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Disability compensation for PTSD

If you have posttraumatic stress from a traumatic event you experienced during your service, you may be eligible for VA disability compensation for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Compensation provides tax-free monthly payments. Keep reading to find out if you may be eligible. Learn more about 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:

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 VA disability compensation?

You may be eligible for disability compensation 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 both of these requirements.

Both of these must be true:

  • The stressor happened during your service, and
  • A doctor has diagnosed you with PTSD

Note: If you get a disability rating, you may also be eligible for VA health care and other benefits. 

What does VA consider to be a traumatic event?

  • Combat experiences, like engaging in combat with enemy forces, experiencing fear of hostile military or terrorist activity, serving in an imminent danger area, or serving as a drone aircraft crew member
  • Sexual assault or harassment 
  • Traumatic personal interactions, like physical assault, battery, robbery, mugging, stalking, or harassment by a person who wasn’t part of an enemy force, or domestic abuse or harassment by a partner 
  • Other traumatic events, like getting into a car accident, witnessing a natural disaster, working on burn ward or graves registration, witnessing the death, injury, or threat to another person or to yourself, that was caused by something other than a hostile military or terrorist activity, or experiencing or witnessing friendly fire that occurred on a gunnery range during a training mission

How do I file a claim for compensation?

You can file a claim online now. You can also file by mail, in person, or with the help of a trained professional. 

File for disability compensation online

Learn about other ways to file a disability compensation claim

Note: In our screening process, we’ll focus on understanding your PTSD to help determine your eligibility for disability benefits. We won’t offer you treatment during this process.

Additional forms you’ll need to submit

When you file a disability compensation claim, you’ll also need to fill out a Statement in Support of Claimed Mental Health Disorder(s) Due to an In-Service Traumatic Event(s) (VA Form 21-0781). 

Get VA Form 21-0781 to download