I’ve Been Diagnosed with a Personality Disorder. Does That Mean I Can’t Get VA Disability Compensation?
Published May 21, 2018
Military service demands certain sacrifices, but few realize just how demanding active duty can be on a person’s mental state. While much is made about post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, unfortunately, the Department of Veterans Affairs does not recognize personality disorders as a disability that can be compensated by the VA. Viewed instead as genetic or developmental disorders, personality disorders can make it difficult for veterans to get the benefits they need.
However, if you have been diagnosed with a personality disorder, you may still be eligible for benefits for disabilities connected to your condition.
Understanding Personality Disorders
According to the Mayo Clinic, most personality disorders develop in a person’s teen years. Characterized by unhealthy and rigid patterns of thinking and acting, the disorders can cause serious problems in relationships, at work, and at school. In many cases, those diagnosed with one personality disorder may actually show symptoms of other forms, too. Caused by both your genes and the environment in which you were raised, personality disorders can be triggered by traumatic life experiences.
Even when managed by therapy and medication, personality disorders can make daily life more challenging than average.
Challenges Seeking Personality Disorder Benefits
Most veterans find dealing with the VA tedious, but getting the benefits you deserve can be downright frustrating if you have been diagnosed with a personality disorder. It’s important to know, though, that you may have a different or additional mental health diagnosis that may be compensable. Since the VA is quick to deny claims involving personality disorders, you must diligently pursue a proper diagnosis and submit it to the VA.
Complex and nuanced, personality disorders and the people diagnosed with them face a number of stereotypes and misconceptions. In many cases, personality disorders are misdiagnosed. Because the VA does not consider personality disorders to be service connected, you’ll need to show evidence of an additional or different diagnosis.
How an Attorney Can Assist with a Personality Disorder Claim
Invisible injuries like personality disorders can be just as painful as more obvious ones. With that in mind, you may seek legal assistance for your claim, especially if you’ve been denied benefits or received a military mental health discharge associated with a personality disorder. An attorney can help you review your decision and appeal it if necessary.
They can also connect you with an Independent Medical Examiner who may be able to offer an alternate diagnosis for your condition. Vocational experts may also assist, as they can provide valuable insight into your ability to perform duties at work. Their written opinion can make all the difference when appealing the decision about your claim.
Ultimately, you’ll need strong evidence linking your mental health condition back to your time in the service. If you’re unsure how to do so, a lawyer may be able to help. Be sure to choose an experienced attorney who has assisted other veterans in their quest for benefits in the past.
The Help You Need for the Benefits You Deserve
If you’re eager to get assistance with appealing your VA disability decision from a lawyer, consider reaching out to the Veterans Law Group. Highly respected in their field, VLG has more than twenty years of experience providing legal help for veterans and their families in their quest for benefits.
We can help you obtain additional medical opinion evidence to get you the benefits you deserve.
To get started, simply fill out this questionnaire and submit it to our office for evaluation. We will review your request for a consultation and contact you as soon as possible. Our consultations are free of charge and require nothing from you. With so much on the line, why not explore your legal options?