Evaluating mental disorders in the va compensation program
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EVALUATING MENTAL DISORDERS IN THE VA COMPENSATION PROGRAM. NAMI SYMPOSIUM WASHINGTON, D.C. JUNE 30, 2006. SERVICE CONNECTION. Requires: An in-service event A current condition A medical Nexus between the two. MENTAL DISORDERS. THE NUMBERS. As of April 1, 2006:

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Evaluating mental disorders in the va compensation program l.jpg

EVALUATING MENTAL DISORDERS IN THE VA COMPENSATION PROGRAM

NAMI SYMPOSIUM

WASHINGTON, D.C.

JUNE 30, 2006


Service connection l.jpg
SERVICE CONNECTION

  • Requires:

  • An in-service event

  • A current condition

  • A medical Nexus between the two



The numbers l.jpg
THE NUMBERS

As of April 1, 2006:

1. More than 537,000 service connected conditions

2. One of top six rated disabilities

3. One of top six appealed disabilities


Common disabilities l.jpg
COMMON DISABILITIES

Condition Number of Diagnoses

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder 256,271

Generalized Anxiety 61,357

Major Depression 41,419

Paranoid Schizophrenia 31,027


Evaluation range l.jpg
EVALUATION RANGE

  • Mental disorders may be assigned

  • Disability evaluations of 0 percent,

  • 10 percent, 30 percent, 50 percent,

  • 70 percent and 100 percent

  • Individual Unemployability is possible


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PROTECTIONS

  • Service connection for any disability is

    protected, absent fraud, after 10 years

  • The assigned evaluation for any disability

    is protected once that evaluation has been

    assigned for 20 years or more.

  • An evaluation held for five years requires

    evidence of sustained improvement to reduce

  • Staged Reductions


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FUTURE EXAMINATIONS

Future examinations are scheduled when the

evidence of record suggests the potential for

improvement


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EMPLOYMENT

While compensation is not a means tested program,

unlike physical disabilities, the evaluation of mental disorders

takes into consideration social and occupational

impairment


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EMPLOYMENT AND JOB TRAINING

  • Compensated work therapy through VA is not

    considered employment or the ability to be employed

    when evaluating disabilities

  • Participation in VA’s vocational rehabilitation and

    employment programs may not be used as a reason to

    reduce an evaluation

  • An evaluation my not be reduced during a 12-month trial

    work period

  • Successful employment (more than 12 continues months) may

    warrant reduction in evaluation


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REDUCTIONS

  • Always prospective

  • Staged

  • Does not preclude restoration of a higher

    evaluation if the veteran is not able to sustain

    employment



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