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July 27, 2019

38 CFR PTSD? How the VA Determines Your PTSD VA Rating

Last updated on October 14, 2021

In this post, we will explore the entire 38 CFR PTSD rating scale in detail.

We will also examine the subjective rating criteria for PTSD, which always comes down to a veteran’s level of occupational and social impairment.

VA claims for PTSD are rated from 0 percent to 100 percent.

Want to learn more about 38 CFR PTSD?

You might also like the following posts about specific VA ratings for PTSD:

30 Percent VA Rating for PTSD: 30 VA disability rating for PTSD? Click HERE to read now.

50 Percent VA Rating for PTSD: automatic 50 VA disability rating for PTSD? Click HERE to read now.

70 Percent VA Rating for PTSD: 70 VA disability rating for PTSD? Click HERE to read now.

100 Percent VA Rating for PTSD: 100 VA disability rating for PTSD? Click HERE to read now.

PTSD is one of the easiest VA claims to win

According to the top 3 easiest VA claims to win data, PTSD is one of the easiest VA claims to win.

The VA’s own internal data reported to congress and 38 CFR PTSD, veterans receiving VA disability compensation for PTSD have the following ratings:

  • 2.2% of all VA disability recipients for PTSD have a 0 PTSD rating.
  • 7.1% of all VA disability compensation claim recipients for PTSD have a 10 PTSD rating.
  • 23.7% of all VA compensation claim recipients for PTSD have a 30 PTSD rating.
  • 25.9% of all VA disability recipients for PTSD have a 50 PTSD rating.
  • 28.0% of all VA claim recipients for PTSD have a 70 PTSD rating.
  • 13.1% of all VA disability claim recipients have a 100 PTSD rating.

38 CFR PTSD lists the general rating formula for all mental disorders.

38 CFR PTSD ratings range from 0 percent to 100 percent, with breaks at 10 percent PTSD rating, 30 percent PTSD rating, 50 percent PTSD rating, and 70 percent PTSD rating.

You might want to read about the PTSD Rating Scale HERE.

Should I apply for PTSD claim? Click HERE to read now.

38 CFR PTSD from 0 Percent to 100 Percent

0 PTSD Rating

A mental condition has been formally diagnosed, but symptoms are not severe enough either to interfere with occupational and social functioning or to require continuous medication.

10 Percent PTSD Rating

Occupational and social impairment due to mild or transient symptoms which decrease work efficiency and ability to perform occupational tasks only during periods of significant stress, or symptoms controlled by continuous medication.

30 Percent PTSD Rating

Occupational and social impairment with occasional decrease in work efficiency and intermittent periods of inability to perform occupational tasks (although generally functioning satisfactorily, with routine behavior, self-care, and conversation normal), due to such symptoms as: depressed mood, anxiety, suspiciousness, panic attacks (weekly or less often), chronic sleep impairment, mild memory loss (such as forgetting names, directions, recent events).

50 Percent PTSD Rating

Occupational and social impairment with reduced reliability and productivity due to such symptoms as: flattened affect; circumstantial, circumlocutory, or stereotyped speech; panic attacks more than once a week; difficulty in understanding complex commands; impairment of short- and long-term memory (e.g., retention of only highly learned material, forgetting to complete tasks); impaired judgment; impaired abstract thinking; disturbances of motivation and mood; difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships.

70 Percent PTSD Rating

Occupational and social impairment, with deficiencies in most areas, such as work, school, family relations, judgment, thinking, or mood, due to such symptoms as: suicidal ideation; obsessional rituals which interfere with routine activities; speech intermittently illogical, obscure, or irrelevant; near-continuous panic or depression affecting the ability to function independently, appropriately and effectively; impaired impulse control (such as unprovoked irritability with periods of violence); spatial disorientation; neglect of personal appearance and hygiene; difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances (including work or a worklike setting); inability to establish and maintain effective relationships.

100 Percent PTSD Rating

Total occupational and social impairment, due to such symptoms as: gross impairment in thought processes or communication; persistent delusions or hallucinations; grossly inappropriate behavior; persistent danger of hurting self or others; intermittent inability to perform activities of daily living (including maintenance of minimal personal hygiene); disorientation to time or place; memory loss for names of close relatives, own occupation, or own name.

A common misconception from the veteran community is that you need to meet ALL the subjective symptoms tied with a certain PTSD rating in order to get that rating according to 38 CFR PTSD.

This is not true!

The Rating Veteran Service Representative, also known as the RVSR, will consider all the evidence of record, and normally will assign the VA rating for PTSD that includes the “preponderance of the symptoms.”

For example, if a veteran has 4 of the symptoms from the 70 rating for PTSD criteria and 6 of the symptoms from the 100 PTSD VA rating criteria, the RVSR shall assign the higher rating, unless evidence of record contradicts this subjective assessment.

However, the opposite is also true.

For example, if a veteran has 6 of the symptoms from the 70 rating for PTSD criteria and 4 of the symptoms from the 100 PTSD VA rating criteria, the RVSR shall assign the lower rating, unless evidence of record contradicts this subjective assessment.

Two Rules for 38 CFR PTSD

According to 38 CFR PTSD §4.126, evaluation of disability from mental disorders, the RVSR is required to consider these two rules:

1. When evaluating PTSD, the rating agency shall consider the frequency, severity, and duration of psychiatric symptoms, the length of remissions, and the veteran’s capacity for adjustment during periods of remission.

The rating agency shall assign an evaluation based on all the evidence of record that bears on occupational and social impairment rather than solely on the examiner’s assessment of the level of disability now of the examination.

2. When evaluating the level of disability for PTSD, the rating agency will consider the extent of social impairment but shall not assign an evaluation solely based on social impairment.

How to File a VA Claim for PTSD

If you think you deserve a PTSD VA rating, or you think you deserve a higher VA rating for PTSD, you should read How to File a VA Claim for PTSD by clicking HERE.


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About the Author

Brian Reese
Brian Reese

Brian Reese

Founder & CEO

Brian Reese is VA benefits expert, author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller You Deserve It: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Veteran Benefits You’ve Earned, and founder of VA Claims Insider – “The Most Trusted Name in Education-Based Resources for Veterans.”

His frustration with the 8-step VA disability claims process led him to create “VA Claims Insider,” which provides U.S. military veterans with tips, strategies, and lessons learned for successfully submitting or re-submitting a winning VA disability compensation claim.

Brian is also the CEO of Military Disability Made Easy, which is the world’s largest free searchable database for all things related to DoD disability and VA disability claims and has served more than 4,600,000 military members and veterans since its founding in 2013.

His eBook, the “9 Secrets Strategies for Winning Your VA Disability Claim” has been downloaded more than 300,000 times in the past three years and is the #1 rated free VA disability claims guide for veterans.

He is a former active duty Air Force officer with extensive experience leading hundreds of individuals and multi-functional teams in challenging international environments, including a combat tour to Afghanistan in 2011 supporting Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

Brian is a Distinguished Graduate of Management from the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO and he holds an MBA from Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business, Stillwater, OK, where he was a National Honor Scholar (Top 1% of Graduate School class).

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