Monday, July 15, 2024

Filing For Va Disability For Ptsd

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What Benefits Do You Get With A 100% Disability Rating

30% PTSD VA Disability Rating Breakdown

A 100% disability rating for PTSD allows you to receive various benefits. These are:

  • Inpatient and outpatient care
  • Education benefits for your kids
  • Property tax exemptions

Another benefit you get with a 100% disability rating is free private counseling in a VA facility. You may also undergo other treatments like group and family therapies with no charges.

Present A Current Diagnosis Of Ptsd

The first step to receiving VA benefits for PTSD disability requires the veteran to have a current diagnosis. A psychiatrist, psychologist, licensed social worker, or other mental health care practitioner must diagnosis the veteran with PTSD. Additionally, the diagnosis must conform to specific criteria.

Its important that the diagnosing doctor provides a report that fully describes why they feel that the veteran has PTSD and how the veterans symptoms meet the specific criteria. All of this medical evidence must show that it is as likely as not that the veteran currently has disabling PTSD.

Direct Service Connection For Ptsd

In 2010, the VA eased up the requirements for getting disability compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder. Veterans no longer have to have proof that the event that caused the PTSD occurred. This rule is not just for combat veterans but for all veterans who experienced fear of hostile or terrorist activity.

Here is what is required to establish direct service connection for PTSD:

  • a current diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder
  • a statement from the veteran about the “stressor” that occurred during service
  • the occurrence of the stressor being consistent with the circumstances of the veterans service
  • no strong evidence that the stressor didn’t occur, and
  • a medical opinion that the stressor was sufficient to cause PTSD, from:
  • a VA psychologist or psychiatrist, or
  • a pyschologist or pyschiatrist under contract with the VA.

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Myth #: If You Were Not In Combat You Cant Get Ptsd

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is not a condition unique to combat veterans.

Any number of incidents can cause PTSD.

I represent one Veteran who has PTSD from an incident when she was stationed overseas and her command wouldnt let her leave to attend to a custody suit back in the states that her husband had filed.

She lost her children in that custody suit, and was forever traumatized by it.

What If The Veteran Cannot Work Due To Post

VA Disability Rating for PTSD Explained

Another way to earn a 100% PTSD rating is for the veteran to receive unemployability for his PTSD. Unemployability is not on the PTSD rating schedule. IU is a way for the veteran to receive 100% without meeting all the requirements on the 100% rating.

The VA grants IU ratings when a veteran cannot work due to his service-connected disabilities. When the VA gives an Unemployability rating for PTSD, it means a veteran cannot work due to his PTSD. As a result, a veteran receives a 100% PTSD rating due to unemployability.

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Understanding Va Disability Ratings And Ptsd Claims

If you are a veteran that lives with post-traumatic stress disorder connected to your years of service, you may qualify for VA disability benefits. Receiving approval for your claim can be difficult and take some time to achieve. This reality makes it important to work with an experienced VA disability attorney when pursuing this much-needed benefit. How much you are entitled to will be based on several factors, the most important of which being establishing the severity of your PTSD to the Department of Veteran Affairs.

Are You A Veteran Suffering From Ptsd

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition that affects thousands of Veterans. Arising from a life-altering, traumatic experience, the symptoms of PTSD can be utterly debilitating. PTSD is not a weakness, nor is it something any Veteran should feel embarrassed of. The condition can affect anyone, and many Veterans suffer from PTSD symptoms following their service in the military. Whether from intense and traumatic experiences on the frontlines,sexual assault or abuse, or many other causes, many Veterans return to civilian life with PTSD. In this article, we will explore the VA Disability Rating for PTSD.

If you have been diagnosed with PTSDand are a Veteran, you may be eligible to receive significant disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs . The VA recognizes PTSD as a service-related disability as long as a Veteran can verify that their PTSD symptoms are directly associated with their military service.

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Quick Guide Of Va Ptsd Ratings

Once you have undergone the C& P exam, the VA will review the findings along with any additional evidence in your claim. The VA rates your PTSD condition using 38 CFR § 4.130, Diagnostic code 9411, which is a schedule of ratings used for mental disorders. This schedule helps adjudicators assign your PTSD a rating that will range anywhere from 0 to 100% with rating thresholds of 10%, 30%, 50%, and 70%. These rating levels describe the level ofimpairment, frequency, severity, and duration of mental health disability due to mental health conditions like PTSD.

10% Your PTSD symptoms are sporadic, or medication minimizes or stops them altogether.

30% Symptoms of your PTSD condition are manageable but more frequent and interfere with your ability to perform your job, though you can still function satisfactorily.

50% At this threshold, the VA will focus more on actual symptoms where the previous two ratings assessed effects of PTSD on your daily life.

