Evidence and Documentation for Anxiety

Anxiety is prevalent among veterans due to the unique stressors they encounter while serving in the military. Veterans can display symptoms of anxiety in a multitude of ways. It is imperative to seek the assistance of a mental health professional if you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety, such as excessive worry for a prolonged time and difficulty controlling such worry. A mental health provider will evaluate you and may diagnose you with anxiety if you meet the criteria for an anxiety disorder.

The following is a list of common anxiety-related diagnoses the VA recognizes:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Specific phobia and social phobia
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder 
  • Other and unspecified neurosis 
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Panic disorder and/or agoraphobia
  • Unspecified anxiety disorder

Evidence and Documentation for Anxiety

Once you have been diagnosed with anxiety and decide to file a VA claim for disability compensation, you will have to link your disability to your military service. The easiest way to do this is to provide in-service medical records that support your diagnosis and symptoms or stressors, and any additional evidence, including statements from witnesses such as friends and family, co-workers, and reports from counseling sessions that show the severity of your symptoms. A nexus letter from your mental health care provider linking your condition to your military service is also very beneficial. 

You must be able to explain to the VA medical professional during your VA claim exam in what ways you suffer from your anxiety and how it affects you daily. Suppose you are not diagnosed with anxiety until after service; you will have to show that your anxiety is at least as likely as not caused by your active service, once again with medical records, witness statements, and/or counseling records. A nexus letter is even more crucial in this situation. 

Anxiety may also be a secondary service-connected disability. If you can link your current diagnosis of anxiety to a primary service-connected disability that the VA has rated you for, you may succeed on a secondary claim. For example, suppose you have been service-connected for a traumatic brain injury (TBI); you may be eligible for disability for anxiety as a secondary claim if you can show that your anxiety occurred as a result of your TBI.  

VA Rating of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety is rated as a mental disorder and may result in a disability rating from 0 to 100 percent depending on how severe the disorder is and the degree of your occupational and social impairment. See the complete rating schedule for mental disorders. Once you are rated, you may receive monthly, tax-free disability compensation for your condition. 

Appealing the Denial of Your Anxiety Claim with a Veterans Disability Lawyer

If the VA denies your disability claim for anxiety or assigns a low disability rating, you may appeal this decision within one year from the date of your decision letter. You also have the right to file a claim for an increased rating if your service-connected anxiety worsens. Gang & Associates has years of experience handling VA mental health claim denials and successfully securing increased ratings. We know what evidence and documentation you need to win. Contact us today for a free evaluation of your case.