To increase your VA disability rating for PTSD, your need to fully understand what PTSD is. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition cause by a distressing, shocking, or an otherwise traumatic event. Unfortunately, many Veterans experience PTSD due to their military service.
Symptoms of PTSD
The symptoms of PTSD harm an individual’s daily life. These symptoms include nightmares or unwanted memories of the trauma, avoidance of situations that bring back memories of the trauma, heightened reactions, anxiety, or depressed mood.
Behavioral: agitation, irritability, hostility, hypervigilance, self-destructive behavior, or social isolation
Psychological: flashback, fear, severe anxiety, or mistrust
Mood: loss of interest or pleasure in activities, guilt, or loneliness
Sleep: insomnia or nightmares
Also common: emotional detachment or unwanted thoughts
Increase your VA Disability Rating for PTSD
To increase your VA disability rating for PTSD, you will have to prove that your symptoms have worsened since you were last rated.
Is your PTSD diagnosis service-related? Once the VA confirms this, they will assign a disability rating. To do so, VA considers the frequency, duration, and severity of your symptoms along with the level of disruption it has on both your personal and work life. Overall, the more severe your symptoms, the higher your disability rating will be. VA uses the General Rating Formula for Mental Disorders to determine your disability rating for PTSD. Each rating has specific criteria that a Veteran must meet in order to receive that evaluation.
Essentially, you will have to prove that your symptoms have worsened since you were last rated by the VA. Best way to prove this is from an examination, typically from a psychologist or psychiatrist. Once you have had your exam, the doctor will write up a report of the exam results, clinical tests, and any other medical literature.
It is helpful to be honest, and upfront about the impact PTSD has on your life; it may be hard to talk about, but please know this is to get the benefits you deserve.
Another way to prove your symptoms have worsened is by submitting a buddy statement. These buddy statements refer to written statements from those familiar with the Veteran’s situation to vouch for the Veteran. Anyone with personal knowledge of the Veteran’s PTSD can write a buddy statement. This statement must outline the progression of the Veteran’s PTSD and its effect on their personal and work life.