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How To Apply For Ptsd Va Benefits

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VA Benefits for PTSD: How to Properly File and WIN Your VA PTSD Claim (*NEW TIPS!*)

Benefits are provided to those who have developed PTSD during, or as a result of, their active military service and can include: financial support with tax-free monetary payments, free or low-cost health care, rehabilitation options, employment assistance, housing grants, living support, and more. For PTSD you will be awarded Disability Compensation, and like all benefits, the amount is based on the severity of the condition. Dependents are also considered as part of your claim, along with any payments you currently receive. Youll begin by completing an application for the Veterans Benefits Administration department who will examine both the medical and psychological evidence of your condition.

Individual Unemployability Benefits & Your Ptsd Claim

Veterans that cant work because of severe PTSD may be eligible for Total Disability Individual Unemployability benefits. The VA will consider not just your PTSD but other mental and physical conditions too. PTSD Individual Unemployability benefits pay the same as a 100% rating. However, you are not required to obtain a 100% rating to be eligible. Eligibility will depend upon your rating and how much your service-connected disabilities prevent you from working.

Veterans that cant work from PTSD may be eligible for both Individual Unemployability and Social Security Disability. Remember, both benefits are completely separate from each other. Each benefit system has different eligibility guidelines. It is possible to be approved for one benefit and denied the other benefit. They each require different evidence as well.

If you cant work from your PTSD, talk to the Individual Unemployability lawyers at Woods & Woods. Our law firm has handled thousands of PTSD claims for veterans that cant work. Our law firm fights for veterans that cant work from PTSD every day.

In this video, a VA disability attorney explains how veterans with PTSD can obtain Individual Unemployability:

How To Apply For Ptsd Va Benefits

January 31, 2015 by Dr. Carlo

If you are a U.S. Vietnam war veteran or a U.S. Iraq war veteran, then up to 17% of you will have combat-related PTSD, or post traumatic stress disorder . If you have PTSD related to combat duty, then you may qualify for VA disability benefits. Sadly, many veterans who have PTSD do not apply for disability, while others wait years or decades before they file for disability. How do I know all this? Well, I helped my father obtain his disability from the VA after decades of suffering. He is a Vietnam war veteran. I asked him about why he did not apply for disability sooner, and he stated he didnt need to see a shrink and that he wasnt crazy. Also, he thought all the nightmares and flashbacks were just part of being a soldier, and he had to just toughen up. So after decades of suffering, I was finally able to convince him that he should go to the VA office and file for disability for PTSD, and I supported his application by providing a written account of my observations and impressions of my father. My dad was fortunatehe had a son who is a psychiatrist, and the application process went smoothly, although it took many months to complete.

I realize that most of you veterans do not have sons or daughters who are psychiatrists. So to optimize and strengthen your PTSD VA disability application, here are some important items:

I hope this is helpful for you veterans who are contemplating applying for PTSD VA disability benefits.


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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.

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Pros: Appealing A 90 Percent Va Disability Rating

How to Apply for VA Benefits
  • If your 90 percent VA disability rating appeal is successful, your pay will be increased by over $1,000 per month.
  • Veterans that obtain a 100% VA disability rating obtain special benefits like college benefits for their children.
  • Veterans have two ways to get a rating higher than 90% VA disability rating: TDIU benefits or a 100% rating.
  • While appealing can be complex, with proper evidence you can win.

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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

A Few Key Rating Principles And Pointers

  • The Schedular Rating is only a START point Extra-schedular Ratings and Analogous Ratings help you to fine-tune your rating to your specific/unique and severe symptoms.
  • 100% is NOT the highest rating SMC ratings can take your total VA Disability Ratings well above $8,000 a month if your condition is extremely severe and limiting.
  • TDIU is not just for the unemployed, and it is not just for those that meet the 60/70-40 Rule. If your symptoms interfere with your ability to earn a wage above federal poverty levels, or if your symptoms are so bad that the only employment you can get is sheltered employment, you may be entitled to TDIU.
  • The VA will frequently tell you that you cannot service-connect a condition because there is no rating for it on the Schedule this is nonsense, and is the equivalent of saying that because Bobs Diner doesnt have dessert on their menu, there is no such thing as chocolate. More on that later.
  • Extra-Schedular Ratings are a hot topic in Veterans Law if you think the schedular rating, even if correctly applied, doesnt compensate you enough for a unique disability picture, learn about 38 CFR 3.321 and seek an Extra-Schedular Rating.
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    How To Increase Your Ptsd Va Rating From 70% To 100%

