Many veterans have gone through extremely traumatic experiences during their time in service. They have seen and witnessed devastating events that may have influenced their mental health, which can lead to a mental disorder known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

What Is PTSD?

PTSD, also known as post-traumatic stress disorder, typically occurs after a shocking or traumatic event, like combat, an assault, or a natural disaster. After experiencing the event, it’s natural for people to feel afraid. However, a traumatic event or experience can often trigger stress reactions that cause split-second changes in the individual’s system to defend themselves from perceived danger or avoid it completely. 

This flight-or-fight response is a common reaction when a stressor appears. While the response exists to protect a person from harm, it can disrupt one’s life if it is not controlled or managed.

PTSD Symptoms

Although some traumatized individuals experience short-term symptoms, many develop chronic (ongoing) PTSD. 

Depending on the severity of the traumatic event, the duration of PTSD may vary. For example, some people experience symptoms within the first three months after the incident, while others experience it much longer. 

Some of the severe symptoms can include:

Additional symptoms include:

Take Note: It’s not always the case that these symptoms appear immediately after the traumatic event. Instead, these symptoms may develop weeks or even months after a PTSD stressor incident.

Does the VA Consider PTSD as a Disability?

Due to its symptoms’ seriousness and possible effects on veterans’ physical and mental health, the Veterans Affairs (VA) considers PTSD a disability and offers the appropriate compensation.

However, there are criteria that the veteran must meet to be eligible for compensation for PTSD. 

Criteria for VA Disability Benefits for PTSD

Veterans are eligible for VA disability benefits if they prove that their PTSD symptoms are connected to a traumatic event (also known as the “stressor”). An applicant must meet the following criteria:

Based on these criteria, VA recognizes a traumatic event in military service if:

PTSD VA Rating Requirements

Once a person has been diagnosed with PTSD, the VA will rate the intensity of the conditions based on their established VA rating system.

What Is Considered Severe PTSD?

PTSD becomes severe if it starts to interfere with relationships and work. As such, those who receive a disability rating of 50% or more are often considered to have severe PTSD.

At What Point Is PTSD a Permanent Disability?

According to the automatic PTSD rating system, Veterans Affairs considers PTSD a permanent and total disability only if a veteran receives a 100% rating. 

Do All Veterans Receive Counseling for PTSD?

Fortunately, regardless of the veteran’s rating, they can still receive the necessary care as a benefit. The VA has over 200 PTSD programs, including free consultation, that can help disabled veterans overcome the challenges of this mental disorder and live a more normal life. 

How Do I Send My PTSD Claim?

To apply for a compensation PTSD VA claim for veterans’ disability benefits, an individual must fill out VA Form 21-0781, also known as the Statement in Support of Claim for Service Connection for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or VA Form 21-0781a, which is also known as the Statement in Support of Claim for Service in Connection for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Secondary to Personal Assault. 

After this, they need to gather supporting documents and evidence, if required, proving their PTSD claim. These include hospital and medical records and supporting statements from relatives, law enforcement, and other relevant parties. 

Compensation for PTSD

Once a VA claim has been approved, the disabled veteran will receive the following benefits:

Depending on the VA rating, the payment per veteran may vary. The higher the disability rating, the more monetary compensation they will receive.

How Can Trajector Help Me?

Applying for VA disability benefits for a mental illness like PTSD can be time-consuming and overwhelming. That’s why Trajector offers advice to help veterans receive their deserved disability compensation. 

We aim to make applying for VA disability benefits as convenient as possible and support our fellow veterans in their mental health challenges.