Describe How You Have Changed
Next, describe what your life was like before you began military service, what your relationship with friends and families was like, how you did in school, whether you played sports or had a job. Then describe what happened after you returned home from the service. Give examples of problems you had with work, school, or relationships. Describe your difficulty adjusting to civilian life. If you were no longer interested in activities you once enjoyed, talk about that.
Give specific examples of your PTSD symptoms. For example “I had a panic attack when I heard a car backfire, I thought it was gunfire” or “I heard someone scream on TV and I ran for cover.” This will be much more effective than providing clinical descriptions of symptoms that you may have learned while undergoing mental health treatment.
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.
Can Veterans Qualify For Other Benefits With Ptsd
Another way to get approved for SSD benefits is to receive a medical-vocational allowance . Actually, this is more common. A veteran can obtain an MVA if he or she has been denied benefits during any step of the process. Similarly, they must demonstrate a limited Residual Functional Capacity . Even more, an individuals RFC is what he or she can still do within the limitations imposed by PTSD.
In fact, it is possible for a veteran to qualify for both VA benefits and SSD benefits. however, eligibility and payment amounts are determined differently by each agency. But even so, since VA benefits are income-based, they can disqualify a veteran from receiving SSD benefits. As a result, the relationship between the two agencies and the types of benefits they provide can be confusing. Alternatively, an experienced attorney can help navigate the complicated application process. Instead, they may secure the appropriate benefits for the sacrifices a veteran has made.
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Contact A Va Disability Attorney
Post-traumatic stress disorder is the most prevalent mental health issue that Veterans endure after returning home from military service. You may already know that you should be eligible for a VA PTSD disability claim, but the process of applying for one may seem too complicated without assistance from an attorney. The VA is an extensive bureaucracy that can make incorrect decisions. One of these wrong decisions could cause your legitimate service-related PTSD disability claim to get denied, forcing you down the often long and daunting path of appeals for adequate compensation. At Berry Law, we have a team of VA disability lawyers ready to help Veterans with their PTSD claim, offering the information, experience, and expertise to provide you with a better chance of having a VA appeal for disability benefits approved the first time around. Our law firm can also help veterans with PTSD who have had their claims rejected repeatedly and would like to continue appealing the decision. Focus on your own health by allowing us to fight for you. Contact our law firm today for more information and your free case evaluation.
The attorneys at Berry Law Firm are dedicated to helping injured Veterans. With extensive experience working with VA disability claims, Berry Law can help you with your disability appeals.
Individual Unemployability & Ptsd Claims
Total Disability Individual Unemployability benefits are for veterans that cannot work from their service-connected conditions. TDIU benefits are available for both mental and physical conditions. TDIU benefits pay the same as a 100 percent VA disability rating.
PTSD Individual Unemployability benefits are available for veterans with employment problems. If your PTSD and related conditions are severe enough and you cannot obtain or keep meaningful employment, you may be eligible.
Have questions about Individual Unemployability benefits? Give us a call. There is never a charge to talk to Woods & Woods Individual Unemployability lawyers.
Have you been denied Individual Unemployability benefits? We can help. Woods & Woods Individual Unemployability benefit denial lawyers only charge a fee if your appeal is successful. Our VA benefits appeals lawyers have filed thousands of appeals against the VA. To get your free PTSD Individual Unemployability claim evaluation, .
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Prepare To Write Your Statement
Make sure to write your statement at a time when you have supportive people, such as a therapist or friend, available for you to call if you become overwhelmed. It is difficult to sit down and write about terrible events that you don’t even want to think about or remember. You should call a supportive person before you sit down to write and then after you have finished it. This can help you to feel less isolated with your memories.
It is ok to say what parts of your experiences you can’t remember. Most people can’t remember everything about a traumatic event because the body goes into shock and processes information in a different way than during non-stressful times.
How Can I Get A 100% Va Disability Rating For Ptsd
Do you need help or advice? Contact us now.
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.
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Understanding Va Ptsd Ratings
The VA rating formula goes from zero percent to 100 percent in increments of 10. Not every disability includes each rating percentage. For example, a veterans PTSD can be rated at 0, 10, 30, 50, 70, or 100 percent debilitating.
A zero percent rating means that PTSD has been diagnosed. The symptoms, however, are not severe enough to interfere with work or social functioning or to require continuous medication. A 100% rating is for total occupational and social impairment due to specified symptoms.
Top 3 Ways To Get A Va Rating For Ptsd: The Ultimate Guide
In this Ultimate Guide, well explore how to get a VA Rating for PTSD even if youve already filed or been denied benefits in the past.
Your final VA Disability Rating for PTSD depends upon the Frequency, Severity, and Duration of symptoms to include HOW those symptoms impact your Occupational and Social Impairment.
VA Disability for PTSD has ratings that range from 0 percent to 100 percent with breaks at 10 percent, 30 percent, 50 percent, and 70 percent.
PTSD is the only ratable mental health condition that requires a Stressor Event by the VA .
Also note that its highly unlikely to receive a separate rating for PTSD if youre already rated for another mental health condition due to the avoidance of pyramiding, and the overlap of symptoms across multiple diagnoses.
Weve broken down this post into 7 Chapters to help guide you on your PTSD VA claim journey.
Okay, lets jump into this expert-level guide for getting service connected disability benefits for PTSD.
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How Can I Present A Strong Ptsd Claim To The Va
Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder connected to their military service are eligible for VA disability benefits. Although PTSD is one of the most commonly claimed mental health conditions, the process of getting approved for benefits can be lengthy. These tips can help you increase your odds of a successful outcome.
