Two Rules For The Ptsd Rating Scale
According to §4.126, evaluation of disability from mental disorders, the RVSR is required to consider these two rules:
#1. When evaluating PTSD, the rating agency shall consider the frequency, severity, and duration of psychiatric symptoms, the length of remissions, and the veterans capacity for adjustment during periods of remission.
The rating agency shall assign an evaluationbased on all the evidence of record that bears on occupational and socialimpairment rather than solely on the examiners assessment of the level ofdisability now of the examination.
#2. When evaluating the level of disability for PTSD, the rating agency will consider the extent of social impairment but shall not assign an evaluation solely based on social impairment.
Contact An Attorney About Your Ptsd Claim
If you or a loved one have been denied service connection for PTSD, the VA has assigned you a PTSD rating that you think is too low, or you are interested in filing a new claim for PTSD, please do not hesitate to contact our office via phone or submitting a contact form through this website. The Veterans Law Office is a nationside veterans disability law firm. Our attorneys will provide you with a free evaluation of your claim for veterans disability benefits.
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Receiving Va Disability Benefits As A Victim Of Military Sexual Trauma
Military sexual trauma refers to unwanted sexual contact. This includes rape and sexual assault, as well as harassment and sexually oriented hazing activities. Exposure to MST is quite common while in service, as one in four female veterans and one in 100 male veterans are victims of military sexual trauma.
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What Are The Risk Factors For Ptsd
Any veteran can develop PTSD.
Some factors can increase the chance that a veteran will have PTSD, many of which are not under your control.
For example, having a very intense or long-lasting traumatic event or getting injured during the event can make it more likely that a veteran will develop PTSD.
PTSD is also more common after certain types of traumas, such as combat or sexual assault.
Personal factors, such as previous traumatic exposure, age, and gender can affect whether a veteran will develop PTSD.
Understanding The 70 Percent Rating For Ptsd
Today I want to take a deep dive into the 70 percent disability rating for PTSD. It is at this rating level where the most severe symptoms of PTSD have begun to manifest.
I want to make 4 points to make from the beginning.
First, it is my hope that this information is able to help you if your are just starting to file a claim, seeking a rating increase for your PTSD, or are appealing a denial of a 70 percent PTSD rating in your veterans disability benefits appeal.
Second, this post also presumes that you have established PTSD or any mental health condition as a service connected disability. I talk elsewhere on the Veterans Law Blog® about how about how to establish service connection for your PTSD.
And third, while I will talk about the difference between the 50 percent rating for PTSD, I will provide other posts that talk about the critical aspects of the 50 percent and 100 percent rating for PTSD.
Fourth, while I talk about PTSD, this information generally applies to the rating for any mental health condition.
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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. This is because VA determines rating levels by using the General Rating Formula. This is where VA takes the symptoms of any mental health condition and translates them into a rating.
The VA disability ratings for PTSD 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% ranges, they will often get a 50% rating. However, this is not the correct way to rate a mental health disorder.
The basis of a rating is 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% rating is proper. Also, the VA cannot downplay symptoms and give the veteran a lower rating.
For example, if a veteran has suicidal ideations, that is a 70% 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% rating if a veteran has suicidal ideationsno matter the frequency or intent.
Heres A Resource For Ptsd That I Have Found Really Helpful
When it comes to working through PTSD, leave no stone unturned. What works for one person may not work for another.
Some of us dont respond to group therapy. Others find that medication is extremely intrusive in other areas of our lives. And still others of us are hopeful that the VA will get off its moral high horse or its obsession with opioids, and allow veterans to take advantage of the medicinal power of marijuana for the treatment of PTSD.
But, heres a resource that I think any veteran can benefit from. It has become an important part of my weekly routine.
Its called PTSD Bunker Gear for your Brain, and you can . What I really like about this site is the 3x per week podcast. In a short, 20 minute or less, podcast episode, the host covers practical tools that can help you cope with PTSD, depression or anxiety.
The guy that hosts the podcast is a Canadian firefighter, and he has a gift of breaking down how PTSD really affects us, and what we can do today to begin taking advantage of the condition to live a better and more fulfilling life.
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Types Of Anxiety Disorders
There are several different types of anxiety disorders.
It is possible to suffer from more than one anxiety disorder at the same time.
The best way to receive a diagnosis is to meet with a medical professional and discuss your symptoms.
Here is a few of the most common types of anxiety disorders:
- Agoraphobia: A medical condition where you avoid places or situations that cause you to panic.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder: The most common form where the patient deals with persistent and excessive anxiety levels, even with ordinary, routine issues.
- Panic Disorder: The medical condition causes the patient to experience repeated episodes of sudden anxiety, fear, or terror that peak within minutes and produce panic attacks.
- Social Anxiety Disorder: Also known as social phobia, the person has trouble interacting in social situations and often avoids them to find relief from the negative emotions.
- Substance-Induced Anxiety Disorder: This type of anxiety disorder is common in adults that misuse drugs or alcohol. It can also result from abusing prescription medication or being exposed to toxic substances.
It is impossible to cover every type of anxiety disorder in this article.
There are many specific phobias that people deal with that contribute to high levels of anxiety or terror.
Additionally, you may suffer from an anxiety disorder that is a result of another medical condition.
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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.
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Am I Eligible For Disability Benefits From Va
You may be eligible for disability benefits if you have symptoms related to a traumatic event or your experience with the stressor is related to the PTSD symptoms, and you meet all of the requirements listed below.
All of these must be true:
- The stressor happened during your service, and
- You cant function as well as you once could because of your symptoms, and
- A doctor has diagnosed you with PTSD
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.
