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July 16, 2019

6 Tips to the PTSD Rating Scale Explained: How the VA Determines Your PTSD VA Rating (The Insider’s Guide)

Last updated on December 26, 2021

In this post, we will be exploring the PTSD rating scale in detail.

VA ratings for PTSD depend on the severity of a veterans mental health symptoms.

The more severe the symptoms, the higher the VA rating for PTSD.

Dear Veteran: Need immediate help with your PTSD? The VA offers many resources HERE.

In 2022, the average PTSD rating is 70%, but veterans can be rated from 0% to 100% with breaks at 10%, 30%, 50%, 70%.

But first, let’s take a minute to explore the law regarding the level of occupational and social impairment for the PTSD rating scale.

List of the Average VA Disability Rating for PTSD

  • The average VA disability rating for PTSD in FY 2020 was 70%
  • Overall, 53.81% of veterans with a PTSD rating are either rated at 50% or 70%
  • As of FY 2020, 1,754,644 veterans have a PTSD rating between 0% and 100%
ptsd rating scale
The Average VA Disability Rating for PTSD is 70%

Table of PTSD VA Ratings by Number and Percentage

PTSD RatingVeterans with PTSD Rating (#)Veterans with PTSD Rating (%)
0%37,868 2.158%
10%125,056 7.127%
20%607 0.035%
30%416,056 23.712%
40%543 0.031%
50%453,980 25.873%
60%368 0.021%
70%490,339 27.945%
80%13 0.001%
90%22 0.001%
100%229,792 13.096%

Want to learn more about the PTSD Rating Scale?

What about the 30 VA disability rating for PTSD? Click HERE to read now.

Think you deserve an automatic 50 VA disability rating for PTSD? Click HERE to read now.

Maybe even a 70 VA disability rating for PTSD? Click HERE to read now.

How about a 100 VA disability rating for PTSD? Click HERE to read now.

PTSD is among the easiest VA disability claims to win

According to the easiest VA claims to win data, PTSD is in the top 3 across all groups of veterans.

Here’s some interesting VA data regarding the PTSD rating scale for veterans receiving VA disability compensation for PTSD in 2022:

Interested in finding out about PTSD Ratings in 2022? Click HERE now!

eCFR Title 38, Part 4, the Schedule for Rating Disabilities lists the general rating formula for PTSD.

PTSD VA ratings range from 0% to 100%, with breaks at 10%, 30%, 50%, and 70%.

The average VA rating for PTSD in 2022 is 70%.

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

VA PTSD Rating Criteria from 0% to 100%:

0 VA rating for PTSD

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 VA rating for PTSD

Symptoms of 10 Percent VA Rating for PTSD
Symptoms of 10 Percent VA Rating for PTSD

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 VA rating for PTSD

Symptoms of 30 Percent VA Rating for PTSD
Symptoms of 30 Percent VA Rating for PTSD

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 VA rating for PTSD

Symptoms of 50 Percent VA Rating for PTSD
Symptoms of 50 Percent VA Rating for PTSD

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 VA rating for PTSD

Symptoms of 70 Percent VA Rating for PTSD
Symptoms of 70 Percent VA Rating for PTSD

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 VA rating for PTSD

Symptoms of 100 Percent VA Rating for PTSD
Symptoms of 100 Percent VA Rating for PTSD

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 big misconception among veterans is that you need to meet ALL the subjective symptoms tied with a certain rating criterion for PTSD in order to get that rating on the PTSD rating scale.

This is far from the truth veterans!

The Rating Veteran Service Representative (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 3 of the symptoms from the 50 rating for PTSD criteria and 5 of the symptoms from the 70 PTSD VA rating criteria, the rating agency shall assign the higher rating, unless evidence of record contradicts this subjective assessment.

The opposite is also true.

For example, if a veteran has 5 of the symptoms from the 30 rating for PTSD criteria and 3 of the symptoms from the 50 PTSD VA rating criteria, the rating agency shall assign the lower rating, unless evidence of record contradicts this subjective assessment.

Two Rules for the PTSD Rating Scale

According to §4.126, evaluation of disability from mental disorders, the RVSR (VA Rating Official) 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 VA rating for PTSD, or you think you deserve a higher rating for PTSD, you should read “How to File a VA Claim for PTSD” now.

Deserve a HIGHER VA Rating? WE CAN HELP.

Join our premier education-based membership program, VA Claims Insider Elite, connect with an expert-level Veteran Coach (VC) within minutes, and finally get the rating you deserve. Click the button below to start for FREE.

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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