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VA Permanent and Total Disability (TDIU) for PTSD

Nexus Letter for PTSD

Permanent and Total Disability (TDIU) for PTSD

VA Permanent and Total Disability (TDIU) for PTSD. The VA will award Permanent and Total disability to veterans whose disabilities are Total (rated 100% disabling by VA) and Permanent (very low likelihood of improvement). 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%.  Likewise, it is possible to 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.

PTSD Rating Schedule for TDIU

Rather than assign percentages at random, VA uses a Schedule of Ratings.  The Schedule of Ratings breaks down disabilities into different categories, which contain groups of medical problems, list of disabilities, and diagnostic code.  Therefore, 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%.

VA will award Permanent & Total Disability (TDIU) for PTSD

  • The veteran’s PTSD meets the criteria for a 100% rating, and
  • Medical evidence shows that the PTSD is not likely to improve during the veteran’s lifetime.

Total PTSD Rating

VA will award a total rating for PTSD if it causes total occupational and social impairment.  Per the Schedule of Ratings, the following symptoms merit a 100% rating for PTSD:

  • 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; or
  • memory loss for names of close relatives, own occupation, or own name.

VA will only concede these symptoms if they appear in medical records.  In other words, VA will not grant Permanent and Total Disability for PTSD based solely on the veteran’s statements.

VA 100% Rating, Permanent and Total Disability (TDIU) for PTSD

A 100% rating for PTSD satisfies the “Total” part of Permanent and Total Disability.  Whether a 100% PTSD is “permanent” is a medical question for the veteran’s treating doctor.  Will this condition ever improve during the veteran’s lifetime?  If the doctor’s answer is no, then the veteran should submit the doctor’s written opinion to VA.  VA will likely defer to the medical opinion and award Permanent and Total disability for PTSD.

Resources related to Permanent and Total Disability (TDIU) for PTSD

Cornell University: Schedule of Ratings for Mental Diseases

Department of Veterans Affairs: Schedule for Ratings