Understanding the Requirements to Qualify for 70% PTSD VA Rating

70% PTSD VA Rating

If you’re a veteran dealing with PTSD and trying to get VA benefits, knowing about the 70% PTSD rating is really important. We’ll explain what you need to say to get 70% PTSD compensation from the VA and help improve your chances.

What are PTSD ratings?

PTSD ratings serve as vital assessments conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to evaluate the severity of a veteran’s post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. These assessments gauge how these symptoms impact the veteran’s daily life and functioning. Essentially, PTSD ratings determine the level of compensation and support a veteran may receive from the VA.

What are the different ratings you can get?

The VA employs a comprehensive scale ranging from 0% to 100% to rate PTSD, with each increment indicating varying degrees of symptom severity and impairment:

  • 0%: At this rating, the veteran has received a diagnosis of PTSD, but the symptoms do not significantly disrupt daily life or functioning.
  • 10%: This rating signifies mild symptoms with minimal impairment. Although the symptoms exist, they have a relatively minor impact on the veteran’s ability to carry out daily tasks and maintain social relationships.
  • 30%: With moderate symptoms impacting both work and social functioning, a 30% rating reflects a noticeable impairment caused by PTSD. However, the symptoms are not severe enough to prevent the veteran from engaging in daily activities entirely.
  • 50%: A rating of 50% indicates moderately severe symptoms that affect multiple areas of the veteran’s life. While they can still function to some extent, the symptoms significantly hinder their ability to work, maintain relationships, and participate in social activities.
  • 70%: At this level, veterans experience severe symptoms that result in substantial impairment in most areas of life. These symptoms severely restrict the veteran’s ability to function independently, maintain employment, and engage in social interactions.
  • 100%: The highest rating, 100%, is assigned when the veteran experiences total impairment due to PTSD. This level of impairment includes an inability to work or function socially, as the symptoms are so severe that they completely incapacitate the individual.

How are the ratings determined?

The VA decides how severe a veteran’s PTSD is by looking at how it affects their work and relationships. They use medical records, like diagnoses and treatment notes, to make this decision. They also listen to what friends, family, and coworkers have to say because they can give extra information about how the veteran is doing in daily life. This helps the VA get a fuller picture of the veteran’s situation.

What do you need to get a 70% PTSD rating?

To qualify for a 70% PTSD rating, veterans must meet stringent criteria that reflect the severity of their condition and its impact on their daily lives. Here’s a more detailed exploration of what is required to attain this rating:

1. Severe symptoms

Veterans seeking a 70% PTSD rating must demonstrate the presence of severe symptoms that significantly disrupt their lives. These symptoms may include intrusive thoughts, distressing flashbacks, debilitating nightmares, and overwhelming emotional distress. These experiences should be pervasive and interfere with the veteran’s ability to function effectively in various situations.

2. Occupational and social impairment

A crucial aspect of qualifying for a 70% PTSD rating is the extent of occupational and social impairment experienced by the veteran. Symptoms impede the individual’s performance at work, school, or in other significant areas of life. This impairment may manifest as difficulties maintaining employment, completing tasks, or interacting with others. It can also affect judgment, decision-making, and overall mood stability.

3. Specific indicators

The VA’s rating criteria for a 70% PTSD rating outline specific indicators that reflect the severity of the condition. These indicators include but are not limited to:

  • Suicidal ideation: Persistent thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
  • Obsessional rituals: Compulsive behaviors that disrupt daily activities.
  • Speech disturbances: Incoherent or illogical speech patterns.
  • Near-continuous panic or depression: Intense and prolonged episodes of panic or depression.
  • Impaired impulse control: Difficulty controlling impulses, leading to irritability or violent outbursts.
  • Spatial disorientation: Confusion or disorientation in familiar surroundings.
  • Neglect of personal appearance and hygiene: Lack of self-care and hygiene due to the condition.
  • Difficulty adapting to stressful circumstances: Inability to cope with stressors, including work-related stress.

These indicators serve as benchmarks for assessing the severity of PTSD symptoms and determining the appropriate rating.

4. Evidence

To support their claim for a 70% PTSD rating, veterans must provide comprehensive medical evidence documenting their diagnosis, treatment history, and evaluations by healthcare professionals. This evidence should demonstrate the severity and chronicity of the symptoms experienced by the veteran. Additionally, statements from friends, family members, and coworkers can offer valuable insights into the impact of PTSD on the veteran’s daily functioning and social interactions.

Are there upsides and downsides to a 70% rating?

While a 70% PTSD rating offers substantial compensation and support to veterans struggling with the condition, there are both upsides and downsides to consider:


  • Increased Benefits: Veterans with a 70% PTSD rating are eligible for higher compensation and additional support services, including financial assistance, healthcare benefits, and vocational rehabilitation programs tailored to their needs.
  • Recognition of Severity: A 70% rating acknowledges the profound impact of the veteran’s symptoms on their daily life and validates their experiences. It provides validation for seeking assistance and support to manage the challenges posed by PTSD.


  • Challenges in Coping: The severity of symptoms required for a 70% rating may indicate significant challenges in coping with PTSD. Veterans may experience ongoing distress, impaired daily functioning, and difficulties managing their symptoms effectively.
  • Stigma and Misunderstanding: Despite the recognition of severity, some veterans may face stigma or misunderstanding surrounding their condition, both within the veteran community and society at large. This can affect their self-esteem, relationships, and overall well-being.

While a 70% PTSD rating offers crucial support and recognition, veterans may still encounter challenges in navigating their condition and accessing appropriate resources for recovery and rehabilitation. 

Know what PTSD ratings mean

It’s important for veterans to know what it takes to get a 70% PTSD rating from the VA. By showing how much their symptoms affect their daily life, veterans can increase their chances of getting the benefits they need. This means giving the VA clear evidence of how severe their symptoms are and how they impact their daily activities.

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