Thursday, May 23, 2024

What Va Rating Is Ptsd

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Getting Assistance With Your Ptsd Va Appeal

How to Get a 100% PTSD VA Rating

Sometimes VA makes mistakes when adjudicating claims. They may assign an incorrect rating that does not accurately reflect the severity of symptoms, or they may deny service connection even when evidence indicates that service connection is warranted.

If you believe your rating for PTSD should be higher or if VA denied you disability benefits altogether, the experienced veterans advocates from Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD may be able to help you appeal the decision.

Reach out to CCK today to schedule a free consultation at .

Do Not 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.

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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When Do Veterans Receive Automatic 50% Ptsd Ratings

It is a common misconception that any veteran with PTSD receives an automatic 50% rating. However, this is not the case. The VA awards automatic 50% PTSD ratings to veterans who were discharged from the military because of their PTSD.

Although the VA assigns the 50% PTSD rating automatically after this type of medical discharge, it will re-evaluate the veteran in six months to see if this rating should still apply. Factors the VA considers at the re-evaluation appointment include:

  • Duration, frequency, and severity of psychiatric symptoms
  • Whether the veteran has experienced any remission periods
  • Whether and how much capacity the veteran has to readjust to civilian society during remission periods
  • Extent of social impairment

How Va Disability Ratings Work

VA PTSD Rating Criteria Explained

Once the VA approves your disability compensation application, they will assign you a disability rating. This rating is expressed as a percentage, and it represents the amount your disability disrupts your ability to live a normal, healthy life. The higher the percentage, the more severe your condition.

In general, VA disability ratings are rounded to the nearest 10 percent for compensation purposes. They can range from 10 percent to 100 percent. Your disability rating will be the primary determining factor when the VA is calculating how much compensation you will receive each month.

Here is a video explaining how the VA combined ratings table works from one of our Veterans Disability Lawyers.

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What To Expect At Your C& p Exam

Before you even go to the examination, you have some homework to do. You need to make a list of ALL your symptoms, the frequency of them, and how they affect your life. You should also compile exam results and any medical exam info you may already have in your files. This is one of the most important exam tips you will receive from anywhere!

One way to get this list is to keep a small notebook on hand or a notepad on your phone. Use this to take notes when you think of or experience a symptom. This way, you remember to tell the VA examiner about all of your symptoms.

Additionally, have a spouse, friend, or family member keep track of what they observe. I know, I know, the last thing you want is your spouse keeping track of every time you lose your temper. Her notes, however, can be very helpful to your claim. Even better, bring this person with you to your C& P examination. They can discuss your symptoms from their angle. Afterward, they can help you remember there were any inconsistencies in the examiners report.

Help For Ptsd: When And How To Get It

If you are a Veteran struggling with symptoms that you think may be related to PTSD, visit your local VA center or get a referral to a psychologist for a diagnosis. To receive a PTSD diagnosis, you will need to take an in-depth assessment by a mental health professional. Honesty is key when you take your PTSD assessment. Dont downplay your symptoms. This could cause the VA to assign a rating that is lower than you deserve.

Once you have received a PTSD diagnosis from a professional, you can start treatment. PTSD is a struggle, but treatments tend to be highly effective in many circumstances, particularly medication and therapy.

Counseling for PTSD can be a major help in the recovery process. A licensed mental health professional can help you process and unpack your trauma in a safe environment through the use of one of several highly effective forms of counseling. Multiple forms of therapy can effectively treat PTSD, including cognitive behavioral therapy and prolonged exposure therapy.

Through a combination of consistent therapy and taking an SSRI, you can see significant improvements in your PTSD symptoms.

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Va Disability Pay Chart Expectations For 2022

The announcement for the following yearsâ change in COLA doesnât typically come out until October. However, based on the Consumer Price Index, VA disability pay could increase anywhere from 5 to 6 percent in 2022.

We will update our charts here accordingly when the numbers are finalized.


  • Rates for more than one child are shown separately and are not included with any other compensation rates unless otherwise stated. For example, a Veteran with a 70% disability rating, spouse and four children would receive $1,975.71 .
  • Where the Veteran has a spouse who is determined to require Aid and Attendance, add the figure shown as additional for A& A spouse to the amount shown for the proper dependency code. For example, a Veteran with a 70% disability rating and an Aid and Attendance spouse and two minor children would receive $1,830.71 .
  • Erectile Dysfunction Secondary To Ptsd

    30% PTSD VA Disability Rating Breakdown

    Erectile DysfunctionErectile dysfunction, or ED, is defined as difficulty getting or keeping an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse.

    Some veterans can experience ED as a result of the emotional stress caused by their PTSD, while others may find ED to be a side effect of PTSD medication.