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How Much Does Va Unemployability Pay
Individual Unemployability benefits are paid at a rate equivalent to a 100 percent disability rating, which is $3,146.42 per month for a single veteran as of December, 2020. Veterans may receive additional monthly compensation for a spouse or dependent children. See our VA disability pay chart for more rates.
Veterans Compensation Benefits Rate Tables
Rates : 10% – 20%
Basic Rates – 10%-100% Combined Degree Only Effective 12/1/19
|Veteran with Spouse & One Parent||$527.69|
|Veteran with Spouse and Two Parents||$568.69|
|Additional for A/A spouse||$48.00|
|Veteran with Spouse and One Parent||$1,644.17|
|Veteran with Spouse and Two Parents||$1,741.17|
|Additional for A/A spouse||$111.00|
|Veteran with Spouse and Child||$525.69|
|Veteran with Spouse, One Parent and Child||$566.69|
|Veteran with Spouse, Two Parents and Child||$607.69|
|Veteran with One Parent and Child||$510.69|
|Veteran with Two Parents and Child||$551.69|
|Add for Each Additional Child Under Age 18||$25.00|
|Each Additional Schoolchild Over Age 18||$83.00|
|Additional for A/A spouse||$48.00|
|Veteran with Spouse and Child||$1,636.17|
|Veteran with Spouse, One Parent and Child||$1,733.17|
|Veteran with Spouse, Two Parents and Child||$1,830.17|
|Veteran with One Parent and Child||$1,604.17|
|Veteran with Two Parents and Child||$1,701.17|
|Add for Each Additional Child Under Age 18||$60.00|
|Each Additional Schoolchild Over Age 18||$194.00|
|Additional for A/A spouse||$111.00|
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Why Was My Ptsd Claim Denied
The most common reasons why the VA denies benefits for PTSD are: The VA denies the benefits claim on the grounds that the stressor is not verified and that the veteran did not provide enough information to verify the stressor. The VA also likes to deny PTSD claims on the grounds that you dont have a diagnosis of PTSD.
How The Va Views Ptsd
The VA lists PTSD as a mental disorder due to traumatic stress. The VA official site provides this information about PTSD and the VAs approach to it. It says in part that when a mental issue develops in service as a result of a highly stressful event is severe enough to bring about the veterans release from active military service, the VA will assign an initial rating of 50% disability to the condition.
The VA must schedule an exam within six months of the veterans discharge from military service. This evaluation is meant to determine whether the veteran should remain classified as 50% for the condition or if a different rating is required.
When rating PTSD and other mental health issues, it requires professionals to use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as its guide. The VA official site reminds, Rating agencies must be thoroughly familiar with this manual to properly complete the evaluation.
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How Can I Get A 100% Va Disability Rating For Ptsd
Do you need help or advice? Contact us now.
With Mental Illness Awareness Week upon us and World Mental Health Day coming up on October 10, we thought wed shed some light on PTSD and the VA disability benefits system.
First known as shell shock or operational fatigue, our society has come a long way in understanding the full impact of what is now known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a mental health condition affecting the lives of millions of veterans. The 1983 National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study, the first long-term study of its kind, found that some 30% of Vietnam veterans had symptoms of PTSD within eight years of the wars end. A follow-up study published in 2015 in JAMA found that 11% of those male veterans and 9% of female veterans still struggled with PTSD 30 years later. These findings suggest that if PTSD is not treated early, it tends to become a chronic condition. When that happens, veterans with a PTSD diagnosis, along with evidence to back their claim, become eligible for disability benefits through the VA.
Fortunately, growing public awareness of PTSD, and mental health in general, has made it easier for veterans seeking compensation for service-related PTSD. Previously, PTSD was only recognized as an outcome of combat operations, but that too has changed. The VA now acknowledges that non-combat stressors can cause PTSD, if the traumatic event occurred during the veterans time of active duty service.
Ways To Increase Your Ptsd Rating
Are you wondering why your PTSD rating is so low? If you are unsatisfied with the VAs decision, it may be possible to increase your PTSD rating.
The VA ratings for PTSDand all mental health claimsare set at the following percentage increments: 0%, 10%, 30%, 50%, 70%, and 100%.
But the reality is that far too many veterans do not get the PTSD and other mental health ratings they truly deserve. Veterans with severe mental health conditions, including PTSD, can and should obtain their appropriate 50, 70 or 100 percent VA disability rating.
Remember: when rating your VA disability benefits, the VA must consider both your mental health and physical impairments. The severity of your impairments and the more impairments you have, all contribute to a higher VA rating.
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Va Disability Ratings For Mental Health Conditions Related To Mst
MST is not a disability. However, the experience can trigger mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder and depression that are considered compensable disabilities when they are related to a veteran’s military service.
Mental health conditions are rated based on the severity of a veteran’s symptoms as outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition published by the American Psychiatric Association . The VA describes this under their General Rating Formula for Mental Disorders by outlining the criteria for the various possible disability ratings. All mental health conditions, regardless of their cause, are rated using the same criteria.
A victim of MST who has been diagnosed with a condition such as PTSD or depression might receive any of the following VA disability ratings:
What Symptoms Are Associated With Post
PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can negatively impact your outlook on life as well as your ability to work. Should you experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder for more than four weeks having been involved in a workplace accident, you may be entitled to claim compensation from an employer if it can be found they were negligent in their duty to keep you safe from harm and injury at work.
The symptoms you may experience if you suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder may vary depending on the severity of your condition. However, the more common symptoms association with this psychiatric disorder are as follows:
- Extremely stressful memories of an event like a near miss or accident at work in which you or a fellow worker was seriously injured
- Flashbacks of the event which are extremely distressing
- Frequent and constant nightmares
- Inability to concentrate or focus on anything
Apart from the psychological damage you may experience when suffering from PTSD, you may also have to contend with the physical effects associated with this condition which may well include the following:
- Aches and pains
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