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Tag: VA 100 PTSD

VA 100 Percent Permanent and Total Disability Benefits

VA will award 100 Percent Permanent & Total disability benefits if the following criteria are met: 1) The veteran has a disability rated at 100%, and 2) Medical evidence shows that this disability is not likely to improve during the veteran’s lifetime.

Total Disability

Before you can prove entitlement to Permanent and Total disability benefits, you first need a total disability.  For VA purposes, a total disability is one with a 100% rating.  In general, VA will approve a 100% rating for any service-related disability that completely impairs the veteran’s ability to work.  However, the criteria for a 100% rating varies depending on the specific disability.  All rating criteria is listed in the Schedule of Ratings, which contains specific breakdowns of the symptoms represent a 100% rating.

VA 100 percent total

For some disabilities, VA cannot assign a 100% rating.  For example, the Schedule of Ratings provides for a maximum rating of 10% for tinnitus (ringing in the ears).  Chloracne, a skin condition associated with Agent Orange exposure, has a maximum rating of 30%.  But there are many others for which VA may grant a 100% rating.  At Disability Help Group, we have secured 100% ratings for hundreds of our veteran clients.  Here are five of the most common disabilities VA rates at 100%:

  1. Psychiatric disorders such as PTSD, Schizophrenia, Anxiety, and Depression
  2. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  3. Congestive heart failure
  4. Prostate cancer
  5. Respiratory cancers

As with most rules, there are exceptions.  Regardless of the percentage, VA will deem certain disabilities Permanent & Total.  Examples include the loss or loss of use of both hands, both feet, or sight in both eyes.  In addition, VA would probably award Special Monthly Compensation.

Permanent Disability

After you secure a 100% rating, the question is: is this total disability also permanent?

A permanent disability is one that is unlikely to improve during the veteran’s lifetime.  Because this is a medical question, VA will not accept the veteran’s own opinion.  Instead, your treating doctor is in the best position to give an opinion on the likelihood of improvement.  Ask your doctor whether your 100% disability is likely to improve during your lifetime.  If the answer is no, then ask your doctor to put this opinion in writing.  VA will most likely defer to your doctor’s opinion and award Permanent and Total disability.

VA 100 Percent Permanent and Total Disability Benefits

Although the terms “Permanent” and “Total” are often discussed together, it is possible to have a permanent disability that is not totally disabling.   For example, a veteran may have a permanent disability (such as PTSD) at 70%.  Her PTSD is not “Total” because it is less than 100%.  On the other hand, you can have a total disability that is not permanent.  For example, the same veteran’s PTSD may be temporarily rated at 100% during hospitalization for a suicide attempt.  When his symptoms improve enough for the hospital to discharge him, VA would assign a lower rating to reflect the level of improvement.

What If VA Denied My Claim?

Call Disability Help Group for a Free Case Review, 800-700-0652

Case Studies, Disability Help Group

Case Study 1

A 50 year-old Gulf War combat veteran filed a claim for PTSD in 2009.  In 2010, VA denied the claim despite the Combat Action Ribbon noted on his DD Form 214.  After significant development, we won the case on appeal.  The medical evidence proved that he met the criteria for a 100% rating.  His symptoms included unprovoked irritability with periods of violence, impaired impulse control, audio hallucinations, and panic attacks more than twice per week.  They were so severe that he could not hold a job.  In addition, his doctor wrote that his symptoms would only get worse throughout his lifetime.  VA awarded a Permanent and Total disability for PTSD.

Case Study 2

A 57 year-old Marine Corps veteran lost his wife to a deadly car accident.  This happened 3 months into his active duty service.  He was never the same after that accident.  He was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, depressive type.  Unfortunately, he turned to drugs and alcohol to self-medicate his symptoms.  He was homeless for many years.  When he filed a compensation claim, VA branded him a drug addict.  At the local VA hospital, he met another veteran who referred him to DHG.  DHG developed medical evidence, a lay statement from the veteran, and legal arguments.  DHG also submitted a medical opinion from a private psychiatrist, who recommended a total and permanent rating based on the medical evidence.  Shortly afterwards, VA awarded a Permanent and Total disability rating for schizoaffective disorder.

Additional Articles You May Find Helpful

How to Win Your PTSD VA Disability Claim with a Nexus Letter

VA Nexus Letter for PTSD. VA will pay disability compensation to a veteran if he proves his disability is related to military service.  As part of the process, VA uses disability nexus letters to figure out whether a disability was caused or aggravated during service.  If the answer is “No”, then VA will not pay for that disability.

