PTSD and VA Disability Benefits: What You Need to Know


If you are a veteran suffering from PTSD, it is very important that you are aware of your rights, as well as the seriousness of your condition. It may be a struggle to get the VA to properly rate your disability if you suffer from PTSD. However, with the proper approach, it can be done.

Veterans can sometimes feel that the VA rated their disability as less serious than it actually is, and this is especially true for veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Effects of PTSD Upon Your Daily Living

When you are making your claim to the VA, you will need to demonstrate exactly how the disability has impacted your life. It may be tempting to try to downplay the effect that PTSD has upon you, but if you want to receive the correct rating, it is important that you do not do this.

The organization Make the Connection is devoted to helping veterans with PTSD. They note the following common ways that PTSD can affect your life:

  • Being upset by ordinary things that remind you of the traumatizing event;
  • Chronic nightmares;
  • Experiencing being emotionally cut off from others;
  • Being constantly on guard or irritated;
  • Difficulty concentrating;

These traits can make it difficult for you to relax or simply enjoy the presence of your loved ones. It is vital not to underplay the dramatic effects PTSD is causing in your life.

PTSD Is Common in Veterans

When you think of VA disabilities, you might immediately think of physical losses from combat. Those types of losses are indeed very common.

But PTSD affects approximately 20 percent of the adults exposed to trauma. Trauma in both combat and peacetime service is frequent for veterans and may include any of the following:

  • Terrorist attacks;
  • Exposure to death;
  • War zones;
  • Torture;
  • Sexual assault.

The fact that PTSD is so frequently found in veterans should make you feel comfortable in filing a VA claim due to your disability.

Disability Benefits Eligibility for Veterans With PTSD

If you have PTSD, you may first be wondering if you are even eligible for VA benefits. According to the VA, you may be eligible for VA benefits if all of the following is true:

  • Your PTSD occurred during your service time;
  • Your PTSD prevents you from functioning as well as you previously did;
  • You have been diagnosed with PTSD by a doctor;
  • Your PTSD must have been triggered by a traumatic event such as an injury, personal trauma, sexual trauma, or the threat of one of these events happening.

VA Disability Ranking for Veterans With PTSD

If you are able to successfully show that you have PTSD, and it is service-related, the VA will give your condition a disability rating. This rating ranges from zero to 100 and is given only in increments of 10. A score of zero indicates that your PTSD should not interfere with your ability to work. A score of 100, on the other hand, suggests that you are completely unable to return to work due to your PTSD.

Problems With the VA Ranking System

The VA disability ranking system is primarily designed to determine whether you are able to return to work with your disability. If you believe that you have been unfairly judged you may wish to obtain the services of an attorney to help you appeal the rating.

Choosing an attorney experienced in both VA benefits and the mental trauma associated with PTSD will increase your chances of obtaining a higher rating. Don’t miss out on the benefits that you need to get by in life with your injury.

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