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Who Diagnoses a person with PTSD at the VA.

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Good Morning,

     I wanted to inquire who at the VA diagnoses an individual with PTSD.  The reason I ask, is that on many occasions, I have been advised that I have PTSD, by multiple doctors and physicians at the VA, but have not been formally diagnosed.  I had a vet tell me that if I ever wanted to put in a claim for PTSD, I would need a diagnoses, but to this day I have no diagnoses.  Does anyone know where at the VA I would go for specific testing for PTSD.




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First off i would file a VA FORM 10-5345 and send it to all the VA hospitals you have ever been treated at.

I would request in that form that they send you "All records including but not limited to exams, exam notes, correspondence, physician notes, medications, Diagnosis, imaging documents and results and any other related information.  I am specifically interested in any records relating to mental health exams, diagnosis and other related documents, however i am requesting all medical records from treatment at this VA Facility."

You can technically download a lot of this via ebenefits, if you have it, via blue button, but i have found that blue button has baotu 75% of the total medical information at the VA.

pour through this and if there is any diagnosis or mention of PTSD.  if the exam notes mention PTSD as a possible malady then that is not a specific diagnosis, but if the physician opines specifically that "Patient exhibits symptoms that are commonly associated with PTSD" or something to that effect it could be used as a diagnosis.

Personally I would also contact your primary care provider and request a consult with mental health, specifically mention you want to speak to a Psychologist or Psychiatrist and not a NP or general MD, but a Psychologist or Psychiatrist. 

Once you get that consult/exam relay your issues.  talk about the following.

1) the specific episode or event in your military career that started to cause these issues.  combat, bombing, car accident, MST, whatever it may be.

2) how it effected you early on, and how it affects you now.


The VA requires a "Stressor" to be documented as the event that caused your PTSD, for combat vets it could be a suicide bomb that killed friends or having to take anothers life, etc. 

I dont know you well enough or the issues you are having so i am just shooting in the dark.  There is a possibility that you could have no PTSD and that it could be a mixture of anxiety and depression not related to a specific stressor, but just a general mental illness that can still be traced back to in service.

Say you had never deployed, but while in you started to feel depressed, this was the first time in your life you had really been depressed, over the years since you got out it has gotten worse and now its bad.  Just because its not PTSD does not mean it is not compensable, you can be rated for major depressive or other mental illnesses.  However it would have HAD to start while in service.  You cant, and shouldnt, be compensated for say..starting to be depressed years after getting out, or never been depressed but a parent died and youve been depressed since then, or was in a bad car accident 5 years after getting out and its cuased PTSD now.  You can be treated for it through the VA as a veteran but they cant and shouldnt compensate you for it. 



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