Will You Need a VA Medical Nexus Letter for PTSD?

Not every VA claim needs a nexus letter because in some cases, the link to service is undeniable.  For example, if your service records include a diagnosed disability you still suffer from today, then VA would probably grant a claim for that disability without a nexus letter.  In claims for certain chronic conditions, VA will concede a relationship to service if there is a diagnosis within 1 year of discharge.

 

However, what if you don’t have a diagnosis until many years after service?  For example, Vietnam veterans with Agent Orange exposure usually don’t develop herbicide-related disabilities (such as diabetes mellitus type II) for several years.  The gap from discharge to diagnosis can be even greater with mental health disorders.  Many veterans respond to traumatic in-service events by trying to cope on their own.  Coping mechanisms include self-medication with drugs or alcohol, avoidance of medical treatment, and withdrawal from social situations.  When the symptoms get much worse and they finally seek mental health treatment, a doctor renders a diagnosis of PTSD.  To win this kind of claim, a strong disability nexus letter for PTSD is essential.

Who should Write Your VA Nexus Letter for PTSD?

Only a medical professional with the appropriate medical training should write a disability nexus letter.  In limited circumstances, non-doctors such as physician’s assistants and nurse practitioners can write them.  However, VA will find a disability nexus letter more persuasive if written by a doctor in the relevant specialty.  For mental health disorders such as PTSD, a psychologist or psychiatrist would be ideal.

 

From time to time, VA will ask affiliated doctors to write disability nexus letters.  However, most of those are not favorable to the veteran.  Give yourself the best chance to win by seeking an independent disability nexus letter.  If applicable, you should have your treating doctor write one.  That doctor is probably more knowledgeable about your condition than any of VA’s hired guns.

Requirements for a VA Nexus Letter for PTSD

VA will only accept a disability nexus letter if it meets certain requirements.  A strong disability nexus letter for PTSD must include:

  • A discussion of relevant medical history from service to the present day,
  • The likelihood that the PTSD was caused or aggravated during service, and
  • A reasoned explanation for the conclusion.

Medical History

The medical history from service to the present day is especially relevant to what caused PTSD.  Even the PTSD diagnosis happens years after service, the onset of the disability can be shown in service records.  Let’s say a veteran claims that racial harassment during service caused a persistent PTSD disability.  The service medical records don’t show treatment for PTSD.  However, the personnel records showed a drastic change in behavior 5 months prior to discharge.  His first 5 years of service included multiple commendations for performance.  In the last 5 months, he received multiple Article 15 punishments.  A good disability nexus letter would consider whether the sudden behavioral change marked the onset of PTSD.

How likely is PTSD related to service?

The burden is on the veteran to prove his claim.  However, the standard of proof is much lower than in a criminal case.  The doctor who writes the nexus letter does not have to be 100% sure of the link.  Because this is a veteran-friendly system, VA requires at least 50% certainty.  If your doctor finds there is at least a 50/50 chance that your PTSD is related to service, then that is enough to win.  In other words, a good disability nexus letter states that it is “at least as likely as not” that the disability is related to service.  A strong nexus letter would express “more likely than not” certainty.

 

A doctor is more likely to write a good disability nexus letter if PTSD clearly existed from service to the present day.  You can improve your odds by giving your doctor any of the following:

  • Your full service medical and personnel records,
  • Lay statements from friends and family who observed your behavior from service to the present day, or
  • Post-service medical and/or arrest records relevant to PTSD.

What is the doctor’s reasoning?

In a disability nexus letter for PTSD, 80% of the value comes from the doctor’s reasoning.  If the letter only contains data and conclusions, then it won’t help the case.  At a minimum, the reasoning must be clear, concise and supported by valid medical analysis.

 

For example, let’s say you are seeking a medical nexus letter for PTSD.  After reviewing your medical history, your psychologist agrees that “it is at least as likely as not that” your PTSD was incurred during your military service.  Her medical nexus letter should explain why the in-service symptoms and the post-service diagnosis matters.  It should also cite any medical literature that supports her opinion.  If there was any post-service trauma, she should explain how it only made the existing PTSD worse.

