PTSD
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Everything you need to know about PTSD compensation charts

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a serious and debilitating mental health condition. Understanding the VA PTSD rating chart can help veterans accurately rate their symptoms and get the disability compensation they deserve.

A traumatic event is anything that severely threatens your life or sense of safety. It doesn‚Äôt have to happen to you directly ‚Äď you can also develop PTSD after witnessing a trauma.

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PTSD symptoms

The symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Unwanted memories, nightmares or flashbacks of the trauma.
  • Avoid people, places and situations that remind you of the traumatic events.
  • Negative changes in thoughts and feelings such as feeling depressed, hopeless, guilty, numb or detached.

It can also cause irritability, difficulty concentrating or being easily startled and a loss of interest in activities.

A traumatic event can be anything that severely threatens your life or sense of safety, such as an assault, serious accident, war-related injuries or the death of a loved one. It can even be something you witness, like a traffic accident or the abuse of someone close to you.

It doesn’t have to happen during active service, but you must have direct exposure to a life-threatening situation that could be a factor in your disability rating. Your VA psychiatrist or psychologist must provide a medical opinion that the in-service stressor was enough to cause your PTSD.

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PTSD ratings

The percentage ratings tie directly to the tax-free disability compensation you receive. Moreover, the PTSD compensation chart provides a breakdown of the monetary benefits awarded to veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) based on the severity of their condition and its impact on their daily lives.

A good VA disability lawyer knows the nuances of the chart and understands how to communicate the severity of subjective symptoms, like anxiety or feelings of detachment, to help you secure an adequate rating.

PTSD ratings range from 0% to 100%, representing the extent to which your PTSD impacts your ability to work and carry out everyday tasks. A 0% rating means that your PTSD does not interfere with your daily functioning and is largely manageable by medication and therapy.

A 30% rating indicates mild symptomatology. It may include some depression, anxiety, suspiciousness, mild memory loss, chronic sleep impairment and panic attacks that occur less than weekly.

A 50% rating is more significant and includes frequent episodes of decreased work efficiency or intermittent periods of inability to perform occupational tasks. A 70 percent rating can make it difficult to maintain employment and often results in unemployment or self-employment.

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PTSD severity

PTSD can cause many different symptoms, which are described in detail below. You may have difficulty sleeping, feel anxious and have upsetting memories of the trauma you experienced. It is normal to have some of these feelings after a traumatic event, but if the symptoms last more than a month or interfere with your daily life and relationships, you should see a mental health professional.

Your symptoms can be triggered by any reminder of the traumatic event, such as memory, hearing a certain sound or seeing an image. You may also have flashbacks or nightmares about the event, and you might avoid people or activities that remind you of it.

Some people try to avoid these painful emotions by numbing themselves, but this only makes their PTSD worse. They might become withdrawn and have trouble concentrating at work. They might even stop having romantic relationships and give up hobbies they used to enjoy. This is known as dissociation. Others feel constantly on edge and easily startled, which causes them to lose sleep, become irritable or angry, or have difficulty trusting others.

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PTSD compensation

Veterans whose symptoms reach the 70% level have severe and persistent problems working or socialising, such as frequent panic attacks, suicidal thoughts, extreme depression, emotional outbursts and irrational anger, memory loss, hallucinations, a lack of motivation, and difficulty with relationships. Attaining this rating enables veterans to apply for Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU), a benefit that reimburses them for 100% of their benefit rate.

To guarantee they get the benefits they are entitled to, veterans should be aware of the PTSD rating chart. If you believe you should be rated higher, contact an experienced VA disability attorney to request an Independent Medical Examination. This can help you see your symptoms more clearly and demonstrate that your PTSD is severe enough to receive a higher rating. This, in turn, leads to more monthly compensation payments.

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