Social Security Disability For Veterans With Ptsd
To qualify for SSA disability benefits in this area, the veteran must be unable to perform substantial gainful activity because of a disability expected to last a year or expected to end in death. There are income limits in place that help determine whether the veteran meets SSA financial need requirements.
But before you can be evaluated for your ability to qualify based on financial need, veterans are required to submit a claim to the SSA that includes providing medical evidence from an acceptable medical source to assess the nature and severity of the condition.
This is true of both mental and physical issues. Your PTSD diagnosis alone will not be enough to qualify for SSD-evidence is required.
The Social Security Administration requires each case to be assessed and much like submitting a claim the Department of Veterans Affairs for disability compensation, the veteran must submit medical evidence including:
- Information or evidence of the disorder from your physician
- Evidence provided by a psychologist
- Evidence from other health care providers including but not limited to physician assistants, psychiatric nurse practitioners, licensed clinical social workers, etc.
What kind of documentation does the SSA need? As much detail as possible related to:
What Are Common Signs And Symptoms Of Ptsd
PTSD symptoms usually start soon after the traumatic event, but they may not appear until months or years later.
Your symptoms can also can ebb-and-flow over many years.
If the symptoms last longer than four weeks, cause you great distress, or interfere with your work or home life, you might have PTSD.
Generally, there are 4 types of PTSD symptoms, but they may not be the same for veteran.
Each veteran experiences symptoms of PTSD in their own way.
#1. Reliving the event
Memories of the traumatic event can come back at any time, and they can feel very real and scary.
- You may have nightmares.
- You may feel like you are going through the event again. This is called a flashback.
- You may see, hear, or smell something that causes you to relive the event. This is called a trigger. News reports, seeing an accident, or hearing fireworks are examples of triggers.
#2. Avoiding things that remind you of the event
You may try to avoid situations or veterans remind you of the trauma event.
You may even avoid talking or thinking about the event.
- You may avoid crowds because they feel dangerous.
- You may avoid driving if you were in a car accident or if your military convoy was bombed.
- If you were in an earthquake, you may avoid watching movies about earthquakes.
- You may keep very busy or avoid getting help so you dont have to think or talk about the event.
#3. Having more negative thoughts and feelings than before the event
#4. Feeling on edge or keyed up
How Can I Help A Veteran With Ptsd
One way to help is by encouraging veterans to seek counseling or treatment.
One of the first and most difficult tasks in treating a veteran with PTSD is getting the veteran to acknowledge theres a mental health condition in the first place.
Veterans are often reluctant to seek care for mental health concerns for many reasons, including the perception that its a sign of weakness, fear of potential career repercussions, mistrust of medicine and skepticism about treatment.
Also, many former service members and their loved ones dont know how to identify PTSD or seek treatment. Because PTSD can be hidden, it can be difficult for health practitioners and other individuals to gauge its severity.
Additionally, PTSD in veterans is often misunderstood to be a condition that only affects combat veterans or those who have firsthand experience of violence. For VA rating purposes, the veteran must personally have experience or witnessed the stressor event firsthand.
There are many resources to turn to in order to encourage veterans to seek help or for family and friends to get educated. Here is a partial list:
The Mission Continues
An organization that provides veterans leadership and advocacy opportunities in their local communities, helping give former service members a sense of purpose and aiding them in the transition to civilian life.
Outward Bounds Veterans Program
Read Also: Can Depression Cause Chest Pain
Top 3 Ways To Get A Va Rating For Ptsd: The Ultimate Guide
I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.
If you want to learn how to implement these strategies to get the VA benefits you deserve, to speak with a VA claim expert for free.
In this Ultimate Guide, well explore how to get a VA Rating for PTSD even if youve already filed or been denied benefits in the past.
Your final VA Disability Rating for PTSD depends upon the Frequency, Severity, and Duration of symptoms to include HOW those symptoms impact your Occupational and Social Impairment.
VA Disability for PTSD has ratings that range from 0 percent to 100 percent with breaks at 10 percent, 30 percent, 50 percent, and 70 percent.
PTSD is the only ratable mental health condition that requires a Stressor Event by the VA .
Also note that its highly unlikely to receive a separate rating for PTSD if youre already rated for another mental health condition due to the avoidance of pyramiding, and the overlap of symptoms across multiple diagnoses.