    Post-traumatic stress disorder is a very common condition among veterans. Symptoms of PTSD can often be debilitating and interfere with a veterans day-to-day life. The Department of Veterans Affairs offers disability benefits for veterans who developed PTSD as a result of their service. Continue reading to learn more about the different percentage rates for VA disability compensation for PTSD and the criteria needed to qualify for them.

    How Can I Qualify For Va Benefits For Ptsd Direct Service Connection For Ptsd

    How Is PTSD Evaluated for VA Benefits?

    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.

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    How To Get Increased Disability Compensation

    Did you know that you can have your VA disability compensation benefit increased by the Department of Veterans Affairs?

    Many types of medical conditions get worse over time. If you are getting disability benefits from the VA, you have the right to request that your rating be increased if your medical condition gets worse or causes your health to deteriorate.

    Before you file for an increase in your disability rating, make sure you know what you can expect from the VA, and be prepared for both the best and worst outcomes you might face after requesting a disability rating increase.

    There are basically three different courses of action you can take when applying for an increase in disability benefits: requesting compensation for a new disability filing for an increase to an existing disability because the condition has gotten worse, or you can disagree with the VAs current disability rating decision.

    Proving A Service Connection

    Once you have an official PTSD diagnosis, youll need to be able to prove a service connection for your condition. In essence, a service connection is a specific incident or set of circumstances that could have caused your condition. In the case of PTSD, almost any aspect of military service is enough to be a service connection.

    If you served in a combat zone, were taken prisoner, or lost friends in the service, those can all qualify as service connections. Harsh service conditions, such as poor hygiene conditions or inhumane discipline can also qualify. The incident you use as your service connection will need to be something documented in your military records.

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    What Each Rating Means

    100% rating: Completely unable to function socially or at work with symptoms such as severely inappropriate behavior, ongoing hallucinations or delusions, consistent threat of harming self or others, unable to remember basic information such as names of close relatives, severe confusion and disorientation, and/or inability to care for self.

    70% rating: Unable to function in most social and work areas with symptoms such as obsessive behaviors, illogical speech, depression and panic so persistent that it interferes with ability to function, suicidal thinking, inability to control impulses , neglecting self-care such as hygiene, inability to handle stress, and/or inability to maintain relationships.

    50% rating:Some impairment in ability to function socially and at work with lack of reliability and productivity, due to symptoms such as trouble understanding, memory loss , poor judgment, mood disturbances, trouble with work and social relationships, and/or having one or more panic attacks weekly.

    30% rating: Some trouble functioning socially and at work, occasionally inefficient with work or unable to perform work tasks, but generally able to care of self and speak normally. Symptoms can include depression, anxiety, chronic difficulty sleeping, mild memory loss, suspiciousness, and panic attacks .

    10% rating: Mild symptoms creating work and social impairment when under significant stress, or mild symptoms managed successfully with continuous medication.

    The Disabling Symptoms Of Post

    Applying for veterans benefits can be especially confusing ...

    PTSD can be acute or chronic, with a broad scope of severity. Once the threat is gone, intense, adverse emotions leave sufferers with a jumble of imagery, sounds, smells, and other vivid memories of the event. PTSD symptoms can include:

    • Flashbacks Reminders of past events that trigger flashbacks, where the person suddenly relives the event as though it is happening again, without control. Triggers can be physical surroundings, smells, sounds, certain people, or other reminders of the painful experience.
    • Dissociation Emotional numbness, a sense of being disconnected from yourself and detached from others. The person can lose awareness of whats going on around them, being taken totally back mentally to the traumatic event.
    • Nightmares Intrusive memories of the event can be in the form of dreams and night terrors.
    • Intense fears Episodes of intense, debilitating fear memories may be accompanied by periods of horror and helplessness, also referred to as emotional paralysis.

    Further common symptoms of PTSD include:

    • Anxiety and depression
    • Angry outbursts, exaggerated startle response
    • Avoidant behavior

    Symptoms normally begin soon after the traumatic event however, PTSD can also suddenly be triggered years later.

