Whenever there is a discussion about a veteran’s mental health, people often associate it with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). The VA provides full support in this condition, as most veterans experience severe trauma, especially during active service. Hence, confirmed cases of PTSD are eligible for VA benefits.
However, there are other mental health conditions that may affect a veteran, and one of them is anxiety disorder. Just like other disability ratings, filing a VA claim and obtaining an anxiety VA rating requires foundational proof and may incur some challenges, which is why Just4Veterans offers unparalleled veterans help in these cases, and we completely understand the circumstances of how anxiety affects veterans in their daily lives.
Let us explore it in this blog.
How Anxiety affects veterans
Veterans may experience anxiety during and after duty. It is a common mental health condition that has severe repercussions for a veteran’s lifestyle.
Signs of anxiety often manifest in a constant feeling of nervousness, panic attacks, severe social anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and insomnia. Undoubtedly, these symptoms can be an obstacle to working, socializing, and even the most mundane tasks.
Types and Symptoms of Anxiety
Types of Anxiety
Some commonly diagnosed anxiety disorders can grant veterans VA disability ratings for anxiety. Here are some of the most recognized types of anxiety:
Generalized Anxiety disorder causes severe and uncontrollable bouts of concern. Sometimes these concerns are irrational.
Social Phobia, or social anxiety disorder, is depicted as an irrational fear of things or other situations. e.g., fear of heights, fear of spiders, fear of dolls
OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder): A mental health condition distinguished by persistent and unwanted thoughts leading to repetitive behaviors or mental acts (compulsions). It can significantly interfere with a veteran’s daily life, impairing their ability to function effectively.
Unspecified Anxiety Disorder: It covers all other unspecified anxiety disorders yet to be named.
According to one study in 2013, 12% of participants fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). GAD is found in 1.6% to 3.5% of people in random community samples. Therefore, the rate in the military is substantially greater.
Here are some common symptoms of anxiety that veterans may be facing:
- Constant anxiety or tenseness
- Inability to concentrate or racing thoughts
- Muscle strain, headaches, and stomach problems are some physical signs.
- Sleeping or staying asleep difficulties
- Panic attacks are characterized by a high heart rate, perspiration, shaking, and shortness of breath.
- Aversion to specific situations or activities because of acute fear, agitation, or irritability
- Difficulties interacting with others
- Feeling out of control or overwhelmed
- Alcoholism or drug abuse for coping with anxiety
How the VA rates anxiety disorders
The VA rating for anxiety also falls under the same percentage system that VA offers for others.
- It requires evidence and diagnosis of anxiety.
- Proof of an in-service medical event for anxiety military disability
- Veterans may also get an Anxiety DBQ or Mental Disorders (Other Than PTSD and Eating Disorders) Disability Benefits Questionnaire.
- Ongoing symptoms of anxiety.
Mental health conditions fall under the general anxiety disability rating criteria and may be rated depending on their severity and duration. Here is its summary:
0% Rating: Not Severe. A diagnosis for a mental condition is provided, but it is not severe enough that it can interfere with socialization or occupation. Medication is not required.
10% Rating: Mild symptom. Medication is required; symptoms are confirmed but mild. Efficiency in the work environment diminishes after a high-stress situation.
30% Rating: Intermediate symptoms. Moderate occupational and social impairment. Occasional problems in performing work duties. Confirmed symptoms of the following:
- Sleep Impairment, or insomnia
- Sudden episodes of panic attacks, and
- Mild Memory loss.
50% Rating: Moderate to High symptoms. High social and occupational impairments. Productivity and reliability are reduced due to conditions such as:
- Flattened effect, or limited emotional expressiveness
- Dull speech,
- Regular panic attacks,
- Challenges in following instructions,
- Impaired abstract thinking and judgment,
- Issues with completing tasks due to forgetfulness
70% Rating: High to Severe. Extreme issues in most areas of life.
- Constant thoughts of suicide
- Severe panic attacks,
- Major depressive disorder,
- Unprovoked irritability,
- Inability to maintain a long-lasting and effective relationship,
- Periods of violence
100% Rating: Extremely High and Severe.
- Complete social impairment,
- Inappropriate behavior,
- Issues with communications
- Complete inability to function and improve lifestyle.
A precise diagnosis is required for a VA disability rating for anxiety.
Filing for VA Claims for Anxiety
Mental disorders are invisible, so it is crucial to recognize the symptoms and seek support for them. For veterans, the VA rewards you with compensation claims for mental health disorders as long as they are service connected with proper documents and diagnosis. Should you require help filing your VA claims, do not hesitate to contact us.