VA Compensation for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – Everything You Need To Know
Did the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) deny your claim for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) veterans’ benefits? You have the option of appealing the decision. This process is often difficult, but a VA disability lawyer can help.
Find out more during a free consultation: (888) 392-5392.
Get Help with Your Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Benefits Appeal
Members of the armed forces are called upon to take great risks and place themselves in danger in service to our country. These situations often have tragic outcomes, resulting in loss of life and catastrophic injuries. Even when the physical wounds heal, the psychological impact can remain for years to come.
A possible effect of exposure to psychological trauma in a military setting is the development of OCD. Personal crises and extreme negative events are two common triggers of the condition, which can manifest in the following symptoms:
- Fear of germs or contamination
- Excessive door-locking, or checking and double-checking that the stove and oven are turned off
- Preoccupation with items on a shelf being in order and facing the same direction
- Recurrent images of self-harm
- Thoughts of inappropriate behavior
- Avoiding situations that may trigger obsessions, such as shaking hands or removing items from a shelf
- Distress over unpleasant thoughts or mental images
These symptoms can be debilitating and make it impossible for you to make ends meet. Unfortunately, VA does not grant benefits so quickly. For help with an appeal, call (888) 392-5392.
A Veterans’ Disability Lawyer Can Help You Assemble a Compelling Appeal
To be successful, your appeal must establish three things:
- Your doctor diagnosed you with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
- You experienced a specific event during your military service that traumatized you or had a psychological impact. This can also be satisfied by establishing that your condition began while you were in the service.
- A “nexus” (cause-and-effect link) exists between the in-service event and your OCD diagnosis.
Diagnosis of OCD
If you have received a diagnosis of OCD by a physician, you can use it to show that you meet the diagnosis requirement.
An Event in Your Military Service
Your appeal must show that you encountered a specific event during your military service that was traumatic or caused lasting psychological harm or alternatively show that your symptoms began during service. A disability lawyer can look through your military service records and find evidence to support this.
A Nexus Between the Event and Your Diagnosis
Lastly, your appeal must establish a nexus between the in-service event and your diagnosis of OCD.
To get started with a veterans’ disability attorney, call (888) 392-5392.
Your Monthly Compensation Depends on Your Disability Rating
Your benefit amount is based on your impairment rating, which VA assigns after reviewing your claim.
The VA uses the Code of Federal Regulations to determine the appropriate rating for service-connected OCD rating are as follows:
- 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.”
Veterans with OCD are eligible for one of six VA impairment ratings: 0 percent, 10 percent, 30 percent, 50 percent, 70 percent, or 100 percent. The monthly compensation for each of these ratings as of late 2019 is:
- 0% rating: $0 per month
- 10 percent rating: $142.29 per month
- 30 percent rating: $435.69 per month
- 50 percent rating: $893.43 per month
- 70 percent rating: $1,426.17 per month
- 100 percent rating: $3,106.04 per month