PTSD Secondary Conditions and VA Ratings | CCK Law (2023)

PTSD Secondary Conditions and VA Ratings | CCK Law (1)

What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)is a mental health condition that occurs as a result of experiencing a distressing, shocking, or otherwise traumatic event. Many veterans develop PTSD from events they witnessed or experienced during their military service.

PTSD can be diagnosed by a medical professional, whether it be a therapist, psychiatrist, or general practitioner.

Symptoms of PTSD

  • Intrusive Thoughts or Memories
  • Flashbacks
  • Avoidance of Certain Situations, People, or Places
  • Overwhelmingly Negative Thoughts or Feelings
  • Irritability or Angry Outbursts
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Loss of interest in activities or feelings of numbness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Intense nightmares
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Easily startled

Importantly, symptoms of PTSD can manifest differently from person to person. The severity of symptoms can also vary.

What is Secondary Service Connection?

A secondary service-connected condition is one that resulted from a separate condition that is already service-connected. Veterans can receive disability benefits for secondary service-connected disabilities, just the same way they receive benefits for primary service-connected disabilities. To become secondarily service-connected, the veteran will usually need to prove that their condition developed or was aggravated by an already service-connected condition.

  • Aggravation—VA will compensate veterans for medical conditions that existed at the time of entry into service that were made worse or “aggravated” by service. However, the burden falls on the veteran to establish aggravation. VA will then need to determine whether the veteran has shown an increase in disability during their service.

Common Secondary Conditions to PTSD

With PTSD, several different conditions could arise as the result of post-traumatic stress disorder. Below are some of the most common examples:

Sleep Apnea Secondary to PTSD

  • Sleep ApneaSleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which a person’s breathing is repeatedly interrupted during the course of the night.

There are three main types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea–This is the most common form of sleep apnea. It occurs when the throat muscles intermittently relax and block your airway during sleep.
  • Central Sleep Apnea–This form of sleep apnea occurs when your brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing.
  • Complex (Mixed) Sleep Apnea–– Complex, or mixed, sleep apnea occurs when someone has both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea

To confirm a sleep apnea diagnosis for VA disability compensation purposes, VA requires that a sleep study be conducted. The ratings for sleep apnea are as follows:

  • 100% –chronic respiratory failure with carbon dioxide retention, the need for a tracheostomy, orcor pulmonale. Cor pulmonale is the enlargement or failure of the right side of the heart due to lung disease.
  • 50% –if a veteran requires the use of a breathing assistance device, such as a CPAP machine
  • 30% –the veteran is experiencing persistent daytime hypersomnolence (i.e., a condition characterized by chronic daytime sleepiness that does not improve even with sufficient sleep)
  • 0% –if the veteran’s condition is asymptomatic (i.e., condition that is not producing symptoms) but has a documented sleep disorder”

Research has indicated that veterans with PTSD are at a higher risk of developing sleep apnea. There is also a direct correlation regarding the severity of the two conditions, meaning the more severe a veteran’s PTSD is, the more severe their sleep apnea will be.

(Video) Secondary Conditions to PTSD: VA Claims and Ratings

The correlation between the two conditions is partly because many factors that can aggravate PTSD can also exacerbate sleep apnea. For example, sleep deprivation, insomnia, hyperarousal, and daytime sleepiness can all affect both PTSD and sleep apnea.

Depression Secondary to PTSD

DepressionDepression is a serious mental health condition that affects the way a person thinks, feels, and acts. Symptoms can manifest differently amongst individuals, but a person with depression may experience persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness, lack of motivation, difficulty sleeping, change in appetite, irritability, fatigue, or suicidal thoughts.

Depression is rated as a mental health condition, as is PTSD, meaning that they are rating with the same formula. Under 38 CFR § 4.130, VA’s General Rating Formula for Mental Health Disorders, veterans can receive a rating of 0, 10, 30, 50, 70, or 100 percent for a mental health condition. Below are the criteria for each rating:

  • 100% –total occupational and social impairment, due to such symptoms as: gross impairment in thought processes 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 personal hygiene); disorientation to time or place; memory loss for names of close relatives, own occupation, or own name
  • 70% –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; spatial disorientation; neglect of personal appearance and hygiene; difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances (including work or a work-like setting); inability to establish and maintain effective relationships
  • 50% –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; impaired judgment; impaired abstract thinking; disturbances of motivation and mood; difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships
  • 30% –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)
  • 10% –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
  • 0% –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

Importantly, a veteran does not need to meet all the symptoms listed in a specific rating in order to receive that rating.