Related Articles and Blogs

Additional Resources

Can I get VA 100% for PTSD due to MST?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Can I get VA 100% for PTSD due to MST? Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental disability triggered by a traumatic event.  When the average person thinks of a traumatic military event, they often think of combat.  However, some military threats come from within our own ranks.  Military Sexual Trauma, or MST, refers to experiences of sexual assault or sexual harassment during military service.  According to the Department of Defense, about 13,000 women and 7,500 men experienced an MST in 2018.

Military Sexual Trauma (MST)

Military Sexual Trauma includes any sexual activity where a service member is involved against his or her will.  He or she may have been pressured into sexual activities (for example, with threats of negative consequences for refusing to be sexually cooperative or with implied better treatment in exchange for sex), or may have been physically forced into sexual activities.  Other MST experiences include unwanted sexual touching or grabbing; threatening, offensive remarks about a person’s body or sexual activities; and threatening and unwelcome sexual advances.  PTSD is the most common mental health diagnosis related to MST.  You may be eligible for VA 100% if your PTSD is due to MST.

Service Connection PTSD due to MST

Before VA will assign a 100% rating for PTSD due to MST, it must first determine whether it is related to service.  In other words, VA must first grant service connection before it will assign a rating.

There are 4 requirements to prove service connected PTSD due to MST

  1. current diagnosis,
  2. in-service event, disease or injury,
  3. medical nexus between the first 2 elements, and
  4. credible supporting evidence that the claimed in-service stressor occurred.

Challenge of Proving MST

Most victims are not eager to report MST to their superiors.  This is especially true if a superior committed the MST.  VA is well aware of this.  Absent an official law enforcement record, how does one prove PTSD due to MST?

Evidence Specific to MST

Instead of requiring a smoking gun, VA looks for credible supporting evidence. Credible supporting evidence of MST includes:

  • In-service pregnancy tests or tests for sexually transmitted diseases,
  • Statements from clergy, family members, roommates, or
  • Evidence of behavior changes following the claimed assault.

Disability Help Group Case Study

A 26 year-old female veteran of the Marines reported a military sexual assault to her civilian priest.  However, she did not report it to superiors for fear of retaliation.  The assailant was her commanding officer.  Within a year of discharge, she filed a claim for PTSD due to MST.  VA denied the claim for lack of credible supporting evidence.  She hired us to assist with her appeal.   Our representatives obtained a lay statement from her priest and submitted it to VA.  In addition, Disability Help Group sent specific portions of her military personnel records.  The personnel records showed that all her Article 15 punishments happened after the MST.  VA found the priest’s statement credible, and the Article 15s lined up after the approximate date of the MST.  Based on this credible supporting evidence, VA granted the claim for PTSD due to MST.

Rating PTSD due to MST

After VA grants service connection for PTSD due to MST, it must determine the correct rating.  To do so, VA consults the Schedule of Ratings.

Schedule of Ratings

The Schedule of Ratings breaks down disabilities into different categories.  Each category contains groups of medical problems.  For example, PTSD due to MST is found the General Rating Formula for Mental Disorders.  Depending on the symptoms, a veteran may receive either 0%, 10%, 30%, 50%, 70% or 100%.

100% Rating: Total occupational and social impairment from PTSD due to MST

  • gross impairment in thought processes or communication;
  • persistent delusions or hallucinations; grossly inappropriate behavior;
  • persistent danger of hurting self or others;
  • intermittent inability to perform activities of daily living (including maintenance of minimal personal hygiene);
  • disorientation to time or place;
  • memory loss for names of close relatives, own occupation, or own name

70% Rating: Occupational and social impairment, with deficiencies in most areas, such as work, school, family relations, judgment, thinking, or mood

  • suicidal ideation;
  • obsessional rituals which interfere with routine activities;
  • speech intermittently illogical, obscure, or irrelevant;
  • near-continuous panic or depression affecting the ability to function independently, appropriately and effectively;
  • impaired impulse control (such as unprovoked irritability with periods of violence);
  • spatial disorientation;
  • neglect of personal appearance and hygiene;
  • difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances (including work or a work-like setting);
  • inability to establish and maintain effective relationships.

50% Rating: Occupational and social impairment with reduced reliability and productivity

  • flattened affect;
  • circumstantial, circumlocutory, or stereotyped speech;
  • panic attacks more than once a week;
  • difficulty in understanding complex commands;
  • impairment of short- and long-term memory (e.g., retention of only highly learned material, forgetting to complete tasks);
  • impaired judgment;
  • impaired abstract thinking;
  • disturbances of motivation and mood;
  • difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships.

