Tuesday, May 21, 2024

How Does The Va Rate Depression

How Do I Apply To Receive My Ratings

VA Secondary Conditions to Depression and How They’re Rated

If you are still in the military, then you can request your military physician to refer you to the MEB and start the IDES process. If you are already a veteran, you can submit a VA Disability Claim along with evidence of service-connection and all medical records regarding the conditions on the claim.

What Is The Appeals Process For A For Depression Va Claim

As a veteran, you have the right to appeal the exam, but you need to understand the rules for submitting evidence under the Appeals Modernization Act.

When you appeal, you will be able to choose between three different review options.

These include a higher-level review, a supplemental claim, or an appeal to the board of veterans appeals.

With a higher-level review, the veteran will not be able to supply any additional evidence.

Those who choose the supplemental claim route can submit evidence, but only if it is considered new and relevant evidence to the case at hand.

> > > To read more about the Appeals Modernization Act, click HERE!< < <

Total Disability Based On Individual Unemployability For Depression

If a veteran is unable to secure and maintain substantially gainful employment as a result of their service-connected depression, they may be entitled to total disability based on individual unemployability . VA should consider entitlement to TDIU benefits when evaluating the veterans claim for depression however, veterans can also file for TDIU explicitly either as its own claim or as part of an increased rating claim.

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What Happens After My Depression C& p Exam

To view a copy of the exam after, you can request a copy from the regional VA office or by running a new bluebutton report from My HealtheVet

The VA does not provide copies of the exams to you unless they are specifically requested.

It is always a good idea to do a follow-up and get the information, so you can look at it yourself and see what was provided to the VA.

What happens if the C& P exam does not show that the veteran has depression, or that the depression is not shown to be as severe as you believe for it to be?

In those cases, the veteran will need to provide evidence that counters what was written in the exam.

Many different types of evidence could suffice, but the more you have, the better off your chances of receiving a VA disability rating. You could include additional medical evidence, lay evidence, and other arguments that are in your favor.

Va Rating For Depression Frequently Asked Questions

VA Disability Rating for Depression Explained

Is Depression a VA disability?

Yes, Depression is a VA disability.

Depression can be rated at 0 percent, 10 percent, 30 percent, 50 percent, 70 percent, or 100 percent, depending upon the Frequency, Severity, and Duration of your mental health symptoms.

The VA recognizes Major Depressive Disorder as one of 31 mental health conditions that may be related to military service, and thus, Depression is a VA disability, and is eligible for VA disability compensation under federal law.

What are the VA disability ratings for Depression?

The VA will give you a disability rating based upon the severity of your Depression, specifically related to your level of occupational and social impairment.

If you are considered service-connected for Depression, you will receive one of six possible VA disability ratings, broken out as follows: 0%, 10%, 30%, 50%, 70%, or 100%.

Can I have more than one mental health rating, such as PTSD and Depression?

You can, but its unlikely.

The reason is because Depression is normally an underlying symptom of another mental health condition, such as PTSD.

The only time a Veteran will be rated for more than one mental health condition is if the mental health symptoms and level of occupational and social impairment can be clearly differentiated among the different diagnosis.

Can I receive Special Monthly Compensation for Depression?


Veterans can get an extra $364.77 or more each month, tax-free, if you meet the mental health housebound criteria.


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C& p Exam For Depression Tips

1. Know whats in your medical records!

2. Review your Disability Benefit Questionnaire

3. Review the eCFR, Title 38, Schedule 4 for DEPRESSION and other mental health symptoms and ratings

4. Do NOT have your best day

5. Be uncomfortably vulnerable

6. Know your true story coldand potential in-service stressors that caused or made your DEPRESSION and/or other mental health conditions worse.

How Does The Va Rate Depression

The VA rates depression as it does with all other mental health disorders, according to the General Rating Formula for Mental Disorders.

Depression is rated according to how much it affects a veterans social and occupational abilities. While the symptoms of depression are important for the specific diagnosis a veteran is given, they dont affect the rating.

The ranking is based on the effects of the symptoms on a veterans ability to function, and not on the symptoms alone.

The available ratings for depression are 0%, 10%, 30%, 50%, 70%, or 100%. A 100% score is only warranted when a service member has no way of functioning socially or working.

A 0% rating is given when a veterans ability to function isnt impaired, despite having symptoms of depression. However, a 0% rating is still helpful as it opens the door for Aid and Attendance and SMC compensation.

Here is one of our VA disability lawyers talking about SMC for vets.

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The Va Rates All Service

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs rates all service-connected disabilities, including mental disabilities, according to the VA’s Schedule of Rating Disabilities.

Once the VA has determined that your mental health condition is related to your military service, it will rate your condition based on how severe it is. The VA will look to your medical records to determine how severe your clinical symptoms are.

Signs And Symptoms Of Depression In Veterans

Winning VA Disability for Depression | Everything You Need to Know

Symptoms of Depression in Veterans

According to the Mayo Clinic, Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest.

