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Common VA Disabilities


14 Questions about Veterans Disability Compensation Benefits Claims 

When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about when it comes to filing VA Disability Claims.

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Vet Center And Gaf


I have posted in the past that I don't like going to the Vet Center and want to pack it in but I was advised

not to do that because I have a claim pending for an increase for my PTSD. My question today concerns

a GAF score. Does the psychogolist at the Vet center give a GAF score for our meetings? Who gives one?

Does the NP that I see for meds assign one? I know the Doctor that did the C&P gave me one. I don't want

to walk into the Vet Center and say everything is great because I don't want to be there and then get a GAF of 90.


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7 answers to this question

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The percentage level of disability granted for mental health

disability involves many factors other than GAF scores.

A GAF score can change from day to day - week to week.

When you go to the Vet Center or any medical provider I always

suggest to present yourself as the way you really are.

If you have a claim in requesting an increase and you have some updated

medical evidence you might want to submit copies of it to your VARO.

Also, the VARO will most likely send you for another C&P exam in response

to your request for increase.

Your VARO has no clue you are receiving any treatment unless you tell them so.

The VAMC's and the Vet Centers do not just automatically send your treatment records to the VARO,

unless the claimant submits copies of them or clearly points out to the VARO that treatment records

from XX/XX/XXXX thru XX/XX/XXXX should be used in the adjudication of your claim issues.

In most cases a GAF is not assigned at every meeting you have with a mental health provider.


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Billy, The Vets centers are there to help vets with their problems not try and screw with you through the VA. They as carlie said are total separate and their computers are not hooked up to VA's. The only way someone can get your records from what you say there is by you giving them permission. Don't believe ask your counselor next time you go.

When I filed I asked my counselor who had seen me for over 6 months every two weeks if she would write a letter in support. She did and I believe that is what helped me get my rating that I did.

As far as gaf goes never heard my counselor state whether she did that or not. Again ask the next time you go they truly are their to help you. Hope you get to feeling better about your treatments and opening up!

I have just lost my counselor for the past year and really need to get in and see the new one but I am kind of balking just like you are. I know I need the help and I will do it I just have to convince my mind!

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If I had a claim in for increase in compensation for PTSD I would surely

be getting treatment. I would also ask my mental health providers at the Vet Center,to write me

a brief letter of support OR if the provider is at the VAMC, I would ask them to enter current findings

to include GAF scores into my progress notes.

If they have the right pedigree / authority, there should be no problem doing this.

Ask yourself this.

If you were a decision maker at the VBA and someone requests an increase, wouldn't it be

an important issue to consider in the claim - well has this vet continued to receive care, treatment,

medications for this disability ?

What does the evidence of record show in regards to support that this vets disability has become worse ?

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I go to the vet center every week and look so forword to it as do the other vets in the group, we are a close knit group including our psychologist. Everything is highly confidential, what is said in the group stays in the group and the information as the others has stated is not linked to the VA, it can only help you in the long run.


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My regional va prefers to look at GAF's as they use these when making their determinations...when My 3 psychologists left over a period of 6 mths( pain one, ptsd gp one, and regular counseling one) the new one did not use Axis scale. I requested she use it once a month especially as I had an increase in...one was granted from 30 to 50 and had a NOD in when the VA settled with me for 100% PT no future exams...So it is a component in determining your mental health % as noted in your grant award letters it states such and such rating warrents X amt and you did or did not meet the say 41-50 range so you will stay at the level you were previously granted. These are just examples used but were on all of my decision letters. I averaged 40 for 3 yrs and stayed at 50%. Was 27-50 in the beginning 3 1/2 yrs. Many components are used in the determination as stated but the higher the score I have seen the lower the % granting. JMHO. Go to the appts. Group therapy just says you attended, the topic, and if you were an active participant, and if you had other stressful problems to add. No Axis used here, only in personal counseling sessions.

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GAF;s are only part of what is used to rate a Veteran. I think way to many worry about GAF's and defer treatment.

It is highly unlikely that anyone would assign a GAF based on group therapy.

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