Proposed Treatment Referral After Compensation Examination
I propose that the institutional and procedural steps that convey that compensation examinations for veterans with PTSD claims are purely evaluative be amended to add that all OIF/OEF veterans who undergo these examinations be offered VA treatment. Ideally, this would involve the following:
- Correspondence from the VBA to veterans applying for service-connected compensation would explain how to access treatment for PTSD at the local VHA facilities.
- The compensation examiner would explain that the veterans application was filed with the VBA branch of VA and that the examiner is conducting the exam to assist the VBA branch. The examiner would explain that a separate treatment service is available to treat PTSD and other disorders that may help relieve their distress.
- Compensation examiners would be directed to make a referral to treatment at the end of the examination with wording as follows: I have been interviewing you so that the Veterans Benefits Administration can decide on your claim, and I have not been treating your distress. I can refer you to a clinician here whose job will be to help you with the issues you raised. That person will not be doing an evaluation of your claim and can focus on helping you.
- A therapist trained to treat PTSD and related conditions would be available to see veterans immediately after the compensation examination. Alternatively, an on-site OIF/OEF coordinator could coordinate the clinical referrals.
How To Determine Your Monthly Va Disability Payment
To determine your monthly disability payment, navigate to the table below that fits your disability rating, marital and dependent status. Once youÃ¢re on the correct table, follow your rating across to your specific marital and dependent status.
If you have additional children or a spouse receiving Aid and Attendance benefits, you should include these figures from the added amounts table.
Jump directly to the tables here:
You may qualify for more depending on if your spouse receives Aid and Attendance benefits and the number of children you have. View the added amounts table here and how to calculate.
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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.
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How Woods And Woods Can Help With Your Ptsd Rating
Hiring experienced VA lawyers can help you improve your case. Woods & Woods can work to help you increase your PTSD disability rating. We will help you file paperwork, obtain all the necessary documents , and help you through the appeals process.
Our goal is to help veterans get the benefits they deserve. We understand the sacrifice that veterans have made, and it is our goal to ensure that your time in service is not forgotten.
We offer free, no-obligation consultations and we only charge a fee if we win your appeal. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help with your PTSD disability claim.
Talk to Us About Your Claim:
What Is Ptsd And How Is It Rated By The Va
The Mayo Clinic defines PTSD as a mental health condition thats triggered by a terrifying event either experiencing or witnessing it. Someone who has PTSD could experience extreme emotional symptoms and uncontrollable thoughts and flashbacks.
Once you have been diagnosed with PTSD, the VA will rate the severity of your condition. The various ratings are:
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How To Make Your Ptsd Claim As Strong As Possible
Even if your treatment records fully address all of the above covered elements, ask your treating psychologist or psychiatrist to write a letter or treatment note confirming that, based on his or her observations and treatment, he or she has diagnosed you with PTSD under the DSM 5, explaining how your PTSD symptoms satisfy all of the DSM 5 diagnostic criteria, describing your specific in-service stressor, opining that your PTSD is caused by your specific in-service stressor, and describing the effects of your PTSD symptoms on your occupational and social functioning. Your treating psychologist or psychologist may also complete and sign a copy of the VAs PTSD Disability Benefits Questionnaire , which is the form the VA asks its own examining psychologists and psychiatrists to complete for every veteran who is evaluated in a C& P examination. Though up-to-date versions of such DBQs are no longer publicly available, any DBQ completed and signed by treating doctor constitutes medical evidence that the VA must consider in adjudicating your claim.
Va Disability Compensation For Ptsd
Posttraumatic stress can happen after someone goes through a traumatic event such as combat, an assault, or a disaster. Most people have some stress reactions following trauma. But if the reactions dont go away over time or they disrupt your life, you may have posttraumatic stress disorder . Find out if you can get disability compensation or benefits if you have symptoms of PTSD.
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Percent Va Disability Rating For Ptsd Criteria
Total occupational and social impairment, dueto such symptoms as: gross impairment in thought processes or communication persistent delusions or hallucinations grossly inappropriate behavior persistentdanger of hurting self or others intermittent inability to perform activitiesof daily living disorientation to time or place memory loss for names of close relatives, ownoccupation, or own name.
Whereas the 70 PTSD rating is markedly less severe, andincludes the following symptoms:
Is Ptsd A Disability Under The Equality Act
The Equality Act is the law that can shield you from discrimination. Plus, it gives you the right to challenge it. It can only protect you if you have certain characteristics such as a mental health problem.
For a mental health issue to be called a disability, it should have a long-term effect on your regular activities. Meaning a mental health issue that can last up to 12 months. Unfortunately, PTSD isnt among the recognized conditions in the act.
