PTSD VA Disability Benefits Claim Tips
Tip #1: Don’t take bad advice from your buddy at the VFW. You may be rolling your eyes, but we’ve heard some whoppers over the years from clients’ drinking buddies at the VFW. While your friend is probably an awesome guy, he likely isn’t a VA certified disability attorney. Don’t let your PTSD VA disability benefits claim get screwed up because you took some untrue advice.
Tip #2: Reach out to folks you served with. Sometimes veterans are missing evidence of a PTSD stressor (later covered in this article). You can obtain statements from people you served with and use them for your claim. Sometimes veterans records are incomplete and you need witnesses to prove you experienced a traumatic event. Remember, to obtain PTSD benefits, you’re going to have to prove a traumatic event happened to your during active-duty service.
Tip #3: For Pete’s sake, fill out your application correctly. Your PTSD VA disability benefits claim won’t always be denied for application errors, but errors can just drag out your claim. Double-check your application for errors before you submit your paperwork to the VA. This is a simple trick that can save you lots of time later.
Tip #4: Be patient throughout the VA process. Do not expect your PTSD VA Disability benefits claim to be approved quickly. We’ve heard this rumor several times: “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” That isn’t true in the VA process. Everyone has to wait their turn when applying or appealing a PTSD VA disability benefits claim. The wait times are unfair to veterans but unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do but take a number. Most veterans wait years to obtain PTSD VA disability benefits.
Tip #5: Use medical records and reports. Veterans that have strong medical evidence are more likely to win a PTSD VA disability benefits claim. You can use reports and documents from medical doctors, vocational experts, and psychologists. Medical reports are so vital to your case that our PTSD veterans disability benefits lawyers use them in almost every claim.
Steps To Filing Your PTSD Claim
- First, begin the PTSD claim process by gathering all the evidence you plan to use. You can request your Claims File (C-File) from the VA. This will have all your medical records kept by the VA.
- If you don’t have military records of your PTSD stressor event, get buddy statements. You can even use both to bolster your PTSD claim.
- You can request medical records from private doctors, psychologists, and other medical professionals to submit with your PTSD claim.
- The easiest way to file your application is through eBenefits. Click here for the eBenefits website.
- You can also file your application by mail. Click here for the address and application.
- Remember, if you need assistance applying, we can help. Woods & Woods never charges for help with your PTSD claim application.
Common Reasons For PTSD VA Disability Benefits Claim Denials
- Insufficient Evidence
Many PTSD claims are denied because of insufficient evidence on the veteran’s part. To win your PTSD VA disability benefits claim, you are going to have to prove you are eligible with evidence. Many veterans just file a PTSD VA disability benefits claim with no evidence are denied and they don’t understand why.
- Lack of PTSD Stressor
A large number of PTSD claims are denied because there isn’t a service-connected PTSD stressor. There is a whole section about PTSD stressors later in the article if you don’t know what they are. All veterans filing a PTSD VA disability benefits claim need to have a combat or non-combat PTSD stressor. If your PTSD is not service-connected with a stressor, the VA will deny your PTSD VA disability benefits claim.
- Discharge Problems
Many PTSD claims are denied because of the veteran’s discharge status. If you received a dishonorable discharge, your PTSD claim will be denied. The VA does not allow VA disability payments to veterans with dishonorable discharges.
- Veterans Benefits Administration Error
A very large number of PTSD claims are denied because the VA made a mistake. If you believe the VA wrongly denied your PTSD claim, you can file a PTSD VA disability appeal. Unfortunately, the VA makes a lot of errors and denies lots of legitimate PTSD claims.
Appealing PTSD VA Disability Benefits Claim Denials
If you received a PTSD claim denial, start by taking a breath. Stay calm. Don’t get too excited. The VA denies a large number of PTSD claims. As one client told me before, “I pretty much expected a denial.” The VA loves to make veterans jump through hoops to obtain VA compensation for PTSD.
You have one year to start your PTSD VA disability benefits claim appeal. The longer you wait to file your PTSD claim appeal, the longer it will take to get a final decision. If your PTSD VA disability benefits claim was denied, we highly suggest you get a qualified lawyer. The VA appeal process is complicated and can take years. There are thousands of federal regulations and rules that can affect your PTSD VA disability benefits claim.