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    B Medical Conditions Which Are To Be Included In Entitlement/assessment

    NOTE: If specific conditions are listed for a category, only these conditions are included in the entitlement and assessment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. If no conditions are listed for a category, all conditions within the category are included in the entitlement and assessment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

    • Other Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders
    • Anxiety Disorders
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders
  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Discuss Alcohol And Drug Use

    If you’ve used alcohol and drugs to cope with your PTSD symptoms, it’s ok to write about that. This is your chance to explain that you couldn’t handle having PTSD and that your alcohol or drug use began, or worsened, after the stressful events occurred. You can also talk about whether you are now clean and sober and how long you have been in treatment, if applicable.

    If you still use alcohol and drugs, talk about why you do so, and how often. Again, this can be evidence of the impact PTSD is having on your life.

    Finally, write about how you are now feeling about your present life, whether you are in treatment for PTSD, and if you aren’t, why not. Sign your statement, and if there are several pages, add page numbers and staple the packet together.

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    General Rating Formula For Mental Disorders

    If the VBA determines that a veteran suffers from service-connected PTSD, then they assign a disability rating, expressed as a percentage. This disability rating determines the amount of compensation and other disability benefits the VA provides the veteran. The disability rating indicates the extent to which PTSD has deprived the veteran of their average earnings capacity.

    The VA assigns disability ratings based on criteria set forth in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 38, Part 4Schedule for Rating Disabilities, often referred to as the “VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities” or VASRD. The rating schedule for mental disorders is called the “General Rating Formula for Mental Disorders” , which specifies criteria for disability ratings of 0%, 10%, 30%, 50%, 70%, or 100%.

    Some argue that by relying on the current Rating Formula, “VA uses decades-old regulations developed for mental disorders that do not resemble PTSD”, and consequently, “rrelevant criteria … may outweigh … more relevant factors, leading VA to undercompensate veterans with valid diagnoses of PTSD.” Similarly, veterans service organizations have argued, for example, that a “… veteran service connected for schizophrenia and another veteran service connected for another psychiatric disorder should not be evaluated using the same general formula” and have supported efforts to revise the Rating Formula.

    You’ll Need This Information:

    Too Late To File for VA PTSD Benefits?
    • Social Security numbers for you, your spouse, and your qualified dependents
    • Your military discharge papers
    • Insurance card information for all insurance companies that cover you, including any coverage provided through a spouse or significant other. This includes Medicare, private insurance, or insurance from your employer.
    • Gross household income from the previous calendar year for you, your spouse, and your dependents. This includes income from a job and any other sources. Gross household income is your income before taxes and any other deductions.
    • Your deductible expenses for the past year. These include certain health care and education costs.

    Note: You don’t have to tell us about your income and expenses when you apply. But if youre not eligible based on other factors, well need this information to decide on your application.

    Were sorry. Something went wrong when we tried to load your saved application.

    Llene la solicitud para Beneficions de Salud .Usted o alguien con poder legal para representarlo tiene que firmar la forma, e incluir la fecha en que fué firmada.

    • Si esta usando un poder legal, tendra que incluir una copia de la forma con su solicitud.
    • Si firma con una X, 2 personas que usted conoce tienen que tambien firmar acertando que lo vieron firmar la forma.

    Puede mandar su solicitud por correo a esta dirección:

    Health Eligibility Center2957 Clairmont Rd., Suite 200Atlanta, GA 30329

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    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 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.

    Gather Multiple Buddy Statements

    Buddy statements from family, friends, and people you served with can help support different aspects of your claim. Formally known as a Statement in Support of Claim, a buddy statement can elaborate on the stressor that caused your PTSD, how youve changed since your diagnosis, or the different ways in which your diagnosis affects your daily routine. There is no limit to the number of buddy statements you can submit in support of your claim.

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    How The Va Rates Mental Illness

    While the VA has different diagnostic codes for different mental illnesses, such as 9411 for PTSD and 9434 for depression, all mental health conditions are rated under the same criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , published by the American Psychiatric Association. These criteria will be explained below.

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    Additional Benefits For Dependents

    Veterans Transition Support and Development Center: VA ...

    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.

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