VA disability compensation for PTSD
Posttraumatic stress can happen after someone goes through a traumatic event such as combat, an assault, or a disaster. Most people have some stress reactions following trauma. But if the reactions don’t go away over time or they disrupt your life, you may have posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Find out if you can get disability compensation or benefits if you have symptoms of PTSD.
How do I talk to someone right now?
If you’re a Veteran in crisis or concerned about one, connect with our caring, qualified Veterans Crisis Line responders for confidential help. Many of them are Veterans themselves. This service is private, free, and available 24/7.
To connect with a Veterans Crisis Line responder anytime day or night:
- Call 988.
- Text 838255.
- Start a confidential chat.
- If you have hearing loss, call TTY: 800-799-4889.
You can also:
- Call 911.
- Go to the nearest emergency room.
- Go directly to your nearest VA medical center. It doesn’t matter what your discharge status is or if you’re enrolled in VA health care.
Find your nearest VA medical center
Am I eligible for disability benefits from VA?
You may be eligible for disability benefits if you have symptoms related to a traumatic event (the “stressor”) or your experience with the stressor is related to the PTSD symptoms, and you meet all of these requirements.
All of these must be true:
- The stressor happened during your service, and
- You can’t function as well as you once could because of your symptoms, and
- A doctor has diagnosed you with PTSD
What does VA consider to be a traumatic event?
We consider any of these to be a traumatic event:
- You suffered a serious injury, personal or sexual trauma, or sexual violation, or
- You were threatened with injury, sexual assault, or death
What kind of disability benefits can I get?
- Health care
- Compensation (payments)
- Treatment for PTSD
How do I get these benefits?
You’ll need to file a claim for disability compensation.
Find out how to file a claim for disability compensation
When you file a disability claim, you’ll also need to fill out one of these additional forms:
- A Statement in Support of Claim for Service Connection for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (VA Form 21-0781).
Get VA Form 21-0781 to download
- A Statement in Support of Claim for Service Connection for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Secondary to Personal Assault (VA Form 21-0781a).
Get VA Form 21-0781a to download
Note: In our screening process, we’ll focus on getting a full understanding of your PTSD to help determine your eligibility for disability benefits. We won’t offer you treatment during this process.
If you’re looking for treatment options, please talk with your health care provider or learn more about accessing VA services for PTSD.
Find out how to access VA services for PTSD
If you’re in crisis and need to talk with someone right now, you can connect with a Veterans Crisis Line responder any time, day or night.
Find out how to get support now
Get more information
We’ve made great progress in treating PTSD and have brought more mental health providers to VA medical centers to help give the best care to Veterans with PTSD.
Learn about our PTSD programs