satisfaction that you don't have PTSD any more.
     
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  6. Salty

    Salty Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Yeah, not meaning to fault the OP, but claiming to have a disability when it benefits you and then claiming to not have a disability when THAT benefits you could certainly be problematic. Again, I totally empathize with the OP's situation and don't intend to sound like I think they did anything evil. It's just an un-intended consequence of accepting that diagnosis when it sounded like a good idea at the time.
     
  7. Greg Weber

    Greg Weber Filing Flight Plan

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    So there’s no chance of me being able to get my medical cert now?
     
  8. Salty

    Salty Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I know people who had ptsd diagnosis that have their medical. Not sure what hell they had to go through to get it though.
     
  9. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    All things are possible given an input of sufficient time, energy, and money. Well, almost all things.
     
  10. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Mostly money.
     
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  11. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    This AME would be the best person to answer that question:

    http://www.aeromedicaldoc.com/
     
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  12. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    You will need a very good AME (Drs. Bruce Chien and Lou Fowler are two great examples), a pile of money, and time to spare. But it is possible.

    Here's the problem: PTSD is a disqualifying condition for an FAA medical, so you must either (1) prove that you never had PTSD to begin with, in which case you improperly accepted benefits, or (2) prove that you once had it but no longer do, which is awfully tough.

    You might try contacting one of the two docs above, lay out your situation (no BS, be brutally frank), and see what they recommend.
     
  13. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    @Greg Weber .... The AME that @Palmpilot referenced is Dr. Bruce Chien, also known as @bbchien on PoA.

    If you click the search link provided by @GeorgeC in message #2 of this thread, you'll see Dr. Bruce providing lots of information and commentary on the subject.

    Read all of that before talking to Dr. Bruce. It will provide you a more solid background of what's going on and what you are facing.
     
  14. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    In addition to what Half-Fast said above, please realize this might be a "you cannot have your cake and eat it too" situation.

    Meaning that there may be a requirement to give up your VA benefits for PTSD if you wish to pursue the medical and then maintain it.

    If such exists, then you will have an important choice to make.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2020
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  15. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Not just the VA doc, but the CFI who coulda (and shoulda know to) asked questions about medical status or provide some general background on the process and where the landmines and punji stick traps are located.

    Or the AME who should operate like Bruce does... A quick once over of the history before opening the MedXpress file could have stopped the juggernaut of doom.
     
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  16. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Found some background material incase anyone else is curious...

    https://cck-law.com/types-of-va-disabilities/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/

    How Much Can I Receive in VA Disability Benefits for PTSD?
    The amount you receive in monthly benefits depends on the disability rating assigned for your PTSD. Each disability rating percentage increment on VA’s rating schedule corresponds to a different monthly benefit amount. The higher the disability rating, the more a veteran receives in monthly compensation. As of 2019, single veterans with PTSD can expect to receive the following amounts after a grant of VA benefits:

    • 0% – $0.00 per month
    • 10% – $142.29 per month
    • 30% – $435.69 per month
    • 50% – $893.43 per month
    • 70% – $1,426.17 per month
    • 100% – $3,106.04 per month
     
  17. RingLaserGyroSandwich

    RingLaserGyroSandwich Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The representatives at Transition Goals Plans Success (TGPS) are nuts about encouraging separating service members to apply for disability benefits for various medical problems even if they are a stretch, without considering the downstream consequences to the service member or undue cost to the government. They seem to treat it as "assume you are 100% disabled and fight for it... you may get knocked down by 70% or 50% by the time the dust settles if you are unlucky." This may not be the OPs case at all, but is certainly common. I was encouraged as well and there was nothing wrong with me. The VA also processes claims for former nuclear sailors to claim their various medical problems are the result of radiation exposure, even though that's extremely unlikely.
     
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  18. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    If this represents the "today", what was it like a generation or two or three ago? Same madness or different?
     
  19. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    This is the unfortunate abuse of our system and so many resources are spent encouraging people to lie and get it but none fact checking it. I have a friend of a friend that gets like 1200 per month yet he is a cop. How can you have PTSD and be a police officer???

    As for it being an FAA disqualifies, well if you exhibit the symptoms of PTSD I don’t blame them for not wanting you in the air.
     
  20. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    For the OP. Perhaps consider getting started in gliders. No medical required. Very good training on how a set of wings and controls handles in the air. And you can apply that training toward a power certificate in the future if the medical issues work out.

    Drs. Chien or Fowler can provide you with more detail, but in general plan on 6-12 months of exams and work to clear your record and $5-10k, if it is possible.
     
  21. Adam R

    Adam R Filing Flight Plan

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    There's a chance. When I clicked that I had PTSD, I wasn't denied, but I was asked to get the P&P exams. Those exams, combined with my VA files, stated that my PTSD was in remission, but that I had alcohol dependence due to my drinking in the subsequent years post trauma. (I had stopped problematic drinking habits in 2013 but still drank socially up until my denial in 2019). The alcohol is what got me denied. I've since been through treatment, AA, the steps, I now sponsor people, I use SoberLink twice daily, etc., and I reapplied this past January. This process has been 3 years in the making. I have not received a special issuance to date, I don't know that I will, but I am hopeful as I have done everything the FAA has asked. It has been expensive, I'm not going to lie. But if the end goal is a career in aviation then the upfront costs to get there are worth it.

