Post-traumatic stress disorder is the most commonly known mental health condition that is subject to VA disability compensation, but there are several others. It is easy to see the everyday problems associated with mental health conditions from which veterans suffer.
We think about homelessness, suicide, inability to maintain a job at work, or even the inability to maintain relationships. Keep in mind that the disorders and disabilities eligible for VA disability compensation include:
- Bipolar Disorder
- Dissociative Disorder
- Eating Disorders
- Substance abuse
- Addictive disorders
All mental health conditions are rated under the same criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) published by the American Psychiatric Association. These mental health disabilities often result in the veteran’s decreased ability to earn a living. The decrease in ability to earn a living is why the VA compensates veterans for disabilities.
According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, 2.1 million veterans received mental health treatment from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in the five-year period from 2006 through 2010. However, a study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration revealed that only 50% of returning vets who need veteran mental health treatment will receive these services. This may be due to a number of factors, not limited to:
- Personal embarrassment about service related mental disabilities
- Long wait times to receive mental health treatment
- Fear of being seen as weak and stigma associated with mental health issues
- A lack of understanding or lack of awareness about mental health problems and treatment options
- Logistical problems, such as long travel distances in order to receive this type of care
- Concerns over the veteran mental health treatment offered by the VA
- Demographic barriers and false perceptions based on these demographics such as age or gender
Discussing concerns over treatment with an attorney can help a veteran gain a greater understanding of the ratings process and treatment of mental health issues. If you are unsure of whether you are entitled to disability compensation for a mental health condition, there is little risk in seeing a doctor about your concerns.
Treatment for mental health disorders are incredibly important to one’s well being, and as a veteran, you may be entitled to compensation and treatment.
If your claims have been denied or if you have a lower disability rating than you expected, please contact Berry Law Firm today. Your consultation is free.