100% Rating Formula
Because this booklet concerns itself with helping Veterans receive a 100% Rating, we need to look very closely at the formula used for the 100% Rating. Without going into detail at this time, a Veteran can be rated as 70% disabled from PTSD and because of certain criteria (which is explained in Chapter 20) the Veteran may be able to receive an upgraded 100% Disability Rating for Unemployability. For now, however, we want to concentrate on the Rating Formula for a 100% Disability Rating for PTSD.
You need to fully and completely understand exactly what the Rating Formula is stating about the disability. We will help you understand the formula so you can provide the Rating Board with exact and proper criteria for a 100% Total Disability Rating.
Let’s look at the formula sentence by sentence. There are three (3) sentences in this formula. Each sentence is very powerful in its’ meaning.
SENTENCE NUMBER ONE:
“The attitudes of all contacts except the most intimate are so adversely affected as to result in virtual isolation in the community.”
Sentence Number One says the general impression left by a Veteran on a person which the Veteran meets (as in a normal acquaintance) leaves the person felling that there is something strange or abnormal about the Veteran. To put it into everyday slang, after someone meets the Veteran, that person leaves their meeting with the impression that the Veteran is “a brick short of a full load” or the Veteran is “ not playing with a full deck.....”! In other words they leave the acquaintance thinking, “Man, that Vet is weird and I want to stay away from him or her!” The only people who are not afraid to associate with the Veteran are those whom have an intimate relationship with the Veteran such as their spouse, family member or best friend. Because people distance themselves from the Veteran this leaves the Veteran as a loner or “isolated in the community”.
The word community means the group or groups of people which a Veteran might normally associate himself or herself with. Belonging to a bowling league, a baseball team, participating in locate pool or dart tournaments, having a group of friends which go places together frequently such as, go dancing with other couples, being a member of a church and socializing with other members. In other words having friends and doing things together. Veterans with PTSD are mostly outsiders. They keep to themselves. They may belong to a church, but they attend without getting close to anyone or allowing anyone to get close to them. They don’t have very many friends. Their “community” is limited to a very few people which they allow to become somewhat close to them. Sentence number one may be difficult for you to accept. You may be the type of person who does associate with people and are liked by those people, but you are always alone even within the community.
SENTENCE NUMBER TWO:
“Totally incapacitating psychoneurotic symptoms bordering on gross repudiation of reality with disturbed thought or behavioral processes associated with almost all daily activities such as fantasy, confusion, panic and explosions of aggressive energy resulting in profound retreat from mature behavior.”
Sentence Number Two states the PTSD symptoms are extremely incapacitating concerning your everyday life. They effect the way you think, act and react. Remember, PTSD symptoms (also known as psychoneurotic symptoms) cause the Veteran to perceive their everyday life and the world they live in, differently than people without PTSD.
In sentence number one we spoke about how a Veteran is perceived by those he or she meets. The Veteran seems strange or weird and causes people to avoid him or her because of their PTSD symptoms.
Sentence Two says “psychoneurotic symptoms bordering on gross repudiation of reality with disturbed thought or behavioral processes:. The PTSD symptoms (Isolation, Recurrent dreams & nightmares, Efforts to avoid thoughts & feelings, Lack of loving feelings, Outbursts of anger or rage, Feelings of aloneness, abandonment, depression, Lack of hope for the future, Survival guilt feelings, Thoughts of suicide, Lack of trust of authority figures as well as lack of trust of anyone, Feelings of others “Out to Get You”) cause the Veteran to have a difficult time perceiving reality i.e., “Bordering on gross repudiation of reality”.
As described in the above paragraph “Bordering on gross repudiation of reality” means all the thoughts and feelings (or lack of feelings) from the PTSD symptoms causes the Veteran to repudiate or reject reality as it truly is and leaves the Veteran with a “Disturbed thought or behavioral process”.
The “Disturbed thought or behavioral process” is played out or acted out throughout the Veterans daily life experience “with almost all daily activities such as fantasy, confusion, panic and explosions of aggressive energy resulting in profound retreat from mature behavior”.
Because of the PTSD symptoms the Veteran has fantasies, such as - someone is trying to screw the Veteran over or the Veteran my fantasize about ho he/she will get even with someone because of something the Veteran thinks has happened between the Veteran and some other person, persons or business or organizations, etc.
The Veteran has a difficult time trying to keep the reality of the events in a proper perspective. The Veteran will be confused and not believe or understand the reality of a situation. The Veteran may experience “Panic Attacks” and act as if the situation were at a crisis level. He or she may perceive the resolution to the situation as “A mission” which must be acted upon immediately. This could result in “Explosions of aggressive energy” which is also know as anger and rage.
When the Veteran takes control of the repudiated reality and explodes with anger and rage his or her energy results in profound retreat from mature behavior. In essence the Veteran my withdraw to isolation, he/she may destroy objects, go into a rage, become physically violet, abuse alcohol or drugs, etc. Thus you have examples of the end of the second sentence, “Explosions of aggressive energy resulting in profound retreat from mature behavior”. Sentence One and Sentence Two tie together. The way in which a Veteran acts and reacts (Sentence Two) causes those people who encounter the Veteran to avoid him or her (Sentence One).
SENTENCE NUMBER THREE:
“Demonstrably unable to obtain or retain employment”
The third sentence is fairly straight forward and easy to understand. However the Veteran needs to convenience the Rating Board he/she is unable to gainfully seek and/or retain employment. If the Veteran is currently not employed or has not worked for some time a statement to this fact will be necessary and beneficial. If the Veteran has had many jobs or unable to retain a job for any lengthy period, a statement listing where the Veteran has worked and the approximate length at each job is needed.
Keep in mind the VA has access to Social Security records. The VA is allowed by law to do Income Verification with the Social Security Administration on any Veteran EXCEPT a Veteran who is Rated 100% disabled. The VA will cross check any Veteran who is not 100% disabled to verify whether a Veteran is currently employed or not. The way the VA can tell if a Veteran is employed through Social Security is if the Veteran is having FICA withheld from his/her payroll check. If a Veteran is or was working, but working for cash and had not reported that income, the VA would then not be able to establish the Veteran as being or having been employed.