Receiving a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be bittersweet. It can be a relief knowing that your anxiety, depression, and recurring nightmares are all due to a common condition. However, PTSD is not a condition that is easily treated. Even with therapy and other interventions, your PTSD symptoms may linger for years or longer.
Just as the traumatic event that causes your PTSD may be different from other people’s, so too the way PTSD impacts your life can be different as well. However, if you are a veteran who has been diagnosed with PTSD and you are now seeking VA disability benefits, there is one aspect of your condition that you should pay particular attention to.
The Connection Between PTSD and Military Service
Some estimates claim that as many as seven out of every 100 military veterans will develop PTSD as a result of their military service. While traumatic events like skirmishes and battles can lead to PTSD, other traumatic events can also lead to PTSD. This includes seeing a fellow soldier or sailor injured in an accident, experiencing divorce, or another similar event.
While in most cases the symptoms of PTSD will begin developing within a few weeks or months after the traumatic event, some people begin to experience symptoms years after the traumatic event. Over the course of your experience with PTSD, it is not uncommon for your symptoms to alternatingly intensify and lessen in severity.
Your Experience with PTSD is the Most Important Thing
When you apply for VA disability benefits based on a PTSD diagnosis, you are claiming that your PTSD symptoms make it difficult or impossible for you to hold significant gainful employment. Because there is no objective way to measure the severity of your symptoms, the VA will rely on your reported experiences and any outside information to verify your reports.
Consider these tips as you prepare to file for VA disability benefits following a PTSD diagnosis:
- Keep regular appointments with your doctor or therapist and always be honest about your symptoms
- Do not minimize or overexaggerate how you are feeling, as either can negatively impact your claim
- Consider keeping a regular journal about your feelings and experiences
- Do not neglect to talk with friends and family, as this can not only be therapeutic but provide important witnesses who can verify your claims
Be sure that you follow all reasonable treatment recommendations from your provider and communicate about the effectiveness of your care. These steps can help ensure your PTSD is rated appropriately.
Get Help with Your PTSD Claim from Centonzio Law
If you experience challenges or difficulties in obtaining the VA disability benefits you deserve for your PTSD benefits, Centonzio Law is available to help. Our skilled VA disability lawyers can assist you if your claim is denied or if you receive a low disability rating. Call us at (800) 342-2727 and schedule your consultation with us. You can also contact us online to set up your case review.