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PTSD Claim Denied Due to Missing DSM-V Criteria
You may have your PTSD claim denied due to missing DSM-V criteria. The fifth version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5 or DSM-V) outlines the eight components of a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) claim.
If even one required component is missing, the VA claims examiner will likely deny your claim.
Attention to detail is critical in these types of cases. The burden of proof (“at least as likely as not”) is rather low. So, as long as you can present even a bit of evidence on any point, the VA should find such evidence sufficient. If any of the required components are overlooked at the time of filing, the result will be a likely denial of benefits. That is why consulting an experienced veterans’ disability attorney is so important.
Even after all these years, much about PTSD remains unknown. However, researchers do know that exposure to combat stress causes a chemical imbalance in the brain. That exposure could be:
Direct (seeing a fellow servicemember die or suffer a serious combat wound),
Indirect (learning about such an incident from a third party), or
Cumulative (analyzing combat photos or responder duties that involve dealing with bodies or body parts).
In all three categories, there must have been a triggering event that could cause death or serious injury, such as a military sexual assault, militant attack, or friendly fire incident.
PTSD is never the same in two different people, but most victims have at least one of the following symptoms:
Recurrent, debilitating memories,
Flashbacks (dissociative reactions),
Emotional distress after a traumatic event, and/or
Symptoms like these are quite common in the weeks after the stressor event. If they persist or do not get better, you may have PTSD.
Some PTSD victims avoid anything that reminds them of the stressor, such as semi-violent movies, certain people, news stories about their country of deployment, or other particular places. Other people suppress memories. In both cases, trauma must accompany the avoidance.
Depression is not the only negative emotion that is associated with PTSD, because not all PTSD victims become severely depressed. Other negative emotions may include withdrawal, hopelessness, suspicion, and survivor’s guilt. These symptoms must be severe enough that they interfere with normal activities on a regular basis.
Most Veterans are in “red alert” mode at one time or another, but PTSD exacerbates this response. Those who suffer with PTSD are in constant red alert mode. There are some collateral effects, such as:
Lack of concentration.
A claimant must have at least two symptoms, which are usually hyper-awareness and one collateral symptom, to satisfy this part of the DSM-V.
Duration and Functional Significance
These two things are technically separate criteria, but they often overlap. The symptoms must persist for more than a month, and they must impede normal activities.
The symptoms must be due to PTSD and not something else, like substance abuse. This element is often one of the most difficult to satisfy as many Veterans suffering from PTSD self-medicate with alcohol, illicit drugs or prescription medications. As long as the symptoms predate the substance use by at least a month, it can be argued that the alcohol or drug usage was secondary to PTSD and was caused as a result of the Veteran’s PTSD.
For a free consultation contact the Law Offices of Peter S. Cameron, APC at 800-861-7262
This article is for educational and marketing purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship.
More on PTSD….
PTSD Claim Denied https://www.veteranappeal.com/PTSD-Claims-Denied
PTSD and Individual Unemployability Denial https://www.veteranappeal.com/PTSD-IU
Smoking and PTSD https://www.veteranappeal.com/PTSD-Smoking
Symptoms of PTSD https://veteranappeal.com/PTSDsymptoms
PTSD Review DBQ https://veteranappeal.com/ptsd-review-dbq/
PTSD Nexus Letter https://veteranappeal.com/ptsd-nexus-letter
PTSD and Physical Health https://veteranappeal.com/ptsd-and-physical-health/
Combat-Related PTSD https://veteranappeal.com/Combat-Related-PTSD
US COURT OF APPEALS FOR VETERANS CLAIMS
SPECIAL MONTHLY COMPENSATION
TOTAL DISABILITY INDIVIDUAL UNEMPLOYABILITY
DISABILITIES DUE TO AGENT ORANGE EXPOSURE
DEPENDENCY INDEMNITY COMPENSATION
POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD)
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Law Offices of Peter S. Cameron, Esq.
We handle claims nationwide.