PTSD Secondary Conditions and VA Ratings | CCK Law (4)

Anxiety Secondary to PTSD

AnxietyAnxiety is a mental health condition that is defined as intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations.

There are several types of anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and various phobia-related disorders. People with any form of these disorders may feel restless or jumpy, have difficulty concentrating, tremble or twitch, feel nauseous or dizzy, experience a rapid heartbeat, have shortness of breath, have difficulty sleeping, or experience excessive worrying.

There are several different diagnostic codes used for different forms of anxiety, specifically:

(Video) Secondary Conditions to Sleep Apnea and VA Ratings

  • DC 9400: Generalized anxiety disorder
  • DC 9403: All phobias, including social anxiety disorder
  • DC 9404: Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • DC 9410: Other specified anxiety disorder
  • DC 9411:Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • DC 9412: Panic disorder and/or agoraphobia

Although there are different diagnostic codes used for different anxiety disorders, the rating criteria is the same, since all the codes are rated under the General Rating Formula for Mental Disorders included in38 CFR § 4.130.

Veterans can receive ratings at 0, 10, 30, 50, 70, or 100 percent and the criteria is the same as the above criteria listed for depression ratings. Be aware, however, that a veteran cannot receive separate ratings for all three conditions (anxiety, depression, and PTSD) since they are all rated under the same rating criteria, as this is called pyramiding.

GERD Secondary to PTSD

GERDGERD, or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, is a digestive disorder characterized by the occurrence of stomach acid flowing back up the esophagus from the stomach, causing discomfort and inflammation.

GERD is caused by frequent episodes of acid reflux. Common symptoms can include heartburn, difficulty swallowing, regurgitation, and chest pain.

Typically, GERD is rated analogously to a hiatal hernia under38 C.F.R. 4.114 diagnostic code 7346. Veterans can receive a rating for GERD at 10, 30, or 60 percent. The rating criteria for GERD are as follows:

  • 10% rating—For this rating, a veteran must present with “two or more symptoms of the 30 percent evaluation of less severity.”
  • 30% rating— This rating requires “persistently recurrent epigastric distress with dysphagia, pyrosis, and regurgitation, accompanied by substernal or arm and shoulder pain, productive of considerable impairment of heath.”
  • 60% rating—The 60 percent ratingrequires “symptoms of pain, vomiting, material weight loss and hematemesis or melena with moderate anemia; or other symptom combinations productive of severe impairment of health.”

PTSD Secondary Conditions and VA Ratings | CCK Law (6)

Hypertension Secondary to PTSD

Hypertension—Hypertension means high blood pressure that is consistently above normal. Blood pressure is the pressure of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Blood pressure is measured with two numbers:

  • Systolic blood pressure– measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats
  • Diastolic blood pressure – measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests between beats

High blood pressure places people at higher risk for other health problems like heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Research indicates that hypertension may be aggravated by stress and anxiety, which are very common with PTSD symptoms.

(Video) 70% PTSD VA Rating: What it Means and How to Qualify

Generally, a normal blood pressure level is less than 120 systolic and 80 diastolic. VA acknowledges high blood pressure as 160 or higher for systolic and 90 or higher for diastolic.

Veterans may be rated at 10, 20, 40, or 60 percent for their hypertension under 38 CFR § 4.104 – Schedule of Ratings, Cardiovascular System, Diagnostic Code 7101. The criteria are as follows:

  • 60% –diastolic pressure predominantly 130 or more
  • 40% –diastolic pressure predominantly 120 or more
  • 20% –diastolic pressure predominantly 110 or more, or; systolic pressure predominantly 200 or more
  • 10% –diastolic pressure predominantly 100 or more, or; systolic pressure predominantly 160 or more, or; minimum evaluation for an individual with a history of diastolic pressure predominantly 100 or more who requires continuous medication for control

Migraines Secondary to PTSD

Migraines—Migraines are a form of headache that can last for many hours and can bring pain, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, lightheadedness, and blurred vision.

Migraines can also create a throbbing sensation on either side of the head. Sometimes an aura, which is categized by visual disturbances such as flashes of light, may come before a migraine.

There is no singular, definitive cause of migraines, but triggers are thought to include hormonal imbalance, alcohol, stress, sensory stimulation, certain foods, and changes in environment. As stress can trigger migraines, veterans with PTSD often suffer from migraines as well.

