What is PTSD?
PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition of mental and emotional stress resulting from injury or severe psychological shock. This event can also be referred to as stressors. Stressors, according to the VA, can be a traumatic event from exposure to death, threatened death, or severe injury. These can be anything from reliving the event, to avoiding situations that remind you of the event, having negative feelings to the world around you, or feeling keyed up.
Why is it hard to track?
Many times, PTSD conditions do not begin to surface on the battlefield. These conditions sometimes arise years after leaving active duty which makes them more difficult to prove. On top of that, PTSD claims require a lot of proof to prove you actually possess the condition.
How to prove your claim?
The most important thing in a PTSD claim is putting evidence in your claim that proves to the C&P Examiner how this is affecting you. Make sure to include what triggers your specific stressor and that you became fearful after the accident. This can be fear of death or loss of physical integrity, whatever it is, make sure to include how it changed you after the incident.
Additionally, if you get a BAD C&P exam, make sure to report it immediately. There are steps you can go through to get a new C&P exam here.
Do not minimize how badly this incident is affecting you, if you do this then you are at risk for getting your claim denied or not getting the rating you deserve.
One thing the VA is looking for in your claim is that your symptoms are chronic and recurring. They will not give you a claim if your symptoms just happened once. In your letters, including both of these as well as the severity of your symptoms.
With that being said, you have to make sure your PTSD is connected to service. This is done with a NEXUS letter. Make sure you have this. A clear NEXUS letter is a must in making sure that your claim is approved. This letter states that your injury, in this case, it’s PTSD, was either caused or made worse by your times in service. If you don’t have this letter, it is more likely that your claim will be denied.
Congress requires Veterans to prove that this event happened to them through a couple of different ways. This depends on what category your stressor falls into and how much information is needed. Bottom line, you will need your medical records from a medical professional who has seen you about this issue. If the stressor occurred during active duty, you need to get the records stating that this event happened. And adding to all of that, having a buddy letter to go along as proof always helps your claim. If you need help on what a buddy letter is, check it out here.
Diagnosed during service?
You need your own statement in support of a claim as well as your active and civilian medical records. Unfortunately, most of the active duty military records do not have everything recorded. This is where your civilian medical records, NEXUS letters, DBQ, statement in support of a claim and Buddy letters come into play. These will fill in the gaps for your C&P examiner as to what your condition is.
Your own statement can establish the occurrence as long as it is related to combat, consistent with your service, and none of the other evidence contradicts this. Your PTSD must be linked to active duty in order to receive Veteran benefits. This is considered your NEXUS and is extremely valuable to your claim.
Fear of terrorist activity?
A letter from a VA psychologist or psychiatrist that says your stressor is related to a fear of terrorist activity. It also must be able to support a PTSD diagnosis so asking your medical professional to comment on that would be a good idea. As well as this, your own statement would help support.
If you do not have a doctor who understands what you need for a PTSD diagnosis or how to fill out a DBQ, contact us. We have a team of doctors who know the language and are dedicated to working on your case.
In-Service assault or trauma?
If medical records aren’t present from the event, you can obtain evidence through law enforcement, counseling centers, or a buddy statement.
If you have already received your claim and you feel like you should be getting more, compare your symptoms to the Impairment Rating Table for Mental Health conditions. While there is no “average claim” for PTSD, you should be getting the compensation you deserve. If you still feel like you’re not getting enough on your claim and you want one of our VA coaches to walk you through the process, fill out our easy intake process and we will set up a time to meet with you over the phone to talk about your claim.