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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Rep for Vets > Our Expertise > Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

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VA Disability Help for Veterans with PTSD

Sometimes a traumatic experience leaves such a lasting impact on your life that things are changed forever. Left in a state of hyper-alertness and unable to relax, veterans suffering from PTSD often struggle to function in the civilian world. It can seem impossible to focus on the important things — family, friends, a job — when every loud noise or quick movement takes you right back.

What Is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can develop after a stressful or traumatic event. Usually the situation is one that threatens your safety or makes you feel helpless. It can be any range of experiences, from being involved in combat to patrolling for roadside IEDs. Whether you witnessed something awful during war or were just there to pick up the pieces, PTSD can have a life-changing effect.

If you are having trouble getting back to regular life and reconnecting with the people you love, you may be suffering from PTSD. Veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder experience many different symptoms, including the ones listed below:

  • Nightmares/bad dreams
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Fearful thoughts
  • Flashbacks
  • Numbness to emotion
  • Finding it difficult to stop thinking about the event
  • Upsetting memories
  • Pounding heart, fast breathing, sweating
  • Anger
  • Depression
A military man hugs his English Bulldog

At The Rep For Vets, our highly qualified VA-accredited claims agents help veterans, including those who have returned from Vietnam, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iraq or Afghanistan. They understand the challenges you face and use the latest technology, including a state-of-the-art national computer system, to handle veterans disability claims that have been denied. Our claims agents have one goal: Take action for you to get you the benefits you deserve.

Improvised Explosive Devices

Improvised Explosive Devices — called IEDs or roadside bombs — have been responsible for about half of combat deaths in Iraq and a third of deaths in Afghanistan since October 2001. Encounters with these bombs are numerous and deadly. But they don't always kill. Often the victims of IEDs experience extensive physical and emotional injuries. PTSD is one of the most common harms experienced and can change veterans' lives forever.

Non-Combat Stressors and PTSD

Fortunately, growing public awareness of PTSD, and mental health in general, has made it easier for veterans seeking compensation for service-related PTSD. Previously, PTSD was only recognized as an outcome of combat operations, but that too has changed. The VA now acknowledges that non-combat stressors, including Military Sexual Trauma, can cause PTSD.

Mental health experts also know that it can take a long time, sometimes years, for symptoms of PTSD to show up to the extent that they disrupt a veteran’s basic functioning. You may have developed PTSD symptoms long after your time in service, or were afraid to come forward at the time you experienced the trauma — that shouldn’t stop you from seeking benefits. If your PTSD symptoms make it difficult for you to work, you have a good case for disability benefits.

Veteran talking with counselor about military sexual trauma

How the VA Rates PTSD

The VA rates PTSD from 0% to 100%, with breaks at 10%, 30%, 50%, and 70%. At the low end, a 0% rating meaning you have a diagnosis but few symptoms impacting your work. At the high end, a 70% rating generally means you cannot work and may require help with everyday needs. A 100% rating is rare, and is reserved for extreme situations. However, with a 70% rating plus Individual Unemployability, you may receive the equivalent of a 100% rating. To learn more, read our article on how the VA rates PTSD.

PTSD and Secondary Service-Connection

PTSD can cause a raft of health complications, from hypertension to sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea secondary to PTSD is one of the most common ones we see. A recent study found that 69% of Vietnam veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) also had some form of sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which a person intermittently stops breathing throughout the night. This can be due to an obstructed airway, or it can have more of a neurological basis.

If not treated, the conditions tend to reinforce one another. Sleep apnea further diminishes the quality of your sleep, while sleep deprivation and excessive daytime sleepiness can exacerbate your PTSD symptoms.

To learn more, see our article on How to Claim Sleep Apnea Secondary to PTSD.

Other diseases and psychiatric conditions that have been linked to service-connected PTSD include:

  • GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Hypertension
  • Migraines
  • ED (Erectile Dysfunction)
  • Female Reproductive Issues

PTSD Claim Denied? Rating Too Low?

Veterans with PTSD often consult a lawyer or disability advocate for help. If  your PTSD claim has been denied, or you feel your rating does not reflect the severity of your condition, talk to one of our VA-accredited claims agents about your options. No matter where you are in the United States, you can call (888) 573-7838 for a free initial consultation, or simply complete the online contact form.

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