Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD is not only a signature injury of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but is a signature injury in every war. The number of cases is astronomical. The size and scope of PTSD cases have resulted in the VA creating a system of evaluating VA disability claims and rating PTSD that is absolutely flawed. The VA frequently improperly denies claims for PTSD or minimizes the ratings. Below we will provide you with information on various ways the VA is not fairly evaluating PTSD claims and denying veterans the benefits they so rightly deserve.
Protect yourself and get the disability rating you deserve by discussing your claim with a VA disability attorney to represent you each step of the way. Contact us to see how we can help.
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VA Common Mistakes in PTSD Claims
Military Service Requirements
Even with the law change in 2010 eliminating the requirement that veterans prove exposure to stressful events in most combat situations, the VA still frequently requires veterans to produce evidence of being in a combat zone, etc. It also still unfairly places the burden on veterans to prove the stressful events in non-combats situations. This is absurdly unfair because veterans frequently are able to produce this evidence. The VA also fails to understand the signs and symptoms of these conditions demonstrated in service. We may be able to help.
As part of the evaluation of PTSD claims, the VA will send you for a VA Examination, typically by a VA psychologist. This person is an employee or a contractor of the VA. It has been our experience that these examiners regularly misdiagnose cases of PTSD as being a different and non-service related condition resulting in denial of the claim. The examiners also regularly fail to consider non-VA and non-medical evidence showing the severity of the symptoms resulting the VA examiners concluding that the even if there is a diagnosis of PTSD, the condition is mild at best, resulting in a low rating.
VA disability ratings form PTSD range from 0, 10, 30, 50, 70 and 100%. It’s not surprising that the initial ratings the VA assigns for PTSD claims are almost never above 30%. It’s is our experience that many times these ratings are unfairly low with the VA minimizing the severity of the veteran’s social and occupational problems.
The VA constantly fails to inform veterans who are unable to work due to their PTSD (or any combination of PTSD and other service connected conditions) that they may qualify for Total Disability due to Individual Unemployability (TDIU) commonly referred to as unemployability. Unemployability entitles the veteran to a 100% rating.
The best guarantee to protect yourself from the above mistake is to have a VA disability attorney who is familiar with all types of mental impairments to accompany you and represent you each step of the way. Bosley & Bratch has championed this specific area in veterans’ rights and disability benefits. Work with our firm to make sure you receive an appropriate disability rating.
Personality Disorders — The Military & VA’s Dirty Little Secret
Under current VA regulations, a veteran is not entitled to receive service-connected disability benefits for a personality disorder because the condition exists prior to military service — typically showing up during childhood. However, it’s not surprising that the military has a long history of misdiagnosing these conditions and/or using a “personality disorder” diagnosis as a basis for separating a service member without having to provide any benefits. The military also used (or abused) the “personality disorder” diagnosis to allow service members to leave the service, all the while unknowingly losing potential benefits. In many of these cases the service members were actually suffering from other mental disorders including PTSD, anxiety disorder, depression, schizophrenia, etc., that entitle them to service-connected disability benefits. If you have been denied because you were diagnosed with personality disorder you should contact us to discuss your case.
How Can We Help?
The best guarantee to protect yourself from the above mistakes is to have someone on your side who is familiar with tricks the VA pulls and how to combat those tricks. Bosley & Bratch has been fighting this PTSD battle with the VA for over twenty years. Check out Our Recent Victories and see what our formers clients have to say in our Testimonials. Contact us at (800) 953-6224 or complete our form for a free evaluation of your case.