    So, I guess for you, I would say that you must weigh what your career goals are versus the time and money it will take to get your medical. If it's worth it, then go! If you just want to fly for fun then I would look at some of the recommendations above about gliders, etc.

    This whole ordeal is insane. I was having dinner a couple weeks ago with my buddy who is with a charter company out of Cleveland. He was telling me that he flew with a former Marine (we are both Marines which is why I mention that) who is open about not disclosing his mental health issues to the FAA. Even being so bold as to telling other pilots that he is on lithium for being bi-polar. That's one guy out there. How many others are out there not being honest with the FAA?

    Maybe Dr Chien will chime in and give you a road map. Finding a solid HIMS AME to consult would be a great first step in my opinion, and I know my opinion as a stranger does not hold a lot of weight.

    Good luck to you, and I hope you decide to continue.

    Adam
     
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  22. GaryM

    GaryM Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I can't offer any useful advice, so I'll just say: "thank you for your service", and I hope there is a path forward that works for you.
     
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  23. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Pretty much all my friends from the military are receiving VA disability benefits. Just from a cursory check through the years, I’d say the vast majority of them aren’t claiming it on their medical.
     
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  24. SoCal 182 Driver

    SoCal 182 Driver Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Others have mentioned Dr. Bruce Chien. His website is www.aeromedicaldoc.com. Dr. Lou Fowler is another good option. http://www.faadr.com/19356-louis-b-fowler.html

    Hire one of them. Be honest. If they think you can get your certificate and lay-out a game plan, follow that plan TO THE LETTER. As others have side, it won't be quick, easy, or inexpensive, but if anyone can get you through the FAA aeromedical maze, it's one of these guys.

    But, the issue AggieMike88 has raised is a good one. If you want to fly, are you willing to give up the VA benefits? You may have to make that unfortunate choice.

    Thank you for your service. Good luck to you as you deal with this situation.
     
  25. Greg Weber

    Greg Weber Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks all. Few points of clarification. I’m not 100% disabled by the VA. I think they gave me a 10 or 20% rating for PTSD. Second, I was supposed to take my PPL check ride in two weeks, so I’ve already invested quite a bit into all this. I wish I had listened to my first AME who said, “you should have just lied and not said anything.”
     
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  26. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    Dont tell anyone the name of that AME unless you don’t want him to be an AME.
     
  27. jstone

    jstone Pre-Flight

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    The first AME I ever went to said the exact same thing to me. If I failed to disclose my past medical history there was no way the faa would’ve found out about it. One of my biggest regrets. Now I’m over $20k in the hole and still don’t have a medical.
     
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  28. Brad Z

    Brad Z Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    You don't think the FAA could otherwise find out? The FAA has cross referenced medical certificate records with VA disability records and took action on several airman who "forgot" about their compensated VA disability. Not a good situation.
     
  29. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    But, you would have lied by omission on a federal form. Not sure if that’s a felony or not, if discovered.
     
  30. TCABM

    TCABM Pattern Altitude

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    When you submitted your medical, did include a copy of your entire C&P decision packet, to include the psych exam notes, or did you just acknowledge receiving disability payment
     
  31. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    Ask @Stan Cooper whether that's a good idea. I believe he is writing a book about his experiences.
     
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  32. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

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    No you don't. Just ask those 4 pilots that tried that, but you will have to schedule that meeting during visiting hours.
     
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  33. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Failing to disclose a potentially disqualifying medical condition or collecting disability benefits on an FAA medical certificate application is a violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section 1001 "Making False Statements", and is a felony punishable by a fine of up to $250,000, five years in prison, or both. Don't believe anyone who tells you to lie or not say anything.
    Wikipedia: A number of notable people have been convicted under the section, including Martha Stewart,[3] Rod Blagojevich,[4] Michael T. Flynn,[5] Rick Gates,[6] Scooter Libby,[7] Bernard Madoff,[8] and Jeffrey Skilling.[9]
     
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  34. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    It seems no one has asked the obvious question: Do you have PTSD?
     
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  35. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    For a 10% disability rating, you would have been better off not to listen to the doctor who wanted to give you a PTSD diagnosis.
     
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  36. SoCal 182 Driver

    SoCal 182 Driver Pre-takeoff checklist

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    How did you get signed-off to solo without a medical?
     
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  37. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    I was wondering if anyone would ask this question
     
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  38. jstone

    jstone Pre-Flight

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    See OPs original post. AME issued medical after the exam and faa revoked it afterwards.
     
  39. SoCal 182 Driver

    SoCal 182 Driver Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thank you. However, it seems like a lot of instruction and activity went on between the issuance of the original medical, and then the subsequent denial. I wonder how much time passed...
     
  40. WDD

    WDD Line Up and Wait

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    Thank you for your service.

    I wish it wasn’t so, but you’re not going to take your check ride anytime soon if at all. Nor can you now get a Sports Pilot license.

    The expert AMEs listed above are the ones you need to listen to about if it is possible, how to, how long, and how much it will cost.