Depressed Soldier Sitting on the Floor with Head in Hands

When veterans return home, not all scars are visible – many face depression or anxiety after serving their country. An estimated 1 in 3 veterans have exhibited some key symptoms of depression. Veterans who are diagnosed with depression may struggle in their day-to-day lives and many may ask – what is the VA disability rating for depression? The VA acknowledges the impact of mental health disorders on veterans, and depression can be a service-connected disability.

For veterans who battle depression, it is vital to understand VA disability ratings for depression to determine the level of compensation you may be eligible for. This guide will explore the VA’s rating system for depression and how it translates into benefits. If navigating the VA claims process seems daunting, Veterans Law Attorneys can provide invaluable legal expertise to ensure you receive the disability compensation you have earned.

Can I Get a VA Disability Rating for Depression?

Yes – like many mental health disorders – veterans can receive a VA disability rating for depression. Depression can impact your day-to-day life, just like any other service-connected injury or illness, making everyday tasks feel like immovable obstacles. The severity of depression can vary and the level of severity will dictate your disability rating. VA ratings based on depression require a current diagnosis of depression from a medical professional that meets requirements dictated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and that the condition is related to military service.

Average VA Disability Rating for Depression

The VA assigns disability ratings for depression based on how it impacts your day-to-day life. VA disability ratings for depression are rated from 0% – 100%. The average rating is 30% and indicates frequent and substantial depression symptoms that impede the veteran’s ability to function at work, in social settings, and provide self-care. Higher ratings are assigned for more severe cases with greater limitations. Depression symptoms can include:

  • A feeling of sadness or hopelessness.
  • Angry outbursts, frustration, or irritability – rapid changes in mood.
  • Too much or too little sleep.
  • Tired and a lack of energy.
  • Reduced or increased food cravings.
  • Anxiety and agitation in day-to-day life.
  • Impaired thinking, speaking, or movement.
  • Difficulty concentrating in day-to-day life.
  • Suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts.
Veteran in Therapy with Doctor Taking Notes

How Does the VA Rate Depression and Mental Health Disorders?

Whether you struggle with day-to-day depression or anxiety, the Department of Veterans Affairs provides a disability rating that correlates with the amount of monthly compensation veterans receive. Here is a better look at VA disability ratings for depression and other mental health disorders.

  • 0% Disability Rating – The veteran has been diagnosed with depression or a mental health disorder, but symptoms are not severe enough to interfere with work, social activities, or self care.
  • 10% Disability Rating – A 10% VA disability rating reflects milder depressive symptoms that can be managed with medication and treatment. Veterans with this rating may still work, socialize, and care for themselves, but experience occasional depressive episodes that can make day-to-day life more difficult.
  • 30% Disability Rating – A 30% rating for depression is the most common and represents more serious symptoms that can disrupt daily life. Veterans with this rating may experience declines in work performance and social interactions, and struggle to function at times due to the intensity of their depression.
  • 50% Disability Rating – A 50% VA disability rating for depression indicates significant and persistent symptoms that severely limit daily activities and can lead to reduced reliability and productivity at work or at home. Veterans with a 50% disability rating likely experience frequent episodes of depression that impair their ability to work and maintain social connections – short- and long-term memory loss, impaired cognitive abilities, and disturbed moods are key symptoms.
  • 70% Disability Rating – A 70% VA disability rating for depression paints a picture of a veteran deeply affected by severe and persistent depression symptoms in most aspects of daily life. Veterans with this rating likely experience frequent and debilitating depressive episodes with thoughts of suicide, an inability to adapt to day-to-day situations, and an inability to maintain relationships.
  • 100% Disability Rating – A 100% VA disability rating for depression represents complete occupational and social impairment. Veterans with this rating experience  incapacitation due to severe and persistent depression symptoms. Daily activities are an extreme challenge and veterans with a 100% disability rating for depression may require constant care and assistance to manage their condition.

READ MORE: What Are Disability Ratings for PTSD?

It is vital for veterans to understand VA disability ratings for depression to receive the compensation they have earned with service to our country. This quick overview helps provide a basic understanding of the disability rating system for depression and mental health disorders. If determining your rating or navigating the VA claims process seems overwhelming, don’t hesitate to contact Veterans Law Attorneys in Cincinnati, OH. With their legal expertise, Veterans Law Attorneys can help you accurately represent the impact of depression on your life and ensure you receive the disability compensation you’ve earned.

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