What If The Veteran Cannot Work Due To Post
Another way to earn a 100% PTSD rating is for the veteran to receive unemployability for his PTSD. Unemployability is not on the PTSD rating schedule. IU is a way for the veteran to receive 100% without meeting all the requirements on the 100% rating.
The VA grants IU ratings when a veteran cannot work due to his service-connected disabilities. When the VA gives an Unemployability rating for PTSD, it means a veteran cannot work due to his PTSD. As a result, a veteran receives a 100% PTSD rating due to unemployability.
The Rates Of Ptsd In Military Veterans
Regardless of which war or conflict you look at, high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans have been found. Throughout history, people have recognized that exposure to combat situations can negatively impact the mental health of those involved in these situations.
In fact, the diagnosis of PTSD historically originates from observations of the effect of combat on soldiers. The grouping of symptoms that we now refer to as PTSD has been described in the past as “combat fatigue,” “shell shock,” or “war neurosis.”
For this reason, researchers have been particularly interested in examining the extent to which PTSD occurs among veterans. Rates of PTSD in Vietnam veterans, Persian Gulf War veterans, and Iraq War veterans are provided below.
What Does Ptsd Disability Pay
Your PTSD rating will compensate you based on your total disability rating. The disability rating youre given for PTSD is combined with any other disability ratings you have, if any, to give you an overall rating based on VA math.
There is no PTSD rate for VA disability compensation the disability rating at any given percentage pays based on that percentage no matter what condition gave you that rating.
To check the current years VA disability rates, you look at the VAs benefits page, or check out our post on How Much Is VA Disability for 2021 compensation rates. We discuss rates for 2002 at this post: 2022 Military Disability Pay Chart
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For What Types Of Disability Compensation Claims Can Veterans File
- Pre-Discharge Claims: A servicemember can file a pre-discharge Disability Compensation claim when she is within 180 days of separation or retirement from active duty or full-time National Guard duty.
- Pre-Service Disability Claims: Veterans who entered service with known disabilities can file a pre-service Disability Compensation claim if their military service aggravated their condition.
- In-Service Disability Claims: Veterans can file an in-service disability claim for disabilities that result from an injury or disease that occurred during active service.
- Post-Service Disability Claims: Veterans can file for Disability Compensation after they have been discharged for secondary disabilities that arose later which are connected to a service-related disability.
Veterans Pension Versus Disability Compensation
In some cases, veterans can receive disability compensation. It’s not the same as the VA pension. Heres a way to tell the difference:
Disability compensation is for an illness or injury that happens because of or was made worse by your military service. Its not income-based and war service is not required.
A VA pension is for war veterans with a low income and who may have a disability that is not service-related.
What Happens If Im Receiving Sbp Or Rcsbp Payments And Then I Qualify For Dic Before The Elimination Of The Sbp/dic Offset
Before the elimination of the offset in 2023, if the DFAS pays you more than the offset amount of SBP or RCSBP payments after you begin receiving DIC payments, theyll consider this amount an overpayment. This means youll have to pay the money back.
To avoid owing money, be sure to notify the DFAS as soon as you qualify for DIC. Youll need to send them a copy of your VA DIC award letter. The DFAS will determine if they need to reduce your SBP or RCSBP payment amount.
You can call the DFAS at . Theyre open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET.
How To Obtain Permanent And Total Ratings
Once again, we want to start this section with a disclaimer. The VA does not hand out 100% P& T PTSD ratings left and right. You will only earn a 100% P& T PTSD rating if you truly deserve it. Permanent and Total ratings are given to veterans if their medical evidence shows that it is reasonably certain their conditions will not improve during their lifetime.
Younger veterans will find obtaining a 100% Permanent and Total PTSD rating is difficult. If you are under 55, the VA is less likely to grant a 100% Permanent and Total PTSD rating. The VA feels that many veterans with PTSD will heal some with treatment. If you are treating for PTSD, we highly encourage you to save all your medical records. If you treat for PTSD for years and your condition does not improve, you could be considered for a Permanent and Total PTSD rating.
There are certain combinations of injuries that render many veterans eligible to receive a Permanent and Total rating. If a veteran has injuries to both hands or both feet, they are more likely to receive a Permanent and Total rating. Veterans with injuries to one hand and one foot are more likely to obtain a Permanent and Total rating as well. Eye injuries and sight problems are often eligible for a Permanent and Total rating. Veterans that have become bedridden or permanently helpless are also considered for a Permanent and Total rating.