Weve broken down this post into 7 Chapters to help guide you on your PTSD VA claim journey.
Okay, lets jump into this expert-level guide for getting service connected disability benefits for PTSD.
% Disability Rating For Ptsd
People at this level have a difficult time establishing and maintaining relationships in the workplace and in social situations. Their PTSD symptoms are often so severe that they will often struggle to perform their work-related duties. They may also experience frequent bouts of anxiety, depression, and even have suicidal thoughts.
Recommended Reading: Can Anxiety Cause Stomach Issues
Appeal The Decision Or File A New Claim
The most straightforward approach is to appeal VAs decision on the original claim. You have up to one year after the first rating has been assigned to do so. If its been past one year, you can simply file a new claim. In either case, its strongly recommended that you present more evidence to bolster your claim and improve your chances of a more favorable decision.
How Much Does A Veteran Get With Ssd
There are a number of variables that will determine how much compensation you get if you qualify for SSD as a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder. In general, those who qualify get SSD benefits based on age and the veterans average lifetime earnings. You can use the Social Security Administration online benefit calculator to estimate what your SSD may be paid at.
You May Like: Which Statement Is True About Eating Disorders
What You Should Do If The Va Proposes To Reduce Your Benefits
If the Veterans Administration proposes to reduce your PTSD rating, the first thing to do is not panic. Once you receive a copy of the proposed reduction, you have 30 days from the date on the notice letter to request an informal hearing with the Decision Review Officer that is proposing the decision to reduce you. You can use this hearing to explain why VA is wrong for proposing to reduce your rating. You also have 60 days to submit any evidence that shows the reduction is not warranted.
If you dont respond to the VA, they will issue a final decision going forward with the reduction, and your monthly payment rate will be reduced 120 days later.
How To Obtain Disability Benefits
In order to obtain disability benefits, a veteran with PTSD must first undergo an evaluation at a VA medical facility. A psychiatrist at the VA medical center must provide a diagnosis of PTSD in order for a veteran to be able to obtain disability benefits for PTSD.
The veteran must also apply for disability benefits, which can be done online at the Veterans Online Application website at www.ebenefits.va.gov. Alternatively, the veteran can fill out VA Form 21-526.
The veteran must also supply certain documentation, including a DD214 Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, or other separation papers for all periods of service, and copies of medical records including the mental health evaluation done at the VA medical facility. Additionally, the VA will accept Form 21-4138 Statement in Support of a Claim, which may include a letter from the veteran detailing the events that triggered the PTSD or the symptoms suffered by the veteran, as well as letters from friends or family members describing the impact of PTSD on the veteran.
Read Also: When Was The Depression Era
Can I Buy A Gun With A Ptsd Va Rating
Some veterans are afraid to pursue a PTSD claim, or any other mental health claim, because of concern that they will no longer be allowed to own guns.
There are prohibitions against owning a gun under certain conditions as laid forth in VA Title 18 U.S.C. § 922, such as that the applicant has not been adjudicated as a mental defective or been committed to a mental institution, but there is no direct prohibition against firearm ownership simply on the grounds of having a mental health diagnosis.
In real terms, that translates as being an imminent threat to yourself or others, or having been committed to a psychiatric facility by law enforcement due to threatening behavior or signs of mental illness.
Further, the VA does not automatically report veterans who apply for disability benefits based on a mental health diagnosis, and no particular PTSD or other mental health rating prohibits a veteran from purchasing or owning firearms.
The overwhelming majority of people rated for PTSD can legally own guns.
Who Qualifies For Veterans Disability Benefits
In order to qualify for any type of veterans disability benefits, certain criteria must be met. First, the veteran must currently have a medically diagnosed disease or disability, which may include a mental illness or mental disorder such as PTSD. Second, there must have been a triggering incident during active military, naval, or air service. Third, the veteran must prove a causal connection between the military service and the current injury or disease, otherwise known as showing that the disability is “service-connected.”
You May Like: How To Help A Family Member With Bipolar Disorder
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.
Va Disability Ratings For Ptsd
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder can be the result of occurrences such as combat, personal trauma, or other extremely stressful events, and can have negative impacts on a veterans personal and professional life. In 2018, there were nearly 65,000 new VA disability claims for PTSD, and over 800,000 veterans receive compensation from the VA due to some level of PTSD symptoms.
