The VA rates post-traumatic stress disorder using a standardized rating schedule. A veteran may be service-connected for 0%, 10%, 30%, 50%, 70%, or 100% based on the severity of his or her PTSD. Click here to learn more about the differences between each percentage.
The VA will consider both the severity and frequency of symptoms when determining a VA PTSD rating. Social and occupational factors can be considered as well. There are many types of evidence for a PTSD claim that a veteran can provide to the VA:
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1. A Compensation and Pension Exam.
This is when a veteran meets with a VA psychiatrist and describes his or her in-service experience and its subsequent impact. The psychiatrist will use this interview to diagnose the severity of the veteran’s PTSD. Click here to learn more about C&P examinations.
2. Independent Medical Evidence.
A qualified expert may provide a diagnosis in accordance with DSM-IV or DSM-5 to support the claim, or a service member may be able to show from their in-service medical records that a diagnosis had already been provided while in service.
3. Personal Statement.
When veterans apply for benefits or increased disability ratings, personal statements can give the VA a better sense of how their PTSD affects day-to-day life. Veterans can discuss symptoms and their daily impact at work, at home, or within personal relationships.
4. Supporting Statements.
Having a family friend or loved one describe PTSD’s impact on daily life and personal relationships can help with a veteran’s rating as well. Friends may be able to provide insight into symptoms that veterans themselves might not recognize in their own behavior.
5. Tracking Symptoms.
If a veteran keeps a record of his or her symptoms and how they change over time, that journal can be submitted along with the application for benefits to provide additional evidence of reduced ability to work.
6. Performance Evaluations.
These can be filled out by a supervisor or coworker in order to track how a veteran has been performing at work, and further support a claim that PTSD is impacting their ability to work.
Completing and submitting such evidence provides the VA more information to evaluate when deciding a veteran’s claim. In the case of a denial or inadequate rating decision, veterans can always send additional evidence along with their appeal.
Berry Law was founded in 1965 by John Stevens Berry, a three-tour Vietnam veteran and lawyer. Our team of veterans’ disability attorneys and advocates represents clients throughout the United States to help them navigate the VA appeals process.
If you need to appeal a rating decision in order to receive the benefits you deserve, please contact us online or call (888) 883-2483 for a free consultation.
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