Iraq War Veteran Wins TDIU Rating, 7 Years of Past-Due Benefits for PTSD

P.O. hired Friedman Disability in June of 2014 after the VA denied his claim for 1) a schedular rating in excess of 50 percent for his service-connected PTSD and 2) a total disability rating based on individual unemployability (TDIU). P.O. enlisted in the United States Army in 1997 and served for seven years in Iraq and elsewhere before being honorably discharged in 2005. Following his discharge, P.O. worked various jobs until his PTSD symptoms became too difficult to manage, and he was unable to work at all after 2008.

When P.O. came to Friedman Disability, he was in the middle of appealing his claim to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA). Our firm began by obtaining his complete VA claims file as well as his VA and private medical records in order to identify what additional evidence should be submitted to the BVA to strengthen P.O.’s claim. Our firm obtained sworn declarations from the veteran and his spouse testifying to the severity of his PTSD and the changes in his mood and behavior during and after his military service. Our firm also referred P.O. to a psychiatrist with extensive experience diagnosing and treating veterans with PTSD for an examination. Our firm submitted the examining psychiatrist’s report and the two sworn declarations to the BVA, showing that the lay and medical evidence left no doubt that P.O.’s severe PTSD symptoms warranted a higher schedular rating and a TDIU rating due to his inability to work.

Thanks to these efforts, in November of 2015 the BVA granted P.O. a 70 percent schedular rating for his PTSD and a TDIU rating with a 2008 effective date. This resulted in an award of seven years of past-due benefits totaling more than $181,000, in addition to continuing current disability paid at the 100 percent rate.