Although post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and panic disorder (PD) are two clinically different mental health conditions, it’s not uncommon for Veterans with PTSD to also struggle with panic attacks. The panic attacks are often triggered by sights, sounds, or smells that remind the Veteran of a traumatic event, but can also happen for no obvious reason.
Panic attacks can have a significant impact on a Veteran’s ability to work and enjoy life to the fullest. It’s in your best interest to seek a secondary service connection for your condition so you will have access to the medical care and cash compensation you need to manage your mental health.
How to Receive a Secondary Service Connection for Panic Disorder
If your panic disorder stems from PTSD that is already service-connected, you can seek a secondary service connection for your condition. Medical research has shown that panic disorder often develops as a result of PTSD. Other common secondary service-connected disabilities for Veterans with PTSD include depression, sleep apnea, and migraines.
If you suffered from panic disorder before entering the military and your service-connected PTSD worsened your condition, you can still receive a secondary service connection for panic attacks. However, you will need to provide evidence that your service negatively impacted your mental health.
Regardless of when your panic attacks first began, please note that you must be diagnosed with panic disorder by a qualified medical professional to receive a secondary-service connection. A diagnosis from a private therapist, licensed counselor, or mental health social worker is not acceptable. You must be diagnosed by a board-certified psychiatrist or licensed psychologist to receive approval from the VA.
Benefits of a Secondary Service Connection for Panic Attacks
Service-connecting secondary disabilities such as panic attacks will increase your total disability percentage rating, thus increasing your monthly cash compensation. When you suffer from PTSD, earning a service connection for panic attacks can also increase the likelihood that you’ll receive TDIU benefits.
Total Disability Individual Unemployability (TDIU) benefits are available for Veterans with service-connected conditions that make it impossible to be financially self-supporting. TDIU benefits let you receive cash compensation at the same rate as a Veteran determined to be 100% disabled under the schedular rating system.
How We Can Help
If you believe you are entitled to VA disability benefits for PTSD and panic attacks, the best way to increase your chances of approval is to work with our Veterans benefits lawyers to thoroughly document your service-connected disabilities. Please call our office today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial case review.