Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD

If you are here because you have been denied veterans’ benefits for PTSD, you are not alone. In 2012, the VA claimed its own claims error rate was 14%. However, the VA’s own inspector general found a claims error rate of 38%.That means by even the VA’s own estimates they make mistakes in almost 4 out of 10 benefits claims cases! Additionally, appeals represent a third of the VA’s pending disability claims which means 1 in 3 cases the VA is processing are veterans appealing a denial.

A TDIU Vocational Evaluation can assist you greatly in gaining Objective Evidence of your Psychiatric Limitations/Mental Health Issues, to get an Objective Diagnosis, severity of issues and how they affect your employability and in Vocational Terms

How Do I Get Veterans’ Benefits for PTSD?

To get veterans’ benefits for PTSD, you need to establish a service connection between your PTSD disability and your time in service. PTSD is unique among veteran disability types because of the importance placed on stressors in diagnosing PTSD.  So, in order to get VA disability benefits for PTSD you will need to get a service connection by establishing a stressor or stressors that qualify you for a diagnosis of PTSD.

There are essentially 3 different approaches to proving stressors.

  1. The first type of stressor involves a situation where a combat veteran describes a stressor that is consistent with his or her combat exposure.
  2. The second type of stressor involves a situation where the veteran describes a stressor that is not associated with his verified combat exposure.
  3. The third type off stressor involves cases where the veteran’s PTSD stressor is related to fear of hostile military or terrorist activity while stationed in a combat theater of operations.

Credible supporting evidence is important in getting approved for PTSD VA benefits. But in practice, the “credible supporting evidence” requirement has been a major impediment to many Veterans receiving compensation for their PTSD diagnosis. Frankly, many things that happen in the service are never properly documented or recorded. As a result, it can be very difficult to prove that the stressor took place. Fortunately, in July 2010 the VA issued a new rule making it somewhat easier to prove that a stressor event happened during service. Under the new regulation, if a Veteran’s claimed stressors are related to the Veteran’s fear of hostile or military or terrorist activity then he could qualify for PTSD based on this as a stressor.

Additionally, in order to get VA benefits for PTSD, you might also need to get a private VOCATIONAL EXPERT OPININON to establish a connection between your service and your diagnosis and Vocational Limitations.

What Are PTSD Veterans Benefits?

Veterans benefits for PTSD are granted based on graduated disability ratings of 0%, 10%, 30%, 50%, 70% or 100%.  Veterans who receive a disability rating of 0% do not receive disability benefits because there is little or no impairment. Disability benefit payments begin at 10% and increase at each rating level.

Veterans have a wide range of benefits available to them. They range from VA pension benefits (non-service connected) and VA compensation benefits – to vocational rehabilitation and grants for adapted vehicles, housing and equipment.

Why Did the VA Deny My Veteran’s Benefit Claim for PTSD that a Vocational Expert and Help with?

The most common reasons why the VA denies benefits for PTSD are:

  1. The VA also likes to deny PTSD claims on the grounds that you don’t have a diagnosis of PTSD.  In many cases, however, if you are not diagnosed with PTSD you may be diagnosed with depression or generalized anxiety.  You would benefit from a TDIU Vocational Evaluation that tests for psychiatric/Mental Health issues and lists their severity and relationship to vocational limitations.
  2. Another reason why the VA denies PTSD benefits claims is because many veterans make the mistake of re-filing PTSD benefits claims without any new evidence or they submit evidence that is not really material to their PTSD, South East VE can provide you with New Objective Evidence.

In order to ensure the greatest degree of success in re-opened disability claims, we recommend that you look very carefully at the reason why the VA denied your claim the last time.  For instance, if the reason they denied you before was because there was no evidence of a present disability, then submitting a new medical record showing a diagnosed condition could potentially aid in getting your claim reopened.  The new evidence you submit should address one of the reasons why VA denied your benefits before.

SouthEast Vocational Experts can provide Objective Evidence of your PTSD and level of severity through our objective Testing.