PTSD VA Rating Statistics – The Insider’s Guide (2023)

While PTSD VA rating statistics vary, it is estimated that veterans are FOUR times (4x) as likely to have PTSD compared to those who didn’t serve in the military.

A veteran’s PTSD VA rating is determined by your level ofoccupational and social impairment over time.

This subjective assessment is made by the VA Rater or RVSR, who reviews all your military personnel records, service treatment records, VA medical records, private medical records, personal statements, buddy letters, and the results of your to determine your final VA rating for PTSD.

Click HERE now to learn How to File a VA Claim for PTSD.

Table of Contents

  • How Many Veterans Have PTSD?
  • How Many Veterans Have PTSD MST?
  • What is the average VA disability rating for PTSD?
  • What are symptoms of PTSD in veterans?
  • What is the PTSD rating scale?
    • 0 percent PTSD rating criteria
    • 10 percent PTSD rating symptoms
    • 30 percent PTSD rating symptoms
    • 50 percent PTSD rating criteria
    • 70 percent PTSD rating symptoms
    • 100 percent PTSD rating criteria
    • How do I increase my PTSD rating?
  • How to get a PTSD DBQ completed quickly

How Many Veterans Have PTSD?

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, theprevalence of combat related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder among Veterans dependson which conflict a service member was involved with.

  • About 11 to 20 out of every 100 veterans (or between 11% and 20%) who served in operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom have PTSD each year.
  • About 12 out of every 100 Gulf War Veterans (or 12%) have PTSD each year.
  • About 15 out of every 100 Vietnam veterans (15%) were currently diagnosed with PTSD when the most recent study of them (the National Vietnam Veteran Readjustment Study) was conducted in the late 1980s. It’s believed that 30% of Vietnam veterans have had PTSD in their lifetime.

How Many Veterans Have PTSD MST?

Sadly, another common cause of non-combat PTSD in the military is referred to as PTSD MST, which stands for Military Sexual Trauma (MST).

Click HERE to learn How to Prove Your PTSD Non Combat Stressor!

This is any form of sexual harassment or sexual assault thatoccurs on active duty.

(Video) How to Get a 100% PTSD VA Rating

MST can happen to both men and women and can occur duringpeacetime, training, or war.

Among veterans who use VA health care, it is reported that:

  • 23 out of 100 women (or 23%) reported sexual assault when in the military.
  • 55 out of 100 women (or 55%) and 38 out of 100 men (or 38%) have experienced sexual harassment when in the military.

There are many more male veterans than there are femaleveterans.

However, even though military sexual trauma is more common in women Veterans, over half of all veterans with military sexual trauma are men.

Click HERE to learn How to File a VA Claim for MST PTSD

What is the average VA disability rating for PTSD?

According to the VBA’s statistics reported to congress, PTSD was the #3 most commonly claimed VA disability, with 1,753,091 veterans (of 4,743,108) receiving VA compensation having a service-connected PTSD VA rating at 0 percent or higher.

The Top 10 Most Common VA Disability Claims chart is shown below:

Okay, now let’s dig into some VA PTSD statistics.

The average (mean) VA disability rating for PTSD is between 50 percent and 70 percent, with 53.9% of veterans being rated between 50% and 70%.

VA Claims Insider considers mental health conditions to be a high-value VA disability claim, meaning conditions such as PTSD have a high likelihood of being rated at 30 percent or higher.

Of all veterans with service-connected mental healthconditions, the most prevalent PTSD VA ratings are shown here:

  • 37,868 veterans (2.2% of claimants) have a 0 percent VA rating for PTSD
  • 125,056 veterans (7.1% of disabled veterans) have a 10 percent VA rating for PTSD
  • 416,056 veterans (23.7% of veterans) have a 30 percent PTSD VA Rating
  • 453,980 veterans (25.9%) have a 50 percent PTSD rating
  • 490,339 veterans (28% of claimants) have a 70 percent VA disability rating for PTSD
  • 229,792 veterans (13.1% of veterans with PTSD) have a 100 percent VA disability rating for PTSD
PTSD VA Rating Statistics – The Insider’s Guide (2)

Thus, 90.7% of veterans with service-connected PTSD have a30 percent rating or higher.

The most common VA disability rating for PTSD is at the 70percent level, which has very severe occupational and social impairmentsymptoms such as:

Occupational and social impairment, with deficiencies inmost areas, such as work, school, family relations, judgment, thinking, or mood.

(Video) Successful VA PTSD Claims

Symptoms of the 70 percent VA rating for PTSD include some or all the following:

  • Suicidal ideation
  • Obsessional rituals which interfere with routineactivities;
  • Speech intermittently illogical, obscure, orirrelevant;
  • Near-continuous panic or depression affectingthe ability to function independently, appropriately and effectively;
  • Impaired impulse control (such as unprovokedirritability with periods of violence);
  • Spatial disorientation;
  • Neglect of personal appearance and hygiene;
  • Difficulty in adapting to stressfulcircumstances;
  • Inability to establish and maintain effectiverelationships

What are symptoms of PTSD in veterans?

Veterans with PTSD have intense, distressing thoughts andfeelings related to their stressful experience that last long after thetraumatic event has ended.

They may relive the event through flashbacks or nightmares; theymay feel sadness, fear or anger; and they may feel detached or estranged fromother people.

