Winning Your VA Benefits

Hosted By Robin Hoon

Episode #2 - How PTSD is different from other VA Mental Health Disability Claims

Do you think you may qualify for a mental health VA disability? Join us for our first episode in our mental health mini-series. Learn how becoming service-connected for mental health is more challenging than it seems.

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Podcast Disclaimer⬇️

Vet Comp & Pen Medical Consulting, LLC. (VCP) does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of the information contained in this podcast episode. Nothing contained or provided in this podcast episode is intended to constitute advice or to serve as a substitute for the advice of a licensed healthcare provider, attorney, or agent accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to assist with the filling of disability claims. Any reliance you place on this information is strictly at your own risk.

Always seek the advice of your qualified medical provider, attorney, or VA agent, to address individual circumstances. This podcast episode is for general information purposes only. All uses of the term “you” are for illustrative purposes regarding a hypothetical Veteran. VCP disclaims any control over, relationship with, or endorsement of the ideas expressed by viewers of this content.

Episode Description

➡️Do you think you may qualify for a mental health VA disability? Join us for our first episode in our mental health mini-series. Learn how becoming service-connected for mental health is more challenging than it seems.     

Today, Robin and one of Vet Comp & Pen’s top mental health specialists, Lucas, discuss how PTSD is different from other VA Mental Health disability claims.   

PTSD is a very specific disorder that stems from witnessing a traumatic event in a person’s life. Many Veterans are briefed on the effects of PTSD before leaving the service, but it is not the only disorder tied to a stressful event.   

The big takeaway? Many trauma-related mental health disorders don’t classify under PTSD.     

Time Stamps

[01:02] – Robin Hoon introduces his guest, Lucas Wilson. He’s the team leader who helps review Veteran mental health cases at Vet Comp & Pen Medical Consulting.

[07:20] – Robin and Lucas mention how PTSD has only recently been considered a mental illness in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. They also delve deeper into its recent health implications.

[12:52] – Robin and Lucas break the stigma of not asking for help when one is suffering from PTSD or any mental health disorder. They share tips on what to do when a Veteran is looking for a support group.

[18:26] – Lucas sheds more light on the VA’s disability ratings for PTSD. There’s 0%, 10%, 50%, 70%, and 100%.

[26:42] – Lucas describes how PTSD can affect someone in the workplace – not just in a military setting, but even after deployment when Veterans are working for other jobs or running a business.

[33:23] – Lucas shares one of his clients’ experiences with PTSD. He was a Vietnam War Veteran who experienced severe occupational dysfunction when he came back to the US.

[40:20] – Robin asks Lucas how Veterans who have earned medals on their DD214, for example, are treated differently during their mental health claims.

[47:11] – Robin and Lucas share their thoughts about how military combat is going to cause PTSD. Although some people may experience it later in life, not everyone experiences it.

[50:00] – Lucas shares more information and examples of the non-combat PTSD VA claim.

[55:33] – Robin urges Veterans to check their mental health if they’re ever experiencing stress, occupational impairment, depression, and more.

Checklist of Actionable Takeaways

✔️ Release the stigma on mental health issues. Mental illness is not a sign of weakness. There is help readily available, and people who are suffering shouldn’t be discriminated against for it. 

✔️ Be more aware of the underlying symptoms of PTSD. Sometimes these symptoms don’t surface right away. It may take months, even years, after deployment for a Veteran to experience some of the signs.

✔️ Help Veterans seek mental health treatment. It’s a challenge to admit they’re undergoing mental health issues. Encouraging them to try counseling and therapy may be a life-saver.

✔️ Do more research and raise more awareness about PTSD. One of the major roadblocks in treating mental health issues is the lack of education about it. When friends and families know more about PTSD, they become a better support system. 

✔️ Encourage Veterans to find a support group. As someone who cares for them, sometimes it isn’t easy to make a connection with them. Having them meet others who’ve been through something similar helps fill the gap of emotional support.

✔️ Remain patient and stay hopeful in recovery. Overcoming PTSD is no easy bout, but things get better and work out in the end eventually. At the moment, it’s essential to focus on the present and take baby steps to heal.

✔️ Help a Veteran check their physical health, too. Physical fitness plays a massive role in one’s mental health. It’s beneficial to make sure their physical wellbeing is in good shape. 

✔️ Assist Veterans in developing medical evidence that supports their mental health claim. Suffering from PTSD during and even after their service may garner enough support as long as their claims are correct and complete.

✔️ Motivate Veterans to remain physically active. Exercise is a great way to boost your mood. On top of that, proper breathing exercises help relieve anxious feelings.

✔️ Seek help from Vet Comp & Pen Medical Consulting to learn more about the implications of PTSD treatment.