Up to 70 percent of all VA disability claims are initially denied. Many of these include claims related to psychological trauma. It’s an unfortunate reality for afflicted service members, but it’s crucial for them to understand how psychological trauma and disability qualify as legitimate claims. This post will examine how veterans disability lawyers can help affected former service members get the benefits they’re entitled to owing to service-connected psychiatric disabilities.
Signs of military-related psychological traumas
While serving in the military, members are often exposed to experiences and situations that can be extremely traumatic. This can be due to various reasons: type and location of deployment, ongoing stressful exercises, grief due to the loss of peers and civilians, dealing with physical injuries, and difficulties adjusting to overwhelming demands. Below are some of the common types of military-related trauma faced by service members:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): PTSD is a psychological response to the experience of intense traumatic events, particularly those that threaten life. Sufferers may face issues such as distressing memories or images of the incident, flashbacks, gaps in memory, and physical symptoms, such as sweating, increased heart rate, or muscle tension when reminded of the event.
- Adjustment disorders: Although PTSD has received far more attention, adjustment disorder is the most common psychiatric diagnosis in the armed forces. Members may face explosive outbursts of anger, feel emotionally numb, and lose some of their abilities to make choices regarding their environment owing to exposure to major stressors and a disciplined routine.
- Disorders induced or aggravated by military activity: This may include mental issues, such as bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, and personality changes due to traumatic brain injury.
- Anxiety: Common symptoms of anxiety include sleeplessness, shortness of breath and tightness in the chest, excessive worry, muscle tension, and thoughts of suicide.
Reasons for rejected VA claims
Veterans disabled by psychiatric disorders are eligible for benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), just as in the case of physical injuries. Yet, so many veterans end up having their mental-health claims denied. Here’s why.
Inaccurate or missing information
A lack of accurate and required information is a major reason for the denial of most VA claims. In matters involving mental health, diagnosis and treatment often evolve over time, and inaccurate or missing records may result in a claim’s denial.
Inadequate medical evidence
To succeed in claims approval, it’s important to provide convincing medical evidence to the VA. And for that, you must seek the support of a board-certified psychologist who’s qualified to conduct a thorough evaluation, run the current diagnosis, evaluate the severity of symptoms, establish that the illness is service-connected, and provide a clear rationale for why you deserve compensation.
Bad paper discharges
The VA has been turning away veterans with bad paper discharges—those who receive discharge statuses that aren’t Honorable—when they seek treatment or attempt to enroll in health care. In fact, veterans with bad papers are some of the most at-risk veterans in need of supportive services, with higher rates of mental-health conditions.
No assistance from a veteran disability lawyer
Filing VA claims related to psychiatric disorders—stemmed from or made worse by the claimants’ time in military service—is a complex process. Having an experienced veterans disability attorney by your side increases your chances of success.
How a veterans disability lawyer can help
There’s no denying that psychiatric disability claims are more complex than physical ones. A veterans disability attorney will answer all your claim questions and provide confidential legal advice for improving your chances of getting VA benefits. If you faced a claim denial recently, a veterans disability lawyer will explain why the VA denied your claim the first time and advise you on how to potentially win your appeal.
Because every person has different symptoms, understanding the VA disability rating for anxiety disorders or depression can be confusing. An attorney can help you make sense of your disability rating and what it might mean for your benefits. He or she may also review your medical records to see if you may qualify for a higher VA disability rating—which means more benefits!
If you’re on the lookout for “veterans disability lawyers near me,” get in touch with LegalASAP today. Your case is important, and you deserve the right help. Ready to see if you may qualify? Complete your free online veterans’ benefits evaluation now!