Psychiatric Impairments in Veterans

Psychiatric Impairments in Veterans Disability Law

Psychiatric impairments include but are not limited to depression, anxiety, panic attacks, schizophrenia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, personality disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

At Friedman Disability, our practice focuses on helping veterans whose psychiatric impairments, namely PTSD from combat or military sexual trauma, prevents them from working full-time obtain the disability compensation that they deserve from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

In these cases, if our client’s psychiatric impairments are severe enough to preclude full-time work but still do not meet the requirements for a 100-percent service-connected rating, we typically will fight to obtain a Total Disability Rating based upon Individual Unemployability (TDIU).

To learn more about our past successes representing veterans with mental disorders, please read our blog posts: a $185,000 victory for PTSD; a $235,000 victory for Major Depressive Disorder; and a $150,000 victory for Bipolar Disorder (all amounts represent back due benefits).

How are Psychiatric Impairments Rated by the VA?

The VA assigns graduated ratings of 0%, 10%, 30%, 50%, 70%, or 100% for psychiatric impairments. While a 0%-rating means that though a veteran has service-connected PTSD there is little or no resulting impairment, a 100-percent rating means that the veteran’s ability work has been totally impaired.

38 C.F.R. § 4.130, DC 9411 outlines the VA’s general rating guidelines for psychiatric impairments. They are as follows:

Total occupational and social impairment, due to such symptoms as: gross impairment in thought process or communication; persistent delusions or hallucinations; grossly inappropriate behavior; persistent danger of hurting self or others; intermittent inability to perform activities of daily living (including maintenance of minimal personal hygiene); disorientation to time or place; memory loss for names of close relatives, own occupation, or own name …………………..100%

Occupational and social impairment, with deficiencies in most areas, such as work, school, family relations, judgment, thinking, or mood, due to such symptoms as: suicidal ideation; obsessional rituals which interfere with routine activities; speech intermittently illogical, obscure, or irrelevant; near-continuous panic or depression affecting the ability to function independently, appropriately and effectively; impaired impulse control (such as unprovoked irritability with periods of violence); spatial disorientation; neglect of personal appearance and hygiene; difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances (including work or a worklike setting); inability to establish and maintain effective relationships ……………………………….. 70%

Occupational and social impairment with reduced reliability and productivity due to such symptoms as: flattened affect; circumstantial, circumlocutory, or stereotyped speech; panic attacks more than once a week; difficulty in understanding complex commands; impairment of short- and long-term memory (e.g., retention of only highly learned material, forgetting to complete tasks); impaired judgment; impaired abstract thinking; disturbances of motivation and mood; difficulty in establishing and maintaining Effective work and social relationships ………………..50%

Occupational and social impairment with occasional decrease in work efficiency and intermittent periods of inability to perform occupational tasks (although generally functioning satisfactorily, with routine behavior, self-care, and conversation normal), due to such symptoms as: depressed mood, anxiety, suspiciousness, panic attacks (weekly or less often), chronic sleep impairment, mild memory loss (such as forgetting names, directions, recent events) ………………………. 30%

Occupational and social impairment due to mild or transient symptoms which decrease work efficiency and ability to perform occupational tasks only during periods of significant stress, or; symptoms controlled by continuous medication ……………… 10%

A mental condition has been formally diagnosed, but symptoms are not severe enough either to interfere with occupational and social functioning or to require continuous medication ………………………… 0%

Contact Us

If you or a loved one served in the military and are now suffering from a psychiatric impairment or a combination of mental health disorders, please do not hesitate to contact our office for a free consultation. Call us at 800-742-5035 or use the contact form on this site.