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# Exploring the Decision to Apply for Disability Benefits

I don’t use reddit all that much so forgive me if I did something wrong. I meant to put a question mark after the title ha

## Considering Disability Benefits After Military Service

I was in 3rd Ranger Battalion with 6 combat tours. I have ARCOM with “V” and others with me have the same or better. I was subject to artillery fire over 10 days, airborne, patrols (both humvee and helicopter) and many small arms fire conflicts. Many guys unfortunately passed and others wounded. I never applied or thought about applying for disability because I never had a physical ailment. Some of those who were wounded needed it more. For instance, one of our guys is now permanently blind in both eyes. It has now been almost 20 years and someone said “why in the world haven’t you applied for disability?”

## Seeking Clarity on Mental Health and Disability

I always thought that if you have mental issues you just deal with it and move on. To be honest I don’t even know if I have PTSD because I have lived my life for so long after. Of course no one would ever tell me I act different to avoid offending me. I am not sure what to do. I do get depressed and have anxiety but who doesn’t, military or not? I feel like if I apply I am using my resume to take advantage of the benefit system. Do my knees hurt because I am old or because of the military? Am I depressed because life is hard or because of the military? Am I crazy? I am on the fence with applying and not really sure what to do. It is a weird subject to bring up with people who don’t understand so I don’t even know where to seek advice. Anyone else in this situation and felt okay with applying? Would it be worth it to seek counseling before applying to help figure it all out? Thanks for any advice

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View Reference


  • Ornery-Mulberry-9649

    Also PTSD and stress just wasn’t a thing the military cared about 15-20 years ago

  • ExtensionInitial6012

    You should certainly apply. I waited for 14 years to apply, and it was worth it in the end. As for the specifics of your situation, you should get a diagnosis and file your paperwork.

    I didn’t realize I had PTSD, I just thought I was a volatile jackass. I spent years trying to understand my own behavior, but it was the VA that helped me put everything into perspective. You should give the VA a call and try to set up your appointments. Mental health appointments can take awhile to schedule, just a heads-up.

  • getithotter

    Please apply. It’s important that all of us that were affected by the wars are accounted for, and taken care of

    It won’t take away from anyone who you feel is “more” deserving (which is a distorted thought process – trauma and injuries aren’t comparable from one person to another). In fact, it will benefit other vets greatly. For each of us receiving compensation and care from the VA, the more funding the VA is going to receive

    I went through a helluva lot less than you, lots of patrols, the bare minimum of skirmish/IED to get a combat badge. I had the same mindset you do for a long time, but I have come to believe I absolutely deserve the 100% P&T I’m receiving

    It’s intended to replace income potential that’s lost due to service connected conditions. I definitely would be capable of making $50k a year more than I am now, if I wasn’t dealing with chronic nerve pain, moderately severe asthma, and mental health out the wazoo

  • WerewolfNew4007

    I got out 20 years ago and finally submitted last year after spending years in constant fight or flight. It finally caught up to me. I guess I don’t run as fast as I used to

  • RevolutionPristine36

    Hey Ranger, you’re on a new mission. The mission is to take care of your ailments, and heal, while at the same time getting the benefits you earned and deserve.

    It took me over 20 years after leaving Ft. Bragg to finally admit that I had issues to deal with, and it’s my third wife who threatened to leave me if I didn’t seek help.

    Fast forward, I was aggressive in seeking help from VA , getting proper diagnosis for my conditions, and getting ongoing treatment.

    The big 3: current diagnosis, service connection, nexus.

    Since we chewed some of the same dirt you have 1. Combat PTSD
    2. You want to get that back checked out
    3. Those jumps took a toll on your knees
    4. That annoying ringing in your ear keeping you awake at night is tinnitus

    That’s just for starters. You are covered under the PACT ACT, and since you’re not an old man like me you may not have to be concerned about Gulf War presumptive conditions, but could still link many of those back to service.

    Before filing anything, please get proper diagnosis. Your DD-214 must be a book, so that will be huge.

