Life with schizoaffective illness is difficult, and many people need help to stay stable. Schizoaffective disorder patients may also receive disability ratings from the VA.
VA disability ratings may be complicated, but knowing them is crucial. These ratings help veterans with service-related disorders like schizoaffective disorder financially and medically.
Understanding Schizoaffective Disorder
Schizophrenia and a mood disorder are symptoms of schizoaffective disorder, a mental illness. The VA uses the General Rating Formula for Mental Disorders to rate schizoaffective disorder. The rating to which the symptoms interfere with the veteran's ability to do their job and interact socially determines the rankings.
Eligibility Criteria for VA Disability Benefits
Veteran disability benefits for schizoaffective disease are contingent upon the veteran's meeting certain eligibility criteria. Being able to prove a connection between the disease and military service is a requirement, as is having a service-connected impairment.
VA Rating for Schizoaffective Disorder
The VA rating for schizoaffective disorder is as follows:
- 100%: Total occupational and social impairment. The veteran is unable to work or function independently.
- 70%: Occupational and social impairment, with deficiencies in most areas. The veteran has difficulty working and maintaining relationships.
- 50%: Occupational and social impairment with reduced reliability and productivity. The veteran can work but has difficulty maintaining employment.
- 30%: Occupational and social impairment with occasional decrease in work efficiency and intermittent periods of inability to perform occupational tasks (although generally functioning satisfactorily). The veteran can work but has occasional problems due to their symptoms.
- 10%: Occupational and social impairment due to mild or transient symptoms that decrease work efficiency and ability to perform occupational tasks only during periods of significant stress or symptoms controlled by continuous medication. The veteran can work and function normally most of the time, but their symptoms may worsen during times of stress.
- 0%: A mental condition has been formally diagnosed, but symptoms are not severe enough either to interfere with occupational and social functioning or to require continuous medication.
A veteran with schizoaffective disorder who has demonstrated a connection to their service is eligible for a rating from the VA. That indicated their military experience was either the root cause of the ailment or a contributing factor in its decline.
If a veteran with schizoaffective disorder is able to establish a link between their condition and their military service, they may qualify for a rating from the VA. It indicates that their military experience may have either caused the ailment or played a part in its deterioration.
If you are a veteran with schizoaffective disorder, contact the VA to learn about eligibility for VA disability benefits.
Here are some additional things to keep in mind about VA ratings for schizoaffective disorder:
- The VA will consider all of the evidence in your case, including medical records, military records, and lay statements, when making a rating decision.
- The VA may also conduct a VA compensation and pension (C&P) exam to assess your condition.
- The VA rating process can be complex, so it is important to get help from a veterans' advocate if you are applying for benefits.