In order to be assigned a disability rating from the VA for PTSD, a veteran must be able to show that their condition is connected to an event that occurred during their military service. The disability rating will be assigned based on the severity of the condition, as well as the amount of earnings the veteran has lost as a result of their condition.
In order for a veteran to receive VA disability benefits for PTSD, all of the following criteria must be met:
- The stressor or traumatic event must have happened during the veterans military service
- The veteran has been diagnosed with PTSD by a medical professional who is qualified to make a PTSD diagnosis
- The PTSD symptoms that the veteran experiences makes them unable to function as well as they were able to prior to the traumatic event
Heather Maxey works at a non-profit that addresses military ineligibility. She is an Army spouse, and met her husband while working as a Health Educator at Fort Bragg.
Read Also: Are We Going Into A Depression
Were There When You Get Your First Job
Every time you change jobs, your employer verifies your Social Security number with us. Doing so helps reduce fraud and improves the accuracy of your earnings records, ensuring you get the benefits you have earned.
Employers collect FICA, or Federal Insurance Contributions Act withholdings, and report earnings electronically to us. This is how we track your earnings and is how you earn Social Security retirement, disability, spouses, and survivors coverage for you and your family. A worker earns up to four Social Security credits each year and needs 40 credits, or 10 years of work, to qualify for retirement benefits. Its vital that you work at least 10 years to qualify for Social Security benefits to be based on your own work record.
Opening a free allows you to verify your earnings history and see if you will get Social Security retirement benefits. A secure also lets you estimate future benefits.
Combined Rating System For Veterans With Multiple Disabilities
Veterans with multiple disabilities use the combined rating system.
To use the combined rating system, arrange the disabilities in order by severity and locate the intersect of the two numbers on the table below.
The VA rounds the final figure to the nearest to 10 percent.
If the Veteran has more than two disabilities, find the combined value for the first two, without rounding, and repeat with the third disability. Once you have a final number, round to the nearest 10%.
For example, if disability 1’s rating is 40% and disability 2’s is 20%, the combined rating is 52%. That figure gets rounded to the nearest 10%, making the disability rating 50%.
For a three-disability example, if disability 1’s rating is 60%, disability 2’s rating is 30%, and disability 3’s rating is 20%, we first find the rating of 1 and 2. The rating of 1 and 2 comes out to be 72. We then take the first combined rating and find the intersect with disability 3. The final number comes out at an even 80% rating.
Don’t Miss: Can Panic Attacks Give You Headaches
How Does The Va Determine A Disability Rating For Veterans Suffering From Ptsd
Compensation amounts for disabled veterans are determined based on a rating system. Each disability’s severity is measured in 10% increments, ranging from 10% to 100% disabled. A higher percentage rating given to a veteran’s disability results in a higher level of compensation received by the veteran.
In order to determine what percentage disability rating to assign to a veteran with PTSD, the rating agency considers the frequency, severity, and duration of psychiatric symptoms, the length of remissions, and the veteran’s capacity for adjustment during periods of remission. The rating agency also takes into account the degree of occupational and social impairment suffered by the veteran
If the PTSD results from a highly stressful event that requires a serviceman be released from military duty early, then the VA must assign a rating of no less than 50% disabled, and another evaluation must be done within six months of the veteran’s discharge to determine if the rating should be changed.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers a free, anonymous screening for PTSD on its website at .
You could be eligible for up to $3,148 per month in SSDI benefits
Were There When You Get Married
Whether youre celebrating your anniversary or starting a new chapter alone or with a new spouse, a part of that new life may include a new name. If you legally change your name due to marriage, divorce, or any other reason, let us know so you can get an updated Social Security card and so we can accurately keep track of your earnings. Theres no charge for a.
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 have 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”.
How Can I Qualify For Va Benefits For Ptsd Direct Service Connection For Ptsd
Navigating the VA disability process can be difficult, and you will need to build a compelling case to have the best chance of obtaining the benefits you need. As your veterans disability advocates, we gather substantial evidence on your behalf to build a strong case that supports the maximum amount of benefits to which you are entitled.
To obtain direct service connection for PTSD, veterans must demonstrate the following to VA:
Once a veterans PTSD is service-connected, VA rates this condition under 38 CFR § 4.130, Diagnostic Code 9411.
You May Like: Can You Develop Bipolar Disorder Later In Life