    Look in the mirror and repeat after me… you’re not back in battalion, you’re a a veteran who needs help. It’s the toughest thing for us to admit, especially those who came from a high speed unit.

    You have to lay yourself bare in front of a stranger and tell them about your experience, your nightmares, your fears. We’re all happy you’re here; you’re in a new group, and these smart people will try and answer every question you have.

    Post questions and welcome. You got this 👍

  • Past_Object2403

    First, definitely apply. Just get as much education as you can to make sure you don’t set traps for yourself that will prolong this process. When you file for PTSD, do not mention any non-combat stressors. Just focus on one or two of the top stressors that happened in theaters of combat. Those stressors will not need to be verified only the conflicts themselves. Little details like that. Yes, get representation. VSO is a crap shoot, and don’t use VA Claims insider or any other contingency companies

  • Ornery-Mulberry-9649

    I am trying to make notes. Should I focus more on my time in the military, how I feel now or both equally important?

  • imbacckkk

    Bro I didn’t apply for a decade. Finally went through the process. 80 percent right off the bat. I’ve been struggling for a long time and now life is on easy mode. Do it brother.

  • 2Bbannedagain

    I just had my C&P exam yesterday for PTSD….26 years after I got out. The exam er most certainly said the 2 stressors I listed caused my PTSD. mental health was nothing to discuss way back in the day. I’ve been fighting it for 25 years.

    It’s worth it. Talk to a therapist. Apply for your benefits. Get help

  • mm5412

    My advice is to first see a therapist and doctors for all the conditions. Then once you have diagnosis for all of them, then file.

  • burgerman1960

    Absolutely apply. You have earned benefits and should be proud to receive them.

  • Rapalla93

    Dude. I’m at 80% TDIU P&T and I never heard a shot in anger. Injured in a training accident at Ft Bragg, nothing dramatic but wrecked my back. Other stuff happened too but don’t need to go into that here. Needless to say you are most likely entitled to monthly disability pay of some sort. Being a hard charging Ranger I am sure you went to sick call not ever, but if you match up your current mental health struggles with your service record should not be an issue to get service connected.

  • Background-Shower778

    That was my same reasoning for not applying, which I did in December after 7 years post service. I thought of my friends who got blown up, shot, or killed themselves after deployment as my reasoning for not deserving benefits. I finally decided to be honest with myself and apply. The combat awards help with making it smoother. All I had to show was my CIB. I’m not sure what I’ll get rated, but I’m happy to have it on the books regardless so I can get treatment when my knees go out before I’m 35, hearing aids, and MH treatment if I need it.

  • Equivalent-Baker2646

    Guilt and negative self image are the hallmarks of what most of us deal with. We never feel worthy enough, good enough, or even broken enough. “Maybe I’m just lazy, maybe no one like me, maybe I just have a short fuse” etc.

    Glad you are on the path to acknowledging your issues and getting the benefits you earned. Good luck!

  • nidena

    I didn’t read all the comments but be sure to go on the VA website and put in your Intent to File ASAP. Then you have a year to see all the docs and submit the actual claim.

  • Technical_Pin8335

    You’ll need current treatment to get a current diagnosis. VA mental health can provide that.

    Some of your in service stressors are a given and don’t need as much evidence.

    Then, you’ll still need a nexus.

  • HendrixLivesOn

    Hey man, I was in the same boat. A family member put it in perspective, “Do it for the things you can’t do anymore and for the family.” I can’t bend over and pick up my daughter, i cant walk much. Knees hurt and all that. 2 deployments, and I just dealt with it and didn’t care at the time. Now that im out, it effects in many ways. Get the paperwork in order and make the VA’s job easy. Go to the appointments, build the paper trail etc

  • Electronic-Bed-6192

    PTSD impacts my relationships, my marriage, my kids, and my hobbies. And it impacts my career options and jobs. So if by filing a claim I can get some relief in any of those areas I will take it…including the money, because now that I have a PTSD diagnosis and anti-depressents my career in the aviation industry is very very limited. Getting help was the best decision I’ve made since I ETS’d.

