Veterans Disability Info Blog

Understanding the Impact of Misdiagnosed Personality Disorders on VA Disability Claims

If you have a misdiagnosed condition and have applied for VA disability benefits, you may have the potential to appeal a denial. The anxiety VA rating that you receive, for example, determines whether you are eligible for VA-covered medical and mental health care, and potentially tax-free monthly payments. 

When an individual develops service-connected anxiety disorders such as General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) or PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), it is possible to qualify for up to 100 percent disability compensation, which generally includes tax-free monthly disability payments in excess of $3,000. The amount in monthly tax free payments that you are eligible to receive depends on the anxiety VA rating that you are assigned based upon the evidence submitted with your application or appeal. 

The amount you and your family could be entitled to depends upon your current diagnosis of anxiety or related service-connected condition. Additionally, your claim is impacted by the evidence you submit to link your current condition and symptoms to your qualifying active service. You must demonstrate how these symptoms impact your day-to-day life, and also your ability to maintain steady gainful employment. Working with one of the experienced VA disability lawyers from our VA benefits law firm supports the outcome of your appeal claim. If you are in the stage of filing your initial application, attorneys cannot charge you for related services, but you can receive free assistance from the VA. 

What are Anxiety Disorders? 

It is normal to feel occasional anxiety in response to the stress and difficulties of life. However, anxiety can develop into a disorder when the symptoms do not go away, or if they worsen in time and begin to get in the way of your daily activities including your performance in social and professional situations. There are many recognized anxiety disorders, including Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, in addition to phobia disorders. PTSD is classified by the VA as an anxiety-related disorder, although it has a separate application process than the one you would proceed through for your anxiety. 

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) 

Persons experienced Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) experience feelings of anxiety or dread that interfere with daily life. Symptoms of GAD can include the following:

  • Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
  • Difficulty trying to control feelings of anxiety or worry
  • Irritability and changes in emotions and behavior
  • Feeling restless or on edge
  • Easily being tired or fatigued without actual exertion
  • Issues falling asleep or staying asleep 

The causes of GAD can vary from worries linked to daily life to traumatic experiences from the past, and other concerns caused by outside sources, such as health problems. The VA covers conditions that are both primary and secondary. Primary conditions are those that were a direct result of an event, incident, or injury during qualifying active duty. A secondary condition is one that is secondary to a primary condition, for example if you develop GAD as a result of traumatic experiences that already have provided you with a VA disability rating for PTSD. GAD can be both a primary or a secondary condition, underlining the importance of receiving an accurate and complete medical diagnosis of your condition/s. 

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder can impact your ability to enjoy normal social situations, and also limit your ability to work when episodes, generally referred to as panic attacks, are frequent and uncontrollable. Panic attacks are periods of sudden discomfort characterized by feelings of intense fear, or feelings of a loss of the ability to control oneself.

Symptoms of a panic attack include the following:

  • Racing heartbeat and sweating 
  • Chest pain 
  • A sense of impending doom or death 
  • A sense of losing control 
  • Trembling or tingling sensations 

It can sometimes be difficult to prove mental health conditions such as panic disorder to the VA given the importance of evidence to prove the link between your current diagnosis and active service. Working with an experienced VA disability attorney to appeal a denial of your anxiety disorder is helpful as we know the kind of evidence to apply in support of your claim. For example, persons who experience hives are suffering from a medical condition known as urticaria, which has been proven to be connected to prior traumatic experiences and the development of related mental health disorders thereafter. Experiences of trauma such as sexual assault or combat can lead to mental health disorders, which can in turn have physical manifestations. In other instances, panic or anxiety disorder can manifest itself as severe skin itching, which a current diagnosis of may be linked to a service-connected event, injury, or illness and in turn entitle you to VA disability benefits and medical and mental health coverage. 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) 

Individuals suffering from PTSD have been through shocking, scary, or dangerous events, and it is common among combat veterans, as well as persons who were assaulted while in the military. Symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Avoidance symptoms 
  • Arousal and reactivity symptoms
  • Re-experiencing symptoms, generally referred to as flashbacks
  • Arousal and reactivity symptoms, often referred to as triggers 

If you or a loved one is suffering from an anxiety disorder related to their service, submitting sufficient evidence determines the success of your initial application, and an experienced VA disability lawyer can make the difference on your appeal. 

Connect with a VA Disability Benefits Attorney to Support an Accurate Anxiety VA Rating to Appeal Your Claim

Mental health disorders that are related to your qualifying active service are covered by the VA. You need to submit an application that includes your current diagnosis, a medical opinion noting that your current diagnosis is related to your active service, To learn how we can help ensure that you receive an accurate mental health diagnosis and are successful in your appeal, 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.