When attending a VA examination and/or interacting with your treatment providers please be sure that they are aware of it if you have any of the symptoms below.

  • Depressed mood
  • Anxiety
  • Suspiciousness
  • Panic attacks that occur weekly or less often
  • Panic attacks more than once a week
  • Near-continuous panic or depression affecting the ability to function independently, appropriately and effectively
  • Chronic sleep impairment
  • Mild memory loss, such as forgetting names, directions or recent events
  • Impairment of short and long term memory, for example, retention of only highly learned material, while forgetting to complete tasks
  • Memory loss for names of close relatives, own occupation, or own name
  • Flattened affect
  • Circumstantial, circumlocutory or stereotyped speech
  • Speech intermittently illogical, obscure, or irrelevant
  • Difficulty in understanding complex commands
  • Impaired judgment
  • Impaired abstract thinking
  • Gross impairment in thought processes or communication
  • Disturbances of motivation and mood
  • Difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships
  • Difficulty adapting to stressful circumstances, including work or a work like setting
  • Inability to establish and maintain effective relationships
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Obsessional rituals which interfere with routine activities
  • Impaired impulse control, such as unprovoked irritability with periods of violence
  • Spatial disorientation
  • Persistent delusions or hallucinations
  • Grossly inappropriate behavior
  • Persistent danger of hurting self or others
  • Neglect of personal appearance and hygiene
  • Intermittent inability to perform activities of daily living, including maintenance of minimal personal hygiene
  • Disorientation to time or place

The lists above and below are taken from one of the Disability Benefits Questionnaires (DBQ’s) VA examiners compete during a C&P disability examination. You can learn more and see a list of the DBQ’s here. The symptom list above and the checkbox opinion related to functioning below have a big impact on the final ratings.

  • NO MENTAL DISORDER DIAGNOSIS
  • 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
  • OCCUPATIONAL AND SOCIAL IMPAIRMENT DUE TO MILD OR TRANSIENT SYMPTOMS WHICH DECREASE WORK EFFICIENCY AND ABILITY TO PERFORM OCCUPATIONAL TASKS ONLY DURING PERIODS OF SIGNIFICANT STRESS, OR SYMPTOMS CONTROLLED BY MEDICATION
  • OCCUPATIONAL AND SOCIAL IMPAIRMENT WITH OCCASIONAL DECREASE IN WORK EFFICIENCY AND INTERMITTENT PERIODS OF INABILITY TO PERFORM OCCUPATIONAL TASKS, ALTHOUGH GENERALLY FUNCTIONING SATISFACTORILY, WITH NORMAL ROUTINE BEHAVIOR, SELF-CARE AND CONVERSATION
  • OCCUPATIONAL AND SOCIAL IMPAIRMENT WITH REDUCED RELIABILITY AND PRODUCTIVITY
  • OCCUPATIONAL AND SOCIAL IMPAIRMENT WITH DEFICIENCIES IN MOST AREAS, SUCH AS WORK, SCHOOL, FAMILY RELATIONS, JUDGMENT, THINKING AND/OR MOOD
  • TOTAL OCCUPATIONAL AND SOCIAL IMPAIRMENT

It is important that you communicate any symptoms or relevant functional problems that you have. An examiner may not always read down the list and ask you about each specific symptom (though ideally they should ask). If you have thoughts or questions or have had a VA examination that you feel did not fairly address your concerns, please feel free to reach out to a psychologist who does this type of work such as myself: www.toddfinnerty.com

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