Migraines are rated under 38 C.F.R. 4.124a,Diagnostic Code 8100. Veterans can receive ratings for migraines from 0 to 50 percent, with criteria based on severity and frequency of the migraines. Below are the criteria for each rating:

  • 50% –with very frequent completely prostrating and prolonged attacks productive of severe economic inadaptability
  • 30% –with characteristic prostrating attacks occurring on an average of once a month over the last several months
  • 10% –with characteristic prostrating attacks averaging one in two months over the last several months
  • 0% –with less frequent attacks

PTSD Secondary Conditions and VA Ratings | CCK Law (8)

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Secondary to PTSD

Erectile DysfunctionErectile dysfunction, or ED, is defined as difficulty getting or keeping an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse.

(Video) Insomnia VA Disability Ratings and Secondary Conditions

Some veterans can experience ED as a result of the emotional stress caused by their PTSD, while others may find ED to be a side effect of PTSD medication.

There is no specific disability rating for erectile dysfunction. Instead, VA rates the condition under38 C.F.R. § 4.115b. The rating codes used may be:

  • Code 7520: If doctors removed half or more than half of your penis, you receive a rating of 30percent.
  • Code 7521: If doctors removed your glans, your rating is 20 percent.
  • Code 7522: If your penis cannot become erect because of a physical deformity, you receive a 20-percent rating.
  • Code 7523: If your erectile dysfunction is due to atrophied testicles, a condition often resulting in reduced testosterone and thus a lower sex drive, you receive a 20-percent rating if the condition affects both testicles, and a 0 percent rating if it affects only one testicle.
  • Code 7524: If you had both testicles removed due to a service-connected event, you receive a 30-percent rating; if you had one testicle removed due to a service-connected event, you receive a 0-percent rating.

Generally, the VA will grant a 0-percent rating for erectile dysfunction unless you are eligible under the diagnostic codes above. However, service connection for erectile dysfunction, even at 0 percent, makes veterans eligible forSpecial Monthly Compensation (SMC)for loss of use of a creative organ. This is known asSMC (k)and is paid out in your monthly VA compensation check.

PTSD Secondary Conditions and VA Ratings | CCK Law (9)

TDIU for PTSD and Secondary Conditions

If your PTSD and other related conditions significantly impair your ability to work, you may be eligible for a total disability rating based on individual unemployability (TDIU).

TDIU allows veterans to receive compensation at the 100 percent rate if their service-connected condition(s) prevent them from securing and maintaining substantially gainful employment.

VA outlines TDIU regulations under38 CFR § 4.16, which encompasses subsections (a) and (b). Each subsection describes the ways in which veterans can meet the eligibility requirements for TDIU. In order to qualify for TDIU under 38 CFR § 4.16(a), or schedular TDIU, a veteran must have:

  • One service-connected condition rated at 60 percent or higher; or
  • Two or more service-connected conditions, one of which is rated at 40 percent or higher, with a combined rating of 70 percent or higher.

If a veteran has a rating for PTSD, and a rating for a secondary condition to PTSD, the secondary rating can contribute to their overall combined disability rating and help to make the veteran eligible for schedular TDIU.

Veterans who do not meet the schedular requirements under 38 CFR § 4.16(a) may still be considered forextraschedular TDIUunder § 4.16(b). Extraschedular TDIU does not have any rating requirement. If veterans do not meet the criteria for schedular TDIU, VA will determine if their case should be referred to the Director of Compensation Service for extraschedular consideration.

(Video) VA Claims for Conditions Secondary to PTSD | VA Disability Lawyers

Was Your VA Claim Denied, or Were You Under-Rated?

If you need help with your claim for secondary service connection related to PTSD, CCK may be able to help. Our experienced team has helped veterans establish secondary service connection for conditions related to PTSD and receive the benefits they deserve. Call our office today at 800-544-9144 for a free case evaluation.


What VA disability conditions are secondary to PTSD? ›

Some examples of conditions secondary to PTSD are sleep apnea, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), hypertension, migraines, and erectile dysfunction.

Can PTSD be a secondary condition? ›

PTSD can cause other conditions to develop. A common example of this is a veteran developing sleep apnea on account of their PTSD. If a veteran does have a condition which they believe was either caused or aggravated by their service-connected PTSD, they may wish to file for secondary service connection.

How are secondary conditions rated by the VA? ›

If your application is approved, your secondary condition will be rated with the VASRD (Veteran Affairs Schedule for Rating Disabilities) scale that is used to apply ratings to all disabilities based on the severity of symptoms.

