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

EVALUATING MENTAL DISORDERS IN THE VA COMPENSATION PROGRAM

NAMI SYMPOSIUM

WASHINGTON, D.C.

JUNE 30, 2006

service connection
SERVICE CONNECTION
  • Requires:
  • An in-service event
  • A current condition
  • A medical Nexus between the two
the numbers
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
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
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
protections
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
future examinations
FUTURE EXAMINATIONS

Future examinations are scheduled when the

evidence of record suggests the potential for

improvement

employment
EMPLOYMENT

While compensation is not a means tested program,

unlike physical disabilities, the evaluation of mental disorders

takes into consideration social and occupational

impairment

employment and job training
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

reductions
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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