Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious mental health concern that can affect the entire body. A common diagnosis in veterans, you may be able to get a
PTSD disability rating from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This would allow you to receive VA disability compensation and if eligible, additional healthcare services.
PTSD Can Affect a Veteran’s Everyday Life After They Return Home
PTSD symptoms can start immediately following a stressful and traumatic event or begin later when the veteran experiences a trigger. Ongoing disturbing thoughts and feelings, sometimes in the form of intrusive thoughts or flashbacks to the traumatic event can be among what PTSD does to a person.
Many veterans report having nightmares and feeling sad, fearful, or angry. They often feel detached, even from their own families. PTSD can cause veterans to avoid situations, places, and noises that remind them of the trauma they faced. Something as simple as a dropped plate or fireworks could startle them or trigger flashbacks. Minor problems may set off a panic, with the veteran experiencing a “fight or flight” response when there is no real danger.
PTSD Can Also Cause Veterans to Suffer Physical Symptoms
In some cases, PTSD may cause a veteran to develop physical symptoms. According to the American Psychiatric Association, veterans can experience a number of troubling—and disabling—health concerns related to their PTSD. Some of these physical symptoms may include:
- High blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Muscle tension
Many people with PTSD may not connect their aches, pains, and fatigue with their PTSD diagnosis, preventing them from reporting it when filing a claim for VA disability or other benefits. Others may recognize the pain in an area where they previously suffered a traumatic injury, and it will cause additional mental health concerns related to their PTSD.
PTSD may also be a factor in a higher risk of depression, alcohol abuse, prescription medication abuse, drug abuse, diabetes, and even early death. As researchers, doctors, and veterans get a better idea of the systemic effects of PTSD, it becomes more and more apparent why getting treatment is imperative.
Qualifying for VA Disability Based on PTSD
To draw disability benefits, you must prove:
- You endured a stressor during your time in service, for example, exposure to combat, a serious injury, personal trauma, or sexual violation, or a threat of injury, death or sexual assault
- You have a PTSD diagnosis
- Your PTSD diagnosis is related to your in-service event.
Talk to a Disability Lawyer About Appealing a PTSD Denial or Challenging a Low Disability Rating
A VA disability lawyer will know how to navigate the appeals system and can help you file an appeal. Your appeal options may include:
- Asking for a review of your case from a senior reviewer by requesting a Higher-Level Review.
- Adding additional (new and relevant) evidence to your claim and asking them to review it again by filing a Supplemental Claim.
- Appealing your case to a Veterans Law Judge by submitting an appeal to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.
Generally speaking, you have a year from the date you receive notice of your denial or rating to take legal action, though there are some exceptions to this rule, depending on the type of decision you receive Call 888-373-4722 today to discuss your case with a VA disability lawyer familiar with PTSD ratings and what PTSD does to a person.