What is the VA disability 5 year rule for PTSD? ›

The VA disability 5-year rule says that a Veteran cannot have their rating reduced if their condition has not improved in the first 5 years after they received their initial rating for the condition.

Do you need a Nexus letter for secondary condition? ›

All secondary conditions or conditions caused by military exposure/circumstances not included on the Presumptive List benefit from a Nexus Letter supporting the claim.

What is the VA rating for sleep apnea secondary to PTSD? ›

Diagnostic Code 6847 dictates that sleep apnea that requires the use of a CPAP machine warrants a 50 percent disability rating. Thus, the veteran's sleep apnea already warranted a 50 percent disability rating prior to it being aggravated by PTSD.

Does VA pay for secondary conditions? ›

You can file a secondary claim to get more disability benefits for a new disability that's linked to a service-connected disability you already have. For example, you might file a secondary claim if you: Develop arthritis that's caused by a service-connected knee injury you got while on active duty, or.

What are secondary conditions examples? ›

Some of the more common secondary conditions include depression, hypertension, chronic pain, skin sores, fractures, contractures, urinary tract infections, respiratory infections, unwanted weight gain, excessive fatigue, and social isolation (Simeonsson & McDevitt, 1999).

What is secondary PTSD called? ›

Compassion fatigue, or secondary traumatic stress disorder, is a natural but disruptive by-product of working with traumatized clients.

How do you prove a secondary service connection? ›

You must first prove your primary service-connected disability to prove a secondary service connection. Proving a service connection relies on evidence such as medical treatment, diagnosis, opinions of medical and psychological professionals, and statements from friends, family, and veterans who served with you.

Can you get VA disability for secondary conditions to anxiety? ›

As with other mental disorders, it's also possible to receive secondary service connection for anxiety. This is the case when a veteran has another condition that causes anxiety. For example, a veteran with back pain may have trouble completing tasks in a work-like setting or at home.

What is a VA secondary condition to back pain? ›

Lumbar Radiculopathy Secondary to Back Pain

Lumbar radiculopathy is a common condition among veterans. This occurs when a nerve in the lower portion of the back is pinched, and it can cause numbness and tingling in the hips and legs. Incontinence can also occur as a result.

Is 70% PTSD a permanent VA disability? ›

Yes, PTSD is considered a permanent VA disability. The Department of Veteran Affairs recognizes post-traumatic stress disorder as a serious, life-altering mental condition and will award disability benefits to qualified veterans suffering from PTSD.

Can PTSD be permanent VA disability? ›

PTSD can either be short-term or chronic depending on the individual and the circumstances. If a veteran is experiencing total occupational and social impairment due to their chronic post-traumatic stress disorder, they may qualify for U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) permanent and total disability for PTSD.

Can VA reduce my PTSD rating after 10 years? ›

Yes, your PTSD rating can be reduced. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) can lower your disability rating and reduce your monthly benefits for PTSD if it finds evidence that your condition has improved.

What is a nexus letter for secondary condition PTSD? ›

A strong disability nexus letter for PTSD must include: A discussion of relevant medical history from service to the present day, The likelihood that the PTSD was caused or aggravated during service, and. A reasoned explanation for the conclusion.

Will a VA doctor write a nexus letter? ›

VA doctors can't and won't write nexus letters because it would represent a conflict of interest. As a doctor, they're required to care for you, the patient. However, a C&P examiner can be asked to evaluate your condition and provide a medical opinion including a nexus statement.

Can you get VA TMJ secondary to PTSD? ›

TMJ Secondary to PTSD

It can also lead to tension in your jaw, as you're more likely to clench those muscles when you're stressed. If you have already received a VA rating for PTSD, you could increase your rating by applying for TMJ as a secondary, service-related condition.

Do I need a nexus letter for sleep apnea secondary to PTSD? ›

To make your case with the VA, you'll need what's known as a “nexus” letter from a doctor. A nexus letter is a letter simply states that your sleep apnea is as likely as not to have been caused by your service-connected PTSD, or another service-connected condition.

Is it hard to get sleep apnea secondary to PTSD? ›

Research shows that veterans with PTSD have a higher risk of developing sleep apnea. There is also a direct correlation regarding the severity of the two conditions insofar as the more severe a veteran's PTSD is, the more severe their sleep apnea will be.

Can you get VA sleep apnea as a secondary condition? ›

A veteran can also establish service connection for sleep apnea on a secondary basis. This means that a veteran has an already service-connected disability that caused the veteran to have sleep apnea. In this case, there must be a medical nexus to link the sleep apnea to their already service-connected disability.