Veteran benefit attorney Mike Woods explains how the VA determines permanent and total ratings:
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% 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.
Compensation And Pension Examinations For Ptsd
As discussed above, veterans must show a link between their PTSD and military service in order to receive disability compensation. When it comes to establishing a medical nexus opinion, VA will likely order a Compensation and Pension examination to evaluate the veterans symptoms and the severity of their condition. The doctor will then determine whether the veterans PTSD is at least as likely as not related to their military service. During a C& P exam for PTSD, the medical examiner may complete a Disability Benefits Questionnaire .
A DBQ uses checkboxes and standardized language so that the disability evaluation can be made quickly and correctly. Specifically, healthcare providers will check a box next to a description that most accurately depicts the disability in question in this case, PTSD. However, it is important to note that a DBQ will not be used if the veteran is undergoing an initial PTSD evaluation.
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How We Assign Smc Levels L Through O
We assign SMC levels based on very specific situations and combinations of situations, including:
- The amputation of one or more limbs or extremities
- The loss of use of one or more limbs or extremities
- The physical loss of one or both eyes
- The loss of sight or total blindness in one or both eyes
- Being permanently bedridden
- Needing daily help with basic needs , also called Aid and Attendance
Select an SMC letter below to learn more about the specific situations and combinations of situations that fall within that designation.
- Youve physically lost both eyes, or
- You have total blindness without the ability to perceive light
Or you have total blindness with only the ability to perceive light in one eye, and:
- Youve physically lost the other eye, and have deafness in both ears , or
- You have total blindness without the ability to perceive light in the other eye, and have deafness in both ears , or
- Youve physically lost the other eye, and have lost the use of one foot , or
- You have total blindness without the ability to perceive light in the other eye, and have lost the use of one foot
Or you have total blindness with only the ability to perceive light in both eyes, and:
- You have deafness in both ears , or
- Youve had one hand amputated, or
- Youve lost the use of one foot, or
- Youve lost the use of one hand, or
- Youve had one foot amputated, or
- Youve lost the use of one foot
Or you have blindness in one eye, and:
Automatic 50 Ptsd Rating
Many veterans have heard that VA Disability rules allow for an automatic 50 percent disability rating for PTSD. However, there are actually no ratings for PTSD that are considered automatic, because any veteran diagnosed with PTSD must meet specific rating criteria that is based on their level of social and occupational impairment as a result of their condition.
As Disability Awards Grow So Do Concerns With Veracity Of Ptsd Claims
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The 49-year-old veteran explained that he suffered from paranoia in crowds, nightmares and unrelenting flashbacks from the Iraq war. He said he needed his handgun to feel secure and worried that he would shoot somebody.
The symptoms were textbook post-traumatic stress disorder.
But Robert Moering, the psychologist conducting the disability examination at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Tampa, Fla., suspected the veteran was exaggerating. Hardly anybody had so many symptoms of PTSD so much of the time.
As disability awards for PTSD have grown nearly fivefold over the last 13 years, so have concerns that many veterans might be exaggerating or lying to win benefits. Moering, a former Marine, estimates that roughly half of the veterans he evaluates for the disorder exaggerate or fabricate symptoms.
Depending on severity, veterans with PTSD can receive up to $3,000 a month tax-free, making the disorder the biggest contributor to the growth of a disability system in which payments have more than doubled to $49 billion since 2002.
Its an open secret that a large chunk of patients are flat-out malingering, said Christopher Frueh, a University of Hawaii psychologist who spent 15 years treating PTSD in the VA system.
Diagnosing PTSD can be difficult in the best of circumstances. Experts have long debated how to define the condition. One person can suffer crippling anxiety from an experience that wouldnt faze someone else.
Wars psychic toll
Direct Service Connection For Ptsd
In 2010, the VA eased up the requirements for getting disability compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder. Veterans no longer have to have proof that the event that caused the PTSD occurred. This rule is not just for combat veterans but for all veterans who experienced fear of hostile or terrorist activity.
Here is what is required to establish direct service connection for PTSD:
- a current diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder
- a statement from the veteran about the “stressor” that occurred during service
- the occurrence of the stressor being consistent with the circumstances of the veterans service
- no strong evidence that the stressor didn’t occur, and
- a medical opinion that the stressor was sufficient to cause PTSD, from:
- a VA psychologist or psychiatrist, or
- a pyschologist or pyschiatrist under contract with the VA.
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Ptsd In Vietnam Veterans
In 1983, a mandate set forth by Congress required the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to conduct a study to better understand the psychological effects of being in combat in the Vietnam War. The National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study found that approximately 15% of the 2.7 million Americans who served in the Vietnam war had PTSD.