If you need help appealing, give our VA benefits appeal lawyers a call. We have successfully filed thousands of PTSD appeals.
Combat & Non-Combat Stressors & Your PTSD VA Disability Benefits Claim
To have a successful PTSD VA disability benefits claim, you will need a PTSD stressor. That is a past event that causes you anxiety, fear, and other psychological and physical problems today. Your PTSD stressor will need to be related to an event that happened during your active-duty service. There are two types of PTSD stressors, combat and non-combat:
Non-Combat PTSD Stressors: These are events like rape, witnessing a rape, military sexual trauma, hazing, or training accidents. Your PTSD stressor did not have to happen in a foreign country or in a war zone. PTSD can affect veterans who only served stateside.
Combat PTSD Stressors: These are the more obvious events like hitting an IED in Iraq, seeing a friend die in battle, being shot by an enemy combatant, etc. Combat PTSD stressors are common for veterans that served abroad in war zones.
FAQ: How To Win Your PTSD VA Disability Benefits Claim
Can I get VA disability for PTSD?
Yes. The Veterans Administration will pay veterans with service-connected PTSD monthly compensation.
Is PTSD considered a disability?
The Veterans Administration recognizes PTSD as a mental condition that may be related to service and PTSD is therefore compensable.
What is the disability rating for PTSD?
The VA will give you a disability rating based upon the severity of your PTSD. If you are considered service-connected, you will receive a VA disability PTSD rating of 0%, 10%, 30%, 50%, 70%, or 100%.
How much does the VA pay for PTSD?
If your PTSD claim is approved, you may receive up to $3,350.87 per month. That is currently the max that the VA will pay veterans with PTSD.
Can PTSD be permanent?
Some veterans may receive a permanent and total rating. If your PTSD is not expected to improve, you may obtain the status of permanent disability.
Can the VA reduce your disability rating for PTSD?
Yes. Unfortunately, sometimes the VA will lower veteran’s PTSD ratings. If that happens to you, file an appeal and challenge the VA’s decision.
How can I get 100% VA disability for PTSD?
Your PTSD must be severe enough to warrant a 100% rating. Many veterans do obtain a 100% rating for PTSD.
What if my PTSD is not expected to improve?
If your condition is not expected to improve, you could be eligible for a 100% Permanent and Total PTSD rating. However, the VA does not like to grant Permanent and Total ratings.
Individual Unemployability Benefits & Your PTSD Claim
Veterans that can’t work because of severe PTSD may be eligible for Total Disability Individual Unemployability benefits. The VA will consider not just your PTSD but other mental and physical conditions too. PTSD Individual Unemployability benefits pay the same as a 100% rating. However, you are not required to obtain a 100% rating to be eligible. Eligibility will depend upon your rating and how much your service-connected disabilities prevent you from working.
Veterans that can’t work from PTSD may be eligible for both Individual Unemployability and Social Security Disability. Remember, both benefits are completely separate from each other. Each benefit system has different eligibility guidelines. It is possible to be approved for one benefit and denied the other benefit. They each require different evidence as well.
If you can’t work from your PTSD, talk to the Individual Unemployability lawyers at Woods & Woods. Our law firm has handled thousands of PTSD claims for veterans that can’t work. Our law firm fights for veterans that can’t work from PTSD every day.
Talk With A PTSD VA Disability Benefits Claim Lawyer
Need help with your PTSD VA disability benefits claim? Get a free legal consultation from Woods & Woods VA disability lawyers. We are always happy to help vets get the information they need to win a PTSD VA disability benefits claim. Our law firm will answer any questions you have for free. We’ll take some basic information from you and give you a qualified opinion of your PTSD claim’s strength.
At Woods & Woods, you only pay your veterans disability benefits lawyer if you win your claim. If your PTSD claim is not successful, you pay nothing. Our fee is a percentage of backpay and case expenses. The contracts are straightforward and easy for clients to understand. There’s no hidden fees or surprise charges at the end of your PTSD claim.
Our VA disability compensation lawyers are experienced. We have handled thousands of PTSD claims. If you want help fighting the VA, give us a call. Our law firm is dedicated to helping veterans win their PTSD VA disability benefits claim.