Proper sleep is essential to a healthy lifestyle, but when insomnia gets in the way your nights can be sleepless while you feel fatigued throughout the day. This feeling can be debilitating, impacting your lifestyle and ability to work. For veterans, insomnia can be linked to their military service, leading to a possible disability rating from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Insomnia can be caused in Veterans due to several factors, including mental health issues, chronic pain, Tinnitus, and other stress-causing conditions.
Some of the most common symptoms associated with insomnia include inability to fall asleep, inability to stay asleep, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, irritability, and depression.
How is Insomnia Rated?
If you are able to prove a service connection for Insomnia, the symptoms you experience will be the basis of your rating compensation. Therefore it is important to document your ongoing symptoms that you believe are related to insomnia.
The VA rates insomnia on a scale from 0% to 100%, with higher percentages indicating more severe cases. Therefore, proving service connection is only part of the battle. It is important to document the severity of how these symptoms impact your daily functioning to get the rating you deserve.
The VA Considers Insomnia as a Mental Health Condition
Additionally, it is worth noting that the VA links insomnia to other mental health conditions, such as PTSD. For example, if a veteran has PTSD, they may experience symptoms such as nightmares or flashbacks that disrupt their sleep, leading to a diagnosis of insomnia. In these cases, the VA may rate the veteran's insomnia as a part of their overall rating for PTSD. While the VA can find that a Veteran has more than one mental health diagnosis, they will only consider one combined rating for their mental health difficulties.
Proving a Service Connection
It is essential to note that to be eligible for VA disability benefits for insomnia, the veteran must prove that their condition is related to their military service. Like almost any claim for VA disability, a Veteran must show three elements to obtain a rating for Insomnia: A current diagnosis, an in-service event or events showing in-service sleep difficulties, and a nexus connection between the current diagnosis and in-service events.
A person can also obtain a rating for their currently diagnosed insomnia if they can show that the Insomnia is secondarily connected to another currently rated disability. For example, many Veterans report that Tinnitus can cause insomnia. If you can prove that your insomnia is rated to another issue such as Tinnitus, the VA will find you service connected for insomnia.
Lawyers Serving Georgia's Disabled
Sleep is essential to overall health and well-being, and insomnia can significantly impact a person's quality of life. For veterans, insomnia can be linked to military service and may entitle them to VA disability benefits.
At Affleck & Gordon, our team can help you seek VA disability benefits related to your insomnia and help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys today to learn more about how we can guide you through the VA Disability application process. It's risk-free — you won't pay legal fees unless we win!