About The Va Disability Rating System
Veterans with a disability that developed or worsened while serving in the military or due to military service may be eligible for Service-Connected disability pay.
Conditions covered by these benefits typically include:
- Physical disabilities including hearing loss, chronic back pain, asthma and cancers caused by contact with toxic chemicals.
- Mental disabilities including anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder , depression and traumatic brain injury .
Find a complete list of covered conditions here.
For every disability claim, the Department of Veterans Affairs assigns a severity rating ranging from 0-100%. This rating moves in 10% increments, is based on service treatment records, VA medical records, and private medical records directly relating to the disability.
For Veterans with more than one disability, the VA uses the combined rating table to calculate your disability percentage.
What If I Cant Get 100% For Ptsd
For severely disabled veterans, their goal is to get to a 100 percent disability rating. This rating, however, is not always possible through the VA rating schedule due to an individuals particular conditions. When it comes to PTSD it is particularly difficult to get a 100% rating. The highest rating that one normally receives for PTSD is 70%. But, there is another way to be awarded a 100 percent rating: total disability based on individual unemployability .
About Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
As stated above, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder once known as shell shock or battle fatigue syndrome, is a serious mental disorder that develops after an individual experiences or witnesses a horrific event. PTSD is the lasting repercussion of a traumatic experience in which serious physical and/or mental harm occurred. Such events include war combat, sexual abuse, natural disasters, witnessing a murder etc.
It is good to keep in mind that most people experience a traumatic event during their lifetime that can cause shock, fear, or guilt. However, this does not mean they have PTSD as these reactions are normal and will go away with time. It is much different for someone with PTSD because the feelings do not go away and actually tend to get much worse. The symptoms can become so bad that it interferes with a persons activities of daily living and occupation.
The symptoms of PTSD are grouped into three categories:
Intrusive or Re-experiencing Symptoms:
- Reoccurring, undesired memories of the horrific event
- Flashbacks or reliving the event as though it was happening again
- Nightmares and disturbing dreams about the event
- Emotional and physical distress to anything that reminds the person of the event
- Individual attempts to avoid talking or thinking about the event
- Individual avoids people, places and activities that remind them of the event
- Detachment and isolation from friends and family
Tips For A Successful First Application
The best thing you can do to make sure your disability compensation application is successful is to be completely honest about your symptoms. You need to give the VA a complete picture of how severely your PTSD is impacting your life. This means including information about all your symptoms, even or especially if theyre embarrassing or sensitive.
Its also a good idea to get buddy statements from your loved ones supporting your claim. These testimonies can show the VA the real impact your condition has on your life from several different perspectives. Ask your family, your military buddies, your friends at home, and your work supervisors to write statements for you to include with your application.
When you call us, we work with your family and friends to make the best case for your disability.
A behind the scenes look at who works for you at Woods and Woods, The Veterans Firm.
Symptoms Of Ptsd Include:
- Intrusive thoughts: flashbacks, distress when exposed to symbols of the trauma, recurrent and involuntary memories, nightmares.
- Avoidance of stimuli associated with the event: avoiding the place where the event occurred, avoiding thoughts and feelings associated with the event.
- A significant mood change experienced after the event: detachment from others, blaming oneself for what happened, persistent negative emotional state, decreased interest in significant activities.
- A shift in reactivity associated with the event: increased irritability, hypervigilance, sleep disturbance, exaggerated startle response, problems with memory or concentration.
In order to meet the criteria for a PTSD diagnosis, you must experience symptoms from all of the above categories for more than one month. The above symptoms must also cause a significant disturbance or impairment in social, occupational, or other areas of daily functioning. Individuals with PTSD are also often diagnosed with other mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression.
Mental Residual Functional Capacity
One of the best ways to increase an applicants chances for approval with a mental illness such as PTSD is to have his or her treating doctor fill out a mental residual functional capacity form. Typically when an applicant initially files for disability benefits, a medical examiner from the SSA will fill out a mental RFC based on the applicants medical documentation. This form is an assessment of an individuals mental limitations caused by his or her disabling condition. The SSA will use this assessment to determine if the applicant is capable of working despite his or her limitations. If the applicant is seen as unfit for employment, the SSA will award the applicant Social Security Disability benefits.
However, this medical examiner makes a medical decision without even seeing the applicant in person. Because of this, the SSA gives more creditability toward a RFC filled out by the applicants treating doctor since the doctor has direct experience with the applicants disabling condition. To learn more, visit our page about Residual Functional Capacity.
Additional Benefits For Dependents
Veterans with conditions rated at least 30 percent disabling can qualify to receive additional benefits for dependents in their household, such as a spouse, child, or dependent parent. For example, if a veteran has a 100 percent disability rating with a dependent spouse, they can receive additional compensation.
