Contact The Berry Law Firm To Appeal A Va Claim For Depression
We urge Veterans not to delay seeking treatment if they suffer from symptoms of depression. You have earned the help you need for this potentially debilitating medical condition, including a proper VA rating and the associated monetary benefits promised to you.
Berry Law Firm is committed to ensuring Veterans receive all the disability benefits they are entitled to by federal law. We are attorneys who are Veterans, former VA employees and military spouses. We are dedicated to providing Veterans the guidance they need to seek proper VA disability benefits, especially when their mental health is at stake.
If your VA disability claim for benefits related to depression was denied or rated too low or you need to add depression to your rating, we want to help you. Call Berry Law at 883-2483 or contact us online today to schedule a free and confidential legal consultation. We know the way forward.
The attorneys at Berry Law Firm are dedicated to helping injured Veterans. With extensive experience working with VA disability claims, Berry Law can help you with your disability appeals.
Entitlement To A Disability Rating In Excess Of 70 Percent For Major Depressive Disorder With Psychotic Features Tdiu & Dea Citation Nr: 18154201
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What Is Major Depressive Disorder
MAJOR DEPRESSIVE DISORDER is Major Depressive Disorder occurs when a person feels extreme depression and/or anxiety and has lost interest in work, life, and previously enjoyed activities. The person has intense thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to depression-like symptoms that interfere with daily life.
A person with DEPRESSION is not faking his or her symptoms. The pain and other problems are real. They may be caused by a medical problem. But its the extreme reaction and behaviors about his/her symptoms that are the main problem.
Well cover applying for MAJOR DEPRESSIVE DISORDER, appealing a MDD rating, MDD evidence requirements, in-service stressors and MDD stressor examples, the best strategies to ensure your MDD claim gets service-connected and rated at the appropriate level based upon your current symptoms and level of occupational and social impairment.
If you need help with your MAJOR DEPRESSIVE DISORDER VA claim, MDD increase claim, or other mental health conditions claim, feel free to complete the free 3-step intake below. Youll get an Independent Psychological Evaluation by a U.S. Board Certified Psychologist, a Medical Nexus letter for MDD, and documented Symptoms on either the Other Mental Health Conditions DBQ.
==> VA Claims Insider Elite medical consulting program: www.vaclaimsinsiderelite.com
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Service Connection By Aggravation
Service connection for aggravation may be awarded when a veterans depression is worsened by military service. For example, a veteran may have suffered from depression prior to entering service, but then certain events in service caused his or her depression to worsen. Establishing service connection based on the theory of aggravation often requires a medical opinion from a qualified health professional stating it is at least as likely as not the veterans depression worsened as a result of his or her service.
The Schedular Requirements Are That:
- The Veteran has one service-connected disability rated at least 60 percent disabling OR
- The Veteran has more than one service-connected disability, with one condition rated at least 40 percent, and a combined rating of at least 70 percent. For example, a Veteran may qualify for TDIU based on VA ratings for PTSD or TBI and for depression considered a secondary disability proximately due to PTSD or TBI.
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Understanding The Va Rating For Ptsd
The VA assesses both depression and PTSD based on how much the condition causes occupational and social impairment.
When discussing VA disability ratings for mental conditions, its helpful to understand the ratings for post-traumatic stress disorder as well. PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that generally follows a traumatic event, such as combat and violent acts. It can often cause severe symptoms like panic attacks, reactive behavior, intrusive thoughts, and even mild memory loss related to the event. Depression can also be a symptom of this condition, but the VA focuses on PTSD as a whole when determining a disability rating.
Since these symptoms can interfere with daily life, some veterans will pursue a benefits claim. Similar to their ratings for depression, the VA assesses PTSD based on how much the condition causes occupational and social impairment.
A 100% Rating Requires:
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 disorientation to time or place memory loss for names of close relatives, own occupation, or own name.
In addition, a Veteran who has been rated below 100 percent for depression may still be entitled to a Total Disability rating based on Individual Unemployability, or TDIU.
Veterans unable to obtain and maintain gainful employment due to service-connected conditions can qualify for TDIU.
A Veteran may qualify for TDIU according to the disability ratings schedule or on an extra-schedular basis.
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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.
Major Depressive Disorder Claim
9434 Major Depressive Disorder Claim
The purpose of this article is to give tips on how to file a VA disability claim for MAJOR DEPRESSIVE DISORDER, win your MAJOR DEPRESSIVE DISORDER VA disability benefits claim and get the highest rating possible under the law, aka MAJOR DEPRESSIVE DISORDER VA claim, so you can get the rating and compensation you deserve.