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Focal Point #: The Ptsd Diagnostic Exam
A good Diagnostic exam is like a bowling ball that hits squarely between the #1 and #2 pins: everything falls right into place.
It can establish your rating, and when done properly, can help to corroborate certain stressor events. It also will largely ignore the GAF Score if your VA or private psychologist or psychiatrist assigned one.
Done properly, it can also be a very strong piece of evidence that a VA C& P Examiner cannot attack or rebut when making the ultimate nexus determination.
Are Ptsd Ratings Permanent
In most cases, disability ratings for the condition may be subject to change. For example, if a veterans PTSD worsens over time, they can file for an increased rating. On the other hand, if VA finds that a veterans PTSD has improved since the initial rating, there are some situations in which their disability rating can be reduced.
Under certain circumstances, veterans may be assigned a permanent and total disability rating for PTSD, which guarantees full monthly compensation for the remainder of the veterans life.
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Cite Your Nexus For Ptsd With The Va
A nexus is the link between the veterans current PTSD diagnosis and his in-service stressor. The veterans current diagnosis must be related to his in-service stressor. The veteran must prove the nexus through medical evidence, such as an opinion from a qualified doctor.
Another great resource for establishing a nexus is records from a Vet Center. Vet Centers have licensed social workers that will document the connection between the veterans stressor and their current diagnosis.
Keep in mind that proving each one of the three requirements above is vital to getting a PTSD claim service connected. If the proof falls short in one area, the VA will deny service connection.
Get The Help You Need To Access The Benefits You Deserve
As you can see, the automatic 50% rating for PTSD applies only in very limited cases and doesnt offer permanent benefits. The vast majority of Veterans will need to accurately document their symptoms and service-connected stressors to win their disability claim.
Although the process of receiving disability benefits is notoriously complex, you dont have to go through it alone. Our attorneys help Veterans whove honorably served their country access the disability benefits they need and deserve. Contact the office of Sean Kendall, Attorney-at-Law, today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
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Short Term Relief Still Important
As with many mental health conditions, short term relief of the most severe symptoms is still vital to long term recovery. Take anxiety disorders as one example. It can feel impossible to make positive changes, learn new skills, or receive psychological therapy during the most intense period of the condition. Basically, eating better and getting enough exercise isnt an option when anxieties are running near panic levels.
Often, short term relief, with medical cannabis or pharmaceuticals, is needed to reduce the intensity of the experience to something more manageable. Short term relief allows for better mental capacity, which means the ability for long-term therapeutic approaches.
Essentially this theory postulates that patients may need help to get out of a mental health crisis, which will then give them the ability to work on long term solutions. Could this also be true for other mental health conditions, like PTSD? Maybe cannabis can help reduce anxiety, irritability, and flashbacks enough to allow patients to reach out for additional assistance.
Understanding The Va Disability Rating For Ptsd
The VA assigns benefit applicants a disability rating based on the severity of their service-connected condition. The VA disability rating determines how much disability compensation the veteran receives each month, as well as their eligibility for other VA benefits.
A 100% disability rating means the veterans physical and/or mental disability makes it impossible for them to maintain substantially gainful employment. The VA defines substantially gainful employment as employment that people who are not disabled ordinarily undertake to earn their livelihood and which pays at a rate common to that particular occupation.
The VA rates veterans with disabilities due to mental disorders as 10%, 30%, 50%, 70%, or 100% disabled.
Under federal law, a veteran who is released from active military service because of a mental disorder that develops in service as a result of a highly stressful event, such as PTSD, is automatically assigned a disability rating of 50% and reexamined in six months.
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What You Should Know About Ptsd As A Va
The VA needs veterans who apply for PTSD compensation to establish a service connection to the trauma. Any medical documentation you have including information from private caregivers, counselors, civilian mental health professionals, and other supporting evidence will be crucial to establishing your claim,
If you have the ability to have a military doctor or counselor evaluate you prior to retirement or separation do so as soon as possible and continue to follow up with your appointments and treatments until you are discharged.
Those who do not have a military medical record that includes evaluation of or treatment for mental health disorders will have a more difficult time proving a service connection in some cases but it is not impossibleyou may need to enlist the help of a Veterans Service Organization or legal firm experienced with veteran compensation issues in this area.
But much depends on circumstances, the amount of documentation you have, and other variables. Always assume that you should accomplish as much in your military medical records as possible prior to discharge for best results.
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The Evaluation Of Ptsd Disability Claims
This chapter addresses the evaluation of posttraumatic stress disorder compensation and pension claims by the Veterans Benefits Administration of the Department of Veterans Affairs . It contains a brief summary of the means by which veterans may obtain compensation for service-related disabilities, background on the claims evaluation process, and the committees response to elements of the charge related to these evaluations.
