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Monday, February 17, 2014

Faking It?

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I would like to submit irrefutable evidence that the defendant is faking it.

What’s the fastest way to completely kill your military disability rating? Faking it. Why would this hurt you? If we think that you are clearly faking something, then we are most likely going to think that you are faking everything. You may have a legit condition that deserves rating, but doesn’t get rated because you are exaggerating the condition itself or other conditions. Don’t screw yourself over like this. Tell the truth the first time, and you’ll get what you deserve just like everybody else.

While you might think you are brilliant and going to be so convincing that they will rate your condition 100%, think again. Believe it or not, doctors are pretty smart. And we have tests and codes that communicate to other doctors that we believe the person is faking it. No, I’m not going to go into details about what these codes and tests are, because that would be teaching you how to fake it better. Not my goal at all. Sorry.

But I will give you an example. The other day I was evaluating an Air Force Sergeant who complained of back pain.  He was retiring after 20 years of service.  He had a few entries in his medical records about back pain, so I figured the condition was fairly legit since he had been clearly treated for it in the past.  Multiple times during the exam, however, proof that he was faking the severity of his back pain popped up.


When I asked him to bend forward to touch his toes he bent forward only 10 degrees and said that was all he could do because of the pain. That would be pretty severe back pain, all right. When he sat down in a chair, however, he did it easily with no signs of pain AT ALL. Duh. And when I asked him to perform some of the faker-tests for the low back, he always gave the wrong answer, clearly demonstrating that he was faking it. This guy made me feel like this guy.


The exam was so inconsistent that I placed on the write up that his “objective signs did not match his subjective symptoms”. Translating the doctor speech: I thought he was faking it. That line was all the VA needed to kill his rating. He probably got hardly any disability compensation at all, when he might have actually deserved some. He obviously had back issues that he was treated for while in the military. Had he come and truly demonstrated the severity of his back pain, he may have qualified for a higher rating than he actually received. But how could I tell how bad his back pain actually was since I couldn’t tell where the exaggerating ended and the truth began?

The military disability system is designed to give all of our veterans who have been injured compensation for their injury. Do not try to fake injuries to game the system. This is contrary to your values and is stealing from those who really have been injured and deserve that money. Not to mention it makes me feel like this guy.


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