Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Posttraumatic stress can happen after someone goes through a traumatic event such as combat, an assault, or a disaster. Most people have some stress reactions following trauma. But if the reactions don’t go away over time or they disrupt your life, you may have PTSD. Find out if you can get disability compensation or benefits if you have symptoms of PTSD.
How do I talk to someone right now?Find out how to get support any time day or night.
Whatever you’re struggling with—chronic pain, anxiety, depression, trouble sleeping, anger, or even homelessness—we can support you. Our Veterans Crisis Line is confidential (private), free, and available 24/7.
To connect with a Veterans Crisis Line responder any time day or night:
You can also:
- Call 911.
- Go to the nearest emergency room.
Can I get disability benefits from VA?
You may be able to get disability benefits if you have symptoms related to a traumatic event (the “stressor”) or your experience with the stressor is related to the PTSD symptoms, and you meet all of the requirements listed below.
All of these must be true:
- The stressor happened during your service, and
- You can’t function as well as you once could because of your symptoms, and
- A doctor has diagnosed you with PTSD
What does VA consider to be a traumatic event?
We consider any of these to be a traumatic event:
- You suffered a serious injury, personal or sexual trauma, or sexual violation, or
- You were threatened with injury, sexual assault, or death
What kind of disability benefits can I get?
- Health care
- Compensation (payments)
- Treatment for PTSD
How do I get these benefits?
You’ll need to apply for benefits.
Apply for disability benefits.
Please note that the screening process for disability benefits is geared toward getting a full understanding of your PTSD, not treating it. To get help or treatment, contact your health care provider or any of the emergency contacts listed at the top of this page.
Get more information
We’ve made great progress in treating PTSD and have brought more mental health providers to VA medical centers to help give the best care to Veterans with PTSD.
Learn about our PTSD programs.