How Your VA Disability PTSD Rating Works
Your VA disability PTSD rating will be awarded according to the General Rating Formula for Mental Disorders. VA disability PTSD ratings will be either 0%, 10%, 30%, 50%, 70%, or 100%. Your VA disability PTSD rating will solely depend upon service-connection, the severity of your PTSD, and other eligibility guidelines such as discharge status.
Steps the VA will take in determining your VA disability PTSD rating:
Step 1: Determine Service-Connection
First, when determining your VA disability PTSD rating, the VA is going to consider if you have service-connection. That means the VA is going to examine whether or not your PTSD is related to your time in the service. If your PTSD is not considered service-connected, you will not receive a VA disability PTSD rating.
Step 2: Determine the Severity of Conditions
If the VA has determined your PTSD is related to your time in the military, they are next going to consider the severity of your PTSD. That means the VA is going to give you a VA disability PTSD rating that reflects the severity of your mental condition.
Step 3: Consider Other Conditions
Now that your PTSD is service-connected, the VA is going to also consider all your other impairments that are secondary from your VA disability PTSD rating. If you have anxiety, depression, or other conditions that are from PTSD, they will also be given ratings because they are now considered secondary service-connected disabilities.
Step 4: Combined-Rating Given
The VA is now going to total all your impairments and give you a Combined Rating. Your overall rating is going to determine how much you receive monthly from the VA. The VA uses a complicated math formula to determine your rating. Remember, two 50% ratings do not equal a 100% VA disability rating.
FAQ: VA Disability PTSD Rating
Can I get a 100% VA disability PTSD rating?
Yes. Your VA disability PTSD rating can be 100%. If your VA disability PTSD rating is 100%, you will receive over $2,900 a month from the VA.
I received a 0% rating, how can that be?
If you received a 0% VA disability PTSD rating, that means the VA determined your condition to be service-connected, but it did not affect your life enough for compensation. Yes, this really does happen to veterans.
How much can I receive monthly?
Veterans who are eligible for VA compensation for PTSD can receive over $2,900 a month. If your VA disability PTSD rating claim is approved, you may also be eligible for Special Monthly Compensation, Aid & Attendance benefits, and money for dependent children and parents.
Can I receive Social Security at the same time as my PTSD benefits?
Yes. Veterans are eligible to receive both their Social Security Disability and PTSD benefits are the same time. But remember, you will need to apply for both separately. Your claims will also be decided independently of each other and have different evidentiary requirements.
Do I have to pay taxes on my PTSD benefits?
No. VA disability benefits are tax-free.
What if I applied years ago and never received a decision?
Believe it or not, this does happen. Some veterans applied years ago and never received a VA disability PTSD Rating Decision. That could mean your claim is still open. Those veterans may have years of missing VA disability back pay.
My PTSD rating doesn’t seem right, what should I do?
If something doesn’t seem right with your VA disability PTSD rating, you may be correct. If so, we highly suggest you discuss your claim with a VA disability compensation lawyer. Our law firm can always review your claim and give you our honest opinion for free.
What if my severe PTSD is not expected to improve?
Veterans with severe PTSD may obtain a 100% rating. If your condition is not expected to improve, you could be eligible for a 100% Permanent and Total PTSD rating. Only a select few veterans will be able to obtain this rating.
This video explains how veterans with PTSD can obtain TDIU benefits:
VA Disability PTSD Rating Appeals
If you were denied or you are unhappy with your rating, it may be time to file a PTSD VA disability benefit appeal. Do not worry too much about your denial. A large number of veterans are successful in their VA disability PTSD rating appeals.
Some veterans should file Clear and Unmistakable Error (CUE) claims. However, we warn you that this is generally not the best route for most veterans. While you may think the VA should have clearly approved your claim, the VA disability benefits appeal process is usually most fitting for veterans’ claims.
Unfortunately, the VA denies lots of PTSD claims and a large number of veterans are forced to file a VA disability rating appeal. Many veterans’ appeals are successful because the veteran presented more evidence. That may be doctors reports, psychologists reports, buddy statements, and more.
There are three (3) reasons you would want to file a VA disability PTSD rating appeal:
VA Disability PTSD Low-Rating
If you believe your VA disability PTSD rating is low, you may want to increase your VA disability rating. Filing an appeal for a low-rating requires you to argue that your VA disability PTSD rating should warrant a higher percentage. You will want to show the VA that your PTSD affects you more than your VA Rating Decision letter said it did.
VA Disability PTSD Rating Denials
If you had your PTSD claim denied completely, you can also appeal. Veterans are generally denied because of insufficient evidence, no PTSD stressor event, service-connection problems, and good ol’ VA mistakes. If you were completely denied service-connection, it is time to appeal.