30% Rating: Occupational and social impairment with occasional decrease in work efficiency and intermittent periods of inability to perform occupational tasks (although generally functioning satisfactorily, with routine behavior, self-care, and conversation normal)

  • depressed mood,
  • anxiety,
  • suspiciousness,
  • panic attacks (weekly or less often), chronic sleep impairment, mild memory loss (such as forgetting names, directions, recent events).

10% = Occupational and social impairment due to mild or transient symptoms

  • decrease work efficiency and ability to perform occupational; tasks only during periods of significant stress; or
  • symptoms controlled by continuous medication.

0% Rating: A mental condition has been formally diagnosed

  • Symptoms are not severe enough either to interfere with occupational and social functioning; or
  • to require continuous medication.

You May Be Entitled to VA 100% PTSD due to MST

The type, severity, and duration of a veteran’s symptoms will vary based on a number of factors.  For example, race, religion, and sexual orientation can affect the impact of MST.  Whether the MST happened once or was repeated over time may affect how long the symptoms last.  If your PTSD due to MST has caused any of the symptoms in the 100% range, then you may be entitled to VA 100%.

Call Disability Help Group for a FREE Case Review, 1-800-700-0652.

If you have more questions about getting a 100% rating for PTSD due to MST, please fill out our information form or call us.  We offer a 100% guaranteed free case review.  We will be happy to answer your questions.

Related Articles

Our website is also full of helpful information. Firstly, if you would like to review other blogs, click here. Secondly, if you would like to see a list of resources click here. And thirdly, you can click on Testimonials to read the great comments we receive.

Resource for PTSD due to MST

Can I get VA 100% for Sleep Apnea?

Service Connection

In order for the VA to assign a 100% rating for Sleep Apnea, the VA must first determine that the condition is related to service.

Generally, VA will grant service connection if the following are met:

  1. Proof of a current diagnosis,
  2. Proof of an in-service event, disease or injury, and
  3. Proof of a medical nexus between the first 2 elements.

VA Schedule of Rating

After VA grants service connection, it must determine the correct rating.  To do so, VA consults the Schedule of Ratings.  The ratings should reflect how much that specific disability impairs your ability to work.  In order to get a 100% rating for sleep apnea, it must be so severe that it prevents gainful employment.

Requirements Specific to Sleep Apnea

The Schedule of Ratings breaks down disabilities into different categories. Each category contains groups of medical problems.  For example, Sleep Apnea is found in the Respiratory System category.  Each group contains a list of disabilities, and each disability has its own diagnostic code.  In turn, each diagnostic code specifies the symptoms required for various ratings.  For example, the 6847 code applies to Sleep Apnea.  See 38 C.F.R. § 4.97.  A 100% VA rating for Sleep Apnea requires:

  1. Chronic respiratory failure with carbon dioxide retention or cor pulmonale, or
  2. The condition requires tracheostomy.

Chronic Respiratory Failure

Chronic respiratory failure usually happens when the airways that carry air to your lungs become narrow and damaged.  In other words, less oxygen gets in and less carbon dioxide goes out.  A tracheostomy is a surgically made hole in the front of your neck where a breathing tube is connected to your windpipe to help you breathe.  Naturally, a veteran with these extreme symptoms deserves a 100% VA rating for Sleep Apnea.

Sleep Apnea Medical Evidence

Only medical evidence can satisfy these requirements.  It is not enough for the veteran to say “I cannot work because of my sleep apnea.”  Fortunately, VA provides rating tools such as Disability Benefits Questionnaires (“DBQs”) on their website.  Specifically, VA provides a Sleep Apnea DBQ that focuses on the symptoms described in the Schedule.  Veterans seeking a higher rating for sleep apnea should have their doctors complete the DBQ. The VA will likely grant the rating if the DBQ includes the criteria for a 100% rating for Sleep Apnea.

Disability Benefits Questionnaire

A doctor who treats the disability in question should fill out a Disability Benefits Questionnaire.  For example, an orthopedic specialist who is treating a foot condition should not complete a DBQ for PTSD.

