Tips for Successful PTSD VA Rating
PTSD can impact the life of a veteran and their family in a broad range of ways, particularly when it impacts the veteran’s ability to socially function and work to support themselves and their family. To collect VA disability benefits for your PTSD, you’ll need to apply and be approved, and the amount of coverage that you are entitled to will depend upon your PTSD VA rating.
Your PTSD is rated on a percentage scale that increases with the severity of your symptoms, and beginning at 10 percent disability entitles you to tax-free monthly disability compensation payments. The VA disability lawyers from our VA disability law firm can help you understand the process and what the VA is looking for to accurately rate your PTSD.
#1 Submit Sufficient Medical Evidence
The most important pieces of information to submit with your VA disability claim are a current diagnosis of your condition and a medical opinion linking that condition to an event, injury, or illness that you experienced during active duty. Your current diagnosis is best complemented by a nexus letter, which is a medical opinion that links your current condition with your active duty.
One of the most common reasons for denial is insufficient evidence of a link between your PTSD and an event, injury, or illness experienced during active duty. The second is insufficient proof that you experience sufficient symptom impairment. (In service connection claims, the second biggest reason for denial is the inability to corroborate a PTSD stressor during service.)
#2 Keep a Journal Documenting Your Symptoms and Experiences with PTSD
When you suffer from PTSD, the symptoms can impact your ability to live your day-to-day life and also to work. For the VA to understand how your symptoms impact your life, you need to provide them with this information. Documenting your PTSD symptoms in a journal can provide the VA with an important piece of information in support of your claim, as your personal experience best describes how your PTSD affects your life.
#3 Submit Buddy Statements to Support the Service Connection
With PTSD, which is generally caused by encountering, witnessing, or knowing that a close friend or family encountered, a life-threatening situation of violence, sexual violence, or other experience, the cause is often an experience that the VA will never have an opportunity to witness. You are able to submit a “buddy statement” through VA Form 21-4138, a Statement in Support of Claim. This is how you can submit the witness statement of a person with firsthand knowledge of your condition or what caused it that you believe will support your application for VA disability benefits.
Keep in mind that the main reasons for adverse outcomes in PTSD cases depends on whether the issue on appeal is a denial of service connection or an appeal for the denial of an increased rating claim. In cases where service connection is the issue, the focus has to be on establishing the diagnosis, the in-service event (stressor corroboration, combat experience, or presence in a combat theater where there was fear of an hostile attack), and the linkage with service. In increased rating cases, the focus has to be on documenting the true nature and severity of the symptoms.
Connect with a VA Disability Attorney for Help with Your PTSD VA Rating
Our experienced veterans’ advocate attorneys are standing by to review your claim to determine if we can help. For your free initial claim review, call toll-free at 888-915-3843 or visit our site to schedule a free case evaluation.