Benefits Available for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
Although some professionals cling to the notion that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD is a processing disorder, the latest evidence clearly indicates that it is a physical condition. Extreme stress caused by combat or military sexual trauma (MST) events can enlarge the amygdala. This part of the brain controls emotional responses.
When the amygdala expands, the cerebral cortex, which controls logical responses, shrinks. This chemical imbalance explains PTSD symptoms like hypervigilance, depression, anger outbursts, and flashbacks.
Like other brain injuries, PTSD is permanent. Available services through the VA medical
system, mostly drug therapy and psychotherapy, effectively eliminate the symptoms, but the
condition itself remains a potential obstacle to a veteran’s daily functioning.
A VA disability attorney helps Veterans access these necessary services at no cost. Disability benefits also include financial benefits, as outlined below.
Evidence in PTSD Claims
Like most VA claims, a PTSD disability claim is partly science and partly art. Only an
attorney addresses both these evidentiary needs.
The C&P (Compensation and Pension) medical examination normally provides the bulk of the
evidence in these matters. Especially in PTSD claims, arriving on time to this appointment is part
of the exam process. It is not always easy for disabled Veterans to be at a certain place at a
certain time. If a veteran misses a C&P exam, s/he risks having their otherwise meritorious claim denied.
In many cases, the C&P physician, while well-qualified, lacks experience dealing with brain injuries. As a result, the doctor’s conclusions might not be entirely accurate.
Independent medical examinations are often critical in these situations. An attorney can usually
connect disabled Veterans with reviewing physicians who charge nothing in advance for their
services. So, these individuals get an accurate evaluation, as opposed to the evaluation for which
the VA provides.
There is another dimension, as well. Since the brain usually conceals its own injuries, many of
these victims do not realize how PTSD really affects their everyday lives. Also, lay witness statements from service buddies, friends, and family members often fill in the gap. These statements can also fill in the gap if the Veteran’s service record does not include a PTSD triggering event. A service-related connection is usually the most important piece of evidence in a VA disability claim.
The Disability Ratings System
Unlike the Social Security Administration, the VA assigns different disability percentages to
different Veterans, as follows:
- 10%: All PTSD Veterans have at least a 10%t disability rating. The minimum applies if
the Veteran has mild or transitory symptoms. That usually means the aforementioned
symptoms are only an issue when the Veteran is under unusual stress.
- 30%: These Veterans have mild symptoms of PTSD. For example, they often become depressed, but they are able to pull themselves up, often with the assistance of a friend or family member. So, their condition affects their professional and personal lives, but the effect is not overwhelming.
- 50%: These Veterans usually have moderate symptoms of PTSD which they cannot
control. So, if they become depressed, they might stay that way for several days, during
which time they have a hard time functioning at home, school, work, or anywhere else.
- 70%: According to the VA, at this level, Veterans are barely able to function because of
“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, spatial disorientation, neglect of personal appearance and hygiene,
difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances, or inability to establish and maintain
- 100%: These Veterans are completely disabled in every sense of the word. Their PTSD
prevents them from leaving the house and makes it impossible to work, or govern their
educational and vocational backgrounds.
Most people are not 100% disabled. However, if they are 70% disabled, an attorney might still
be able to obtain full disability benefits, thanks to the Total Disability due to Individual
Reach Out to Experienced Attorneys
PTSD is a very real, very serious, and very common condition. For a free consultation with an
experienced Veterans disability lawyer, contact the Cameron Firm, P.C. at 800-861-7262 or fill
out the contact box to your right. We are here to represent Veterans nationwide.
This article is for educational and marketing purposes only. Therefore, it does not create an attorney-client relationship.