Army Veteran Awarded 100 Percent Rating for PTSD After Witnessing Accidental Explosion

In September 2015, M.H. hired Friedman Disability after the V.A. denied his claims for (1) a greater than 50 percent schedular disability rating for PTSD and (2) a total disability rating based on individual unemployability (TDIU).

M.H. served in the United States Army as an automated logistical specialist from 1990 to 1994, and was deployed to the Persian Gulf during Desert Storm. While serving at Fort Knox, he witnessed an accidental fuel explosion that killed a soldier.

As a result of his service-connected PTSD, M.H. attempted suicide, had other symptoms of severe depression and anxiety, and developed a substance abuse disorder. He habitually avoided gas stations, gas grills, and any other place where explosions seemed possible. M.H. worked at a variety of short-term jobs but his anger and irritability resulted in his inability to relate effectively to his coworkers and supervisors. By 2011, M. H.’s actual employment history demonstrated that he was unable to secure and follow a substantially gainful occupation.

After obtaining and analyzing his VA medical treatment records, our firm proved that M.H.’s examining psychologists had identified several signs and symptoms of his PTSD that satisfied the criteria for a 70 percent or higher schedular rating, including an inability to establish and maintain effective relationships, impaired impulse control, unprovoked irritability, and difficulty adapting to stressful circumstances.

Our firm first filed a Notice of Disagreement (NOD) with the Regional Office and then a formal appeal to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA) demonstrating MH’s entitlement to a schedular 100 percent disability rating. Mr. Friedman also represented M.H. at a hearing before a Board of Veterans’ Appeals judge. In October of 2018 the BVA granted MH a 100 percent schedular disability rating for his PTSD effective June 2012. Through the work of Robert A. Friedman & Associates, MH received more than $167,000 in past-due benefits as well as continuing current disability paid at the 100 percent rate.