Over the past 20 years, the country has seen a sharp increase of veterans returning from combat with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which is a serious mental health condition occurring in individuals who have witnessed a traumatic event. Symptoms of PTSD can be debilitating, and often include recurrent and unwanted memories of the event, upsetting nightmares about the event, and severe stress or emotional reactions to events, people, and locations that remind you of it. It is not uncommon for veterans suffering from PTSD to wish to increase their PTSD rating.
The rating received for your PTSD will directly impact the amount you will be able to get in disability benefits. If you have received a disability rating for PTSD that you believe is too low in light of the symptoms and impacts you’re experiencing, you can seek to increase it. However, you will have to prove that your condition has worsened since you received your initial rating.
In order to determine a rating for PTSD, the VA evaluates factors such as:
As you can likely guess, the more severe your PTSD symptoms are, the longer you have been suffering from these symptoms, and the more they affect your personal relationships and career, the higher your rating will be. When making a decision, the VA looks at a specific list of symptoms that can qualify the veteran for a 10, 30, 50, 70, or 100% rating. Although you do not have to experience every symptom on the list for a specific rating, the VA often erroneously dismisses the higher rating. Because the rating schedule fails to completely describe the severity levels of each rating level, this can result in a lower rating than the veteran’s condition warrants. Here are some of the symptoms of the disability ratings for PTSD:
Unfortunately, many veterans received a VA disability rating for PTSD that was too low to start. However, if it has been less than a year since the date the decision on your PTSD rating was made, you are eligible to appeal that decision and request a decision review. In order to accurately portray the severity of your PTSD in order to increase your disability rating, you can focus on several factors during your decision review, such as:
An experienced VA disability attorney understands not only how the VA rates PTSD but the evidence that veterans need to provide in order to show that their condition has worsened with time and warrants an increased rating. We can help you with a decision review, or can even assist you in obtaining the documentation you would need to obtain a TDIU.
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