Can I Get Veterans Disability Compensation For Schizophrenia?

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Can I Get Veterans Disability Compensation for Schizophrenia?

Published on January 24th, 2020

You may be eligible for veterans disability compensation if you suffer from Schizophrenia. The amount of monthly, tax-free compensation you receive will depend on your disability rating, which the VA will determine based on your medical history and usually a compensation and pension exam (C&P exam) and your employment status. Your disability rating is a percentage number that represents how much your condition reduces your earning ability. The higher the percentage, the more compensation you will receive.

Your Compensation for Schizophrenia Depends on Your VA Disability Rating

Your schizophrenia may be rated at 0, 10, 30, 50, 70, or 100 percent. The specific symptoms that correspond to each rating are listed in 38 C.F.R. § 4.130 Diagnostic Code 9203, which states, for example, that for your schizophrenia to qualify for a 70 percent rating, you must have “occupational and social impairment with deficiencies in most areas, such as work, school, family relations, judgment, thinking, or mood.” This would typically involve symptoms such as:

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Obsessional rituals that make it hard to perform routine tasks
  • Tendency to speak in an illogical, obscure, or irrelevant manner
  • Frequent feelings of panic or depression that impact your ability to function
  • Weak impulse control
  • Spatial disorientation
  • Inattention to personal appearance
  • Lack of hygiene
  • Trouble adapting to new or stressful circumstances (including work)
  • Difficulties making and maintain relationships. 

You don’t have to have all of these symptoms in order to get a 70 percent rating though. For example, if you have panic attacks that are severe and frequent enough, your lack of other symptoms will not necessarily disqualify you from a 70 percent rating. You might also have other, non-listed symptoms and still qualify. Additionally, your specific condition may be accurately described by two rating ranges. In such cases, the VA should give you the higher rating if it most accurately describes your condition.

It may be possible to receive a disability rating of zero. This means that the VA thinks that you have schizophrenia, but that it does not “interfere with work or social functioning or to require continuous medication.” If you get this rating, you will not receive any compensation, but the presence of the condition can give you access to other VA benefits. And you may be able to get a ratings increase at a later time. In many cases, veterans who have schizophrenia may have other conditions such as PTSD, which the VA will also consider when determining your final disability rating.

A 100 percent rating for schizophrenia means that you have “total occupational and social impairment” due to symptoms even more severe than the ones listed above. However, you may also receive payment at the 100 percent rate without meeting these requirements, if you can show that your condition makes you totally unemployable. To receive a total disability rating for individual unemployability (TDIU), you need to demonstrate that your schizophrenia leaves you unable to work or able to engage in only marginal employment.

A Veterans Benefits Lawyer Can Help You Get Compensation for Your Schizophrenia

The VA might deny your veterans disability claim for schizophrenia if they conclude that your condition was not caused or made worse by your military service. By collecting and persuasively presenting additional evidence, such as a report from an independent psychologist and statements from people who served with you, it may be possible to show that your schizophrenia is in fact service related. For more information about appealing the denial of your disability claim, call Jackson & MacNichol today at 1 (888) 492-2941 for a free consultation.  We work hard to get justice for veterans.

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