The incidence over a lifetime following involvement in the Vietnam war, however, is much greater. Approximately 30% of men and 27% of women developed some form of partial PTSD at some point in their life following Vietnam.
Today, some 40 years later, new findings reported by the National Vietnam Veterans Longitudinal Study indicate that approximately 271,000 Vietnam veterans still suffer from PTSD and other major depressive disorders, indicating an ongoing need for mental health services for veterans after returning home from combat. Another congressional mandate, the NVVLS surveyed many of the Vietnam veterans who were previously assessed by the NVVRS, since a significant number of those participants had since passed away.
We Are With Those Who Need A Helping Hand
The Supplemental Security Income program is a program that provides income support to people with disabilities, people age 65 or older, or blind, who have low income and resources. U.S. Treasury general funds, not the Social Security trust funds, pay for SSI.
If you or someone you know may be eligible for SSI, visit to learn more and apply.
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Understanding The General Rating Formula For Mental Health Conditions
Before diving into the VAs rating system for PTSD, its important to understand their general rating formula for mental disorders. Disclaimer, VA actually rates every mental health condition under the same General Rating Formula and rating criteria. The only exception being PTSD and needing to prove PTSD stressors. Symptoms are then assigned a disability rating.
PTSD disability ratings can be 10%, 30%, 50%, 70%, or 100%. Transparency about your worst symptoms is vital for your rating. VA often rates veterans by the average of their symptoms. So, if a veteran has such symptoms that fall in the 30, 50, and 70% PTSD rating ranges, they will often get a 50% PTSD rating. However, this is not the correct way to rate a mental health disorder.
The basis of a rating SHOULD BE the highest level of symptoms, not an average. So, if a veteran has six symptoms at 30%, three at 50%, and two at 70%, a 70% PTSD rating is proper. Also, the VA cannot downplay symptoms and give the veteran a lower PTSD rating or whichever mental health condition is more severe.
For example, if a veteran has suicidal ideations, that is a 70% PTSD rating. However, VA doctors sometimes state that the veteran does not have intent or that the ideations are fleeting. The VA will sometimes grant a lower rating by minimizing the symptom altogether. It is, nevertheless, a 70% PTSD rating if a veteran has suicidal ideationsno matter the frequency or intent.
How To Increase A 70% Ptsd Disability Rating To 100%
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a common mental health disorder among veterans, and its symptoms can vary from mild to severe depending on the individual and the traumatic events they have experienced. Flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts are just some of the symptoms veterans with PTSD must deal with, and because of this, VA offers disability compensation to those who can prove a service connection.
As common as PTSD is, however, it may not always be rewarded with the appropriate VA disability rating. Ratings assigned for PTSD are 10, 30, 50, 70, and 100%, and are largely based on a veterans social and occupational impairment. For most veterans, it may not be easy to get a higher rating on a first claim, much less 100% disability based off it. For that to happen, your condition must be severe enough, and you must build a strong claim supported by medical records and nexus statements, buddy statements, and perhaps even employment and financial history to prove diminished earning potential.
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Va Disability Ratings For Post
If you are living with post-traumatic stress disorder caused by military service, you may be entitled to VA disability compensation for this condition. The process of obtaining service-connected disability benefits, however, can be stressful and take years to navigate. The accredited VA disability attorneys from Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD can help veterans file claims for compensation based on their post-traumatic stress disorder .
Weve Helped Many Thousands Of Veterans Obtain Or Increase A Va Disability Rating For Ptsd
While many organizations consider PTSD a complicated rating to obtain, we believe that when you know how to build your claim correctly its among the top three easiest claims to win. Our veteran coaches are trained and experienced in working with these kinds of claims.
Reach out to us for a FREE VA Claim Discovery Call about your PTSD claim.
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Make Sure You Get All The Benefits You Deserve
Most veterans are underrated for their disabilities and therefore not getting the compensation they deserve. At VA Claims Insider, we help veterans understand and take control of the claims process so they can get the rating and compensation theyre owed by law.
Our process takes the guesswork out of filing a VA disability claim and supports you every step of the way in building a fully-developed claim so you can increase your rating in less time!
If youve filed your VA disability claim and have been denied or have received a low rating or youre not sure how to get started, reach out to us for a FREE VA Claim Discovery Callso you can FINALLY get the disability rating and compensation you deserve. Weve supported more than 15,000 veterans to win their claims. NOW ITS YOUR TURN.
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.
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