Post Traumatic Stress
There are a range of benefits available for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of their military service. If you are a soldier, sailor, marine, airmen or coast guardsman, your PTSD was incurred in or aggravated by military service, you may be entitled to veterans disability benefits from the Veterans Administration (VA).
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The process for distribution of VA disability benefits for PTSD, a form of anxiety disorder, has evolved over time, thanks to legislation, scientific advances, political pressure, revised diagnostic classification schemes, regulatory changes, case law and administrative decisions. Influencers have included veterans advocacy organizations, researchers, clinicians, politicians and “average Joe”s – everyday citizen who know how important it is to honor our heroes.
Begin the Process
To begin the disability claims process, veterans can submit an application (VA Form 21-256) to their Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Regional Office. First-time applications for VA benefits must include service discharge form DD-214 or DD-215, which documents service dates and type of discharge, or provide your full given name, military service number, branch and dates of service. Eligibility for most VA benefits is based on discharge from active military service under other than dishonorable conditions. You can also file a claim online at www.ebenefits.va.gov.
Once your application is received, a review of medical psychiatric evidence will determine if the PTSD is service-connected, through a Compensation & Pension (C&P exam). This forensic test requires the veteran to undergo a mental health evaluation by a psychologist or psychiatrist in independent practice.
Veterans Service Representative (VSR)
The Veterans Administration recommends that veterans ask a Veterans Service Representative (VSR) for assistance in filing a disability compensation claim. They have special training in VA benefits law and procedure. Additionally, these individuals can follow-up on the status of your claim, accompany you when you meet with VBA officials, and also help you understand the C&P process. In short, they show that you are not alone! There’s no fee for the services of a VSR; they’re employed by the state, or are employees of or volunteers from a veterans’ service organization.
Ratings for PTSD
Ratings for PTSD are assigned according to the General Rating Formula for Mental Disorders, with ratings of 0, 10, 30, 50, 70 or 100 percent. The amount of compensation results from the VBA’s consideration of the severity and frequency of your PTSD symptoms, the length of your periods of improvement and how much your ability to work and function socially is impaired.
Should you not agree with the VBA’s decision regarding your compensation claim, you can then secure the representation of an accredited attorney or claims agent in the appeals process. Injured Veterans is a nationwide law firm that will fight for your right to disability benefits. If your claim was denied outright, contact Injured Veterans. Do you feel that the disability rating assigned by the VBA is in error? Contact Injured Veterans. Be sure that three things have occurred before contacting the office:
- Your disability compensation claim has been filed;
- The VBA has reached a decision.
- You’ve filed a Notice of Disagreement (NOD) with your VBA Regional Office.