Gross Impairment – What Is Gross Impairment?
Military service requires certain sacrifices, but few know the depth of those sacrifices like those suffering from psychiatric impairments stemming from their days in the service. Depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder are commonly associated with such impairments. In some cases, the psychological damage is severe enough to prevent a veteran from working full-time.
Gross impairment is a term that refers to a person’s inability to effectively communicate or think clearly. It is a symptom that often leads to a veteran being declared disabled and unable to work. In many cases, people suffering from gross impairment as a side effect of their psychiatric disorder receive a Total Disability rating based on Individual Unemployability, also known as, TDIU.
Assessment Process for Gross Impairment
To determine if a veteran’s mental health prevents them from working, a doctor will need to perform an evaluation. The evaluation includes testing the patient on things like memory loss, relationships, work under pressure and their ability to perform daily activities can inform a diagnosis. The VA uses a General Rating formula for all psychiatric impairments. This includes PTSD, anxiety disorders and depressive disorders, among other afflictions.
Disability Ratings for the Grossly Impaired
For a veteran to receive a 100 percent rating for their psychiatric impairment, they must be considered totally impaired, both socially and occupationally. Gross impairment of their thoughts or communication can indicate impairment, as can hallucinations, memory loss and disorientation of time and place. When tested, the veteran must show signs of severe memory, attention and concentration impairments.
The VA assigns graduated ratings based on a veteran’s abilities. If a person has some abilities and is not totally disabled, they may be rated at 70, 50, 30 or 10 percent. Veterans with no evidence of psychiatric impairments will be rated at zero percent.
Compassionate Legal Advice
One of the benefits that Veterans Law Group provides is an independent medical examination (IME). This can help make an appeal much stronger. Oftentimes, there isn’t money for an IME to be provided, or the veteran doesn’t know that this is available. VLG provides these. Veterans seeking an appeal can click here to learn more about IMEs.