How Disability Ratings Are Calculated
Under schedular criteria, the VA determines what percentage of a veterans body is impaired by their service-connected disability. Ratings are awarded from 0% to 100% in 10% increments. A 0% rating means that a veterans condition is service-connected but causes no measurable impairment, while a 100% rating means the condition causes severe impairment leading to an inability to work or live independently.
When a veteran has multiple disabilities, the ratings for each individual impairment arent simply added together. Since a veteran cant be more than 100% disabled, the VA subtracts the secondary condition from the disability causing the most impairment. This VA math makes it hard to receive a 100% rating despite experiencing serious difficulty performing everyday activities.
Dont Exaggerate Your Symptoms
Weve seen several C& P exams where the examiner accuses the veteran of malingering, or exaggerating his or her symptoms. Often, this is NOT the case. However, if an examiner BELIEVES you are malingering, it may affect the entire report. Doctors use exams, such as the MMPI, on veterans who they think are malingering. This will obviously negatively affect your claim.
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What Is The Total Permanent Disability Definition
Permanence of total disabilitywill be taken to exist when such impairment is reasonably certain to continuethroughout the life of the disabled person. The permanent loss or loss of useof both hands, or of both feet, or of one hand and one foot, or of the sight ofboth eyes, or becoming permanently helpless or bedridden constitutes permanenttotal disability. Diseases and injuries of long standing which are totallyincapacitating will be regarded as permanently and totally disabling when theprobability of permanent improvement under treatment is remote. Permanent totaldisability ratings may not be granted as a result of any incapacity from acuteinfectious disease, accident, or injury, unless there is present one of therecognized combinations or permanent loss of use of extremities or sight, orthe person is in the strict sense permanently helpless or bedridden, or when itis reasonably certain that a subsidence of the acute or temporary symptoms willbe followed by irreducible totality of disability by way of residuals. The ageof the disabled person may be considered in determining permanence.
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Va Disability Rating For Ptsd
Military members who experience trauma may develop symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which is eligible for VA compensation for service-connected or service-aggravated conditions.
But for some, the process of establishing a VA rating for PTSD is a mystery. Understanding how the VA views and rates this condition goes a long way toward helping those who suffer from PTSD file their claims and document their condition properly for the purpose of getting a VA disability rating for the condition where applicable.
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How C& P Exams Get Scheduled
Hopefully, you will receive written notice of the exam after sending your claim for veterans benefits. Ideally, you receive this notice sometime before the examination is due to take place so that you have plenty of time to reschedule if needed. There is a chance you do not receive the notice or receive it too late.
Two Rules For Ptsd Va Ratings
According to §4.126, evaluation of disability from mentaldisorders, the RVSR is required to consider these tworules:
When evaluating PTSD, the rating agency shall considerthe frequency, severity, and duration of psychiatric symptoms, the length ofremissions, and the veterans capacity for adjustment during periods ofremission.
The rating agency shall assign an evaluation based on allthe evidence of record that bears on occupational and social impairment ratherthan solely on the examiners assessment of the level of disability now of theexamination.
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 on the basis of social impairment.
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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 2022:
- 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 2022 is 70%.
With Dependents Including Children
Find the dependent status in the left column that best describes you. Then look for your disability rating in the top row. Your basic monthly rate is where your dependent status and disability rating meet.
If you have more than one child or your spouse receives Aid and Attendance benefits, be sure to also look at the Added amounts table, and add these to your amount from the Basic monthly rates table.
|Dependent status||30% disability rating||40% disability rating||50% disability rating||60% disability rating|
|Dependent status||Veteran with 1 child only||30% disability rating||504.39||40% disability rating||722.28||50% disability rating||1020.44||60% disability rating||1,288.03|
|With 1 child and spouse||30% disability rating||563.39||40% disability rating||801.28||50% disability rating||1,118.44||60% disability rating||1,407.03|
|With 1 child, spouse, and 1 parent||30% disability rating||607.39||40% disability rating||860.28||50% disability rating||1,192.44||60% disability rating||1,496.03|
|With 1 child, spouse, and 2 parents||30% disability rating||651.39||40% disability rating||919.28||50% disability rating||1,266.44||60% disability rating||1,585.03|
|With 1 child and 1 parent||30% disability rating||548.39||40% disability rating||781.28||50% disability rating||1,094.44||60% disability rating||1,377.03|
|With 1 child and 2 parents||30% disability rating||592.39||40% disability rating||840.28||50% disability rating||1,168.44||60% disability rating||1,466.03|
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