Clinical Depression is most often diagnosed as Major Depressive Disorder , and it affects how you feel, think, and behave and can lead to a range of mental, emotional, physical, and social problems.

Veterans may have trouble accomplishing normal day-to-day activities, you may be too depressed to leave your home or get out of bed, and sometimes you may even feel as if life isnt worth living .

Pre-screening for Major Depressive Disorder typically begins with having a Veteran complete the Patient Health Questionnaire .

The Mayo Clinic has outlined common signs and symptoms of Depression in Veterans include some or all the following:

For many Veterans suffering from Clinical Depression, symptoms usually are severe enough to cause noticeable problems in day-to-day activities, such as work, school, life, social activities, or relationships with others.

The problem is we typically suffer alone in silence because we think were the only ones.

Guess what fellow Veterans?

You are not alone and YOUR LIFE MATTERS!

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What If I Had Dysthymia Before Service

In some cases, a former service member may have experienced depression before entering service. Certain events in service may have caused the depression to aggravate. In such cases, its possible to receive disability benefits under the circumstances of aggravated service connection if an event during service worsens the depression.

Aggravated service connection for a pre-recorded diagnosis of depression needs:

  • A recent diagnosis of depression by a VA doctor, psychiatrist, or psychologist
  • Proof of an event or incident in service that worsened the depression
  • Medical evidence of a link between the worsening of depression and events in service

The former service member must prove that the depression was a pre-existing condition. The simplest way to do this is when depression is recorded on the veterans entrance medical exam. If not, the former service member must provide medical evidence of a pre-service diagnosis of depression.

The theory that depression worsened during time in service isnt enough. A medical opinion is required from the veterans psychiatrist or psychologist, noting that the in-service incident was accountable for the aggravation of the depression. Otherwise, the VA may decide that the worsening of the depression was due to the natural progression of depression and wont give any benefits.

Here is a video in which one of our VA disability lawyers talks about how the VA rating for mental conditions works.

Qualifying Depression Diagnosis #: Major Depressive Disorder

It takes two major episodes of depression for a doctor to diagnose you with major depressive order. Each episode must last for at least two weeks, and symptoms accompanying your depression must significantly impair your everyday life. Possible major depressive disorder symptoms include:

  • Feeling depressed throughout most of the day
  • Inability to sleep, or sleeping excessively
  • A lack of interest in most daily activities
  • Fatigue, low energy
  • Thinking about death regularly

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How The Va Rates Mental Illnesses

Veterans are eligible to receive disability compensation for both physical and mental health conditions caused by their military service. However, theDepartment of Veterans Affairs rates mental health issues differently than physical ailments, and not all mental health-related illnesses qualify for disability compensation under the VA rules and guidelines. As a veteran, it is important to understand which mental health conditions qualify for disability benefits in addition to how they are rated for compensation purposes.

What Mental Health Conditions are Eligible?

In order to qualify for disability benefits, a veterans mental health condition must be directly attributable to their military service. Examples of mental health issues considered ratable by the VA include, but are not limited to, the following conditions:

However, on the other side of the spectrum, the VA also does not consider some mental health issues to be related to military service due to the nature of the disorder. Psychiatric and other mental health conditions that are not eligible for disability benefits include the following:

How Does the VA Rate Mental Health Conditions?

Symptoms Of Anxiety Disorders

VA Disability Rating for Depression Explained

It is natural to experience occasional anxiety or worry.

However, when negative emotions begin to interfere with daily activities like work and family , you should consult a medical professional.

Victims of severe anxiety and panic disorders often feel like they have no escape from their suffering.

In many examples, the victim may avoid certain places or situations to prevent these negative feelings from arising.

Whenever these feelings are difficult to control, out of proportion to the actual danger, or frequently occur its time to seek help.

Thankfully, there is a wide range of treatment options for patients that suffer from anxiety disorders.

The symptoms of severe anxiety may begin during childhood or teenage years.

Veterans often cite their time during service as the time in their life when anxiety levels became unmanageable.

The following symptoms are common:

  • Feeling nervous, tense, or restless
  • Increased heart rate
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Difficult controlling amount of worry

Those that suffer from anxiety disorders often have the urge to avoid certain situations that may trigger negative feelings.

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Secondary Service Connection For Depression

In some cases, a veteran may qualify for VA disability for depression if the depression is the result of another condition connected to the service, otherwise known as a secondary claim.

Lets say that you were injured while in the military.

And years later youre still dealing with this pain, which has caused a list of additional problems in your life.

Eventually, triggering depression.

This is sometimes referred to as a Lifestyle Impact Claim and/or Somatic Symptom Disorder .

In addition, depression could also cause or aggravateanother disability.

For example, the medication that you are taking may have the side effect of another injury or condition.

You must still prove this connection through medical evidence to create the link and show the correlation.

