VA Compensation for Acute Stress Disorder – Everything You Need to Know
If you are a veteran who suffers from acute stress disorder due to an event that occurred during your military service, you may be eligible for acute stress disorder veterans benefits. Unfortunately, recovering those benefits can be difficult. If the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) denied your appeal, a veterans’ disability lawyer will gather evidence and put together a compelling appeal.
A veterans’ disability law firm helps as many disabled veterans to receive benefits as possible. A lawyer will fight for what you deserve.
For a free case evaluation, call (888) 392-5392 today.
Military Service and Acute Stress Disorder
Acute stress disorder is a response to a traumatic or highly stressful event. It can impact all areas of your life, including your work, your family, your relationships and even your ability to carry out daily living activities. VA offers disability benefits to veterans with service-connected acute stress disorder that meet certain criteria.
What constitutes a valid diagnosis of acute stress disorder? The condition covers five categories. You need to have a minimum of nine (of 14) symptoms across five categories.
Acute stress disorder intrudes into your life by changing your thoughts, judgment and behavior. These reactions occur involuntarily. Intrusion symptoms include:
- Repeated memories of the event
- Recurrent nightmares about the event
- Recurrent flashbacks to the event, where you relive it so vividly it feels like it is happening again
- Intense reactions when exposed to triggers that remind you of the event
Acute stress disorder can negatively impact your mood. Mood symptoms include:
- Inability to feel happiness, joy and love
- An overwhelming surge of negative emotions like anger, sadness and despair
Dissociation is a mental state characterized by removing oneself from reality. People with acute stress disorder frequently use it as a defense mechanism to escape the pervasive memories of the event. Symptoms include:
- Lack of awareness of surroundings
- Dissociative amnesia
- Depersonalization: a sense that you are no longer connected to your body or thoughts
- Derealization: a sense that your surroundings are no longer real
It is normal when suffering from acute stress disorder to avoid things that may trigger memories of the event. These may be external reminders such as people, places and even inanimate objects. They can also be internal reminders, like certain thoughts, feelings and memories.
Arousal symptoms involve the activation of your fight-or-flight response when reminded of the event. This response can save your life in threatening situations. But when this response gets activated every day by memories, it damages your health and affects your ability to function. Arousal symptoms include:
- Trouble sleeping
- Trouble concentrating
If you are having trouble obtaining the benefits you need and deserve for your acute stress disorder, a disabled veterans lawyer wants to hear from you. A lawyer will fight to ensure you receive the VA disability benefits you deserve.
For a free case evaluation with a VA disability lawyer today, call (888) 392-5392.
Count on a Disabled Veterans Lawyer to Help You Build a Compelling Appeal
A disabled veterans’ lawyer understands what makes a successful VA disability appeal. It needs to establish the following three things:
- You have a diagnosis of acute stress disorder — You first must show that you have a diagnosis of acute stress disorder. A disabled veterans’ lawyer can review your medical records and physicians’ statements, comparing the evidence at hand to VA’s guidelines.
- You experienced an in-service event or condition onset — You must show that you suffered a traumatic experience during your military service. This might include sexual trauma, the death of someone in your platoon, an attack or any other stressful event. Alternatively, you must show that your condition began while you were in the service.
- There is a nexus between the in-service event and condition onset — You also must show that your current diagnosis stems from that specific event or onset during your military service, thereby establishing a nexus between the events.
Call (888) 392-5392 for a free case evaluation.
A VA Disability Legal Team Can Help You Collect the Full VA Disability Benefits You Deserve
VA compensation is not a fixed amount. It can vary from a just over a hundred dollars a month to several thousand dollars a month.
What makes the difference in how much you receive? Your VA disability rating, for mental health issues such as acute stress disorder, can be one of six levels: 0, 10, 30, 50, 70, or 100 percent.
The VA assigns you one of these ratings based its opinion of the severity of your condition. As of 2019, the compensation rates for each of these ratings for a single veteran with no dependents are:
- 0 percent disability rating: $0 per month
- 10 percent disability rating: $142.29 per month
- 30 percent disability rating: $435.69 per month
- 50 percent disability rating: $893.43 per month
- 70 percent disability rating: $1,426.17 per month
- 100 percent disability rating: $3,106.04 per month
The Code of Federal Regulations mental health criteria by which Veterans Affairs determines the severity of your disability 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.”
A disabled veterans’ lawyer wants you to receive the highest possible rating. That is why they pour extensive resources into gathering substantial evidence and assembling your appeal to make it as strong as possible. To find out more about how a lawyer can help you, call today for a free case evaluation: (888) 392-5392.
Call Today for Your Free VA Disability Consultation
Call today for VA disability legal help: (888) 392-5392.