Watch out for Pyramiding

When seeking a 100% rating for Sleep Apnea, one must consider every rule and exception related to VA ratings.  Under the VA rating system, a veteran should be compensated for each service-connected disability.  However, there is one big exception.  VA cannot pay a veteran more than once for the same disability or same manifestation.  For example, Asthma and Sleep Apnea have nearly identical manifestations.  They both involve impairment of the airways, they share symptoms such as daytime fatigue, and they are under the same category in the Schedule of Ratings.  A veteran who is service connected for both will only receive a rating for one of them.  In that circumstance, VA must assign the higher of the 2 possible ratings.

Disability Help Group Case Study Sleep Apnea

The anti-pyramiding rule recently affected a DHG client.  He is a 64 year-old veteran of the Army who filed a claim for asthma and sleep apnea.  VA denied the sleep apnea claim, but granted the asthma claim at 30%.  After a successful appeal, VA granted 60% for his asthma.  Furthermore, the VA conceded that the criteria for sleep apnea was met and granted a 50% service-connected disability.  The VA, however, could not grant the additional 50% rating because of the anti-pyramiding rule.  Instead, VA awarded 60% for his “asthma with sleep apnea.”

Call Now for a Free Case Review,
1-800-800-3332 or Click Here

If you have more questions about getting a 100% rating for Sleep Apnea, please call us.  We offer 100% free VA case review.

Related Articles and Blogs

Helpful Resources

Our website is also full of helpful information. Firstly, if you would like to review other blogs, click here. Secondly, if you would like to see a list of resources click here. And thirdly, you can click on Testimonials to read the great comments we receive.

Can I get TDIU for PTSD?

Can I get TDIU for PTSD? Yes. TDIU is a special benefit for veterans who cannot support themselves due to service-connected disabilities.  It pays the same as a 100% rated disability.  For TDIU to apply, your PTSD must first be service-connected.  This may seem simple, but several veterans have PTSD because of a traumatic event that happened years after military service. Second, you cannot earn a living because of PTSD. 

TDIU for PTSD Requirements

In order to be granted TDIU for PTSD is does not mean the veteran has to be unemployed.  VA will grant TDIU to an employed veteran if the employment is considered marginal.  VA deems employment marginal if the veteran earns LESS than the federal poverty threshold for one person (in 2018, $12,784.00 per the U.S. Census Bureau).

Rating Percentage

The veteran must meet the percentage requirements.  If the veteran has only one service-connected disability, it must be rated 60% or higher.  The Schedule of Ratings for PTSD permits only the following ratings: 0%, 10%, 30%, 50%, 70% and 100%.

Services Connected Disabilities

If the veteran is only service-connected for PTSD, it must be rated no lower than 70% to get TDIU.  However, if the veteran has more than one service-connected disability, then at least one must be rated 40% or higher.  Also, there must be “sufficient additional disability to bring the combined rating” to 70% or higher.

FREE CASE REVIEW, CLICK HERE, or Call 1-800-700-0652.

Disability Help Group Case Studies

Case Study 1: TDIU for PTSD

A 60 year-old veteran was diagnosed with PTSD secondary to his service-connected hypertension.  VA previously awarded 10% for his hypertension.  In March 2018, the Board of Veterans’ Appeals denied his PTSD claim.  After a successful appeal, DHG secured a remand for a new VA medical examination.  In November 2019, VA granted service connection for PTSD at 70% effective September 2009.  Because the evidence showed that his PTSD prevented him from working, VA also granted entitlement to TDIU.  He received a lump sum of $340,000.00, and his monthly payment changed from $133.57 to $3,057.13.

Case Study 2: TDIU for PTSD

A 65 year-old veteran asked VA for a higher rating for his PTSD.  At the time, he was service-connected for tension headaches at 50% and PTSD at 50%.  His combined rating was 80% and he had not worked since 2012.  After a successful appeal, VA granted TDIU back to 2012.  As a result, he received a lump sum of $121,000.00, and his monthly payment changed from $1,556.13 to $3,057.13.

Case Study 3: TDIU for PTSD

A 65 year-old veteran had a 50% rating for anxiety with PTSD and a 10% rating for a lumbar spine condition.  Shortly after he hired Disability Help Group, it was clear that VA should have granted at least a 70% rating for anxiety with PTSD.  After a successful appeal, VA granted a 70% rating for PTSD and then granted TDIU.  He received a lump sum of $109,000.00, and his monthly payment changed from $1,062.27 to $3,057.13.

While most of this article refers to PTSD, it also applies to other mental disorders.  For example, many of our clients have won TDIU based on their service-connected schizophrenia.