Do Veterans Have To File Separate Va Claims For Depression And Anxiety

Importantly, VA recognizes that veterans are not qualified psychological experts. Therefore, it is unreasonable to expect veterans to be certain of their exact mental health diagnosis. Veterans can only attest to their symptomatology and how it affects them on a daily basis. Clemons v. Shinseki held that a service connection claim for one psychiatric condition must be considered a claim for any psychiatric condition that may be reasonably raised by several factors . In other words, if there are other psychological diagnoses on record, VA is required to consider whether those diagnoses are related to a veterans service even if the veteran did not specifically file claims for those conditions. In short, veterans do not have to file separate VA claims for depression and anxiety.

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How Much Disability Compensation Will I Receive For Anxiety

The amount you receive in monthly VA disability for anxiety disorders depends on the disability rating.

Those that receive a lower rating may or may not receive monthly disability compensation.

However, even those with a 0% rating for anxiety and depression still qualify for free VA health care which can assist with medical bills and treatment.

In general, those at a VA disability rating of 30% can expect around $430 per month while a 50% rating pays out much higher at $880 per month.

The highest levels of impairment offer substantial monthly compensation.

Veterans with a 70% VA rating for mental health receive $1,400 per month while the 100% rating provides over $3,000 per month in disability.

These rates are subject to change yet were accurate as of 2019.

Filing For Total Disability Based On Individual Unemployability With Depression

VA Disability Ratings for Depression and Anxiety

In some cases, a veteran might not be able to find and maintain a job due to depression connected to their service in the military.

In those cases, it could be possible that the vet will be able to receive total disability based on individual unemployment, also known as TDIU.

Typically, the VA will consider these benefits when they examine the claim for depression.

However, the veterans will also have the option of filing for TDIUas a claim on its own, or as part of an increased rating claim if needed.

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Va Disability Ratings Schedule For Anxiety For 2020

Veterans that have anxiety which is persistent and excessive, interfere with a normal life, and cause people to avoid certain situations suffer from an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorder diagnoses are rising in the military not only with veterans but among active-duty personnel.

In fact, the U.S. Armed Forces report that anxiety disorder diagnoses rose dramatically from 2005 to 2016.

The report also found that service members in the U.S. Army have the highest amount of anxiety disorder cases with more than 7% of active-duty personnel currently diagnosed.

For this reason, active-duty troops and veterans should seek VA disability for anxiety disorders.

These disability benefits can help cover treatment and other costs associated with mental health problems.

The Department of Veterans Affairs relies on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders to rate anxiety disorder conditions.

There is a unique set of criteria that determines whether the patient is suffering from an anxiety disorder.

Proving Entitlement To Service Connection

To receive disability compensation through the VA, a veteran must establish a service connection to their depressive disorder. Depression can be related to military service in three different ways, known as direct, secondary, and aggravated connections.

A direct service connection requires proof of developing symptoms of depression during active duty. Unlike other mental disorders, the VA does not require a veteran to link their depression to a single in-service event. In many cases, it is enough to establish that a former servicemember did not suffer from depression when they entered the military but were later diagnosed with a depressive disorder before they were discharged.

A secondary service connection requires an applicant to prove that their symptoms of depression are the result of an injury or illness which is directly linked to their active duty military service. For example, a veteran who becomes depressed due to an amputation injury that took place during active duty could result in a potential disability rating for depression. A secondary connection claim may involve depression that occurs immediately after an injury or illness or which does not manifest until years later.

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How Does Va Diagnose Or Evaluate A Veterans Depression And Anxiety For Va Disability Benefits

From a diagnostic perspective, VA relies on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition published by the American Psychiatric Association to rate all mental health conditions. Again, for PTSD there is criterion requiring a stressor however, depressive and anxiety disorders have separate diagnostic criteria. As long as the veterans particular symptoms meet the frequency, duration, and severity outlined for those conditions in the DSM-5, they should receive proper diagnoses. Once a diagnosis is reached, VA will apply the General Rating Formula for Mental Health Conditions found under 38 CFR § 4.130.

The possible disability ratings are: 0, 10, 30, 50, 70, and 100 percent. All mental health disability ratings are based on the severity of the condition and the resulting level of social and occupational impairment.

Va Benefits For Depression

Top 5 Tips to Increase Your VA Rating for Depression (The Definitive ...

If your depression or anxiety is the result of a service-related injury or an incident that occurred while on active duty, you may be eligible for benefits through the Veterans Administration . The VA classifies depression in the category of mood disorders. According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, major depression goes beyond feeling sad or blue for a short time. Although treatable, major depression can have a large impact on the lives of veterans. Some signs and symptoms of major depression may include:

  • Changes in sleep
  • Lack of interest in activities
  • Hopelessness or guilty thoughts
  • Changes in movement
  • Physical aches and pains
  • Suicidal thoughts

To qualify for VA disability as a result of depression or anxiety, the veteran must prove that their depression is related to his or her military service. In order to be considered, a diagnosis of depression must be provided by a medical professional. In addition, the veteran must provide evidence of an incident that occurred while on active duty that caused depression.

If the depression existed before the veterans military service began and was made worse by a service-related incident, they may qualify for benefits. This is referred to as an aggravated service connection. In this case, the veteran will be required to provide medical evidence that the pre-existing depression was made worse while on active duty.

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