You will likely receive a 50% rating if your PTSD includes some of the below symptoms: Judgment, memory, and/or thought impairment Impaired speech

How To File A Va Disability Claim For Ptsd

PTSD Stressors for VA Disability Benefits Explained

To get disability compensation, veterans should submit a PTSD claim with VA. First, veterans can download and fill out VA Form 21-526EZ. This can be submitted via mail to the Claims Intake Center, in person at the closest VA Regional Office, or electronically through VAs website.

In addition to this form, VA also requires that veterans specifically seeking PTSD benefits fill out and submit either:

  • VA Form 21-0781 A Statement in Support of Claim for Service Connection for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder OR
  • VA Form 21-0781a A Statement in Support of Claim for Service Connection for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Secondary to Personal Assault

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How Long Does Veterans Affairs Take To Review Claims

The time VA takes to review claims submitted when seeking a 100% disability rating for PTSD varies based on various factors. For instance, if you presented new evidence, they may need more time to assess it. On the other hand, if you only requested them to review documents presented during the initial claim, the process may take a shorter time.

Another factor determining the duration you wait for a ruling is the selected procedure. For example, if you file a supplemental claim or use the higher-level decision review, the process will take about 4-5 months. However, you can wait for one year or more when you opt for a board appeal.

Engaging In Va Treatment Before Applying For Service

A substantial proportion of veterans presenting for compensation examinations have not received VA services before. In a review of administrative records from 452 veterans who obtained service-connected compensation for PTSD, only 112 had been using mental health services before initiating their claim . Another study of veterans filing PTSD claims found that those receiving mental health services when they applied were disproportionately younger, married, and dependent on public insurance. Surprisingly, service use was not associated with having more severe self-reported symptoms of PTSD . It is not known whether the studies of service use also apply to OIF/OEF veterans because few OIF/OEF veterans were enrolled in those studies. Large majorities of veterans in those studies were Vietnam-era veterans with chronic PTSD who had accumulated long-term comorbidities .

Evidence exists that OIF/OEF veterans have particular difficulty engaging in mental health treatment. A survey of combat troops returning from OIF/OEF indicated a large gap between veterans perceived needs for mental health treatment and their having received it only 23 to 40 percent of those whose responses suggested a psychiatric disorder had sought mental health care . A corroborating, more recent article found significantly lower rates of session attendance and higher rates of treatment dropout in a cohort of OIF/OEF veterans compared with rates in Vietnam-era veterans .

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Am I Eligible For Va Services

All Veterans could possibly be eligible. Here is a brief list of factors that make up whether you are eligible:

  • You completed active military service in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard .
  • You were discharged under other than dishonorable conditions.
  • You are a National Guard member or Reservist who has completed a federal deployment to a combat zone.

You should also be aware that:

  • Health care eligibility is not just for those who served in combat.
  • Other groups may be eligible for some health benefits.
  • Veteran’s health care is not just for service-connected injuries or medical conditions.
  • Signing up for health care is separate from signing up for other benefits at VA.
  • Veteran’s health care facilities are for both women and men. VA offers full-service health care to women Veterans.

For Veterans who served in a theater of combat operations after November 11, 1998, some benefits have been added. In January, 2008, the period of eligibility for free health care was extended from two to five years.

VA operates a yearly enrollment system that helps make sure that Veterans who are eligible can get care. For information, see VA Health Care Eligibility & Enrollment. Your DD 214 is used to enroll for VA services. If you have trouble locating this form, VA Enrollment can still assist you.

What Help Is There For Me

Va Benefits Ptsd Claim

PTSD is treatable. Many places within VA provide PTSD treatment. General programs that provide mental health services include VA medical centers, community-based outpatient clinics , and Vet Centers. Use the VA Facilities Locator to find the closest VA facility.

An extra note about Vet Centers

Offered through the Readjustment Counseling Service, Vet Centers are located in the community. They provide information, assessment, and counseling to any Veteran who served in a war zone. This includes conflicts such as in Somalia, Iraq, or Afghanistan.

Vet Centers also offer services to families of Veterans for military-related issues. There are no fees or charges for Vet Center services, and services are confidential. That means no information will be given to any person or agency without your consent. Most of the staff are Veterans themselves.

During normal business hours, you can call 1-800-905-4675 or 1-866-496-8838 . The Vet Center program also has a 24/7 hotline, with all calls answered by combat Veterans: 1-877-WAR-VETS .

VA special PTSD clinics and programs

VA also has special PTSD clinics and programs that can help eligible Veterans. For more on these programs, see PTSD Treatment Programs in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

What to expect when you see a VA provider

  • Classes on dealing with stress, anger, sleep, relationships, and PTSD symptoms
  • One-to-one, group, and family counseling
  • Medications

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Myth #: If You Were Mentally Tougher You Would Not Get Ptsd

This one drives me batty, every time I hear it.