  • Submariner-042086

    Vietnam vet. Didn’t apply for over 40 years. It was worth it. Go for it!

  • Ok_West4684

    If it helps you at all, I waited 33 years after getting out to apply for benefits, and I had never complained about my mental health during service. When I applied for benefits, I was only looking for depression, but my examiner noticed a few things in my records and wanted to ask me some additional questions. I ended up with a 70% PTSD rating which covered a few things, but now I’m meeting with a psychologist and it’s helping. So I would encourage you to continue moving forward and helping yourself. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you for your service…🙏🏻🙏🏻

  • Trick_Impression_974

    I would absolutely apply. It’s like my friend told me with my mental health issues, most likely it was caused from my trauma while in the military so don’t try to convince yourself otherwise.

  • NorthwestSmith

    I’m in the same boat as you, or at least the same lake. My hearing is failing, my back hurts almost constantly, one shoulder is shot, I use a CPAP to sleep, my wife has accused me of having PTSD, I’m hyper alert and can rarely fully relax. Every single thing could be traced back to time in service, however I’ve also lived a life where Shit has happened.

    People have said I need to apply for benefits. The paperwork is filled out and ready to go… I’m just struggling to send it in.

  • D3V1L5-4DV0C4T3

    Get what is OWED to you brother. You served, sacrificed, and suffered. No shame in seeking the benefits you’ve earned and can help Improve quality of life for you!!!

  • Revolutionary_Gas551

    It took me a while to apply, and while I certainly don’t have as many deployments as you do, I do have a few, and I applied for PTSD and anxiety (after numerous nudges from the wife). I didn’t earn a CIB bc I wasn’t infantry, but the lady who did my screening told me that having a CAB was almost guaranteed for a rating, and I got 30% just for those two. I’d venture to guess that a CIB would be along the same lines. I had no counseling previously, although I am now signed up. I had no mental health screenings, and always said I was fine on the PDHA (post deployment health assessments). I wasn’t, but I put it anyways, mostly just to get out of the med offices. Anyways, I would definitely go ahead and file. I plan to go through counseling, and if needed, try to up my rating after that. I would definitely go talk to a Veteran Support Organization (VSO) and have them help you walk through the process. Good luck, and you should definitely do it. Remember, benefits start from the date you file. It took a year to get through mine because I added a few other claims which the VA combined, and it reset the process, but the back pay was over $12k.

  • JazzlikeMycologist

    In 1993 I was hospitalized for depression. You would have thought that I had shot the president. I was relieved of my position, ( MOS 42A, Personnel Management ) I lost my security clearance and harassed daily because I would not resign from the Army. If I had a stroke, heart attack or anything else I guess that would have been acceptable.

    Get all you are entitled to and thank you for your service!!

  • FacilityGoat

    I feel this post in my soul. I’m hoping to have my first real claim in this week. Took me about 15 years to get to this point as well.

    I’m about as articulate as an infant and you took the words/feelings from my head. Thank you.

  • Tweaked05

    Do it!!! I waited over 20 years, and I shouldn’t have. I just got my initial rating today of 70%.

  • nicknamebucky

    Hey there! I’m in the same boat as you, but in a “I’m in the Air Force and I load planes for a living” kind of way. I’m 16 years in with just a few more in the reserves to go.

    My body aches all the time, and I’ve been afraid to report anything because one time while on a profile and unable to perform my 1.5 mile run during PT, I was sent in front of a med board… now in hindsight, it wasn’t as bad as it sounded, but leading up to it I thought my career was in jeopardy and I was going to get discharged. Luckily that didn’t happen.

    I found a way to deal with the injury but now I’m turning around and filing a claim for that specific one that has caused so much anxiety in my career (looks like I can do anxiety as a secondary just from my typing this out loud…).

    You’ve served your time and you’ve earned your scars and wounds, whether visible or invisible. It’s time to take care of you.