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14. Dealing with inconsistent evidence -
Where the history provided by the claimant to the diagnosing psychiatrist is materially different from:
- the claimant's service documents, or
- prior statements by the claimant, or
- the known history of an event,
then the claims assessor will need to verify the information.
In these situations:
- unless there is evidence of self-harm or suicide risk, the claimant should be presented with the contradictory material and research report if one was requested and be given reasonable opportunity to provide an explanation for the contradictions (see DI C02/2004 Right of Reply on CLIK);
- the contradictory material should be sent to the diagnosing psychiatrist, together with any subsequent explanation offered by the claimant and as much background history as possible;
- the psychiatrist must be asked whether the diagnosis should stand and if so, how that is supported by the available evidence of events on service; and
- the psychiatrist should also be asked if another diagnosis would be more appropriate for the symptoms experienced by the claimant, for example, if the claimant does not have PTSD then what condition, if any, do they have?
Inconsistent evidence might also arise in the context of an application for increase or claim for permanent impairment where there has been an apparent deterioration in a previously diagnosed condition. Delegates are also obliged to seek further information or clarification from the treating psychiatrist to ensure the appropriate level of delegate satisfaction that an accurate assessment has been made.