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How Does the PTSD Rating System Work?

March 31, 2018

When it comes to military service-related conditions, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is the most common. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as the situations our veterans have endured in combat are hard for the rest of us to even relate to. The issues related with PTSD can often make it very difficult or impossible for an individual to work, or even conduct their daily lives.

Thankfully, the Department of Veterans Affairs has locked into this condition and provides disability benefits for those truly affected. The only issue is that the limitations associated with an individual’s PTSD aren’t always diagnosed at a level that reflects their actual well-being. Given the many factors associated with PTSD, this is not an uncommon occurrence.

How Does PTSD Rating System Work?

Knowing how the PTSD rating system works is key to understanding how benefits are distributed to veterans.

A veteran who is experiencing complete social and occupational impairment, including severe impairment of the thought process and other factors that affect daily living, could receive the full 100% disability rating. On the other hand, if impairment is found to be minimal and not enough to affect occupational and social function, someone could also be rated at 0%. While 0% is not compensable, the diagnosis itself is an acknowledgement of a disability related to service, so it could increase in the future.

PTSD Rating System Basic Breakdown

Percentage Explanation Symptoms
0% A mental condition has been formally diagnosed, but symptoms are not severe enough either to interfere with occupational and social functioning or to require continuous medication.
10% Occupational and social impairment due to mild or transient symptoms which decrease work efficiency Inability to perform occupational tasks only during periods of significant stress, or
symptoms controlled by continuous medication
30% Occupational and social impairment with occasional decrease in work efficiency and intermittent periods of inability to perform occupational tasks (although generally functioning satisfactorily, with routine behavior, self-care, and conversation normal) Depressed mood, anxiety, suspiciousness, panic attacks (weekly or less often), chronic sleep impairment, mild memory loss (such as forgetting names, directions, recent events)
50% Occupational and social impairment with reduced reliability and productivity. Flattened affect,
circumstantial, circumlocutory, or stereotyped speech,
panic attacks more than once a week,
difficulty in understanding complex commands,
impairment of short- and long-term memory (e.g., retention of only highly learned material, forgetting to complete tasks),
impaired judgment,
impaired abstract thinking,
disturbances of motivation and mood,
difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships
70% Occupational and social impairment, with deficiencies in most areas, such as work, school, family relations, judgment, thinking, or mood Suicidal ideation,
obsessional rituals which interfere with routine activities,
speech intermittently illogical, obscure, or irrelevant
near-continuous panic or depression affecting the ability to function independently, appropriately and effectively,
impaired impulse control (such as unprovoked irritability with periods of violence),
spatial disorientation,
neglect of personal appearance and hygiene,
difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances (including work or a work-like setting),
inability to establish and maintain effective relationships
100% Total occupational and social impairment Gross impairment in thought processes or communication,
persistent delusions or hallucinations,
grossly inappropriate behavior,
persistent danger of hurting self or others,
intermittent inability to perform activities of daily living (including maintenance of minimal personal hygiene),
disorientation to time or place,
memory loss for names of close relatives, own occupation, or own name.

Seek Advice Before Submitting Application or After Denial

It’s important to note that individuals do not have to go into the application process alone. By getting help before the claim is filed and prior to the initial evaluation at the VA, you can greatly improve your chances of not only getting approved, but getting approved at the disability percentage that accurately reflects your situation. We offer free consultation services to veterans at Tabak Law.

american flag designIf you have already gone through the process and have been denied or haven’t received the percentage that you feel is accurate, we can help you in that scenario as well. In fact, this is when many veterans first seek help, so don’t consider a denial the end of the road.

Seeking additional evaluations from qualified medical professionals is just one of the paths that can lead to a successful appeal of any veterans disability denials that may occur. But having your case laid out properly, with supporting details, in addition to having all the forms properly filled out and addressed will also help. Often, finding the means, financial and otherwise, to pull this all together is one of the main issues that veterans face when they are applying or have been denied. This is where a professional can help you through the journey – and without up-front cost.

The consultation with Tabak is free, and there are never any fees unless you win your claim. Tabak also only receives payment once the funds are processed to you, so there is no worry about not having the money ahead of time to invest in a claim or appealing that claim. We also offer other free services to veterans, such as free wills, because we feel our veterans are our country’s most important assets.

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