Veterans with PTSD may avoid situations or people that remindthem of the traumatic event, and they may have strong negative reactions tosomething as ordinary as a loud noise, accidental touch, certain smells, or crowdsof people.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, symptoms of PTSD in veterans generally fall into four categories:

  • Intrusive thoughts such as repeated, involuntary memories; distressing dreams; orflashbacks of the traumatic event. Flashbacks may be so vivid that people feelthey are re-living the traumatic experience or seeing it before their eyes.
  • Avoiding reminders of the traumatic event may include avoiding people, places,activities, objects and situations that bring on distressing memories. Peoplemay try to avoid remembering or thinking about the traumatic event. They mayresist talking about what happened or how they feel about it.
  • Negative thoughts and feelings may include ongoing and distortedbeliefs about oneself or others (e.g., “I am bad,” “No one can be trusted”);ongoing fear, horror, anger, guilt or shame; much less interest in activitiespreviously enjoyed; or feeling detached or estranged from others.
  • Arousal and reactive symptoms may include being irritable and havingangry outbursts; behaving recklessly or in a self-destructive way; being easilystartled; or having problems concentrating or sleeping.

PTSD often occurs with other related mental health conditions,such as depression, substance abuse, memory problems, and other physicalproblems.

For veterans with PTSD, the symptoms can cause significant distress or problems functioning, which in VA speak means “occupational and social impairment.”

What is the PTSD rating scale?

PTSD VA claims are rated on a scale from 0 to 100, with breaksat 10 percent, 30 percent, 50 percent, and 70 percent.

Your current PTSD symptoms and your level of occupational andsocial impairment is what determines your final VA rating for PTSD.

Veterans can use the following PTSD rating scale to help in writing your Statement in Support of a Claim for PTSD:

0 percent PTSD rating criteria

A mental condition has been formally diagnosed, but symptoms arenot severe enough either to interfere with occupational and social functioningor to require continuous medication.

10 percent PTSD rating symptoms

Occupational and social impairment due to mild or transientsymptoms which decrease work efficiency and ability to perform occupationaltasks only during periods of significant stress, or symptoms controlled bycontinuous medication.

30 percent PTSD rating symptoms

Occupational and social impairment with occasional decrease inwork efficiency and intermittent periods of inability to perform occupationaltasks (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 sleepimpairment, mild memory loss (such as forgetting names, directions, recentevents).

50 percent PTSD rating criteria

Occupational and social impairment with reduced reliability andproductivity 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- andlong-term memory (e.g., retention of only highly learned material, forgetting tocomplete tasks); impaired judgment; impaired abstract thinking; disturbances ofmotivation and mood; difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective workand social relationships.

(Video) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) VA Disability Claims Rating Scale Explained!

70 percent PTSD rating symptoms

Occupational and social impairment, with deficiencies in mostareas, such as work, school, family relations, judgment, thinking, or mood, dueto such symptoms as: suicidal ideation; obsessional rituals which interferewith routine activities; speech intermittently illogical, obscure, or irrelevant;near-continuous panic or depression affecting the ability to functionindependently, appropriately and effectively; impaired impulse control (such asunprovoked irritability with periods of violence); spatial disorientation;neglect of personal appearance and hygiene; difficulty in adapting to stressfulcircumstances (including work); inability to establish and maintain effectiverelationships.

100 percent PTSD rating criteria

Total occupational and social impairment, due to such symptomsas: gross impairment in thought processes or communication; persistentdelusions or hallucinations; grossly inappropriate behavior; persistent dangerof hurting self or others; intermittent inability to perform activities ofdaily living (including maintenance of minimal personal hygiene);disorientation to time or place; memory loss for names of close relatives, ownoccupation, or own name.

How do I increase my PTSD rating?

In our experience, many veterans are underrated for PTSD or simply have never filed a VA claim for PTSD.

This means veterans do not have the PTSD VA rating they deserve.

The most common reason is that veterans are not honest with theVA about how your PTSD is limiting or affecting your life in negative ways.

The best way to increase your PTSD rating is to be uncomfortablyvulnerable when talking to your VA healthcare provider, to include the C&Pexaminer, because ultimately, your level of occupational and social impairmentdetermines your final VA rating for PTSD.

We also recommend doing an independent psychological evaluation with a U.S. board certified psychologist, who will complete a PTSD DBQ, make or confirm a diagnosis of PTSD, document how your PTSD was caused or made worse by your active duty military service to help prove service connection, and document your current mental health symptoms.

The PTSD DBQ can then be uploaded to to help support your VA disability claim.

3 Tips for Your C&P Exam for PTSD

How to get a PTSD DBQ completed quickly

?? Dear Veteran, do you need aVA DBQorMedical Nexus Letterto help service connect your VA disabilities?

? JoinVA Claims Insider Elite, get instant access to the ELITE Experience Portal (EEP) and $7,500 worth of proprietary VA claim resources TODAY, and have our medical team get started on your PTSD VA claim for FREE:

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About the Author

Brian Reese

Founder & CEO

Brian Reeseis a VA benefits expert, author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller You Deserve It: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Veteran Benefits You’ve Earned, andfounder of VA Claims Insider–“The Most Trusted Name in Education-Based Resources for Veterans.”

His frustration with the8-step VA disability claims processled him to create“VA Claims Insider,”which provides U.S. military veterans with tips, strategies, and lessons learned for successfully submitting or re-submitting a winning VA disability compensation claim.

Brian isalso the CEOofMilitary Disability Made Easy, which is the world’s largest free searchable database for all things related to DoD disability and VA disability claims and has served more than 4,600,000 military members and veterans since its founding in 2013.

His eBook, the“9 Secrets Strategies for Winning Your VA Disability Claim”has been downloaded more than 300,000 times in the past three years and is the #1 rated free VA disability claims guide for veterans.

He is aformer active duty Air Force officerwith extensive experience leading hundreds of individuals and multi-functional teams in challenging international environments, including a combat tour to Afghanistan in 2011 supporting Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

Brian is a Distinguished Graduate of Management from theUnited States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO and he holds an MBA from Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business, Stillwater, OK, where he was a National Honor Scholar (Top 1% of Graduate School class).


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