Veteran Holding Up Yellow Paper with PTSD Written On It

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a complex mental health condition that is the result of a traumatic event – like a combat injury or event – and can significantly impact a veteran’s life after years of service. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recognizes the mental and physical effects of PTSD and offers disability compensation to veterans with service-connected PTSD. However, navigating the VA’s disability rating system can be complicated and many veterans who struggle with PTSD want to know – what are VA disability ratings for PTSD? We want to help you understand PTSD disability ratings at Veterans Law Attorneys and have created this quick breakdown to help ensure you receive the benefits you deserve.

Am I Eligible for VA Disability for PTSD?

Did you suffer a traumatic event while serving in the U.S. Military? Has that event had a lasting impact on your day-to-day life? Key symptoms of PTSD may be depression, anxiety, flashbacks, hypervigilance, and more. To be eligible for VA disability compensation with a PTSD claim, veterans must meet TWO basic requirements – they must have a service-connected stressor (traumatic event) AND must have a PTSD diagnosis from a doctor. VA disability ratings range from 10% to 100% with marked intervals at 30%, 50%, and 70% that each are based on the severity of symptoms.

PTSD Highlighted in Pink in a Dictionary

10% Disability Rating with PTSD

The Department of Veterans Affairs assigns a 10% disability rating to veterans with PTSD when symptoms are mild and momentary. Veterans with this rating may experience sporadic nightmares or flashbacks that impact sleep quality, but in most cases veterans can get back to sleep and it does not significantly disrupt their daily lives or work performance. In select cases, the symptoms may be more severe, but can be controlled with medications.

30% Disability Rating with PTSD

A 30% disability rating for PTSD is the most common for veterans and indicates more frequent and disruptive symptoms. Veterans with this rating may experience regular and more severe nightmares, flashbacks, or anxiety that occasionally impact the ability to work or function in social environments. Sleep disturbances and difficulty concentrating are common in veterans with this level of PTSD, but overall functionality remains manageable.

50% Disability Rating with PTSD

To qualify for a 50% VA disability rating with PTSD veterans must have symptoms that have a significant impact on day-to-day life. Veterans may experience frequent nightmares, flashbacks, and severe anxiety that makes work or social interactions difficult to maintain. Veterans with this degree of PTSD might struggle with impaired speech, impaired judgment or memory, loss of concentration, frequent panic attacks, may have a lethargic look, and may struggle to maintain social relationships.

70% Disability Rating with PTSD

A 70% VA disability rating for PTSD reflects severe symptoms that significantly restrict daily living and the ability to function alone. Veterans with this rating likely experience frequent, debilitating nightmares, panic attacks, and flashbacks that disrupt sleep and cause emotional outbursts. Work and social interactions become incredibly challenging, and maintaining a job may be difficult and may make veterans eligible for Total Disability Individual Unemployability (TDIU). Symptoms that veterans may experience with this level of PTSD include suicidal thoughts, almost continuous depression, emotional outbursts, the inability to manage stress, neglect of personal care, and more.

100% Disability Rating with PTSD

The highest rating for veterans with PTSD is 100% – and it signifies complete occupational and social impairment. Veterans with this rating experience constant and debilitating symptoms.  Nightmares, flashbacks, and overwhelming anxiety render them unable to maintain gainful employment or engage in meaningful social interactions and may manifest with hallucinations and delusions, disorientation, memory loss, and impaired thought. Veterans who qualify for a 100% disability rating with PTSD may be a danger to themselves or others.

READ MORE: Top 10 Easiest Injuries to Claim for VA Disability

Understanding VA disability ratings for PTSD can be a complex process, but this guide created by Veterans Law Attorneys has provided you with the basics. Remember – these ratings are just a starting point, and a veteran’s individual experience with PTSD is crucial in determining their eligibility. If you are a veteran who struggles with the effects of PTSD, don’t wait to get the help you need and if you need help receiving the benefits you have earned, Veterans Law Attorneys can help.

Contact the experienced Veterans Law Attorneys Team to help you navigate the VA claims process and ensure you receive a fair and accurate disability rating!

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