Veterans with PTSD, Anxiety and Depression
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a disease that can strike years after exposure to the triggering event. We had a client, for example, who had worked successfully for thirty years and then one day he was walking along a street and a car back-fired. Suddenly, he was having flashbacks and nightmares, which eventually led to a long-term admission to a treatment program and disability.
Many people work while suffering from PTSD. In fact, they often feel better while working, due to the daily framework and socialization that work affords. But, if work ends, the PTSD is likely to get worse.
Working with PTSD may make usual workplace interactions difficult. Often a veteran is uncomfortable with people walking behind him or her, and has to be situated so that the veteran can see anyone coming into a room. Noise can also be a problem, not to mention getting along with co-workers. Working with PTSD causes significant changes in the worker’s needs and abilities.
Other psychological conditions may also be connected with military service.
Anxiety and Depression are common symptoms of PTSD, though they also may be separate diseases without a PTSD diagnosis. Bipolar disease is another example. If the disease arises during military service, or because of military service, the disease is compensable.
Our goal as the veteran’s attorney is to obtain medical evidence of the psychological disease, whatever it may be, and then show how that evidence limits the veteran’s ability to work. The rating schedules specify functional limitations that must be met to obtain a certain percentage benefit. The functional limitations are the same for all psychological diseases. So, it does not matter what the diagnosis is when determining the amount of benefit. All that matters is the extent of functional limitation.