Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD
all mental disorders
, is very hard to define. Basically, two people with PTSD
could have completely different symptoms. Because of this, different physicians
may use different requirements to diagnose PTSD, and thus a condition that one
physician considers PTSD may not be considered PTSD by another physician.
Do you feel like this guy yet?
The VASRD, the law that determines how
conditions are rated for DoD Disability and VA Disability, has its own set of
requirements for diagnosing PTSD. These requirements must be followed for a
condition to receive a military disability rating for PTSD, even if a qualified
physician diagnoses the condition as PTSD.
Before anything else,
there must be documentation that the service member was involved in a traumatic
event. This means that the service member/veteran must have records that say
that he experienced combat or another traumatic event. The traumatic event MUST
have occurred while he was in the military.
There must also be documentation
of a definite diagnosis of PTSD from a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist.
A diagnosis by itself is not enough for a rating of PTSD, but it is still
Once these basic
requirements are met, the condition must also have all the required
symptoms/circumstances that the VASRD dictates are necessary for a rating of
PTSD. I won’t get into the specifics of those here since they are thoroughly
explained in our discussion of rating PTSD
on our website. Do note, however,
that the requirements under each
category must be met in order for the
condition to be considered PTSD. Each of these symptoms must also be documented
by a physician.
As long as you have
the proper documentation and your condition meets all the requirements for
PTSD, your condition can definitely be rated as PTSD.
If your condition does
not meet the requirements for PTSD, however, it’s not the end of the world.
Truthfully, a rating of PTSD isn’t exactly essential.
PTSD is ultimately
rated on the same system as every other mental disorder (the Psychological Rating System
), so even if your condition can’t be officially called PTSD, your
physician could diagnose you with a different mental disorder that doesn’t have
so many requirements, like another Anxiety Disorder
, and you would still
receive the same rating and benefits you would receive if your diagnosis was