If you have PTSD, depression, anxiety, or other health issues related to MST, you can be awarded a disability rating by the VA. The key is gathering the proper evidence to demonstrate service connection.
As with all claims, the VA will look for direct proof that a specific event occurred, indirect evidence that the event caused or aggravated your condition, and final proof that you are currently suffering from a mental health issue.
VA Form 21-0781a
VA Form 21-0781a asks for detailed information about the specific stressful incidents that contributed to your PTSD. This form provides space for two stressors, but you can add more pages if necessary, clearly labeling each one with the item number to which it applies.
This is so important because MST survivors often lack traditional documentation. This is because evidence of traumatic sexual assault, such as service medical records or police reports, can be sanitized by military officials and never actually make it to the veteran.
Fortunately, the VA is working better than ever to support veterans in getting the benefits they deserve. But, the process is complicated, and you must have the correct legal team. The team has the experience and expertise to handle your MST claims and help you get the disability rating you deserve.
The majority of MST survivors suffer from mental health conditions like PTSD and depression. These conditions can be so disabling that the VA will award a total 100% disability rating.
Unfortunately, many MST cases go unreported due to shame and stigma. Years can pass before a survivor decides to disclose and seek help, often after the trauma has already taken its toll on their life. If you are wondering how to get 100 VA disability for MST, seeking guidance from a veterans’ service organization or a knowledgeable advocate can provide valuable assistance throughout the application process.
As a result, MST claims are handled much like PTSD claims in that the VA will require credible evidence of the MST event and a nexus or connection between the MST and the resulting PTSD symptoms. Medical records from clinicians are some of the best proof for these claims. A well-written nexus letter can also make a substantial difference in the outcome of your claim.
Men who experience MST often have PTSD as a result. This condition has different symptoms depending on its severity and duration. Symptoms of PTSD include re-experiencing symptoms like flashbacks, bad dreams, and intrusive thoughts; avoidance symptoms, such as avoiding people or places that remind you of the trauma; and cognitive and mood symptoms, like trouble recalling the event or feeling that the world isn’t real.
Suppose you’ve been diagnosed with PTSD due to MST. In that case, it may be possible to receive a 100% disability rating under the schedular rating system or Individual Unemployability (TDIU) if your symptoms are severe enough to prevent you from working. An experienced MST attorney can help you gather all the information needed to make a strong claim. A nexus letter from a medical professional is also necessary to demonstrate that your PTSD is linked to your MST.
A nexus letter is an independent medical opinion from a physician who knows the veteran’s history and conditions. It states that a specific event or exposure from military service caused or aggravated the current health condition or injury.
The nexus letter must include the physician’s name, credentials, and address. It must also state that the doctor reviewed all relevant medical records, including those provided by VA. It must also contain a statement that the doctor’s opinion is based on professional judgment and experience.
Many physicians are hesitant to write nexus letters. To help them feel more confident, you can send them a nexus letter already reported that they can review, adjust, and sign. This saves them time and hassle, making them more likely to agree to write the letter.
Sometimes, the severity and life-changing nature of a disability are not captured by medical records or a C&P exam. Buddy letters can help in these situations and are essential to include in a claim.
A good buddy letter will begin with the author stating their name, how they know the veteran, how frequently they interact, and a summary of their relationship. Then, the writer will explain any changes they have seen in the veteran’s health, personality, and work performance since the event or injury that caused their disability.
They should also certify that all information they are providing is true and accurate to their knowledge. Having this statement notarized will give the document additional weight and credibility.