New data from the Department of Defense reveals that the prevalence of military sexual trauma, or MST, has reached new heights. Military sexual trauma is the term the VA uses to describe the effects of sexual violence, abuse or harassment experienced by a military service member during active duty. If you are suffering from the […]
Are you wondering why your PTSD rating is so low? If you are unsatisfied with the VA’s decision, it may be possible to increase your PTSD rating. The VA ratings for PTSD—and all mental health claims—are set at the following percentage increments: 0%, 10%, 30%, 50%, 70%, and 100%. But the reality is that far […]
Yes—if you are a veteran diagnosed with PTSD (or are living with symptoms and suspect you have the condition) you may qualify for Veterans Affairs (VA) disability benefits, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, or both. Each program’s eligibility criteria are different and must be met. Basically, PTSD can be the basis for a successful […]
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is often rated at a level that fails to reflect your actual disabilities and extent or stage of impairment. These and other issues make it very hard for you to get a handle on your PTSD rating. A prevalent disability among U.S. service members, PTSD claims are hard fought battles for […]
Was your claim for PTSD sexual trauma denied in the past? VA now supports reapplication of previously denied disability claims for these types of cases. VA has acknowledged that errors were made in its decisions on many of these claims and has agreed to launch a review of denied benefits for PTSD related to military sexual trauma (MST).
A study has found that even after 40+ years, close to 11 percent of Vietnam veterans still suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and it seems that many more of them are gradually getting worse rather than getting better.
Dr. Charles Marmar, chairman of the psychiatry department at New York University Langone Medical Center and director of the NYU Cohen Veterans Center, is one of the authors of this study and confirms, “Most people who serve in war are resilient.” He goes on to explain that among those that do develop post-traumatic stress disorder, “if they’re going to recover, they’re going to recover early on”.
Disability insurance companies often take advantage of an unrepresented PTSD claimant, causing the claim to be denied, delayed or terminated.
Because PTSD is typically not recognized by victims right after the stressful event, and worsens over time, they often try to adjust to (or hide from) their problems. They may continue to work, at first without extreme difficulty.
As time goes by, the seriousness of their impairment becomes evident. Yet this gives the insurance company incentive to reject the claim since the claimant was working after the stressor event.
Many long-term disability policies are written by their insurance providers with wording subtly meant to reinforce denial:
We all get anxious from time to time. It’s a normal part of life. But if the anxiety you feel is so severe that it prevents you from living normally, you may want to look into whether or not you qualify for disability through Social Security.
How can someone obtain disability benefits? The SSA offers two pathways to have your claim approved. You can attempt to prove that your condition is in their Listings of Impairments, or you can use their Five Step Sequential Process to show that, even if they haven’t defined your issue yet, it is serious enough to be considered the equivalent of one of the disabilities they have defined.
While all VA compensation claims for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) must meet the three basic requirements for service connection in section 1154(b), there are some special variations that apply to these cases. In the case of Pentecost v. Principi, the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims established that a service connection for PTSD requires:
Definition of Important Terms Used in Mental Disorder VA Claims
When dealing with VA claims regarding mental disorders, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs uses a certain specialized language. In order to more effectively argue mental disorder claims, a veteran and the VA disability attorney who represents them should make themselves familiar with some of these special terms.
Here are some common terms that anyone involved with VA claims should learn: