Veterans Disability Info Blog

GAD vs. Panic Disorder vs. PTSD

Veterans suffering from service-related anxiety disorders such as General Anxiety Disorder (GAD), PTSD, and panic disorder qualify for both medical and mental health coverage in addition to tax-free VA disability payments. These mental disorders can qualify you and your family for up to 100 percent VA disability tax-free payments, which exceed $3,000 and increase with the number of dependents in your household. 

The amount in compensation that you are eligible for depends upon your anxiety VA rating. This is impacted by your current diagnosis of an anxiety condition and the evidence submitted to link it to your qualifying active service. You must also demonstrate how the symptoms of your service-related condition impact your daily life, and also your ability to maintain steady gainful employment. If your anxiety disorder VA disability application has been denied, or if you have a VA disability rating for a different condition and need to add anxiety, a VA disability benefits lawyer from our firm can help. 

Anxiety Disorders

There are a number of different anxiety disorders recognized by the VA that could result in your receiving an anxiety VA rating, including Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and panic disorder. 

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

General anxiety disorder or GAD is when your anxiety gets in the way of your everyday life, including your ability to work and engage in social situations. Symptoms include changes in behavior or irritability, experiencing difficulty concentrating, difficulty trying to control emotions, restlessness, difficulty falling or staying asleep, and others. When your ability to work is impacted, you could also be eligible for tax-free VA disability benefits based upon your anxiety VA rating. 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

The condition known as PTSD develops in individuals who have experienced shocking, scary, or dangerous situations. Of individuals who served qualifying active duty, combat veterans and persons who experienced assault in the military are some of the most likely to develop PTSD. PTSD sufferers experience the following symptoms: 

  • Avoidance symptoms 
  • Arousal and reactivity symptoms 
  • Re-experiencing symptoms 
  • An impact on the ability to concentrate 
  • A change in mood or behavior

These symptoms can markedly impact your ability to engage in social situations and maintain steady gainful employment. PTSD is classified as an anxiety-disorder and is rated on the same percentage scale as other anxiety disorders. A decision of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals determined that a veteran who had previously received a VA disability rating of 50 percent was able to be upgraded to 70 percent with TDIU, or total disability for individual unemployability. This means that you receive disability payments at the 100 percent disability rate, which exceed $3,000 monthly.

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is characterized by frequent and unplanned panic attacks, which are when an individual experiences a sudden and significant fear, discomfort, or feelings of being out of control. Panic attacks can happen due to a trigger that brings to mind a traumatic incident, or without any trigger at all. Symptoms include sweating, a feeling of impending death or doom, fast heartbeat and sweating, tingling and trembling, or feelings of being out of control. Establishing a link between your panic attacks and your active service or a primary condition that you already have a VA disability rating for is essential to collect the benefits you deserve. 

Rating Percentages for Anxiety Assigned by the VA

When a veteran is diagnosed with a service-related anxiety disorder, they are eligible to be assigned a VA disability rating of 0 percent, 10 percent, 30 percent, 50 percent, 70 percent, or 100 percent, as explained below:

  • 0 percent – when you have a diagnosed anxiety disorder, but is does not require medical or otherwise interfere with your social or professional life, you are assigned a 0 percent rating 
  • 10 percent – you have mild symptoms that require medication, and your work efficiency drops in situations of high stress
  • 30 percent – the symptoms that you have result in a moderate impact on your social life and ability to work, with symptoms including but not limited to panic attacks, sleep impairment, memory loss, and anxiety 
  • 50 percent – this rating means an individual is suffering from impairment in both social and professional situations, and may experience impaired judgment, panic attacks more than once per week, or difficulty following instructions
  • 70 percent – this rating is assigned with a veteran’s anxiety leads to significant impairments across all areas of life due to symptoms such 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 worklike setting); inability to establish and maintain effective relationships
  • 100 percent – this rating is assigned when your anxiety disorder results in a complete inability to function at work or in social situations

At a 0 percent rating, a veteran is eligible to receive medical and mental health care for their anxiety condition, covered by the VA. When conditions are rated at 10 percent or higher, you are also eligible for tax-free monthly VA disability payments. The purpose of these disability payments is to replace income that is lost as a result of the impact your symptoms have upon your ability to work. Ensuring that you submit evidence to support an accurate anxiety VA rating is essential, whether you are filing an initial application, an appeal, or a supplemental claim. The difference between a 10 percent rating and a 100 percent rating is thousands of dollars each month, and the only way to ensure an accurate rating is by submitting sufficient evidence with your claim. 

Connect with a VA Disability Lawyer for an Accurate Anxiety VA Rating on Your Appeal 

Our firm provides a risk-free, cost-free consultation on veterans and their families who need to file an appeal for a denied anxiety claim. We take the time to review your unique situation to determine if we can help, and if so, answer any questions you might have prior to getting started. To see how our veterans disability benefits attorney can assist you, give us a call at 888-878-9350, or visit our site to schedule your free initial consultation

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If you are having trouble obtaining benefits, contact us online or at 888.878.9350 to discuss your case.