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Veterans Law

10% Disability Rating for PTSD

Kaitlyn Degnan

October 28, 2018

Updated: November 20, 2023

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A 10% PTSD rating is the lowest compensable rating offered by VA’s rating criteria for mental disorders. As such, the rating criteria reflects very minimal and often well-controlled symptomology. When assigning a 10% PTSD rating, VA will look for the following:

  • 10% – “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.”

In this case, a veteran may experience certain PTSD symptoms that are exacerbated during periods of stress, but ultimately do not impair his or her ability to work in most occupations. Furthermore, the increase in severity of PTSD symptoms during periods of stress implies that the symptoms tend to be episodic otherwise. This means that they are not always present and therefore do not significantly interfere with occupational and social functioning. Moreover, when symptoms are present, it is likely that you have the ability to control them with treatment or medication. Overall, the 10% PTSD rating reflects a low level of disability.

The Importance of C&P Exams

A Compensation & Pension (C&P) Exam, is a medical examination of a veteran’s disability performed by a VA healthcare provider, or a VA contracted provider. VA uses C&P exams to gather more evidence on your claimed condition before issuing a decision and assigning a rating. Therefore, C&P exams are very important to your PTSD disability rating.

The appropriate VA doctor, typically a psychiatrist or psychologist, will use this exam to diagnose the severity of your PTSD. When administering the exam, the VA doctor will use the PTSD rating criteria as guidelines for their evaluation of the condition.  After your exam, the examiner will write up a report that includes a review of the exam findings, any clinical test results, and any relevant medical literature. From here, VA will most often assign a disability rating consistent with the examiner’s findings. As such, it is important for you to be honest and upfront with your examiner about the frequency, duration, and severity of your PTSD symptoms. Additionally, it can be helpful to request a copy of the exam to ensure your condition was evaluated properly and reflected accurately.

About the Author

Bio photo of Kaitlyn Degnan

Kaitlyn joined CCK in September of 2017 as an Associate Attorney. Her practice focuses on representing disabled veterans before the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

See more about Kaitlyn