VA Compensation for Agoraphobia- Everything You Need To Know
Veterans with service-connected agoraphobia may be entitled to veterans’ disability benefits. However, obtaining these benefits is difficult and denials are common. If the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) denied your agoraphobia veterans’ benefits claim, you can appeal that decision.
You Can Obtain Disability Benefits for Your Service-Connected Agoraphobia
Agoraphobia is a debilitating condition that can impact many areas of your life. It can make it difficult to hold a job, attend work or social functions, maintain friendships and relationships and even leave your home.
The condition has many causes and risk factors, both biological and environmental. Certain people are more susceptible to it based on genetics and brain chemistry. But certain life experiences —exposure to trauma or extreme negative events, in particular — can trigger agoraphobia.
Since military service members often find themselves in challenging situations, their subsequent diagnoses of agoraphobia often relate back to service.
A Veterans’ Disability Lawyer Can Help You Establish Service Connection for Agoraphobia
A winning appeal must prove three things:
- You have a diagnosis of agoraphobia.
- A specific event occurred during your military service or your condition began during service.
- There is a cause-and-effect medical link between the event and your diagnosis.
Diagnosis of Agoraphobia
The VA lumps agoraphobia with panic disorders in its list of approved conditions. As long as you have been diagnosed, you can show you meet the VA’s diagnosis requirement for disability.
A Specific Event During Your Military Service
You have to identify a specific event or onset that occurred during your military service that led to your current diagnosis of agoraphobia.
A Nexus Between the Event and Your Diagnosis
Lastly, a medical or mental health professional must establish the cause-and-effect link, or “nexus,” between the service event or onset and your diagnosis. This often involves drawing upon several types of evidence to establish a compelling connection.
Call (888) 392-5392 today for a free VA disability case evaluation.
Count on a VA Disability Lawyer to Help You Collect the Full VA Disability Benefits You Deserve
To determine how much compensation you receive each month, VA issues you an impairment rating. VA impairment ratings cover a scale of 0% to 100%. With a diagnosis of agoraphobia (or any panic disorder), you will receive one of six ratings: 0, 10, 30, 50, 70 or 100%.
VA uses a schedule of ratings to determine your disability criteria:
- 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 2019, here is the amount of monthly compensation you can expect to receive at each level for a single veteran with no dependents:
- 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