Information Coordination Between Va And Ssa
The Department of Veterans Affairs and SSA are required by law to share certain information relevant to making claims with both entities:
- Medical evidence
- Disability determinations
- Benefit receipt and payment amounts
However, its not safe to assume that the medical evidence you are required to submit as part of an application for Social Security benefits will be handled by the VAalways submit all relevant documents and evidence as part of your original application package or with timing required by the VA or SSA.
You never know if your medical information has gotten misplaced, and it may not be as complete as your own personal recordsalways take the initiative and submit all your evidence as though no other records were kept. Its more efficient and unless you are instructed to apply in a different way, it prevents bureaucratic delays, red tape, etc.
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Va Classified You As Permanently And Totally Disabled
Permanent and total disability is a special classification used by VA when it believes that a veterans condition results in a total disability that is reasonably certain to continue throughout the life of the disabled veteran.
Once you receive this classification, your rating is mostly safe. Only in very rare situations, such as fraud, can VA lower the rating of a veteran who has a permanent and total disability.
Compensation And Pension Exams
After filing a VA disability claim for PTSD, VA typically schedules the veteran for a compensation and pension exam. VA uses C& P exams to determine if a nexus exists and to evaluate the severity of a veterans symptoms to decide a disability rating.
It is essential to go to every scheduled C& P exam, as VA may deny a veterans claim if they fail to attend an exam. If a veteran is unable to attend an exam, they should inform VA as soon as possible. If they accidentally miss an exam, they should be sure to contact VA to try to reschedule.
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What You Need To Know About Social Security Disability Benefits
The first and most important thing to understand about these benefits is that you cant be in a hurry to be approved for themthe process can take five months or more depending on a variety of factors.
SSD benefits are paid with the understanding that the applicant may experience an improvement in their condition SSD is paid until the recipient is able to work again in cases where there is improvement. Those with conditions that do not improve will continue to get SSD benefits as long as that is true.
S To Filing Your Ptsd Claim
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Make A Claim With The Veterans Administration
To file a disability claim with the Veterans Administration , you will need to submit a special application, VA Form 21-526, Veterans Application for Compensation and/or Pension, to the VA. The specific department to submit to is the Compensation and Pension Service within the Veterans Benefits Administration . You can also file a claim online at the VA’s website at www.ebenefits.va.gov.
You must also be seen by a psychiatrist at a VA medical facility so that the psychiatrist can diagnose you with PTSD.
Differences Between Ptsd Va Ratings
The difference between a 50% and a 70% PTSD rating is how severely the condition is affecting a persons job and life. You should be completely honest during your Compensation and Pension exam, which could be the tipping point between two ratings.
At 70%, a veteran has occupational and social impairment with difficulties in most areas, including work, school, family relations, judgment, thinking, and mood. People rated at 70% are living in a near-constant state of panic or depression. The 70% level is where suicidal ideation is first mentioned in the rating schedule.
Another difference between PTSD ratings is the amount of monthly compensation. The monthly payment for a 50% disabled veteran is $958.44 each month compared to $1,529.95 for a 70% rating. The amount goes up with the number of dependents.
Despite what you may have heard, there is not an automatic 50% rating rule for PTSD. It is possible to get a 30% rating or even a 0% rating. The VA gives a 30% rating when there is an occasional decrease in work efficiency and intermittent periods of inability to perform occupational tasks. Veterans rated at 30% generally function well, with normal behaviors. A 0% rating is given when a veteran has a formal diagnosis of PTSD, but symptoms are not severe enough either to interfere with occupational and social tasks or to require continuous medication.
Talk to Us About Your Claim:
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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.
Why Va May Reduce Your Disability Rating For Ptsd
Your VA disability rating for PTSD is based on how your condition affects your ability to work and carry out daily living activities. When you get approved for benefits for PTSD or any other condition, VA assigns you a disability rating between 0 percent and 100 percent in increments of 10 percent.
This rating shows the level of functional impairment caused by your condition, based on VAs review of your medical records and supporting documents.
For PTSD and most mental disorders, you will receive one of six disability ratings: 0 percent, 10 percent, 30 percent, 50 percent, 70 percent, or 100 percent. The criteria to receive each of these ratings are:
The rating you receive is assigned by the VA when your service connection is established. But PTSD can either improve or deteriorate over time. If it does either, VA may attempt to raise or lower your disability rating to match your current condition.
Suppose you return from combat with PTSD so bad that you can barely leave the house or feed yourself, much less work. You apply for disability and submit ample supporting evidence detailing the extent of your condition. VA assigns you a 100 percent rating based on your inability to work or carry out daily living activities.
But then you undergo intensive therapy. One year later, you still have PTSD, but it is now moderate, and you can hold down a job. If the VA decides to re-examine you, it may lower your rating from 100 percent to 50 percent.
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Did Va Deny Your Ptsd Disability Claim
If you are suffering from PTSD due to your military service, Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD may be able to help you secure the disability benefits you deserve. CCK has years of experience fighting denials and low rating assignments and may be able to assist you with your VA appeal. Call CCK today for a free case evaluation.
You Have Had The Same Rating For 20 Years
If you have had the same disability rating for PTSD for 20 years, VA cannot lower your rating, except in the case of fraud. For example, if you received a disability rating of 50 percent in January 1997, starting in January 2017 your rating can never fall below that amount unless VA finds evidence that you obtained it fraudulently.
If you have had VA disability for 20 years and your rating has gone up and down during that time, VA cannot reduce it any further than its lowest point during that period. For example, if you received your rating in January 1997 and it swung between 30 percent and 100 for two decades, then starting in January 2017 it cannot fall below 30 percent.
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