VA Compensation for Specific Phobias – Everything You Need To Know
Did the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) deny your claim for specific phobias veterans benefits? You have the right to appeal the denial. A VA disability lawyer can help you file a successful appeal.
Call 1-(888) 392-5392 for a free case evaluation.
What is Specific Phobia: You May be Eligible for VA Disability Compensation for Specific Phobias Developed During Your Military Service
Serving in the United States military is a noble and honorable career, but it is not for the faint of heart. When you wear the uniform, you encounter situations the average person likely couldn’t handle. No matter your physical or mental toughness, these events can leave a permanent imprint on you. Many veterans develop phobias caused by traumatic events in their service.
Common phobias include the following:
- Agoraphobia (fear of the outdoors, crowds, and open spaces)
- Arachnophobia (fear of spiders)
- Social phobias (such as social anxiety disorder)
- Acrophobia (fear of heights)
- Autophobia (fear of being alone)
- Phonophobia (fear of loud noises)
- Aerophobia (fear of flying)
- Lygophobia (fear of darkness)
While the complete list of specific phobias is dozens of pages long, VA rates all of them under a single entry in its disability handbook. A veterans’ disability lawyer can help you prove you deserve benefits.
Call 1-(888) 392-5392 today for a free consultation.
VA Disability Lawyers Can Help You Build a Compelling Appeal for Your Specific Phobia
The VA’s rules and qualifications are lengthy and complex, but a VA disability lawyer can cut through them and put together an appeal that is thorough and convincing. For the best chance of approval, your disability claim should prove three things:
- Your doctor diagnosed you with a specific phobia.
- You suffered a traumatic or troubling event during your military service or your symptoms began in service.
- There is a nexus (cause-and-effect link) between the event and your current diagnosis.
Diagnosis of a Specific Phobia
To obtain benefits for your specific phobia, you must have a diagnosis of a medical condition considered disabling by the VA. Because specific phobias have a listing in the VA’s handbook, a diagnosis of one is likely sufficient to prove you have a disability.
A Traumatic or Troubling Event
You must be able to point to a specific event during your military service that was sufficiently traumatic or troubling to trigger your phobia or you must prove that your symptoms began in the service. A disability lawyer can help you identify and prove such an event.
A Nexus Between the Two
Finally, a veterans’ disability attorney can help you gather evidence that makes the link, or “nexus,” between the in-service event and your current specific phobia clear and compelling.
To start the process today with a free VA disability case evaluation, call 1-(888) 392-5392.
Your Monthly Compensation Depends on Your Disability Rating
VA disability compensation is not a flat amount. It can vary, and the determining factor for how much you will receive is your VA impairment rating. The higher this rating, the more compensation you can expect.
Specific phobias appear in the VA’s rating manual under “anxiety disorders.” The VA assigns these disorders one of six impairment ratings: 0%, 10%, 30%, 50%, 70%, or 100%.
To determine your impairment rating, VA uses the following rating schedule:
- 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 work like 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.”
As of 2019, here is the monthly compensation you can expect for each of the six possible ratings:
- 0% rating: $0 per month (but free VA health care)
- 10% rating: $140.05 per month
- 30% rating: $276.84 per month
- 50% rating: $879.36 per month
- 70% rating: $1,403.71 per month
- 100% rating: $3,057.13 per month