If you’ve been struggling with anxiety since you left the military, you may wonder if you’re eligible for VA disability benefits for anxiety. The answer is yes – even if you separated a long time ago, you may still get a VA disability rating for anxiety. This post will examine how the VA can rate you for anxiety, and what rating you can expect to receive.
If you have anxiety, the first step is to get a diagnosis from a medical professional. This can be difficult, and many of us struggle to acknowledge that we have a reason to see mental health. However, it is important to get a diagnosis in order to move forward with your claim. The VA wants to screw you out of your benefits, but it is your job to make sure they properly rate you.
VA Disability Rating for Anxiety!? I Have PTSD!
We often see emails and YouTube comments from veterans who feel the VA is incorrectly using the VA disability for anxiety instead of PTSD. However, I have good news. The VA can use either diagnosis, and you will receive the same rating.
So what is the difference? Why do we care what the VA calls it? Combat PTSD has a lower bar to prove service-connection and your “in-service stressor.” In short, the stressor is the situation that started your PTSD.
My Vietnam veteran friend still regularly has nightmares about a viscous ambush that was his PTSD stressor. As a result, the VA rated him for combat PTSD. However, he was not required to prove his PTSD stressor aside from a personal statement and completing VA Form 21-0781.
The VA gives combat veterans the benefit of the doubt for a combat PTSD claim. Thankfully, the VA understands that not veterans can’t prove everything that happens in a combat zone. The veteran is only required to prove that they are a combat veteran, and submit a personal statement on VA Form 21-0781. As a general rule, the VA will accept this as proof of the stressor.
VA Disability Rating for Anxiety: Non-Combat Veteran
In short, we published this post on anxiety to assist the non-combat veterans that need to file a mental health claim. Unfortunately, every barracks lawyer thinks that the VA only rates PTSD. However, the VA rates your service-connected anxiety exactly the same as combat PTSD.
A VA disability rating for anxiety requires a higher level of proof than for combat PTSD. The VA will not give the benefit of the doubt for anxiety claims. The VA will require medical evidence and proof of nexus. “Nexus” means an active duty stressor caused or aggravated your current anxiety.
VA Disability Rating for Anxiety: Secondary Condition
Besides directly rating anxiety, the VA also assigns a VA disability rating for anxiety as a secondary condition. A secondary condition is an injury or illness that is caused/aggravated by a service connected condition. For example, a veteran with a service-connected knee issue may experience anxiety because of the knee issue. A nexus letter from a medical professional can link the anxiety and knee issue. Remember, the secondary condition did not have to start on active duty.
VA Disability Rating for Anxiety: Percentages
In a recent post, we examined a veteran that pretended to be blind to secure a 100% disability rating. You can check that post out here. In that post, we mentioned that the veteran completely ignored using other conditions to achieve a 100% overall rating. Remember, the VA treats secondary conditions with the same weight as something directly service-connected. You can use a VA disability rating for anxiety as a secondary condition toward the hundo club.
The VA rates anxiety ratings between 0% and 100%. 38 CFR 4.130 9400 “Generalized Anxiety Disorder” specifies exactly what level a veteran will receive. As a general rule, we see most anxiety claims rated between 30% and 70%. As a result, an anxiety claim is a high value claim toward the “hundo” club.
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