Many Veterans are denied VA benefits for MAJOR DEPRESSIVE DISORDER due to a lack of medical evidence with no clear in-service stressor, aka, how did your active duty military service cause or make your depression worse?
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How The Va Rates Depression
The VA rates depression, along with all other mental disorders, according to a “General Rating Formula for Mental Disorders.” Depression is rated according to how much it impairs a veteran’s social and occupational ability. While depression symptoms are relevant to the particular diagnosis a veteran is given, they have no impact on the actual rating. The rating is based on the effects of the symptoms on a veteran’s ability to function, not on the symptoms themselves.
The available ratings for depression are 0%, 10%, 30%, 50%, 70%, or 100%. A 100% rating is warranted only where a veteran has absolutely no ability to function socially or at work. A 0% rating is assigned where, despite depression symptoms, a veteran’s ability to function is not actually impaired. A 0% rating is still helpful, however, as it entitles the veteran to VA benefits such as health care.
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Submitting Evidence Under Appeals Modernization Act
While veterans have the right to submit evidence in favor of their claims for depression, it is important to note that there are several changes regarding evidence submission under the new appeals system . Under the Appeals Modernization Act, veterans will choose one of three review options when appealing an unfavorable decision from VA:
- Higher-level review
- Supplemental claim or
- Notice of Disagreement .
When choosing the higher-level review option, veterans cannot submit additional evidence. In the supplemental claim lane, veterans can submit evidence as long as it is considered to be new and relevant. Within the Notice of Disagreement lane there are an additional three dockets for veterans to choose from
- Direct docket
- Evidence docket
- Hearing docket
Similar to the higher-level review lane, veterans are unable to submit evidence when choosing the direct docket. However, veterans do have the option to submit evidence in both the evidence and hearing dockets. In the evidence docket, veterans can submit evidence within 90 days from when the Notice of Disagreement was filed. Veterans who select the hearing docket can submit evidence at the time of the hearing or up until 90 days after.
Symptoms Of Major Depressive Disorder
Symptoms of a major depressive disorder, commonly called major depression or clinical depression,vary among individuals. However, most people find that the symptoms sap their ability and desire to take part in daily living activities,even those they once most enjoyed. Feelings of fatigue and apathy,lack of sleep, an inability to concentrate, constant sadness,irritability, and feelings of worthlessness, or even thoughts of suicide, are common among depressed individuals. Psychiatrists often use the terms mild, moderate, and severe to describe the severity of the depression.
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Establishing Direct Service Connection For Depression
To be eligible for the disability compensation program, the veteran needs to show that the depression is connected to his or hr military service. The following is required to prove a direct service connection:
- a current diagnosis of depression
- evidence of an incident in service that caused the depression, and
- medical evidence of a link between the current depression diagnosis and the incident in service.
Assessment Of Clinical Practices For Screening Assessment And Treatment In The Department Of Veterans Affairs
In 2013 the IOM released Returning Home from Iraq and Afghanistan, Assessment of the Readjustment Needs of Veterans, Service Members and Their Families . As part of its charge, the authoring committee examined the efficacy of the health screening and assessment practices and treatment interventions that DoD and the VA use in the management of mental health conditions. The IOM Readjustment Committee reviewed approaches recommended by VA/DoD CPGs for PTSD, MDD, and SUDs and compared them with clinical guidelines developed by leading scientific and professional organizations from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. That committee also reviewed the research and policy literature as a basis for discussing standard-of-care recommendations that were presented in its report. Among the major studies informing the IOM Readjustment Committee was an evaluation of VA mental health programs by the RANDâAltarum research team . Their analysis revealed, among other factors, low documented use of evidenced-based practices and variation in many of the performance indicators assessed with regard to specific populations, services, and locations.
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Va Rating For Anxiety Disorder: Basic Eligibility Criteria
In order to be eligible for an Anxiety VA rating, a veteran must meet three criteria by law:
- #1. Medical diagnosis of an Anxiety Disorder in a medical record
- #2. Your Anxiety was caused or made worse by your active-duty military service
- #3. Persistent and recurring symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
If you think you have a mental health conditions such as an anxiety disorder, but dont have a medical diagnosis, pick-up the phone and call the VA mental health facility nearest you to make an appointment right away!
If youre trying to increase your VA rating for anxiety, you need to prove to the VA that your symptoms are now worse and warrant a higher rating by law.
The #1 best way to increase your anxiety VA rating is to get a private independent psychological evaluation and tell your uncomfortable truths about the severity of your symptoms.
Va Ratings For Anxiety Frequently Asked Questions
Can I get VA disability compensation for Anxiety?
Yes, the Department of Veterans Affairs will pay veterans with service-connected Anxiety tax free compensation each month. The amount of compensation depends upon your overall VA rating.
