How Do You Know If Youve Been Given A Proper Va Disability Rating For Ptsd
As a Veteran in the United States, you might be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD is one of the most difficult service-related disabilities to diagnose and classify.
Contrary to popular myth, PTSD is not a processing disorder that occurs because the victim cant take it. Instead, PTSD is a chemical imbalance in the brain. Exposure to extreme stress, such as combat stress, enlarges the amygdala. This part of the brain controls emotional responses. The resulting imbalance explains symptoms you may be experiencing like depression, anxiety, hypervigilance, and flashbacks.
As you may know, the brain is adept at hiding its own injuries. As a result, many PTSD victims are unaware of the full extent of their injuries.
Your VA disability attorney will use medical and lay evidence to address these issues. Solid medical evidence reveals the true nature of the injury. Buddy statements and other lay testimony from your friends and family set forth the full extent of your PTSD and how your brain injury affects your daily life.
A VA disability rating for PTSD is based on statutes that outline what symptoms meet which level of disability. PTSD is only rated at 10%, 30%, 50%, 70% or 100%. Its important to be as honest as you can with the VA examiners about the severity of your symptoms. Please note you dont have to meet all the symptoms in the rating level in order to be rated at that level.
Examples Of Va Lay Statements
Disclaimer: These statements are examples only. They should not be submitted in support of any claim or appeal for VA disability benefits. This information is not legal advice. This information is made available for educational purposes only and to provide general information and a general understanding of how statements may be drafted. It is not a substitute for legal advice. By using this information, you understand that there is no attorney-client relationship created by you reading or using the information contained on this website or in this or blog.
Contact Tuley Law Office For Help Writing A Va Buddy Letter
Whether you are seeking an individual to write a buddy letter for your VA disability claim or you have been called upon to write one for someone else, it can be beneficial to seek legal advice. Different information can be more important depending on the details of the case which VA is already familiar with.
Reach out to our attorneys today if you have questions about the VA Buddy Letter. We look forward to hearing from you!
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Requesting Statements From Family Members Or Friends
Your friends and family members have a special ability to describe how your life has changed as a result of traumatic events you experience while in the service. They can write about the person you were when you entered the service and the changed person you were when you returned home.
Ask friends and family to describe in their statement what your personality was like before service and what is like now. Maybe you were outgoing and popular before, and now you are a recluse who does not like leaving the house. Or perhaps you were quiet and laid-back, and now you’re extremely angry a lot. Maybe you used to feel very close to your spouse and now you are withdrawn from her , or even abusive. Or perhaps you no longer feel that you are available for your children.
All of these people can help by writing a statement giving examples of how your behavior has changed. Your child could say you used to help with homework and now you sit in front of the TV drinking. Your friends could describe how you don’t feel safe leaving the house, and everywhere you go you are always looking over your shoulder, on high alert. Your spouse could describe how you wake up terrified in the middle of the night from nightmares.
You can also ask for statements from co-workers, employers, clergy, or anyone else who has seen changes in you. Even someone who has only known you since you left the service can still help by describing how you appear to be affected by your post-traumatic stress disorder.
Michael Dj Eisenberg Can Advise You On Buddy Letters
When it comes to your claim, buddy letters can be one of the most powerful forms of evidence. Done properly and effectively, they can lead to the desired outcome, but if theyre contradictory or inaccurate, they can hurt your claim. Michael D.J. Eisenberg is aVA-accredited attorney who can help you identify references, consult them on writing the most effective buddy statements in support of your claim, and ensure that your buddy letters are submitted properly.
If youre ready to talk with a lawyer who can help you build a winning disability claim,contact the Law Office of Michael D.J. Eisenberg today.
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Buddy Letter Certification And Signature
The most routine section, the end of the letter, is where you will put your name, date, and the phrase I certify that the statements on this form are true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief.
If the statement is not signed, it will not even be considered by VA. The signature serves as a certification that everything on the VA buddy letter form is as accurate as possible according to the author and that they give permission to use it in the veterans claim.
After the buddy letter is signed, the author may submit the lay evidence with the rest of their documents to VA for review.
Writing A Ptsd Stressor Statement: Top Five Tips
Heres a list of things you should DEFINITELY do when writing your stressor statement:
#5: Preparation First: gather all documentation and write your statement with all the relevant dates, locations, and other information at your fingertips. This will help make the entire process more accurate AND more efficient. Dont forget any emails or other correspondence that may be relevant to your claim, even if those emails are personal in nature and consist of Are you ok? or other communication that may help shed light on your condition.
#4. Be Direct, But Provide Explanations: Open your stressor letter with an introduction explaining who you are, your relevant dates of military service, the nature of duty and your job description. You should assume there will be a mix of military and non-military readers reviewing your statement. Avoid jargon, use ordinary language, and do not omit relevant details.
#3: Dont Write A Single Draft: Review your statement when you feel it is finished and read it aloud. Doing so will help you to streamline your narrative in places and add detail in others. Remember that you are making a case for compensation heredont be hasty when it comes to submitting your final draft to the VA, your Veteran Service Organization, etc.
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How To Get Rated For Sleep Apnea
As I tell all my clients, just having a condition does not merit a disability rating from the VA. It requires several key components, service connection,medical diagnosis, and some proof of life impact or how this disability affects you today. Who knows you best other than your spouse? Have you found yourself waking up to your wife, telling you to roll over because of your incessant snoring?
This is where the spousal letter comes into play. This can establish a life impact for a veteran. It can also play a crucial role in firmly establishing service connection as well. A spousal letter can help you if you were married during your service and your wife observed the change in you after you developed sleep apnea. Did you know that sleep apnea, has been medically proven to be a secondary to PTSD? You would know this if you were working with a Veteran Coach from VA Claims Insider!
