The courageous veterans fighting for our country may come home to Georgia with serious physical injuries and mental illness, including PTSD, depression, schizophrenia, and anxiety. Fortunately, many veterans are eligible for disability compensation through Veterans' Affairs (VA) or the Social Security Administration (SSA).
In order to collect veterans benefits for a disability through the VA, your disability must be classified as "service-connected." In other words, there must be evidence that an incident or accident during your time in service caused the mental illness you are currently suffering from.
If you had a mental illness prior to your time in service, you may be eligible for benefits if you can establish that your time in service aggravated your mental illness or made it worse. The VA will evaluate your mental disorder and give you a rating ranging from 0% to 100% based on how your symptoms impact your ability to work and function in real life. The benefits you receive will be based on your rating. A 0% rating generally means that the symptoms of your condition are not serious enough to interfere with your life, while a 100% rating generally means your symptoms completely interfere with your life.
For disability benefits through the SSA, your mental illness does not have to be linked to your military service. However, you will need to show that your medical condition causes impairments that prevent you from working at a substantial gainful level and that your condition will eventually cause death or has lasted or will likely last for a minimum of 12 months.
Veterans may receive benefits from both the VA and the SSA. An attorney specializing in disability benefits for veterans can help you get the benefits you deserve for your mental condition.