The VA uses a PTSD rating scale that ranges from 0% to 100% to evaluate how PTSD impacts your life.
PTSD is a common and often serious condition that can cause significant suffering. However, not everyone with PTSD suffers the same symptoms or experiences symptoms with the same severity. Accordingly, the VA has created a PTSD rating scale to define each Veteran’s unique level of disability.
What the VA PTSD Rating Scale Means for You
Below is an outline of the VA’s PTSD rating scale:
0% PTSD Rating
You may receive a rating of 0% even if you have a formal PTSD diagnosis. The VA can find that you have a 0% PTSD rating if your PTSD symptoms are not severe enough to interfere with your work or social functioning and if you do not require continuous medication.
10% PTSD Rating
A 10% rating means that the VA found that you have mild PTSD symptoms that could interfere with your work and social functioning during times of significant stress. Alternatively, you may receive a 10% rating if your PTSD is well controlled with continuous medication.
30% PTSD Rating
The next step on the VA’s PTSD rating scale is 30%. The VA will find that you have a 30% disability if your PTSD causes occupational and social impairment that reduces your work efficiency and causes sporadic periods of being unable to perform your work-related tasks. Your symptoms may include depressed mood, anxiety, panic attacks that occur weekly or less frequently, sleep problems, mild memory issues, and suspiciousness.
50% PTSD Rating
You should receive a 50% rating if you have occupational and social impairments that reduce your reliability and productivity. Symptoms often include panic attacks that occur more than once a week, trouble understanding directions, memory impairments, speech issues, impaired judgment, trouble with abstract thinking, and difficulty maintaining successful work and social relationships.
70% PTSD Rating
A 70% rating indicates significant occupational and social impairment. Your PTSD creates deficiencies in most areas of your life and may include symptoms such as suicidal ideation, obsessive rituals that interfere with your routine activities, a near-continuous state of panic or depression, impaired impulse control, self-neglect, the inability to establish or maintain effective relationships, and other serious symptoms.
100% PTSD Rating
A VA PTSD rating of 100% means that you are completely disabled. You may have persistent delusions or hallucinations, gross impairment of thought or communication, and significant memory loss. You may also be in persistent danger of hurting yourself or others, disorientated, and only intermittingly performing regular activities of daily living. These symptoms may require that you have constant supervision.
Where you fall on the VA PTSD rating scale depends on the severity of your condition, the documentation you present to the VA, and the clarity of your VA disability application.
Five Tips for a Successful VA PTSD Claim
Pursuing a VA claim for PTSD may feel overwhelming at a time in your life when many things feel challenging. Here are some tips on how to make sure your claim has the best chance of being accepted:
Don’t Downplay Your Symptoms
Be honest with your doctor, Veterans’ disability lawyer, and on your paperwork. PTSD is a common and understandable health condition for people who have witnessed the traumatic events you witnessed. No one will judge you for the mental health challenges you face. Instead, we want to fight for the full and fair disability benefits you deserve.
Get Organized and Prepared for Filing Your Initial Claim
Gather all relevant documents, such as medical records, discharge papers, witness statements, and other evidence that could support your claim.
Ensure Your Application Is Complete and Accurate
Make sure everything is filled out correctly, with all details accurately reported, before submitting the application.
Have Supporting Documentation Ready for an Appeal, if Necessary
If the VA’s decision goes against you, know the process for appealing the decision and make sure you have all of your documents ready. This will help ensure that your appeal is successful.
Consult an Attorney Who Specializes in VA Disability Claims
An experienced attorney can provide valuable advice about how to approach your claim and what evidence is needed to support it. That way, you won’t have to worry about whether you are doing the right thing or making a potentially costly mistake.
Don’t Wait Another Day to Contact a VA Disability Lawyer
You deserve benefits for the serious injury you suffered while serving our country. Whether you are filing an initial VA disability claim or appealing your VA PTSD rating, we invite you to contact the office of Sean Kendall, Attorney-at-Law, for a free, no-obligation consultation. We have more than 20 years of experience helping Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard Veterans get the benefits they deserve. Please contact our VA PTSD disability lawyers via this website or by calling (877) 629-1712 to learn more about your rights.