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  • Brian Reese

How to File a VA Disability Claim for Depression

The purpose of this article is to give tips on how to file a VA disability claim for DEPRESSION, win your DEPRESSION VA disability benefits claim and get the highest rating possible under the law, aka DEPRESSION VA claim, so you can get the rating and compensation you deserve. Many Veterans are denied VA benefits for DEPRESSION due to a lack of medical evidence with no clear in-service stressor.


We’ll cover applying for DEPRESSION, appealing a DEPRESSION rating, DEPRESSION evidence requirements, in-service stressors and DEPRESSION stressor examples, the best strategies to ensure your DEPRESSION claim gets service-connected, and rated at the appropriate level based upon your current symptoms and level of occupational and social impairment.


If you need help with your DEPRESSION VA claim, DEPRESSION increase claim, or other mental health conditions claim, feel free to complete the free 3-step intake below. You’ll get an Independent Psychological Evaluation by a U.S. Board Certified Psychologist, a Medical Nexus letter for DEPRESSION, and documented Symptoms on either the DEPRESSION Initial DBQ, DEPRESSION Review DBQ, or Other Mental Health Conditions DBQ.


==> VA Claims Insider Elite medical consulting program: www.vaclaimsinsiderelite.com


DEPRESSION VA Claim Eligibility for Veterans


1. Medical diagnosis of DEPRESSION or Other Mental Health Condition (e.g., Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder)

2. The DEPRESSION was caused or made worse by your active duty military service (“Nexus”)

3. Persistent and reoccurring symptoms of DEPRESSION or other mental health condition(s) into the present day (severity of symptoms)


Evidence Requirements: First-Time Filer of DEPRESSION


• In-service stressor(s) – what are they for you?

• When did your DEPRESSION begin and how is it service-connected?

• Statement in Support of Claim for DEPRESSION - VA Form 21-4138

• Buddy letter(s) HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

• C&P Examiner will complete the DBQ for Other Mental Health Conditions


Evidence Requirements: DEPRESSION Increase


• DBQ for Other Mental Health Conditions – completed by a U.S. Board Certified Psychologist

• Statement in Support of a Claim – VA Form 21-4138

- You’re already service-connected; are your depression symptoms worse?

• Buddy letter(s) HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

- VA Raters rely heavily on first-hand witness testimony


Evidence Requirements: Other Mental Health Conditions


• DBQ for Other Mental Health Conditions – completed by a U.S. Board Certified Psychologist

• Medical Nexus letter first-time filer – “more likely than not”

• Statement in Support of a Claim – VA Form 21-4138

• Buddy letter(s) HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Crucial Tips for Your VA DEPRESSION Claim


• Service-connection, is the Nexus clear?

• Pre-existing issues…

• Do you have a medical diagnosis?

• Are you actively seeking treatment?

• Do you take medications?

• What is your level of occupational and social impairment?


VA Rating for Depression - Rating Criteria


DEPRESSION claims are rated on a scale from 0% to 100%. The level of occupational and social impairment is what determines your overall rating under the law.


0% VA Rating Criteria for DEPRESSION:

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.


10% VA Rating Criteria for DEPRESSION:

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.


30% VA Rating Criteria for DEPRESSION:

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).


50% VA Rating Criteria for DEPRESSION:

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 (e.g., retention of only highly learned material, forgetting to complete tasks); impaired judgment; impaired abstract thinking; disturbances of motivation and mood; difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships.


70% VA Rating Criteria for DEPRESSION:

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 (such as unprovoked irritability with periods of violence); spatial disorientation; neglect of personal appearance and hygiene; difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances (including work or a worklike setting); inability to establish and maintain effective relationships.


100% VA Rating Criteria for DEPRESSION:

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 minimal personal hygiene); disorientation to time or place; memory loss for names of close relatives, own occupation, or own name.


How to Get a Higher VA Disability Rating for DEPRESSION


• Get an Independent Psychological Evaluation with a U.S. Board Certified Psychologist

• Obtain a DBQ and Nexus letter (if needed) for DEPRESSION or Other Mental Health Conditions

• Don’t limit yourself to just the one diagnosis

- Is it possible to differentiate symptoms?

- Do you have PTSD and/or Generalized Anxiety Disorder too?

- Secondary Mental Health Claims


C&P Exam for DEPRESSION Tips


1. Know what’s in your medical records!

2. Review your Disability Benefit Questionnaire (DBQ)

3. Review the eCFR, Title 38, Schedule 4 for DEPRESSION and other mental health symptoms and ratings

4. Do NOT have your best day

5. Be uncomfortably vulnerable…

6. Know your true story cold…and potential in-service stressors that caused or made your DEPRESSION and/or other mental health conditions worse.


Need Help With Your DEPRESSION VA Claim?


We have a full medical staff of U.S. Board Certified Psychologists, ready and available to assist you with the medical evidence you need to “service-connect” your DEPRESSION or Other Mental Health Conditions claim (DBQ, Nexus, Symptoms).


VA Claims Insider Elite medical consulting program for DEPRESSION VA Claim:

>> www.vaclaimsinsiderelite.com <<


FAQ: How To Win Your DEPRESSION VA Disability Benefits Claim


Can I get VA disability compensation and benefits for DEPRESSION VA Claim? Yes. The Department of Veterans Affairs will pay veterans with service-connected DEPRESSION monthly compensation.


Is DEPRESSION considered a disability? The Department of Veterans Affairs recognizes DEPRESSION as a mental condition that may be related to service, and DEPRESSION is therefore compensable.


What is the disability rating for DEPRESSION? The VA will give you a disability rating based upon the severity of your DEPRESSION, specifically related to your level of occupational and social impairment. If you are considered service-connected, you will receive a VA disability rating for DEPRESSION of 0%, 10%, 30%, 50%, 70%, or 100%.


How much does the VA pay for DEPRESSION? If your DEPRESSION claim is approved, you may receive up to $3,350.87 per month. That is currently the max that the VA will pay veterans with DEPRESSION, if at the 100% rating criteria for DEPRESSION. 100% rating for DEPRESSION.


Can DEPRESSION be permanent? Some veterans may receive a permanent and total rating. If your DEPRESSION is not expected to improve, you may obtain the status of permanent disability.


Can the VA reduce your disability rating for DEPRESSION? Yes. Unfortunately, sometimes the VA will lower a veteran’s DEPRESSION rating. If that happens to you, file an appeal with new and material medical evidence for DEPRESSION and challenge the VA’s decision.


How can I get 100% VA disability for DEPRESSION? Your DEPRESSION must be severe enough to warrant a 100% rating. Many veterans do obtain a 100% rating for DEPRESSION using the VA Claims Insider proven proprietary medical consulting process. Get started for free here: www.vaclaimsinsiderelite.com


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