What is VA disability for insomnia?
Sleep disorders are common among veterans. The VA reports that sleep problems are 2 to 3 times more frequent in combat veterans than in other groups. Sleep problems can make you feel tired, irritable, or unable to concentrate or focus despite getting adequate sleep. People with insomnia struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep. Other common forms of sleep disturbances include nightmares and night terrors, for which you should also consider applying for VA disability compensation.
VA Disability Compensation for Sleep Disorders is a monthly tax-free benefit that may be paid to Veterans who have a current service-connected disability related to a chronic sleep disorder, including:
- Night Terrors
- Sleep Apnea
How is VA disability rated for insomnia?
The VA rates insomnia under 38 CFR 4.130, Schedule of ratings, diagnostic code 6847, or under the general rating formula for mental disorders found in 38 CFR 4.126 (for a complete list of all the general rating formulas).
The VA can also rate insomnia under other applicable diagnostic codes resulting from another service-connected disability, like sleep disturbance (6846) and sleep apnea (6850).
What symptoms are required for a 100% disability rating for insomnia?
To qualify for a 100% disability rating for insomnia, you must demonstrate that your symptoms meet the criteria outlined in 38 CFR 4.117 Diagnostic Code 9434.
The requirements are specific and can also vary depending on whether your condition is acute (less than six months) or chronic (six months or longer). Here are some of the symptoms you may need to prove:
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Difficulty staying asleep
- Waking up too early
- Feeling tired after waking up
- Feeling irritable, anxious, or depressed because of a lack of sleep
- Difficulty paying attention, focusing on tasks, or remembering things
How often does the VA grant 100% disability ratings for insomnia?
The VA grants 100 percent disability ratings for sleep disorders very rarely. Even if a veteran’s insomnia is entirely debilitating, the VA will not consider it a separate issue in most cases.
A 100% rating for insomnia is even rarer still. The only way you’re likely to get that rating is if your insomnia causes a secondary (complicated) health condition. For example, many veterans who have trouble sleeping also have PTSD, and the stress of their nightmares and flashbacks can exacerbate their insomnia even further. If the VA grants you a 100% rating for PTSD because of this kind of chain reaction—and they often grant that—you’ll get a higher combined disability rating than you would otherwise.
In short: If you want to get the highest possible VA disability rating for your insomnia (or whatever sleep disorder you have), focus on proving how much it affects your ability to function every day. Showing that you can’t work or perform regular daily tasks because of your severe symptoms or ongoing need for treatment will make getting your claim approved much easier.
What is the average VA disability rating percentage for insomnia?
If we were to look at the overall average rating for disabled veterans with an insomnia diagnosis, we would see that it is about 30%. That number sounds excellent, but it isn’t. The VA uses a scale from 0% to 100% in 10% increments. So, if you are rated at 30%, you will receive compensation as if your disability is only 30% disabling (versus totally disabling, which would be 100%).
The average rating can change depending on the region and state that you live in. Some states have a much higher average rating than others. For example, New Jersey has a much higher average rating than Virginia. This happens because there are different rules and regulations that each regional VA office follows when evaluating claims for benefits and disability ratings. If you get your claim approved by one VA office and not another, this could affect your disability rating.
This leads us to our next point: Not all VA offices have been created equal. Some VA offices do an excellent job of recognizing multiple sleep disorder injuries.
At the same time, other offices will give all veterans with PTSD the same 50% PTSD disability rating regardless of whether or not they also have severe insomnia or sleep apnea, or both!
Increase Your VA Disability Rating
If you or anyone you know served in the military, you may need help obtaining a fair disability rating and compensation—contact Veteran Ratings. Veteran Ratings has a 95% chance of success in acquiring the rating and benefits you deserve.
Have a question? On the fence? Then contact us for more information. We are here for you — we proudly serve those who served. Veterans are our only priority because they made this the land of the free through their bravery and sacrifice.