Va Disability Benefits For Ptsd
The United States provides a range of benefits for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder , which was incurred in, or aggravated by, their military service. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs provides benefits to veterans whom the VA has determined suffer from PTSD that developed during, or as a result of, their military service. These benefits not only include tax-free cash payments but can also include free or low-cost mental health treatment and other healthcare, vocational rehabilitation services, employment assistance, independent living support, and more.
Since the founding of the country, the United States has compensated the men and women who have served in its armed forces and uniformed services generally. Near the end of World War I, the U.S. Congress passed legislation establishing an indemnity model for veterans’ disability benefits. Since that year, compensation has been provided to veterans suffering from physical or mental disabilities that were incurred during, or aggravated by, military service, and which have adversely impacted their ability to work. The amount of compensation providedboth cash payments and VA-sponsored servicesis based on the veteran’s “average impairment in earnings capacity”.
Va Disability Ratings For Ptsd And Other Mental Disorders
The amount of compensation you receive for your condition will depend on how much your PTSD symptoms affect your functional ability. The VA will assign you a disability rating from 10 percent to 100 percent depending on your symptoms; the higher your percentage, the higher the payment you will receive.
Getting Treatment For Post
Some people with PTSD heal over time, but others need to seek treatment. It might seem impossible to know which needs to meet for each person, considering how PTSD can affect us is so unique to the individual.
SUN Behavioral specializes in meeting those needs. For PTSD specifically, one of the main evidence-based treatments SUN uses is key in helping people not only understand their PTSD but heal from it and move forward.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a form of therapy focused on redefining and utilizing thoughts, emotions, and behaviors to produce positive results. There has been a significant amount of research into it, with positive outcomes.
It may seem contradictory, but CBT helps you to focus on the present rather than the past. PTSD is always rooted in the past, because it is post-traumatic, meaning after the trauma has taken place.
What CBT does is allow you to examine your thoughts and emotions and see how they relate to your behaviors. When you begin to change your thought patterns and your behaviors, you end up molding your life and experiences by understanding why certain thoughts and emotions occur.
Step 1: Present A Current Diagnosis Of Ptsd
The first step to receiving VA benefits for PTSD disability requires the veteran to have a current diagnosis. A psychiatrist, psychologist, licensed social worker, or other mental health care practitioner must diagnosis the veteran with PTSD. Additionally, the diagnosis must conform to specific criteria.
Its important that the diagnosing doctor provides a report that fully describes why they feel that the veteran has PTSD and how the veterans symptoms meet the specific criteria. All of this medical evidence must show that it is as likely as not that the veteran currently has disabling PTSD.
What Is A Traumatic Brain Injury
- TBI may be classified as mild, moderate, severe, or penetrating.
- The severity of the injury is determined by a physician at the time of the injury.
- A TBI disrupts the way your brain functions. It may knock you unconscious, make you feel confused, or feel as though you have altered consciousness.
- Every blow to the head does not necessarily result in TBI, yet repeated concussive experiences over time can have a cumulative effect.
- Most TBI is mild. A concussion is another term used to describe a mild TBI.
Symptoms of a TBI are generally divided into three categories physical, cognitive, and emotional. Someone with a TBI may experience:
- Slowed thinking or poor attention
- Trouble finding words
- Mood swings
Generally, someone with a more severe TBI will experience more severe symptoms. However, even mild TBI can have an impact on a veterans social, emotional, cognitive, or physical health.
I Have Been Diagnosed With Post
If you already have a diagnosis of PTSD, it may be the start of your disability claim. However, the main focus in a Social Security disability claim is usually on the symptoms you experience from PTSD and how those symptoms affect your ability to engage in physical and mental work-related activities eight hours per day, five days per week .
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health problem that can develop in someone who has experienced or witnessed a life-threatening event such as war combat, a car accident, sexual assault, or a natural disaster. While its normal to feel distressed after such an event, this feeling of distress should normally disappear after a few months. But for a person who has PTSD, the symptoms last longer, may start later, or may come and go over a long time.
PTSD symptoms have four types. One is called reliving or re-experiencing, which involves flashbacks or nightmares about the traumatic event. Another is avoidance, in which the patient tries to avoid things, people, and situations related to the event. The third group of symptoms is about having more negative feelings and beliefs for example, developing a new sense of guilt or believing that the world is dangerous. The fourth symptom type is called hyperarousal, which means being keyed up, jittery, irritable, short-tempered, and/or reckless.
