The VA disability ratings for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are 0, 10, 30, 50, 70, and 100%, per the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR). The nature of your diagnosis and the impact your condition has on your daily life determine which rating applies to your condition. The higher your VA disability rating, the more you can receive in monthly compensation.
When you apply for benefits, a VA representative will review your appeal and supporting documentation, including your medical records, physicians’ statements, and lab test results. If you meet the necessary requirements, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will evaluate your condition and assign a disability rating based on your level of impairment. A veteran’s disability lawyer can help you build a comprehensive file so that you have everything you need to back up your appeal.
How the VA Approves Disability for PTSD
The VA grants disability benefits to veterans suffering from PTSD who can list three facts on their applications:
- They must have a valid PTSD diagnosis from a medical professional.
- They must have experienced, witnessed, or learned of a qualifying traumatic event while in the service.
- They must be able to show they developed PTSD as a result of this in-service event.
Qualifications the VA considers in order to classify your PTSD diagnosis as a disability include:
- Stressor: A specific traumatic event that occurred during your military service and triggered your condition
- Re-experiencing: Reliving the event after the fact, such as flashbacks, nightmares, or night terrors
- Avoidance: Deliberately avoiding people, places, or activities that remind you of the event
- Negative cognitions and mood: An inability to recall trauma; detachment; a negative self-evaluation; self-blame; or pervasive shame, anger, or fear
- Arousal: Experiencing irritability, problems sleeping, or difficulty concentrating
You must be able to show that your PTSD is related to your military service. An attorney can help you gather the proof necessary to do so. If you have met the criteria, the VA will analyze the functional impact of your PTSD to determine how much it affects your ability to function in a workplace or while doing your daily activities.
How Does the VA Determine Your Monthly Disability Compensation for PTSD?
Monthly disability compensation rates for PTSD depend on the disability rating you receive from the VA. In addition to monthly compensation, you may also be eligible for additional perks and benefits, even if you receive a low VA disability rating.
If you receive a disability rating of 30, 50, 70, or 100% and you have dependents, such as your spouse, children, or dependent parents, you may also be eligible to receive additional monthly compensation beyond your base amount.
What if You Receive a Lower Disability Rating than You Believe You Deserve?
If you receive what you believe to be a disability rating that is lower than you feel you deserve, you can appeal the decision. However, something to be aware of is, if you appeal the decision the VA may re-evaluate your application.
While this may sound like exactly what you want them to do, the next reviewer could be more or less generous than the first was. In a worst-case scenario, this means the VA could actually lower your rating or take away your benefits altogether. Don’t make this decision lightly – talk it over with an attorney before you proceed.
Contact a Skilled VA Attorney for Help Today
If you wish to have your case reviewed by an experienced attorney on our team, simply complete our case evaluation form or give our office a call for a free consultation. A veteran’s disability lawyer can review your case and help you fight for the maximum disability benefits the VA will allow you to claim. We can also help you appeal the VA’s prior decision if we decide it is in your best interests to do so.