If you are a military veteran with flattened affect, you may be eligible for U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability benefits. The VA offers disability benefits to veterans with flattened affect if their mental health condition results from military service.
Flattened affect is a symptom of a number of medical conditions that may be connected to service. A veterans disability lawyer can review your case and help you put together a compelling appeal for benefits. For a free disability case evaluation, call (888) 392-5392 today.
Flattened Affect as a Symptom of a Service-Connected Disability
Flattened affect causes the loss of ability to express emotions or react to events and circumstances that typically trigger an emotional response. Most people with flattened affect still feel emotions, but they do not instinctively express those feelings the way a person without the condition would.
Symptoms of flattened affect emerge not only in emotionally charged situations but also in everyday life. People with flattened affect may speak in monotones, maintain a blank or neutral facial expression, and avoid eye contact. Some of the indicators include:
- Little to no emotional expression on the face.
- Little to no verbal or nonverbal emotional reaction to events or circumstances that would normally elicit a response.
- Apathetic demeanor.
- Monotone speaking voice.
- Little to no eye contact.
- Little to no changes in facial expression.
Flattened affect is usually associated with an underlying disorder, most often one affecting the mental health system. Some of the primary conditions that cause flattened affect may be service-connected, meaning they arose from a specific event during the veteran’s service. Some examples are:
- Traumatic brain injury
A VA Disability Lawyer Can Help You Appeal a Denied Claim
A VA disability appeal to establish service connection needs to establish three things:
A Diagnosed Medical or Mental Health Condition
An established diagnosis by a medical professional
A Specific Event or Onset During Your Military Service
We must identify a specific event during your military service, one in which you suffered an injury or were exposed to something traumatic or evidence that you began to experience mental health symptoms while in service (or in some situations within one year of discharge).
A Nexus Between the Two
Most important, a medical nexus, or a cause-and-effect link, between the event and your diagnosis is needed.
A VA Disability Lawyer Can Help You Fight for the Highest VA Disability Compensation
Most ailments that cause flattened affect are mental health conditions for which VA assigns impairment ratings using specific criteria. Your impairment rating, which ranges from 0 to 100%, is critical because it determines your level of monthly compensation. The rating U.S. Code of Federal Regulations criteria for PTSD, depression, and other mental disorders are:
- 100% rating: “Total occupational and social impairment, due to such symptoms as: 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, due to such symptoms as: 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 due to such symptoms as: 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), due to such symptoms as: depressed mood, anxiety, suspiciousness, panic attacks (weekly or less often), chronic sleep impairment, mild memory loss (such as forgetting names, directions, recent events).”
- 10% rating: “Occupational and social impairment due to mild or transient symptoms which 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, but symptoms are not severe enough either to interfere with occupational and social functioning or to require continuous medication.”
As of December 2019, the monthly compensation rates at each of these ratings is
- 0% rating: $0 per month
- 10% rating: $142.29 per month
- 30% rating: $435.69 per month
- 50% rating: $893.43 per month
- 70% rating: $1,426.17 per month
- 100% rating: $3,106.04 per month
If you have dependents, you may qualify for more. A disability lawyer can build a compelling appeal and help you fight for the highest possible impairment rating, earning you the most in compensation. Call (888) 392-5392 for a free case evaluation.
Call (888) 392-5392 Today for a Free Disability Consultation
A VA disability lawyer can help you fight for VA disability benefits for a medical condition causing flattened affect. To receive a free consultation right away, call (888) 392-5392.