Contact Gillette Law Group
Post-traumatic stress disorder can restrict your work and your life in insidious ways. While it can be difficult to apply for Social Security disability benefits, do not be discouraged. You may truly deserve assistance, and we at Gillette Law Group can help you obtain it. Our service has effectively helped numerous applicants make a successful disability claim, and we can do this for you, too.
Your application or appeal may have a deadline, so talk to us as soon as you can. Your consultation is free. Call us at 873-2604 today.
How Do You Know If You’ve Been Given A Proper Va Disability Rating For Ptsd
As a Veteran in the United States, you might be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD is one of the most difficult service-related disabilities to diagnose and classify.
Contrary to popular myth, PTSD is not a processing disorder that occurs because the victim cant take it. Instead, PTSD is a chemical imbalance in the brain. Exposure to extreme stress, such as combat stress, enlarges the amygdala. This part of the brain controls emotional responses. The resulting imbalance explains symptoms you may be experiencing like depression, anxiety, hypervigilance, and flashbacks.
As you may know, the brain is adept at hiding its own injuries. As a result, many PTSD victims are unaware of the full extent of their injuries.
Your VA disability attorney will use medical and lay evidence to address these issues. Solid medical evidence reveals the true nature of the injury. Buddy statements and other lay testimony from your friends and family set forth the full extent of your PTSD and how your brain injury affects your daily life.
A VA disability rating for PTSD is based on statutes that outline what symptoms meet which level of disability. PTSD is only rated at 10%, 30%, 50%, 70% or 100%. Its important to be as honest as you can with the VA examiners about the severity of your symptoms. Please note you dont have to meet all the symptoms in the rating level in order to be rated at that level.
What Is The Va Percentage For Anxiety
The department currently has 6 different VA ratings for mental health conditions.
Anxiety disorders are categorized along with the same rating system as other types of mental illness like depression and PTSD.
The VA rates anxiety disorders based on severity and level of impairment.
The 6 different percentage ratings in terms of severity :
The percentage rating of your condition affects the amount of monthly disability compensation.
The higher the rating, the more youll receive in monthly disability.
Ptsd Is Among The Easiest Va Disability Claims To Win
According to the easiestVA claims to win data,PTSD is in the top 3 across all groups of veterans.
Heres some interesting VA data regarding the PTSD rating scale for veterans receiving VA disability compensation for PTSD in 2021:
- 2.2% of all VA disability recipients for PTSD have a 0% PTSD rating.
- 7.1% of all VA disability compensation claim recipients for PTSD have a 10% VA rating for PTSD.
- 23.7% of all VA compensation claim recipients for PTSD have a 30% VA PTSD rating.
- 25.9% of all VA disability recipients for PTSD have a 50% PTSD rating.
- 28.0% of all VA claim recipients for PTSD have a 70% rating for PTSD.
- 13.1% of all VA disability claim recipients have a 100% PTSD rating.
eCFR Title 38, Part 4, the Schedule for Rating Disabilities lists the general rating formula for PTSD.
PTSD VA ratings range from 0% to 100%, with breaks at 10%, 30%, 50%, and 70%.
The average VA rating for PTSD in 2021 is 70%.
Presumption Of Direct Service Connection Ptsd
Your service connection for posttraumatic stress disorder is presumed when the following events are met:
- Medical evidence of PTSD diagnosis;
- a link , established by medical evidence, between current symptoms and an in-service stressor; and
- credible supporting evidence that the claimed in-service stressor occurred.
Proving nexus is a very tough task, especially when the stressor event is often undocumented and seemingly unprovable. To help in this area, the VA has made provisions where, under the right circumstances, you may not need to prove the actual event from written military records, but in other ways such as lay testimony and other sources.
Appealing For Your 100 Percent Va Disability Rating For Ptsd
If you have received your VA Rating Decision letter and you are either rated too low or denied, you can appeal. Remember, you only have one year from the date the VA made the decision to file your PTSD VA disability benefits appeal.
If your Rating Decision was made over a year ago and your condition has worsened, you can file for a VA Disability PTSD rating increase. Essentially you are telling the VA that PTSD is now affecting your life more than it was when you received your previous rating.
If you are appealing to receive a 100 percent VA disability rating for PTSD, make sure you have included all your service-connected conditions that are not rated correctly. The VA can consider all your appealed impairments at one time.
If you need help with your 100 percent VA disability rating for PTSD appeal, talk to Woods & Woods VA disability compensation lawyers for free. We never charge veterans for PTSD claim consultations. Our law firm has successfully filed thousands of PTSD appeals. For help, .
