VA Compensation for Social Anxiety – Everything You Need To Know
Have you received a denial of your claim for social anxiety veterans benefits? You have the right to appeal that decision. This process can be difficult to handle, but a veterans’ disability lawyer can help.
For a free VA disability consultation, call 1-(888) 392-5392.
If You Are a Veteran With Social Anxiety, You May Be Eligible for VA Disability
Social anxiety is a debilitating condition that can make it difficult to work, sustain meaningful relationships, and even carry out normal daily activities. It has a number of causes, many of them involving genetics and brain structure.
But one’s environment also can play a substantial role in the development of social anxiety. In particular, negative experiences have a strong association with the condition. Veterans, particularly those who serve in combat, are frequently subjected to events that are troubling and even traumatizing. Any one of these events can trigger social anxiety and other phobias.
In the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) handbook of medical conditions eligible for disability benefits, it groups social anxiety in with other phobias (e.g., fear of heights, fear of darkness, etc.).
A disability lawyer can help prove you deserve veterans disability benefits for your social anxiety.
Your Appeal Must Prove Three Things
A successful appeal must at a minimum establish the following:
- You have received a diagnosis of social anxiety.
- You experienced a specific troubling or traumatizing event during your military service (or that your condition began during service).
- A nexus (cause-and-effect link) exists between the event and your diagnosis.
Diagnosis of Social Anxiety
Receiving a grant of VA disability benefits requires you to prove that you have been diagnosed with a medical condition considered disabling by VA. Social anxiety is such a condition as it appears in the VA’s handbook of ailments eligible for benefits.
A Specific Event in Your Military Service
A lawyer can help you identify and prove a specific event from your military service that caused you physical, emotional, or psychological harm. This could be an event you had not considered. If there was no particular event in service but your symptoms began in service, medical records and statements from friends and family can establish that your condition began in the service.
A Nexus Between the Two
Finally, your appeal must show a nexus, or connection, between the in-service event and your diagnosis of social anxiety. This often requires evidence that your symptoms have been present since service. A lawyer will collect substantial proof to make this link clear and indisputable.
To get started building a successful appeal for benefits, call 1-(888) 392-5392.
A Higher Disability Rating Means More Monthly Compensation
VA awards disability compensation on a sliding scale. To determine your level of benefits, the VA assigns you an impairment rating from 0% to 100%. This rating signifies the severity of your condition; higher ratings correspond to higher compensation.
To determine your disability rating, VA uses the following criteria:
- 100 percent 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 percent 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 worklike setting); inability to establish and maintain effective relationships.”
- 50 percent 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 percent 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 percent 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 percent 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.”
Veterans diagnosed with social anxiety receive VA impairment ratings of 0%, 10%, 30%, 50%, 70%, or 100%. As of 2019, the monthly compensation for each of these ratings is:
- 0% rating: $0 per month (but free VA health care)
- 10% rating: $140.05 per month
- 30% rating: $428.83 per month
- 50% rating: $879.36 per month
- 70% rating: $1,403.71 per month
- 100% rating: $3,057.13 per month