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How to Obtain a VA Disability Rating for Panic Attacks

How to Obtain a VA Disability Rating for Panic Attacks

To pursue a VA disability rating for panic disorder, here are the steps you can follow:

  1. Get a Diagnosis:
    – Obtain an officially documented diagnosis of panic disorder from a physician.
    – If diagnosed during active duty, it should be reflected in your military medical records.
    – Seek a diagnosis from a private doctor or a VA health care provider if not diagnosed during military service.
  2. Show Evidence of Connection to Military Service:
    – Describe the scope of your panic disorder, including when it started, severity, frequency, and its impact on daily tasks and interactions.
    – Demonstrate how your military service or another service-connected condition triggered your panic disorder.
  3. Obtain a Nexus Letter:
    – Secure a nexus letter from a doctor confirming the connection between your panic disorder and military service.
    – The letter should be thorough, evidence-based, and express a degree of likelihood that your panic disorder is connected to your time in service.

VA Disability Rating Scale for Mental Health Conditions:

The VA uses a rating scale for mental health conditions, and the percentage of disability depends on the severity of symptoms. For panic disorder, the potential disability ratings include:

  • 0% Rating: Formal diagnosis, but symptoms not severe enough to interfere with occupational and social functioning.
  • 10% Rating: Mild or transient symptoms affecting work efficiency only during periods of significant stress or controlled by continuous medication.
  • 30% Rating: Occupational and social impairment with occasional decrease in work efficiency, intermittent periods of inability to perform occupational tasks.
  • 50% Rating: Occupational and social impairment with reduced reliability and productivity, including panic attacks more than once a week.
  • 70% Rating: Occupational and social impairment with deficiencies in most areas of life, affecting work, school, family relations, judgment, thinking, or mood.
  • 100% Rating: Total occupational and social impairment, with symptoms such as persistent delusions or hallucinations, grossly inappropriate behavior, or persistent danger to self or others.

Total Disability Individual Unemployability (TDIU):

  • If your symptoms are severe but don’t meet the criteria for a 100% rating, you can apply for Total Disability Individual Unemployability (TDIU).
  • TDIU allows compensation at the 100% rate if your symptoms make it impossible to get or keep a job.

It’s crucial to provide detailed and accurate information, including medical records, when applying for a VA disability rating. Consulting with a veterans’ service organization or legal professional can also be helpful in navigating the process.

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