    There is no specific disability rating for erectile dysfunction. Instead, VA rates the condition under 38 C.F.R. § 4.115b. The rating codes used may be:

    • Code 7520: If doctors removed half or more than half of your penis, you receive a rating of 30 percent.
    • Code 7521: If doctors removed your glans, your rating is 20 percent.
    • Code 7522: If your penis cannot become erect because of a physical deformity, you receive a 20-percent rating.
    • Code 7523: If your erectile dysfunction is due to atrophied testicles, a condition often resulting in reduced testosterone and thus a lower sex drive, you receive a 20-percent rating if the condition affects both testicles, and a 0 percent rating if it affects only one testicle.
    • Code 7524: If you had both testicles removed due to a service-connected event, you receive a 30-percent rating if you had one testicle removed due to a service-connected event, you receive a 0-percent rating.

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    How To Get A Va Rating For Ptsd And Depression

    Veterans, in this post, I break down the VA Rating for PTSD and Depression.

    VA claims for PTSD and Depression are rated on the same general scale according to CFR 38, Part 4, Schedule for Rating Disabilities, General Rating Formula for Mental Disorders.

    In order to get a VArating for PTSD and Depression, you need to have A medical diagnosis ofboth conditions with a separate diagnosis for each, A clear Nexus to proveservice connection for PTSD and Depression, and Current symptoms of the mentalhealth conditions.

    Generally, a veteranwill get rated for only ONE mental health condition.

    The reason why veteranswill only have one mental health condition with a rating is due to a legalconcept called pyramiding.

    Thus, its unlikely fora veteran to have a VA rating for PTSD AND Depression, however, it is stillpossible as explained below.

    Evidence Needed To Obtain A 100 Percent Va Disability Rating For Ptsd

    As you already know, the Veterans Benefits Administration wont just hand you a 100 percent VA disability rating for PTSD. To win your 100 percent VA disability rating for PTSD, you will need to submit evidence that backs up your VA claims.

    Think like a veterans disability benefits lawyer when applying for your 100 percent VA disability rating for PTSD. You will make your argument to the VA through evidence like service records and medical records. Present the strongest argument you can to the VA to obtain your 100 percent VA disability rating for PTSD.

    Evidence that veterans regularly use to win their PTSD claims:

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    How Does The Va Rate Ptsd

    The VA uses the Schedule of Ratings for Mental Disorders based on the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association.

    PTSD is among about two dozen mental disorders, and the VA uses the same ratings scale for each of them.

    Disability ratings for psychiatric disorders are as follows:

    When veterans do not meet the criteria for an automatic a 50% PTSD rating, they will need to meet the criteria listed here to receive a disability rating at this level.

    Dont Exaggerate Your Symptoms

    VA Disability Rating for PTSD EXplained

    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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    Compensation & Pension Examinations

    Compensation & Pension exams take place in designated VA clinics. These exams allow VA-approved medical professionals to order the VA to gather evidence in support of a claim. Typically these are used as supplemental pieces to an already present diagnosis.

    The exam will include psychological testing, a routine examination, and a variety of questions that help the doctor understand the severity of your disability. The doctor will not provide any sort of treatment or medication for your disability. During a C& P exam, you will likely also be required to fill out an insomnia DBQ, or disability service questionnaire. An insomnia DBQ will provide information to the doctor on symptoms youre experiencing, details on the event you believe caused insomnia, and why you believe your insomnia is service-connected.

    The examiner will then write a report to the VA for further review. If the C& P results are unfavorable, you can challenge them to earn a better insomnia VA rating. This report can be very helpful especially to veterans who develop insomnia years after their time in the military. Getting an extra opinion on service connection can help to get your claim approved. C& P examiners can also determine that the insomnia is eligible for secondary service connection compensation, meaning the insomnia was caused by another, a primary service-connected disability.

    What Happens After Va Grants Service Connection For Ptsd

    Once a veteran establishes service connection for their PTSD claim, the battle isnt over. The veteran must do what he can to make sure the VA gives him the correct compensation.

    Compensation is based on the rating VA assigns a veteran . This rating is based on how severe the veterans PTSD symptoms are.

    Because the ratings are based on the veterans symptoms, its important to have medical records. These records should detail the symptoms the veteran suffers, and how they affect the veterans life.

    Again, this is another area where having medical opinions is crucial to building a strong case. The max rating is 100%, but this is hard to get. A lot of veterans end up with a 70% rating and unemployability because they cannot work.

    The VA will use a C& P exam to help them determine what the appropriate rating is. A veteran should review the PTSD rating criteria that VA uses. The veteran should discuss with family and friends how they see PTSD affecting the veteran. This will give the veteran evidence he needs to assure the C& P examiner as a full picture of his problems.

