How to file a VA Disability Claim for Depression, Aggression, or other Mental Disorders

– There’s no question
that service can make quite a few changes to your body, either physically or mentally. In this segment we’re gonna discuss how to file a claim for depression, and really mental disorders in general. My name is Lori Underwood,
and I’m with Woods and Woods. Do you feel down and depressed? Do you have anxiety? Do you find that you’re
anxious, aggressive? Do you find it hard to sleep? You may be suffering from depression. All of these are symptoms
of mental disorders which can be related to
your military service. They may also be service connected as in relationship to
your military service. There are a few ways in which you can show that your mental disorder
is service connected. Number one, it could have
began during service. It could also have preexisted service, but has been aggravated beyond a natural progression in service. It could also be caused by a service-connected physical condition. This could be an example
of a physical problem which you’ve already received
service-connection for, that causes pain, limitations, has physical effects on your life, or even that you are
prescribed medications for which cause physical effects on your life, and limitations. This would be a secondary
service-connection. You would need medical
evidence to show that your physical condition is
causing you mental anguish, but this is a very common
method of service-connection for mental claims, as well as direct, which began in service. It’s important to note that
the VA law has established that a claim for one mental disorder is a claim for all mental disorders. So maybe previously you
have claimed anxiety, and that claim is still on appeal. But you have now been
diagnosed with depression. That’s okay. If you have a claim for anxiety,
the VA has established that that claim opens the door for service-connection for depression. Essentially, you can
claim any mental disorder and be service connected for
the one you’re diagnosed for within the same claim. So all for one, one for all. A claim for anxiety is a
claim for depression, PTSD, bipolar disorder, the list goes on and on. I will note that the VA generally does not service-connect personality disorders, but it does require
additional evidence usually to service-connect a personality disorder. Mental health disorder ratings can range anywhere from zero to 100%. They’re based on the
symptomology of your disorder, and the way that symptomology
is reflected in severity. And this can all be
reviewed through the DSM. The current version of
the DSM in use by the VA is the DSM 5, and that is
the most current version. You can review that at any
point for mental disorders to see what symptoms
relate to which ratings. How you deal with people in general is a large part of your rating. There are also many other factors, and symptoms that factor into your rating, and that’s why your mental rating can range from zero to 100%. Zero would be having no effect on you socially or occupationally. 100% would mean that you
are totally occupationally and socially impaired
by your mental disorder. The ratings can stop anywhere
in between zero and 100, but you do need and would
have to have medical and/or a lay person evidence
to help you establish your rating for your mental disorder. Tips for filing your mental claim is to be clear on what you
think that you’re filing for whenever you file your mental claim. Remember that a claim
for one mental disorder is a claim for all, so if you think that you have anxiety and you’re suffering from your PTSD in service,
or you’re depressed because of a service-connected
physical limitation that you’re suffering
from, make your claim. If you’re later diagnosed with a different mental disorder in name from
what you’ve claimed, it’s okay. As long as your claim is still active, then you could be service-connected for what your actual diagnosis is. You are required to
have a diagnosis to have service-connection, and
that’s generally true of almost any physical or mental disorder. It’s very common to have mental problems as a result of service,
whether it would be direct or indirect from
your physical problems resulting from your time in service. Don’t hesitate to call the number below so that we can help you
with our mental claims. It’s a very common problem amongst people who served their country, and we have spent quite a
bit of time helping them with these service-connections and increase ratings for these claims.

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