Related Articles and Blogs

Total Disability (TDIU) for PTSD

VA Disability Rating for PTSD

What is Required: VA Disability Rating for PTSD

Before VA will award a disability rating for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the veteran must first prove service connection.  Thereafter, the VA must determine the correct rating percentage, which will determine how much money VA must pay to the veteran.  Rather than assign percentages at random, VA uses a Schedule of Ratings.

Schedule of Ratings: VA Disability Rating for PTSD

The Schedule of Ratings breaks down disabilities into different categories.  Firstly, each category contains groups of medical problems.  Secondly, each group contains a list of disabilities, and each disability has its own diagnostic code.  Thirdly, every diagnostic code specifies the symptoms required for various ratings.  For example, the 9411 code applies to PTSD.  VA rates PTSD –along with 36 other mental health conditions – under the General Rating Formula for Mental Disorders.  Depending on the symptoms, a veteran may receive either 0%, 10%, 30%, 50%, 70% or 100%.

The Criteria: VA Disability Rating for PTSD

100% = Total occupational and social impairment

  • gross impairment in thought processes or communication;
  • persistent delusions or hallucinations;
  • grossly inappropriate behavior;
  • persistent danger of hurting self or others;
  • intermittent inability to perform activities of daily living, such as maintenance of minimal personal hygiene;
  • disorientation to time or place;
  • memory loss for names of close relatives, own occupation, or own name

70% = Occupational and social impairment, with deficiencies in most areas, such as work, school, family relations, judgment, thinking, or mood

  • suicidal ideation;
  • obsessional rituals which interfere with routine activities;
  • speech intermittently illogical, obscure, or irrelevant;
  • near-continuous panic or depression affecting the ability to function independently, appropriately and effectively;
  • impaired impulse control (such as unprovoked irritability with periods of violence);
  • spatial disorientation;
  • neglect of personal appearance and hygiene;
  • difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances, such as work or a work-like setting;
  • inability to establish and maintain effective relationships.

50% = Occupational and social impairment with reduced reliability and productivity

  • flattened affect;
  • circumstantial, circumlocutory, or stereotyped speech;
  • panic attacks more than once a week;
  • difficulty in understanding complex commands;
  • impairment of short- and long-term memory (e.g., retention of only highly learned material, forgetting to complete tasks);
  • impaired judgment;
  • impaired abstract thinking;
  • disturbances of motivation and mood;
  • difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships.

30%= Occupational and social impairment with occasional decrease in work efficiency and intermittent periods of inability to perform occupational tasks

  • depressed mood;
  • anxiety;
  • suspiciousness;
  • panic attacks (weekly or less often), chronic sleep impairment, mild memory loss (such as forgetting names, directions, recent events).

10% = Occupational and social impairment due to mild or transient symptoms

  • decrease work efficiency and ability to perform occupational tasks only during periods of significant stress; or
  • symptoms controlled by continuous medication.

0% = A mental condition has been formally diagnosed, but symptoms are not severe enough either to interfere with occupational and social functioning or to require continuous medication.

100% VA Disability Rating for PTSD

A 100% disability rating for PTSD reflects total impairment.  Symptoms in the 100% range include persistent suicide attempts.  However, a veteran with very mild PTSD controlled by medication will probably receive 10%.  VA is bound by the Schedule of Ratings.  Especially, if your service-connected disability satisfies the criteria for a higher rating, then VA must grant that rating.

Case Studies: VA Disability Rating for PTSD

To meet the criteria for a specific PTSD rating, the veteran’s symptoms must approximately match the listed criteria.  The following examples show how VA assigns disability ratings for PTSD:

Case Study 2: 50% Rating for PTSD

A 63 year-old veteran with PTSD rated at 10% provided a Disability Benefits Questionnaire (DBQ) from his doctor.  The DBQ noted depressed mood, flattened affect, panic attacks twice a week, impaired judgment and difficulty in establishing effective relationships.  In the end, VA increased his PTSD disability rating to 50%.

Case Study: 10% Rating PTSD

VA rated a 44 year-old veteran at 10% because her PTSD symptoms were well controlled with medication.  She asked VA to increase the rating to 30% because she had 2 panic attacks in the past 12 months.  The panic attacks happened during her commute to her full-time job.  The attacks resolved within minutes, and she did not lose any time from work.  In brief, VA kept her PTSD disability rating at 10%.