C Common Medical Conditions Which May Result In Whole Or In Part From Posttraumatic Stress Disorder And/or Its Treatment
Section C medical conditions may result in whole or in part as a direct result of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, from the treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder or the combined effects of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and its treatment.
Conditions listed in Section C of the Entitlement Considerations are only granted entitlement if the individual merits and medical evidence of the case determines a consequential relationship exists. Consultation with Medical Advisory is strongly recommended.
If it is claimed a medication required to treat Posttraumatic Stress Disorder resulted in whole, or in part, in the clinical onset or aggravation of a medical condition the following must be established:
- Sexual Dysfunction
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
What If You Receive A Lower Disability Rating Than You Believe You Deserve
If you receive what you believe to be a disability rating that is lower than you feel you deserve, you can appeal the decision. However, something to be aware of is, if you appeal the decision the VA may re-evaluate your application.
While this may sound like exactly what you want them to do, the next reviewer could be more or less generous than the first was. In a worst-case scenario, this means the VA could actually lower your rating or take away your benefits altogether. Dont make this decision lightly talk it over with an attorney before you proceed.
How To Receive Ptsd Disability Benefits
The process of exactly how to get PTSD benefits varies based on the type of benefits being applied for. Winning a PTSD social security disability claim will be a different process than qualifying for a VA PTSD claim. The first step for any type of PTSD disability claim is to file a claim with the agency or insurance company that will be providing the benefit. Before filing, carefully examine the requirements that the benefit provider has for filing a claim, and ensure that you have all the paperwork and information required to file the claim. If you need assistance filing the claim, call the benefit provider or have someone you trust call them to see how they can accommodate you. Government agencies like the Social Security Administration or the VA will be able to provide assistance with filing a claim if you are unable to do so.
A good strategy for ensuring that your claim is successful is to ask yourself, Does my PTSD qualify for disability under the definitions given by this benefits provider? The Social Security Administration and the VA both provide clear requirements of what is necessary to qualify for a PTSD disability on their websites. Reviewing these requirements will help you to know what kind of information they will be looking for and what information can help your claim.
Individual Unemployability & Ptsd Claims
Total Disability Individual Unemployability benefits are for veterans that cannot work from their service-connected conditions. TDIU benefits are available for both mental and physical conditions. TDIU benefits pay the same as a 100 percent VA disability rating.
PTSD Individual Unemployability benefits are available for veterans with employment problems. If your PTSD and related conditions are severe enough and you cannot obtain or keep meaningful employment, you may be eligible.
Have questions about Individual Unemployability benefits? Give us a call. There is never a charge to talk to Woods & Woods Individual Unemployability lawyers.
Have you been denied Individual Unemployability benefits? We can help. Woods & Woods Individual Unemployability benefit denial lawyers only charge a fee if your appeal is successful. Our VA benefits appeals lawyers have filed thousands of appeals against the VA. To get your free PTSD Individual Unemployability claim evaluation, .
What Other Benefits Can I Receive For Anxiety
There is a wide range of treatments available to tackle complex mental health problems like severe anxiety.
Prescription medications are helpful for some patients while others rely on service animals or another type of alternative treatment.
Mental health conditions are complex and often more than one form of treatment is recommended to address the issue.
We recommend that you meet with a medical professional immediately if you are suffering from anxiety or another mental health condition to get an expert opinion regarding treatment.
Can You Get Va Disability Pay For Erectile Dysfunction
The short answer is yes. It is possible to receive compensation from the VA for erectile dysfunction. However, there are some hoops to jump through.
First, the VA does not view erectile dysfunction as a service-connected disability. Some ailments are automatically deemed to be service-connected by the VA.
One example of these is diabetes in veterans who have been exposed to Agent Orange. Another is Malaria if you have served in a malaria region.
These types of afflictions are considered presumptively service-connected. Because of this, veterans who qualify are automatically eligible for a VA disability rating.
Because ED is not a presumptive service-connected condition, you will need to prove service connection in order to be considered for compensation.
To do this, you will need to provide a medical nexus from a qualified health professional. The health professional will need to assess whether any connection exists between your condition and your time in service.
If you suffered physical trauma during service that is directly causing erectile dysfunction, this will be relatively easy to prove.
Besides being a secondary service-connected condition, erectile dysfunction can also be brought on by medications used to treat service-connected health issues. Many medications, including those used to treat diabetes, depression, and anxiety can cause erectile dysfunction as a side effect.
Requirements For Combat Veteran Statements
If the veterans statements meet these three requirements, then the VA must accept the statement.
Lets look at each requirement a little closer:
Also, it is important to note that if a combat veteran is trying to prove the occurrence of a noncombat incident, the special rule for service connection does not apply.
How useful was this post?