Conditions That Are Not Ratable
The simple drinking of alcoholic beverages is not itself wilful misconduct, but the VA considers the deliberate drinking of a known poisonous substance to be willful misconduct. If intoxication results in disability or death, the VA will consider that disability or death to be the result of willful misconduct. Any organic diseases or disabilities which are the result of chronic alcohol overuse, whether out of compulsion or otherwise, are not willful misconduct. Post-traumatic stress disorder increases a Veteran’s risk of developing other serious health conditions, including alcoholism.
For example, imagine a person who suffers from depression and an alcohol or drug problem. The person is using alcohol or drugs to help cope with the depression, because in his/her opinion, the depression medications prescribed by the doctor do not seem to work. First, it is important to know whether or not the person has been advised to stop drinking or using drugs by the doctor. If the doctor has advised the person to stop and they continue to engage in the behavior, SSA will likely determine that the person is ignoring medical advice. In other words, they are non-compliant with the doctor’s orders. Other considerations are also whether the person is using v. abusing, is it prescription drugs or illegal drugs, etc.
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If you’re receiving VA disability benefits for a service-connected condition, your benefits can’t be taken away because of substance abuse. However, if you’re convicted of a felony related to your substance abuse, your benefits may be suspended. The programs help veterans dealing with all types of substance abuse, ranging from unhealthy alcohol use to life-threatening addiction. Even if you aren’t given a VA disability rating for substance abuse, help is available to you. We’ve listed all the resources available to veterans at the end of this article. If a condition is the result of intentional misconduct, then it does not qualify for disability.
- PTSD can last for as little as a few months or continue for the rest of a sufferer’s life and can be acute, ongoing, or delayed.
- It is also essential to know what documentation you need to provide the VA to be approved for benefits such as disability compensation and survivor benefits.
- To receive VA benefits for substance abuse, you must first be diagnosed with a substance abuse disorder by a doctor.
- Eight of the veterans showed clinically reliable reductions in PTSD outcomes after treatment.
The VA doesn’t consider veteran substance abuse alone a disability. However, if you develop substance abuse as a result of dealing with a service-connected physical or mental health disability, you may be eligible for increased disability benefits. In research and practice, several notable gaps exist in addressing co-occurring PTSD and AUD in military and veteran populations. First, although military service appears to increase risk for the comorbid conditions, more research is needed to identify factors that contribute to the increased risk for the development of these disorders within the specific military context. In addition, military-specific barriers to accessing care need to be identified. For example, policies that have potential career consequences, such as requiring that treatment participation be recorded in a service member’s military record, may inhibit voluntary participation in treatment.
Can I lose my disability rating for substance abuse?
How, when and why to service connect a veterans drug and alcohol abuse. Cognitive processing therapy for veterans with comorbid PTSD and alcohol use disorders. Post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and binge drinking in the Reserve Component of the U.S. Military and veteran populations have a critical need for interventions that aim to reduce the burden of co-occurring PTSD and AUD. Treating these conditions simultaneously has been challenging and complex in the general population, and military service adds additional risk factors for the likelihood of their onset and maintenance.
This means that, if a ptsd alcohol blackout developed a drinking problem that began during service, he cannot be service connected for it. However, VA may be willing to recognize claims for alcohol abuse issues that are secondary to a service connected condition. Therefore, a veteran could theoretically be service connected for alcoholism that is secondary to PTSD, if PTSD is a service connected condition. Keep in mind, however, there if alcohol abuse is a service-connected disability, and the veteran develops conditions secondary to his alcohol abuse such as cirrhosis, the veteran may be able to receive a separate compensation rating for cirrhosis. It is a common misconception that a veteran can’t receive disability benefits for conditions connected to substance abuse. The VA will not allow a direct service connection for substance abuse, but you can receive a secondary service connection if you can show that your addiction developed as the result of a service-connected disability such as PTSD. While you won’t receive separate compensation for substance abuse if you are already receiving compensation for PTSD , you can receive compensation for conditions that often stem from alcoholism, such as liver disease.