Decoding Your GAF Score: A Veteran’s Guide

Veterans may experience a lot of mental health issues after their service in the military, which may potentially affect the way they live as civilians.

Assessing the severity of a veteran’s mental and neurological condition can be challenging, which is why the VA frequently uses the GAF Score, or Global Assessment of Functioning Score, to help them evaluate a veteran’s mental disorders.

But what is a GAF score, and what does it mean for you to get your veteran disability claims?

Your GAF Score: What does it mean for you?

Just4Veterans is a VA coaching service that offers knowledge on a veteran’s disability claims assistance. Most of these disability claims are often associated with a veteran’s mental condition, and for the VA to obtain a seamless process for evaluating a veteran’s mental health, they frequently use GAF scoring or a GAF score scale.

A GAF score test is crucial for veterans who claim a VA rating for mental-health conditions like PTSD.

The GAF score’s primary goal is to give clinicians a standardized procedure for estimating how much help a person with a mental health disorder may require as a result of their illness, which could include regular counseling or continual medical care.

The GAF score’s primary goal is to give clinicians a standardized procedure for estimating how much help a person with a mental health disorder may require as a result of their sickness, which could include regular counseling or continual medical care.

If, for example, a doctor provides you with a GAF score of 50, another doctor can have a good understanding of how severe your mental disorder can be and how it affects you in your life as a civilian.

Here is the complete list of GAF scores:

  • 100–91: No symptoms. Superior functioning and shows almost no signs of mental issues.
  • 90-81: Lack minimal symptoms, has good mental functions, but may have mild anxieties
  • 80–71: No more than a slight impairment in social or occupational functioning. May have symptoms that someone would expect from a stressful situation.
  • 70–61: Mild symptoms; difficulty in social and occupational function. May have depressive moods and insomnia.
  • 60–51: Occasional panic attacks; has moderate difficulty in social functioning
  • 50-41: Serious symptoms with probable suicidal tendencies or any serious social impairments that left them with no friends and unable to keep their jobs
  • 40–31: Loss of touch with reality; major impairment in judgment, thinking, or mood.
  • 30–21: Has frequent delusions and hallucinations and an inability to function in all areas
  • 20–11: Self-harm and suicidal tendencies. Serious impairment in communication and most often fail to maintain personal hygiene.
  • 10–0: Serious suicidal act and potential danger to hurting themselves or others.

GAF Score Limitations

The categories for evaluating a veteran’s GAF score are how well they function in their daily lives and how severely their mental illness affects them.

Doctors must talk to the person and review their relationships, medical records, and behavioral history. Although the GAF scoring system appears to have a numerical value, it is still subjective and has the potential for two doctors to assign a person with two different GAF scores.

However, psychologists made note of how GAF scores can alter depending on the person’s functioning level. It frequently creates errors in assigning ratings for a veteran’s mental disorder based on the GAF score test online in the VA.

Most often, the VA may depend on the result of the assessment that day and will leave a lasting rating, resulting in underrated ratings for the veteran’s mental disorder.

For example, the veteran daily can have a GAF score of 50 or 41, but since they are in the day where they feel like they have fewer worries than the previous days, they can be rated as 70 or 61.

How does my GAF Score affect my VA Disability Rating?

Your average GAF score can help the VA determine the proper rating for your mental condition.

VA examiners review your GAF score and then use the result of the scores to assign the proper rating for a veteran’s mental health condition.

Depending on the severity of your case, the VA can assign a higher rating, which can increase your chances of getting more compensation.

How does the VA use GAF Scores?

It is a way for the VA to assess the severity of a veteran’s mental condition.

However, due to the limitations discussed above, in most cases, the VA may assign an incorrect rating, resulting in an underrated rating, which creates an issue in your VA disability claims.

If you think that you are incorrectly rated based on your mental health claims, you may file an appeal and consider a reevaluation of your rating.

You can also seek our coaching services, which will provide you with the correct information on how to process your VA claims and obtain the most appropriate rating for you to receive your appropriate compensation package. Feel free to book a free strategy call and contact our veteran coaches directly. You may also visit our VA claims assistance page for more information.

DISCLAIMER : Just4Veterans LLC is NOT an accredited agent, attorney, entity or VSO recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and is not affiliated with the VA in any way. Veterans shall prepare and file their own claim with an accredited representative, who may offer their services for FREE. Veterans may search for and appoint an accredited VSO.