New Mexico has one of the highest suicide rates in the country. With more than 91 suicides by New Mexico veterans in 2014, making up 1/5th of all suicides in the state, the need for veteran-specific suicide prevention efforts is imminent. This blog outlines one potential solution that New Mexico veterans can take advantage of today.
If you are reading this article because you or someone you love is considering harming themselves or others, please call the Veterans’ Crisis Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 for immediate assistance.
Disability Benefits Are Key to Stabilizing Mental Health
One of the most important things for stabilizing mental health is financial security. Without financial security, veterans may be unable to take time off work to attend healthcare appointments, or may experience excess money-related stress that exaggerates their mental-health challenges. For that reason, all veterans who are struggling with their mental health should take advantage of the disability benefits made available to them through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (“VA”).
There are two types of disability benefits that veterans should apply for: 1) general disability benefits; and 2) Total Disability Individual Unemployability (“TDIU”) benefits.
General Disability Benefits for Mental Health Disorders
General disability benefits are made available to any veteran with a service-connected disability, a broad category which includes mental-health disorders. Disability benefits are awarded based on a “disability rating” which the VA assigns. The more a mental-health disorder interferes with a veteran’s daily life, the higher the VA-assigned disability rating will be. A single veteran with a 40% disability rating, for example, will receive $600.90 a month in disability benefits, while a single veteran with a 60% disability rating will receive $1083.52 a month in disability benefits.
Mental Health Disorders Lead to Unemployability Grants
TDIU benefits are generally made available to veterans with a service-connected disability which prevents them from maintaining substantially-gainful employment. While the general rule is that veterans need to have either one service-connected disability with a 60% rating or multiple service-connected disabilities, at least one of which is rated at 40%, which combine to make a 70% rating or higher to qualify, exceptions to this requirement do occur, particularly in cases where the veteran works with an experienced Veterans’ Law attorney to make an appeal. Veterans who qualify for TDIU benefits automatically receive a 100% disability rating which, currently, warrants $2,973.86 in monthly benefits for a single veteran and even more for veterans who are married and/or have children.
Get the Disability Benefits You Deserve Today
If you are a veteran and you are experiencing challenges with your mental health, including service-connected PTSD, depression, anxiety, or other mental-health issues, we encourage you to apply for disability benefits right away. While the process may seem daunting, the financial stability you may gain could be life-changing.
If the VA denies your claim or you did not get as much as you deserve, we are here to help. Send us a note online or give us a call at (877) 629-1712 to see if we can help you win your appeal. With decades of combined experience helping veterans to overcome VA denials, we are confident that we can win you the benefits you deserve.