Many veterans have their PTSD claim denied – you are not alone. Read through the information below about PTSD denials and appeals. If you have questions after soaking-up all this knowledge, feel free to give us a call. We never charge for PTSD claim consultations. Ask us all the questions you have and we’ll answer them for free. For help, please call (866) 232-5777 or fill out the contact form.
Reasons Many PTSD Claims Are Denied
VA Error: One of the most common reasons veterans’ PTSD claims are denied is because the VA made a mistake. Unfortunately, proving to the VA they they made a mistake can be difficult. After having your PTSD claim denied, you may not understand the VA’s reasoning. Often at face value, we don’t understand why the VA made a denial either. Many of the PTSD claims we see denied should have been approved.
Insufficient Evidence: Many veterans rely on free service organizations to file their PTSD claims. There are a lot of unqualified people “assisting” with PTSD claims. Often times these free organizations don’t submit relevant or sufficient evidence and those PTSD claims are denied. If you had your PTSD claim denied after using a free service organization, we highly suggest you don’t use the same people to help with your appeal.
Missing Service Records: We can’t tell you how many veterans have called our law firm over the years with PTSD claims denied because of missing service records. The VA lost your service records, you didn’t! So why are you being punished because of a VA mistake? Turns out, PTSD claims denied because of missing service records can be appealed and overturned. There are ways to get evidence to prove your PTSD is service-connected without your actual service records.
Eligibility Problems: Many PTSD claims denied have eligibility issues according to the VA. Fortunately for those veterans, the VA is often wrong. If you had your PTSD claim denied because of eligibility issues, you should still look into appealing. The VA gets lots of decisions wrong. For example, our law firm alone has filed thousands upon thousands of appeals with the VA.
Steps to Take After Having Your PTSD Claim Denied
- Know your appeal dates: Know exactly how long you have to file an appeal. You don’t want to let your appeal period collapse.
- Examine why your PTSD claim was denied: You want to attack the VA’s argument by understanding their reasoning for denying your claim. Review your Rating Decision carefully. Craft your briefs around central arguments that are actually relevant to your claim.
- Bolster your medical evidence: Start gathering better medical evidence of your conditions. Also begin getting any other relevant evidence for your claim.
- File appropriate paperwork: You are going to have to file certain paperwork with the VA to notify them you intend to file a PTSD VA disability benefits appeal.
- Talk to a lawyer for free: Find out what your rights are for free. Get headed down the right path with solid legal advice.
FAQ: PTSD Claim Denied
How long do I have to appeal? After having your PTSD claim denied, you have one year to appeal the VA’s decision. The one year begins from the date of the decision. The one year does not begin on the date you received the decision.
What if I waited too long to appeal? If you waited longer than one year to appeal, you can file a new application. That means you are opening a new claim. You will have to go through the initial application process again, but at least you still have a shot!
Should I submit new evidence? Yes! Veterans disability benefits claims need evidence to be successful. If your last evidence was denied, get more. Veterans disability benefits evidence can come from many different medical professionals. For example, our PTSD lawyers often work with psychologists and vocational experts.
What is my monthly payment going to be? That depends on the severity and number of impairments you have. You are going to be given a 0% to a 100% VA disability rating and your rating will determine your monthly payment.
How much back pay should I receive? If your claim is successful after first having your PTSD claim denied, you should receive a lump sum check. That money is your VA disability back pay. This is all the money you should have been receiving had your claim originally been approved.
What are my chances of winning an appeal? Here’s a lawyer answer for you: depends! The strength of your claim, evidence, and legal work is going to affect your chances of winning. As with any area of law, generally the party with better evidence wins.
How long will my PTSD appeal take? Some veterans receive their VA compensation for PTSD within a matter of months while others must wait a couple years. The VA is inconsistent with it’s wait times. Some VA Regional Offices process claims faster than others.
What should I do if I was denied a 100% P&T PTSD rating? It is very difficult to obtain a 100% Permanent and Total PTSD rating. Many mental conditions improve over time with treatment, as opposed to physical conditions which often deteriorate further with age. To obtain a P&T rating for PTSD, your condition is going to have to be very, very severe.
PTSD Low-Rating: Appeal vs. Rating Increase
If decision received in last year: If you received a rating decision within the last year, you should file an appeal. Remember, appeals and ratings increases are different!