Disappointingly, I hear it most often from members of the Special Operations community a study that suggests that special operations soldiers are hyper-resilient to stress has been twisted into the belief that operators are immune to PTSD.

Resilience is not the same as resistance.

It is true that training steels them to deal with much more than your average soldier, sailor or airmen. But they also have much more gruesome experiences than the average soldier, sailor or airmen.

We can all help debunk this particular myth by making sure that others know that it is acceptable and right to get help if you are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

If 13 years of war does one good thing, I hope it is that it removes the stigma associated with mental health treatment forever.

What do you think causes Veterans to believe that PTSD is the result of not being mentally tough?

Tip #: Dont Take Bad Advice From Your Buddy At The Vfw

You may be rolling your eyes, but weve heard some whoppers over the years from clients drinking buddies at the VFW. While your friend is probably an awesome guy, he likely isnt a VA-certified disability attorney. Dont let your PTSD VA disability benefits claim get screwed up because you took some untrue advice.

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How Does The Va Determine Your Monthly Disability Compensation For Ptsd

Monthly disability compensation rates for PTSD depend on the disability rating you receive from the VA. In addition to monthly compensation, you may also be eligible for additional perks and benefits, even if you receive a low VA disability rating.

If you receive a disability rating of 30, 50, 70, or 100% and you have dependents, such as your spouse, children, or dependent parents, you may also be eligible to receive additional monthly compensation beyond your base amount.

Ptsd Due To Military Sexual Trauma

PTSD Rating Scale for VA Disability Claims Explained

An equal percentage of male and female veterans report experiencing rape or sexual harassment while in military service. Many of these veterans develop post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of not just the sexual trauma but the retaliation they suffer if they report the event.

Disability compensation is available to these veterans for medical conditions, including PTSD, but they have to be able to show some proof that the sexual trauma occurred. For more information, see our article on getting disability compensation for military sexual trauma.

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What About Incorrect Rating Decisions

Often the rating decision is just incorrect. VA fails to grant PTSD cases but it also fails to consider other issues. VA denies a mental health disorder because the veteran filed for one disorder and actually has a different one.

Veterans, unless they have a doctorate in psychology, are not able to officially diagnose their own mental health disorders. Therefore, when a veteran claims PTSD, the VA can deny it. However, the VA must see if he has another condition.

The VA should determine if the veteran has another diagnosis, which it often does not do. Veterans can often avoid this process by filing a claim for a more generic issue such as acquired psychiatric disorder. Another option would to be to file for service-connected mental health disorder. By filing for benefits in this manner, the VA is responsible to diagnose and/or use medical records.]

Be Honest And Provide Clear Details During Your C& p Exam

During your C& P exam, its crucial that you provide specific details regarding your symptoms. You want to clearly explain how your condition affects your life without making your PTSD sound more serious than it is. Vague answers to the examiners questions can lead to accusations of malingering. This means that the VA either believes you dont have PTSD or that youre exaggerating your symptoms to try to get a higher rating.

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Who Is Eligible To Receive A Disability Rating For Ptsd

There is a VA policy for Mental Disorders Due to Traumatic Stress, that states:

  • If a service member develops a mental disorder as a result of a highly stressful event, and that disorder is severe enough to lead to the veteran being released from active duty, the service member will receive at least a 50 percent disability rating

Additionally, there are other specific criteria that must be met in order to receive at least a 50 percent disability rating for PTSD. These include:

  • Social and occupational impairment
  • Panic attacks more than once a week
  • Impaired short-term and long-term memory
  • Forgetting to complete tasks and difficulty understanding commands
  • Impaired abstract thinking and impaired judgement
  • Negative changes in mood
  • Difficulty maintaining and establishing personal and professional relationships

In order for a veterans PTSD claim to be recognized by the VA as service-connected, the diagnosis must be given by a physician or other medical professional who is qualified to perform a PTSD-specific Compensation and Pension examination. In order to be able to meet the VAs criteria for diagnosing PTSD, medical professionals must:

  • Have doctoral-level training in psychopathology, clinical interviewing methods, and diagnostic methods
  • Have a great deal of experience in a clinical setting with diagnosing and treating veterans who have PTSD

Myth #: Ptsd Is Just A Fancy Name For A Panic Attack

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It is vital that you be completely honest with your healthcare provider about the type and severity of symptoms you are experiencing with your condition. In some cases, what you assume is related to PTSD could actually be a secondary condition that may be eligible for additional compensation.

PTSD and panic disorder have similar symptoms, but the cause is different. PTSD is triggered by trauma, while panic disorder is triggered by the experience of a severe panic attack that causes the sufferer to feel as though theyre having a heart attack or spinning out of control. Panic disorder can sometimes be a secondary service-connected disability for a veteran with PTSDwhich might make them eligible for Total Disability Individual Unemployability benefits.

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