How long does a VA secondary claim take? ›

As of June 2021, the average time it takes for the VA to issue a decision on VA benefits is 134.4 days. If your application is denied and you want to complete the appeals process, it will take approximately 125 days for a Supplemental Claim or Higher-Level Review and more than one year for a Board Hearing.

What conditions are secondary to radiculopathy? ›

Radiculopathy in arms, buttocks or lower extremities can be secondary to several underlying physical conditions, such as: Back strain or spinal injury. Degenerative arthritis. Herniated discs.

What are secondary service connected conditions? ›

What is VA Secondary Service Connection? This means that a service-connected illness (such as PTSD for example) or injury caused another illness, mental health condition or injury. For example, diabetes is one of the most common service-connected illnesses.

What is an example of secondary disability? ›

In the clinical and research literature, frequently mentioned secondary conditions include arthritis, pain, pressure ulcers, fatigue, depression, contractures, and urinary tract infections. The risk of developing a particular secondary condition, however, depends in part on a person's primary condition.

What are physical disability secondary conditions? ›

Secondary condition can be defined as “any additional physical or mental health condition that occurs as a result of having a primary disabling condition.”5 Common secondary conditions may include bowel or bladder problems, fatigue, injury, depression, obesity, pain, and pressure sores or ulcers.

What conditions are secondary to lower back pain? ›

Some secondary conditions resulting from back pain include:
  • Radiculopathy. Radiculopathy occurs when the nerves in the lower back are compressed. ...
  • Urinary frequency or incontinence. ...
  • Myelopathy. ...
  • Depression and other mental health conditions.

What does secondary PTSD look like? ›

With that said, common secondary traumatic stress disorder symptoms include: Unwanted and painful memories of the event/story. Dreams or flashbacks of the event/story. Avoidance of things that remind you of the traumatic event/story.

How is secondary PTSD treated? ›

How to Manage Secondary Traumatic Stress
  1. Set boundaries. Balance the pressures of work with other activities.
  2. Get enough sleep. Maintain physical health and allow for rest.
  3. Eat healthy foods. Support mental and physical health with good nutrition.
Jun 24, 2022

Who is likely to be affected by secondary PTSD? ›

Secondary trauma affects individuals who are exposed to trauma indirectly.
For example:
  • Medical and mental healthcare providers who work with illness, abuse, accident, or crime victims.
  • Emergency response personnel and law enforcement officers who assist in the wake of crimes or natural disasters.
Jan 30, 2022

Can you get VA disability for headaches secondary to PTSD? ›

If you've been diagnosed with PTSD and migraines, you can increase your VA disability benefits by listing migraines as a secondary service-connected disability. You will need to provide detailed medical evidence supporting your diagnosis and linking your migraines to military service.

What are the easiest VA claims to get approved? ›

The Top 5 Easiest Things to Claim for VA Disability
  • Mental Health Conditions. Mental health conditions like PTSD, anxiety, depression, and somatic disorder are considered high-value claims. ...
  • Scars. ...
  • Musculoskeletal Conditions. ...
  • Presumptive Disorders. ...
  • Tinnitus.

What is the VA disability rating for depression secondary to back pain? ›

The Veteran receives a disability rating for their depression secondary to back pain of 20%. The VA calculates the 20% of the 30% disabled rating above. That is, 20% of 30% is six percent. Adding up 30 and six equals 36%.

How hard is it to go from 70 to 100 VA disability? ›

According to this table, if you have a disability rated at 70%, you would need a subsequent disability rating between 85 and 90% to achieve a total rating of 100%. You may consider filing a claim for an additional service-connected condition that could combine to equal a higher rating.

Can GERD be secondary to PTSD? ›

GERD can develop when the symptoms of PTSD, such as anxiety, stress, and depression, lead to an overproduction of stomach acid. In some people, medications taken to treat PTSD can also lead to GERD as a side effect.

What are the top 5 conditions secondary to tinnitus? ›

Not only can tinnitus be a secondary condition that develops after service as a result of TBIs, hearing loss, head and neck trauma, etc., but it can also lead to other conditions such as depression, anxiety, migraines, and sleep apnea.

Can back pain be secondary to PTSD? ›

One study found that 51% of patients with chronic low back pain had PTSD symptoms. For people with chronic pain, the pain may actually serve as a reminder of the traumatic event, which will tend to make the PTSD even worse.

What is the max VA rating for lower back pain? ›

A 40 percent rating is the maximum schedular rating for limitation of motion of the lumbosacral spine under Diagnostic Code 5292. The Board has considered rating the veteran's low back disability under all potentially applicable diagnostic codes to determine whether a more favorable rating is warranted.

