Military service often entails a heightened risk of injury or illness, given the fact that many service members are regularly confronted with hazards on the job. This includes everything from operating heavy machinery, experiencing exposure to toxic chemicals, combat situations, and generally working in strenuous or dangerous conditions. In addition to physical injuries, veterans may also sustain mental injuries like PTSD as a result of their time in the service.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), is characterized by severe and ongoing issues with mood, sleep, memory, and reactions as the result of experiencing or witnessing a disturbing event. For some veterans, having PTSD renders them unable to hold a job, function socially, and reliably care for themselves.
Veterans experiencing service-related PTSD may be entitled to receive disability benefits in acknowledgment of the financial and emotional costs of this condition. Our team of VA-accredited lawyers can offer exceptional legal support as you navigate the veterans disability claims process. To learn more about how our services can be advantageous for your veterans benefits claim, give us a call at (866) 481-5347 or fill out our online contact form today.
Understanding Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Veterans
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition that manifests as anguish and anxiety stemming from a distressing event. Along with other frequently co-morbid mental illnesses like anxiety and depression, PTSD can be cited as an injury in a veterans disability claim. Although PTSD is commonly associated with military service, it is more broadly understood to apply to anyone who has seen or survived a traumatic event.
For a veteran, PTSD may stem from a number of situations and may manifest differently depending on the individual. Common signs of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder include:
- Irritability and uncontrollable outbursts
- Flashbacks to the event
- Avoidance of conditions that are similar to the traumatic event
- Self-sabotaging behavior
- Severe anxiety and hypervigilance
- Startle easily or have extreme reactions to certain sensory input
Other symptoms of PTSD are more subtle. You may find yourself struggling to connect with the people around you, experience memory issues, become overwhelmed with negative emotions, or simply feel numb. Persistent or severe reactions can erode your quality of life, impact your job and relationships, and even cause your physical health to deteriorate. This convergence of issues can create an isolating environment and potentially lead to thoughts of self-harm or suicide. According to the VA, in 2020, more than 1 in 4 veterans who committed suicide had PTSD.
A PTSD diagnosis should be taken just as seriously as discovering a catastrophic physical injury, as mental injuries like PTSD can be just as debilitating. For example, a veteran who suffers from PTSD may be unable to sleep due to night terrors and have a hot temper, causing them to experience major setbacks in the workplace. This can jeopardize their job, cause tension in relationships, and lead them to engage in risky behavior like excessive drinking. With proper medical and financial support, veterans with PTSD can stabilize and repair their lives. The VA offers a variety of disability benefits for this purpose.
Veterans With PTSD Can Be Considered Eligible for Disability Benefits
In addition to physical service-related injuries, mental injuries are also acknowledged as disabilities by the VA. Veterans who have been diagnosed with PTSD may qualify for various forms of compensation, such as Special Monthly Compensation, provided that they can prove that the traumatic event that is responsible for their PTSD occurred during the course of their military service. The VA defines a traumatic event as “[having] suffered a serious injury, personal or sexual trauma, or sexual violation, or someone or something threatened you with injury, sexual assault, or death”.
The traumatic event is referred to as a stressor. Veterans do not always exhibit PTSD immediately after experiencing the triggering event, so it is important to have statements from others who witnessed the event, spoke to you, evaluated you in the aftermath, or have since seen the impact of your trauma. Once a veteran has successfully documented that they have service-related PTSD, they must prove that it rises to the level of a disability.
The VA assesses mental injuries for disability based on 0, 10, 30, 50, 70, or 100% impairment and offers compensation accordingly. Depending on your disability rating and your needs, you may receive financial support in the form of benefits like Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU). The best way to ensure that you are receiving the appropriate level of financial benefits is to engage a veterans disability claims attorney to represent you.
Contact Our VA Accredited Attorneys For Help With Your Veterans Disability Claim
Despite the prevalence of conversations surrounding mental health in the last decade, PTSD is still often misunderstood or overlooked. Veterans are more vulnerable to this mental injury, and ensuring that they receive the benefits they are entitled to is of paramount importance to our team of VA-accredited lawyers. We will actively pursue the disability benefits you need for medical bills, lost wages, and other losses associated with your PTSD diagnosis.
Our team is comprised of veterans, so we understand that seeking disability benefits for a mental health injury can seem daunting, especially given that, as many veterans know, filing a VA claim often involves long wait times, a web of administrative and medical paperwork, and no guarantee of a satisfactory outcome. However, PTSD has the potential to damage relationships, ruin your finances and career, harm your physical health, and generally wreak havoc on your life. You deserve to have access to the support you need through the veterans disability claims process.
Veterans who have had their PTSD disability claim denied or those who are considering seeking compensation should consider involving a veterans disability claims lawyer who will know how to obtain evidence, extract pertinent information from dense forms, and secure the benefits you are eligible to collect. For additional information about filing a veterans disability claim, we encourage you to give us a call at (866) 481-5347 or fill out our online contact form today.