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    What Ptsd Rating Do I Need To Get Iu

    For the first step, the veteran must have one service-connected disability that is rated at 60 percent or higher. To get IU from a PTSD rating must be 70%. If the veteran doesnt have one rating that high then she can have a combined disability rating of 70%. With either of these scenarios, one of the service-connected disabilities rated at least 40%. Note that for the combined disability calculation, certain disabilities are rated together, for example, disabilities that stem from the same accident or that are all part of the same body system. In the combined scenario, a veteran could have a PTSD rating less than 70% and receive IU. The veteran would qualify for IU if the PTSD and other ratings combine to 70%.

    Traumatic Brain Injury And Ptsd

    70% PTSD VA Rating: What it Means and How to Qualify

    Many veterans with PTSD have also sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury. PTSD is frequently secondary service-connected to TBI, with both conditions resulting from the same event, and sharing many of the same symptoms. The conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq have generated growing numbers of veterans who have suffered TBI.

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    Va Disability Benefits For Depression And Ptsd

    posted on

    VA Disability Benefits for Depression and PTSD

    What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

    Post-traumatic stress disorder is a psychiatric condition that can present itself in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. People with PTSD often have intense, disturbing thoughts and feelings related to their experience that lasts long after the traumatic event. These individuals may also relive the event through flashbacks or nightmares and deal with feelings of sadness, fear, or anger by avoiding situations that remind them of the traumatic event.

    Symptoms of PTSD fall into four categories:

    • Intrusive Thoughts. Repeated, involuntary memories distressing dreams or flashbacks of the traumatic event.
    • Avoidance. Avoiding people, places, activities, objects, and/or situations that bring on distressing memories.
    • Negative Thoughts and Feelings. Ongoing and distorted beliefs about oneself or others ongoing fear horror, anger, guilt, or shame loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed feeling detached.
    • Arousal and Reactive Symptoms. Being irritable and having angry outbursts reckless or self-destructive behavior being easily startles or having problems concentrating or sleeping.

    What is Depression?

    Depression is mental health condition that affects the way an individual thinks, feels, and acts. Symptoms of depression tend to vary among individuals, but common symptoms include:

    Service Connection for PTSD and Depression


    • Combat exposure

    Va Disability Rating For Sleep Disturbances

    The VA currently recognizes three major sleep disorder VA ratings. While other disorders may factor in, the main three are insomnia, sleep apnea, and narcolepsy.

    Although not covered, some disorders still provide their own rating in these three categories. The hypersomnia VA rating, which you get when you feel excessive sleepiness during the day, is 30%. Sleep paralysis is not a disability on its own, neither is sleepwalking, but both of these are considered symptoms of the greater sleep disorder categories that can increase VA ratings.

    Some disorders fit into other categories and can still increase ratings. The REM sleep behavior disorder VA disability can act as a signal for Parkinsons, which may help you receive benefits before symptoms occur. A VA claim for periodic limb movement can also contribute to sleep difficulties due to restless legs or other body parts.

    Some disorders that dont interfere with work and other activities will not be eligible for compensation. Some people experience sleep troubles because they work night shifts or rotating shifts, this is called shift work sleep disorder. VA disability is based on the need for financial compensation, therefore this disorder doesnt make the cut.

    Getting a chronic sleep impairment VA rating can be frustrating when your condition does not match the exact symptoms. Many veterans refer to legal guidance when deciding whether or not their disability is eligible for compensation.

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    Can Ptsd Cause Hypertension

    Studies have indicated there is a link between hypertension and PTSD. Specifically, in a group of nearly 200,000 veterans who served between September 2001 and July 2010, a diagnosis of PTSD left untreated was associated with a 24-46 percent greater risk of hypertension. The findings of this specific study were consistent among male and female veterans.

    The connection between PTSD and hypertension may be due to several different factors. One of the most likely is that PTSD often causes physiological symptoms. These symptoms can include:

    • Recurrent, involuntary, or intrusive and distressing memories of trauma
    • Recurrent distressing dreams related to trauma
    • Flashbacks or dissociative events where the veteran may feel as though the trauma is recurring
    • Intense or prolonged psychological distress due to exposure to anything that resembles the trauma
    • Physiological reactions to anything that reminds the veteran of the trauma
    • Irritable or aggressive behavior
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Insomnia

    As the body tends to undergo changes in arousal, reactivity, and heightened sensitivity with PTSD , the body may also experience persistent, prolonged high stress. The high level of stress that accompanies PTSD may cause veterans to experience hypertension.

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