Ensure That The Buddy Letter Is From Someone Credible And Competent
In order to ensure the VA accepts the statement as being from someone credible and competent, the person giving the statement should have first-hand knowledge of the veteran or the veterans service. Essentially, this means that the person giving the statement should not lie or speak to anything about which they do not have personal knowledge.
This also means that persons without the appropriate credentials or qualifications should not offer a medical opinion. Additionally, a statement can be deemed reliable if it is consistent with the records. For example, if a person is providing a statement regarding an in-service stressor, they may want to be sure their account of the incident reflects the records which exist regarding the stressor.
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Va Buddy Letter Example
While each VA buddy statement will be slightly different, here is a VA buddy letter example to consider. In this example, the brother of a veteran is writing on behalf of his brother with PTSD. This could be beneficial for the wife or spouse of a veteran who would like to write a VA buddy letter.
To whom it may concern,
My name is John Doe, and I am the brother of veteran . I am writing this statement on behalf of .
I have known for his entire life, and we currently live in the same town. I spend time with three to four times per week.
Prior to s deployment to Iraq, he was a happy, kind, and energetic person. He did not show signs of anger, irritability, or anxiety before his time in the service.
Following s discharge from active duty in Iraq, I noticed a significant change in his behavior. displayed angry outbursts about three times per week. He has trouble sleeping, and speaks to me regularly about his panic attacks. has also spoken to me about his mental health issues, including flashbacks to his time in active duty service. These symptoms have affected s ability to hold a job, spend time with his family, and enjoy daily life.
s PTSD symptoms have persisted, and he still experiences symptoms today. I believe that his post-traumatic stress disorder resulted from the mental stress of combat and active duty.
I certify that the statements on this form are true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief.
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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Can You Have Ptsd Without Seeing Combat
Yes,Veterans can experience post-traumatic stress disorder without seeing combat. A stressor can still cause debilitating, long-lasting effects if you dont receive the right benefits and treatment.
Non-combat PTSD is a manifestation of stressors that creates anxiety, panic, and distress. Some root causes are related to physical or sexual assault while serving, witnessing a fellow soldiers death or suicide, or motor vehicle accidents.
The non-combat PTSD stressor differs for each veteran. However, the impact of non-combat PTSD stressors tends to generate familiar patterns of symptoms. While PTSD episodes can be debilitating, the first step for many Veterans is to exercise their right to file for a disability claim.
Please keep in mind that the claims approval process depends on the information and evidence you present. You must have some form of proof of your stressors to apply for PTSD disability benefits.
About Sample Disability Comp Letter
Here is a sample of the first two pages of my application for disability compensation to the Dept of Veterans Affairs. If you want to understand how to increase your disability or managed the process, check out my post to increase your disability compensation rating. It provides the step by step process of researching your claim.
Reasons For Di Allowances And Denials
Chart 14 shows medical denials of postaward first DI applications for veterans receiving a VA rating of 100% or IU, by reason. We again exclude 6,559 technical denials, or cases denied for nonmedical reasons from our sample. The greatest number of medical denials were for applicants deemed capable of work other than their previous work , followed by step-4 denials and step-2 denials .18 Over one-quarter of the DI denials involved impairments that SSA judged to be nonsevere in cases that VA rated 100% or IU. Among those rated IUindicating that VA found the individual unable to engage in SGE27 percent of those denied DI benefits were found by SSA to have a nonsevere impairment. Furthermore, over 60 percent of the veterans rated IU by VA and denied by SSA were judged to be capable of SGA, providing one measure of the extent to which the two programs’ evaluation criteria indicate their different purposes.
Example Of Lay Statement Written By The Veteran
Affidavit of John Doe
I, John Doe, hereby declare under penalty of perjury, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1746, that the following is true and correct to the best of my knowledge:
I hereby certify that the information I have given is true to the best of my knowledge and belief.
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Statement In Support Of A Claim Sample: 4 Critical Sections Explained
The best VA Statements in Support of a Claim include the following 4 sections with specific examples tailored to you:
#1. List the Name of the Disability Youre Claiming in the First Section of the VA Form 21-4138
#2. Explain the Approximate Timeframe Your Disability Began Along with Why It Should Be Service Connected
#3. List the Current Symptoms of Your Disability in Terms of Frequency, Severity, and Duration Over Time
#4: Explain How the Disability Negatively Impacts your Work, Life, and Social Functioning .
The official VA Form 21-4138 is still the preferred document to use to write a personal statement or if you want to submit a VA Buddy Statement from someone with firsthand knowledge of the facts and circumstances to support your VA disability claims.
What You Witnessed Or Are Witnessing
In part 2, you need to explain in detail what you witnessed or are witnessing in regard to the event or incident.
You do NOT need to explain every detail.
Here is an example of how to write this section:
“When I first met , before she entered active duty military service, she was happy, fun loving, and had no mental health issues whatsoever.
All of that changed in July 2004, when she was raped by another service member while TDY to Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.
It became very evident to me that she suffered from severe PTSD, depression, and anxiety.
I encouraged her to get help and seek treatment many times over the years, but because she was an officer, and worked with senior military leaders, she was afraid of retaliation and reprisal.”
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Do Veterans Receive An Automatic 50% Ptsd Rating
Under the current laws, military Veterans with service-connected PTSD now receive an automatic minimum 50% rating, no matter the severity of their symptoms. Although this is not nearly enough to cover VA disability needs, it is a start for combat and non-combat veterans to receive care for their disorder.
Your VA disability claim will depend on verifying your combat and non-combat PTSD stressors and the level of impairment on your occupational and social life. A 50% PTSD rating is a good start, but to receive full coverage, you would no longer be able to work due to your symptoms.
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
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