Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition brought on by experiencing a traumatic event. It’s characterized by repeated flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts about the traumatic event. While many veterans may have undergone traumatic or stressful events and suffered stress as a result, PTSD specifically refers to the chronic suffering of stress from the event. When it comes to collecting disability compensation for PTSD, it is incredibly important to recognize that you must currently be suffering from it.
How You’re Rated for PTSD
The bar is relatively high for proving service connection to PTSD. First, your PTSD symptoms must be traced back to a “stressor,” or traumatic event, that happened during your time in service. Second, your PTSD must be having a negative impact on your ability to normally function, and third, you are currently diagnosed with PTSD as a result of your in-service stressor by a doctor or medical professional.
Once a service connection is established, VA will assign you a rating from 0-100% for your PTSD based on its frequency, duration, and severity. You will likely be assigned a rating of 10, 30, 50, 70, or 100%.
What About the Automatic 50% PTSD Rating?
A popular belief among veterans is that PTSD is granted an automatic 50% rating, though this is false. The belief likely stems from a very specific VA regulation, 38 CFR § 4.129, which stipulated that when “a highly stressful event is severe enough to bring about the veteran’s release from active military service, the rating agency shall assign an evaluation of not less than 50 percent and schedule an examination within the six month period following the veteran’s discharge to determine whether a change in evaluation is warranted.”
So technically, if you are immediately removed from active service for PTSD, you will receive at least a 50% rating for a period of six months, after which your case will be reviewed. It’s certainly a useful regulation to familiarize yourself with, however, veterans may suffer from PTSD at any point in their lives, and no matter how mild or severe it may seem, it’s still worth pursuing VA support services and disability compensation to offer you relief.
Assistance with Your Claim
PTSD can affect anyone who has undergone a stressful event, and veterans are particularly vulnerable to it. It can happen at any time after discharge from military service, and it may be strong enough to completely debilitate you. It can affect your private and professional lives, which VA takes into account when it assigns you it’s rating. It also has plenty of services available to veterans who need help coping with and recovering from PTSD.
If you’re ready to make a claim or need to file an appeal related to a negative decision on your service-related PTSD, we are ready to help you built a strong claim and get you the compensation you deserve. PTSD should not be ignored, and you should get all the assistance you can to overcome it. Call us at 844-VET-LAWS or fill out our online form to meet with us now.