Earlier Effective Date
If you agree with your VA disability PTSD rating, but believe you should receive more back pay, an Earlier Effective Date claim may be what you should file. Veterans that file Earlier Effective Dates claims are appealing the date they should have started receiving VA disability payments. Some veterans find that they are owed years in VA disability benefits retroactive payments.
Examples of VA Disability PTSD Rating Stressors
Veterans who wish to obtain a VA disability PTSD rating are going to have to show that a stressor event occurred. This is the actual event that gave you PTSD. Some veterans have multiple events that contribute to their VA disability PTSD rating.
Don’t worry if the VA doesn’t have a record of the PTSD stressor event. Unfortunately, it is normal for the VA to lose documents and service records. You can use VA disability buddy statements to help prove the event happened.
PTSD stressors fall under two (2) different categories:
These are events like an IED roadside bomb, an enemy attack, or seeing a fellow service-member die in a plane crash on a flight deck. Combat PTSD stressor events happen during wartime and peacetime. Combat PTSD stressors often occur when veterans are serving abroad.
These are events such as rape, sexual assault, car accidents, and training accidents. Non-combat PTSD stressors can also be for seeing a friend killed during training sessions. There are a wide array of events that qualify for non-combat PTSD stressors.
Common Conditions Related to Your VA Disability PTSD Rating
Veterans with PTSD regularly have anger problems. Often, these anger problems in veterans are from their PTSD. Your anger problems should be connected to your PTSD benefits claim. Tell the VA how your anger problems affect your daily life.
PTSD and anxiety are directly related to each other. Your PTSD can be the cause of your anxiety problems. Anxiety can prevent veterans from being able to do everyday tasks like go to the store, leave your house, or prevent you from going into crowded places.
Many veterans with PTSD often experience periods of depression. Some veterans will experience depression for the rest of their lives from PTSD. Depression is a common secondary service-connected impairment to PTSD.
PTSD often is the result of military sexual trauma (MST). The numbers of veterans that experienced some form of sexual assault are staggering. The laws regarding MST benefits have changed. You no longer need concrete proof of the sexual assault that occurred. Before the change in the law, veterans that did not report their sexual assaults were often denied benefits. Most veterans never reported their sexual assaults and therefore, the law was highly unfair to veterans with MST. Luckily, the laws are now much more favorable towards veterans that experienced sexual assaults.
Lots of veterans with PTSD also have schizophrenia. Mental conditions are often closely connected. Schizophrenia is often caused by the same event that caused PTSD. Veterans regularly don’t realize their schizophrenia may be service-connected. PTSD and schizophrenia go hand-in-hand. They share many of the same traits, feelings, and are both eligible for VA disability benefits.
PTSD can cause lots of different problems for veterans. One of the most common problems for veterans with PTSD is sleep disorders. Veterans with PTSD have sleeping problems because of their depression and anxiety, that are service-connected to their PTSD, prevent them from having a good nights rest. Sleep disorders can also prevent veterans from working normal schedules.
Veterans with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) regularly have PTSD as well. Often, the two disabilities are from the same event, such as an IED, enemy attack, or even a car wreck while serving active-duty. If you are applying for PTSD benefits, don’t forget to also apply for your TBI benefits at the same time. You can use much of the same evidence for both in your claim.
Your VA Disability PTSD Rating and TDIU Benefits
Veterans with PTSD that cannot work from their service-connected disabilities are eligible for Total Disability Individual Unemployability benefits. These benefits are reserved for veterans with employability problems that are directly related to service-connected impairments.
PTSD Individual Unemployability benefits pay the same as a 100% rating. However, you do not have to receive a 100% rating to obtain them. You do have to obtain a certain rating before you are eligible for TDIU benefits. Once you do, you then need to argue how your service-connected disabilities are preventing you from working.
Many veterans who receive Individual Unemployability benefits are also receiving Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits because they cannot work. However, remember that both are decided based on different eligibility guidelines. Many veterans that call our Individual Unemployability lawyers often don’t understand why they were granted one benefit, yet denied the other benefit. Remember, they are different government entities and they award benefits based upon different reasons.
Learn More: Figure out your rating with our VA Disability Calculator
Get Help With Your VA Disability PTSD Rating
Since 1985, Woods & Woods PTSD veterans disability benefits lawyers have successfully represented thousands of veterans. When you call Woods & Woods, you get an experienced VA certified disability attorney. Every day, our law firm is dedicated to fighting the VA for disabled veterans.
Want to talk about your VA disability PTSD rating? Need advice? Talking with Woods & Woods veterans disability benefits lawyers is free. You can call us and ask all the questions you have and we’ll answer them at no cost.
If you decide to hire Woods & Woods VA disability lawyers, you only pay us if your appeal is successful. If your appeal is not successful, you don’t owe us a penny. We never ask for money upfront, we never bill by the hour, and we never charge for phone calls.