OCD ranks among the most debilitating, stressful, and expensive-to-treat medical conditions that a person can experience. Whether it is due to exposure to trauma, biological factors, or a combination of other factors, research studies show that veterans experience high prevalence of OCD and are at risk for severe impairment due to their symptoms. While OCD VA disability benefits are available to offset the financial costs and emotional burden of this condition, successfully obtaining benefits is often much more difficult than it should be.
As a nationally recognized, veteran-owned law firm, we advocate for the rights of veterans who have been excluded from the system. Whether you are trying to increase your OCD VA rating or you are stuck in the endless appeal-and-denial cycle, our team of experienced attorneys can help. To learn more, consider contacting us to schedule your free case review today.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, known as OCD, is a condition that causes a person to experience unwanted, intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and/or engage in repetitive behaviors (compulsions). Obsessions and compulsions can interfere with a person’s social interactions, employment, and ability to complete daily tasks.
OCD obsessions are persistent, recurring thoughts that cause distress and anxiety. Oftentimes, obsessions have identifiable themes such as:
These obsessions typically manifest in compulsive behaviors that are meant to relieve stress and anxiety. A person may make up rituals or rules to quell anxiety and obsessive thoughts. Some common examples of compulsive behaviors include:
Members of the armed forces are required to place themselves in great danger for their country. Many veterans report experiencing tragic and traumatic situations that have had a lasting impact on their health and well-being. While the exact causes of OCD are not well understood by scientists, research indicates that stressful events and psychological trauma can play a role in the development of this debilitating condition.
The VA does consider OCD to be a disability, but to obtain financial support for your condition, you must provide evidence of the following:
If these three criteria are fulfilled, you may be entitled to OCD VA disability benefits for your condition. Proving service connection for OCD is difficult, however, and the VA will look to see that you have provided a variety of evidence to support your claim.
Proving service connection for OCD can be complex and the VA requires a breadth of evidence demonstrating the nexus (or connection) that exists between your condition and an in-service stressor. As long as your disability is connected to your military service in some way, whether it was caused by your service or aggravated by your time in the military, you may be entitled to receive VA disability benefits. At VetLaw, we take a comprehensive approach to proving service connection for OCD, leveraging a range of evidence including:
It is not enough to simply say that your disability was caused by your military service. Rather, you and your attorney must prove that your condition stems from your time in the armed forces by providing evidence from reliable and relevant sources. With the right strategy in place, you can feel confident that the VA will assign an OCD VA rating that reflects the severity of your condition and symptoms.
The VA rates OCD using the Schedule of Ratings for Mental Disorders. Based on the criteria set forth in this schedule, the VA will evaluate the symptoms of your condition, the severity of your symptomatology, and the level of social and occupational interference you experience. Using this information, you will be assigned an OCD VA rating of 0, 10, 30, 50, 70, or 100 percent, which can be categorized as follows:
If the VA denies your claim for OCD VA disability benefits, you may appeal the decision and continue fighting for the compensation you deserve. Under the Appeals Modernization Act, the VA established three appeal options for claims denied after February 19, 2019, including:
At VetLaw, our appeals team will review your claim, identify the proper appeal channel to maximize your chance of success, and fight for your rights at every step of the appeals process. For most VA benefits, you have one year from the date of your decision letter to file an appeal. Do not hesitate to take action – your ability to receive compensation depends on it.
Filing a claim for OCD VA disability benefits can be a stressful and overwhelming process, especially if you are juggling medical and financial hardships. We serve as advocates for veterans and their families. Dealing with the VA requires a level of expertise that many do not possess. Let VetLaw make the difference by helping you navigate your VA disability claim or appeal. To get started, consider scheduling your no-risk, no-obligation free case review today.