If decision made over one year ago: If you received your rating decision over one year ago and your impairments have worsened, it may be time to increase your VA disability rating. Veterans who feel their conditions have worsened may be owed a rating increase from the VA. Increasing veterans disability ratings can be done because mental conditions do get worse over time.
Secondary Service-Connected Impairments
Mental and physical service-connected conditions often are the root of other medical problems. For example, a veteran with diabetes from Agent Orange can also claim any impairment that is caused by their diabetes. Another example would be a veteran that was hurt in the Iraq War. Suppose that veteran had a spinal injury in service and now also has severe sciatica. His spinal injury is service-connected and causing the sciatica, which is now probably a secondary service-connected condition.
One thing our PTSD veterans disability benefits lawyers often do is work with a doctor on clients’ claims. These expert doctors review medical records and interview the veteran. The doctor then writes a report detailing exactly how all the veteran’s conditions are interconnected. We can’t stress how important it is to present medical evidence tying all your conditions together.
Conditions Connected to PTSD
Anger: PTSD causes many changes in a veteran’s life, one of them is potentially anger problems. PTSD and anger are directly related. Many veteran’s family members describe anger as the biggest challenge to living with a veteran with PTSD. Anger can also make it hard for many veterans with PTSD to keep jobs.
Anxiety: PTSD can cause anxiety. If you are a veteran with anxiety and PTSD, you may be eligible for PTSD and anxiety veterans benefits. Many veterans with PTSD experience anxiety to some degree.
Bipolar Disorder: PTSD has also been linked to bipolar disorder. This life-changing mental condition is also common amongst veterans. The VA does offer bipolar disorder veterans benefits. You can apply for PTSD and bipolar disorder benefits on the same application.
Depression: Veterans suffer from depression at a higher rate than the civilian population. The stressors of serving in the military can trigger depression. PTSD has been directly linked to depression. To help, the VA offers PTSD and depression benefits to those affected veterans.
Schizophrenia: Veterans with PTSD often have other mental conditions that are affecting them. One common mental condition amongst veterans is schizophrenia. This mental condition can drastically alter a person’s life. That is why there are veterans disability benefits for schizophrenia. Veterans who suffer from this may also be considered unemployable and eligible for other benefits as well.
Help For Vets That Can’t Work From PTSD
The Veterans Administration offers Total Disability Individual Unemployability (TDIU) benefits to veterans who can’t work from service-connected disabilities. These benefits pay the same as a 100% rating but have different evidentiary requirements. The difference between a 100% rating and Individual Unemployability is one benefit is based upon ratings while the other is based upon your ability to work.
The VA offers PTSD Individual Unemployability benefits to veterans who meet the VA’s guidelines on eligibility. Woods & Woods Individual Unemployability lawyers often work with a vocational expert to help show how your service-connected disabilities are affecting your ability to work. Remember, evidence is always needed to win your claim.
PTSD Appeals & Denials Rating Decisions
After having your PTSD claim denied, you may not understand the VA’s reasoning. If you need help understanding why your VA disability was denied, give us a call. There is never a charge to have our law firm review your PTSD Rating Decision and give you a legal opinion. Sometimes we suggest veterans don’t appeal their claim. We will give you an honest VA benefits evaluation after having your PTSD claim denied.
There is never a cost to talk to our VA benefits appeal lawyers. If you do decide to hire us, you’ll be given an experienced VA certified disability attorney. The VA disability lawyers at Woods & Woods have filed thousands of appeals against the VA. We are a nationwide law firm and our veterans disability benefits lawyers can help veterans regardless of where they live. Was your PTSD claim denied? Talk to us about your claim at no cost.
FAQ: Hiring a PTSD Denial Attorney
After having your PTSD claim denied, we highly suggest you talk with an experienced veterans disability lawyer. Appealing after having your PTSD claim denied doesn’t need to be difficult. A veterans disability lawyer can make the process easy for you. Let us handle the VA.
- Can I afford a lawyer? You can afford a lawyer to appeal after having your PTSD claim denied. You never have to pay our PTSD appeal lawyers upfront.
- What is the fee? If your appeal is successful, our PTSD appeal lawyers charge 20% of back pay and case expenses. We never touch your future benefits.
- What if my claim isn’t successful? You don’t owe us a penny if your appeal is not successful.
- What is the cost for a claim evaluation? Nothing. After having your PTSD claim denied, call us and learn your rights for free.