What Is Secondary Service Connection for PTSD?

If you suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), research and studies have shown that it’s likely that you also suffer from secondary conditions. In other words, those with PTSD have a tendency to develop other impairments as a result of, or aggravated by, their PTSD related symptoms. For example, as explained below, people with PTSD often suffer from issues like sleep apnea, erectile dysfunction, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). If you can prove that you suffer from a secondary condition related to your service-connected PTSD, you may be entitled to additional VA disability compensation. For further information about secondary conditions and your compensation options, please review the information below and contact our Michigan disability law attorney for assistance. 

Sleep Apnea

One common secondary condition associated with PTSD that we typically see in our veterans is sleep apnea.  Symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Waking up short of breath 
  • Gasping for air
  • Snoring
  • Fatigue 

In addition, untreated sleep apnea can lead to multiple serious complications, including: 

  • Diabetes
  • Glaucoma
  • Behavioral disorders
  • Heart attack
  • Cancer

Erectile Dysfunction

For males with PTSD, erectile dysfunction is a common secondary condition. Erectile dysfunction can affect a person’s life in many ways. Not only does the condition typically cause stress on the veteran, it can also cause relationship problems which can further exacerbate mental symptoms. Alternatively, some people experience erectile dysfunction due to PTSD medications. These theories of secondary service-connection are common grounds for a valid VA service-connected disability claim. 

GERD

GERD is an issue that results when stomach acid flows into the esophagus and irritates its lining. Symptoms of GERD include:

  • Heartburn
  • Belching 
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Regurgitation of food
  • Arm pain
  • Shoulder pain

Secondary Service Connection  

If you suffer from any of the above conditions, you may eligible for secondary service connection secondary to PTSD. However, you must already be receiving benefits for service-connected PTSD to receive secondary service connection on the basis of PTSD. In order to build your case for secondary service connection, you must provide evidence that your condition stems from PTSD or from PTSD medication, depending on the case. 

Generally, the best way to demonstrate this is with a medical opinion from your healthcare provider. For assistance compiling the necessary documentation and preparing your application or appeal, it is highly recommended that you hire an experienced Michigan disability law attorney to guide you through the process. Not only will you speak with an attorney when you call, but our dedicated team will be by your side through every step of the process ensuring you receive every benefit owed. 

Michigan Disability Law Attorneys  

If you’d like to receive disability benefits due to PTSD or a secondary condition, or if you have been denied PTSD disability benefits in the past, the skilled disability law attorneys at Disability Law Group are here to help. At Disability Law Group, our experienced Michigan attorneys will be by your side during every step of the process, from filing the initial application to appealing your denial. 

From your very first call, and throughout the entire process, our experienced disability law lawyers will provide you with the exceptional service and compassionate treatment you deserve. So, if you live in Macomb County, Oakland County, Wayne County, or elsewhere in Michigan and are suffering from PTSD or a related secondary condition, Disability Law Group is on your side. At Disability Law Group, disability is all we do. Please contact us as soon as possible for a free consultation.