Frequently Asked Questions About Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

What Is PTSD?

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Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a term often used for a wide range of symptoms. Witnessing or experiencing an intense traumatic or life-threatening event or series of events often results in a diagnosis of PTSD. Many secondary mental and physical disabilities can be caused by PTSD, from anxiety, eating disorders, sleep apnea to total mental and physical impairment.

If I Wasn't Diagnosed While Serving, Can I Still Get Benefits?

Yes. If you were not diagnosed with PTSD in the military, your medical records will need to prove that the disabilities associated with your PTSD were incurred or aggravated by your service-related activities.

What Do I Have To Show To Prove That My PTSD Is Service-Connected?

You will need to demonstrate that while you were serving in the military, you experienced or witnessed a traumatic event that triggered your PTSD. Combat-related experiences such as being ordered to kill, being shot at, witnessing a killing, surviving a nearby ordinance explosion or sexual trauma can often result in PTSD.

What Will My Rating Be? How Much Will I Get?

Your disability rating and corresponding monetary compensation will depend on the degree your PTSD symptoms are keeping you from being able to work and take care of yourself. The VA determines your rating using a schedule of categories of medical symptoms and diagnoses called a VA schedule of rating disabilities (VASRD). It is a complicated schedule that classifies symptoms in terms of severe, moderately severe, moderate and mild, and assigns a disability rating to each. How much compensation you qualify for depends on your combined disabilities rating.

Can I Get Benefits If I Have A Private Doctor?

Yes, you may work with your private physician. You do not have to work with a VA doctor to get benefits. Your private physician will have to show in your medical records how your PTSD diagnosis and related symptoms are connected to your military service.

Should I Get A Veterans Disability Lawyer To Help Me?

You do not need an attorney to help you file your VA claim involving PTSD. Working with an experienced attorney can help you organize your claim or help you get the medical records you need for your claim. Among other benefits, if you have several medical conditions, it can be helpful to work with an attorney to clearly communicate how your PTSD-related disabilities are service-related.

Call my firm, Blevins Law, LLC, in Riverdale, at 301-508-9623 for help with your VA disabilities claim. I am VA-accredited, and I help veterans throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C. You can also send me your questions using my online form.