Is Anxiety a VA disability condition?
Yes, Anxiety is a VA disability and can be rated from 0% to 100% depending upon the severity of your symptoms.
Often times, anxiety and depression are underlying symptoms of another mental health condition such as PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder, or Somatic Symptom Disorder.
Due to the legal concept called avoidance of pyramiding, a veteran will only receive one VA rating for a mental health condition.
The VA recognizes Anxiety Disorders as one of 31 mental health conditions that may be related to service, and thus, Anxiety is a VA disability, and is eligible for VA compensation and benefits under the law.
What are the VA disability ratings for Anxiety?
The VA will give you a disability rating based upon the severity of your Anxiety Disorder, specifically related to your level of occupational and social impairment. If you are considered service-connected for Anxiety, you will receive one of six possible VA disability ratings for your mental health condition, broken out as follows: 0%, 10%, 30%, 50%, 70%, or 100%.
In 2022, the average VA disability rating for anxiety is 70%.
Can I receive Special Monthly Compensation for Anxiety?
Can Anxiety be Permanent and Total ?
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Prevalence Major Depressive Disorder
Depression is the leading cause of disability for individuals aged 1544 in the United States.4 Based on 2017 surveys, it was estimated that more than 17 million adults experienced at least one major depressive episode in the past year in the U.S. alone.5 According to the American Psychiatric Association, one in 6 individuals will experience depression at some point in the lives.6
Women experience this disorder more frequently than men. Women more frequently have internalizing symptoms of depression , while men tend to have externalizing symptoms, such as reckless behaviors and substance abuse.4,7
Children and teenagers also tend to experience certain symptoms of depression. In a younger child, depression can present itself with symptoms such as clinging to a parent, acting sick, refusing to go to school, and worrying about their parent dying. In older children and teenagers, depression may manifest as irritability, sulkiness, problems at school, or drug/alcohol use.8
Wondering How To Increase Your Anxiety Va Rating
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Causes Of Persistent Depressive Disorder
Doctors are not clear on the causes of persistent depressive disorder. Many believe it arises from a combination of factors, some genetic, others external. In some people, stressful or traumatic life events can trigger the condition, which may explain its prevalence among current and former service members. Often times it can also be brought about because of a physical disability that is impacting ones livelihood.
If you believe that your diagnosis of persistent depressive disorder began in service, is related to your service, or maybe even is because of a disability you are already service-connected for, a disability lawyer can help you submit a VA disability appeal and collect benefits. For a free case evaluation, call .
Treatment Interventions At The Department Of Veterans Affairs
As described above, VA policy indicates that if a clinical assessment confirms a mental health diagnosis, a veteran is to be offered treatment. The following is summary of treatment interventions that are recommended in the VA/DoD joint guidelines for each condition. Refer to for a detailed discussion about whether veterans who have mental health care needs and use VA services are receiving the treatments described here. Below, details about relevant VA policy or findings from recent studies supplement the discussion about recommended treatments however, a systematic review of randomized controlled trials addressing the efficacy of various treatments is beyond the scope of the committee’s charge and is not included in the discussion of the literature.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Determining the appropriate treatment for PTSD can be complicated because PTSD presents with varied psychosocial morbidity and functional impairment and is often comorbid with other psychiatric disorders, particularly SUD, major depression, and mild TBI. In general, the treatment for PTSD symptoms includes three broad intervention categories: psychotherapy , pharmacotherapy , and education .
Major Depressive Disorder
For patients who have severe MDD, additional treatments that should be considered include electroconvulsive therapy, and the two classes of medications, MAOIs and TCAs.
Substance Use Disorder
Suicidal Ideation and Behavior
Co-Occurring Substance Use Disorder
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Speak With A Dedicated Attorney About Your Va Rating For Anxiety Depression And/or Adjustment Disorder
At the Veterans Law Group, our practice is completely devoted to helping disabled veterans get the benefits they deserve. Were experienced in dealing with the VA. We know what it takes to build a strong case and get the best possible disability rating for you. That might mean pursuing additional medical opinions or vocational expert reports. Were prepared to go the extra mile for you.
While our office is based in California, we work with Veterans from all over the country. A consultation with one of our experienced VA disability lawyers is free and confidential. Please contact us to get started.
“I was happy with Mr. Lippman’s representation of my case. His firm accomplished what I thought hopeless-I received my compensation.”
Johnny K.|Johnson City, TX
“Mr. Lippman took on my case in 1991. Stuck in there until he was satisfied with the final decision which was 100% TDIU. Thank you Mr. Lippman. Will surely recommend you to other people. Law firm always done what they say they would do. I was very satisfied with the final results of my case.”
Terry S.|Gates, NC