What is the average VA rating for lower back pain? ›

General Rating Formula for Lower Back Pain

VA generally rates low back pain as follows: ”100% – unfavorable ankylosis of the entire spine. 50% – unfavorable ankylosis of the entire thoracolumbar spine.

What medical conditions are related to PTSD? ›

Epidemiologic studies of general adult samples have found that PTSD is associated with medical conditions including cardiovascular disease, arthritis, asthma, chronic pain, diabetes, and gastrointestinal disorders.

What conditions are related to PTSD? ›

Having PTSD may also increase your risk of other mental health problems, such as: Depression and anxiety. Issues with drugs or alcohol use. Eating disorders.

What is the most common VA rating for PTSD? ›

  • 10% For a 10% rating, the aforementioned symptoms are transient or sporadic. ...
  • 30% This disability rating is perhaps the most common one. ...
  • 50% The first two ratings focus on overall effects. ...
  • 70% At this level, you are likely struggling with maintaining employment. ...
  • 100%

What are the symptoms of sleep apnea secondary to PTSD? ›

Generally speaking, the most common symptoms include: loud snoring, gasping for air during sleep, awakening with a dry mouth, morning headache, insomnia, hypersomnolence (i.e. excessive daytime sleepiness), and difficulty concentrating.

Is PTSD a lifelong diagnosis? ›

In some cases, particularly where it is not treated, PTSD can last a very long time, perhaps the remainder of one's life. Most people with longstanding PTSD find that the symptoms are not steady in their severity. For some people, PTSD symptoms gradually fade over time.

How long do PTSD symptoms need to be present to be considered chronic? ›

To meet the criteria for PTSD, symptoms must last longer than 1 month, and they must be severe enough to interfere with aspects of daily life, such as relationships or work.

What is the VA rating scale for post traumatic stress disorder chronic? ›

VA disability ratings range from 0% to 100%, but for PTSD claims, the standard ratings are 0%, 30%, 50%, 70%, and 100%. These ratings are meant to capture the severity of your condition, and how much it affects your ability to work and take care of everyday life stuff.

What are the symptoms of complex PTSD? ›

What is complex PTSD?
  • difficulty controlling your emotions.
  • feeling very angry or distrustful towards the world.
  • constant feelings of emptiness or hopelessness.
  • feeling as if you are permanently damaged or worthless.
  • feeling as if you are completely different to other people.

How many symptoms of PTSD do you have to have to be diagnosed? ›

To receive a diagnosis of PTSD, a person must have at least one re-experiencing symptom, at least three avoidance symptoms, at least two negative alterations in mood and cognition, and at least two hyperarousal symptoms for a minimum of one month.

What are the 3 types of PTSD? ›

Are there different types of PTSD?
  • Delayed-onset PTSD. If your symptoms emerge more than six months after experiencing trauma, this might be described as 'delayed PTSD' or 'delayed-onset PTSD'.
  • Complex PTSD. ...
  • Birth trauma.

Does the VA investigate PTSD claims? ›

VA generally handles claims in which the veteran's PTSD was caused by an assault or trauma relating to personal assault in the same manner as claims involving non-combat related stressors. In many cases, military records may not document the assault and there could be a lack of evidence.

How often does the VA reevaluate PTSD? ›

If the Veterans Administration decides that your PTSD requires future re-evaluation, you will normally be scheduled within 2 to 5 years from the date of their decision to grant disability benefits.

How do you prove sleep apnea is secondary to tinnitus? ›

Essentially, a Veteran must provide evidence that links their service-connected tinnitus to the secondary condition. This means: Getting an official medical diagnosis of both tinnitus and sleep apnea. This can be accomplished with a medical note from a licensed medical practitioner.

Can chronic fatigue be secondary sleep apnea? ›

Krupp et al reported in his study in 1993 that 62.5% of CFS patients with sleep disturbances had an underlying primary sleep disorder such as apnea, periodic limb movement or narcolepsy (2).


1. VA Secondary Conditions to Depression and How They're Rated
(Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD)
2. How a 70% PTSD Rating Can Get You to 100%
(Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD)
3. VA Rating for Sleep Apnea Secondary to PTSD
(Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD)
4. VA Secondary Conditions to Hypertension and Disability Ratings
(Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD)
5. How to Get a 100% PTSD VA Rating
(Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD)
6. Most Common Secondary VA Disabilities
(Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD)
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