An important component of determining how your service-connected condition affects your day-to-day activities is the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF), a psychological evaluation used by both the VA and the SSA. The GAF is conducted when there’s any form of psychological component to a disability claim – even if the claim is for a primarily physical disability.
In this assessment, a mental healthcare professional will determine your ability to function at the day-to-day level such as personal care, family activities, personal business and also in a professional setting. Then, he or she will give you a score from 1-100. The lower the score, the higher your chances of injuring yourself or worsening your condition are.
The GAF attempts to provide some sort of common ground in psychological assessment for disability cases, a tangible form of measuring whether you meet the VA’s definition of disability. This dimension can help decision-makers approve or deny a claim by acknowledging that sometimes there’s more to the case than the physical/medical evidence and that, sometimes, psychological problems such as depression, PTSD or anxiety can be just as disabling as a physical diagnosis.
If you’re a veteran suffering from a service-connected condition, the West Virginia Veterans’ Disability Lawyers of Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, can help you navigate the Global Assessment of Functioning and other aspects of your VA Disability Claim with confidence so you can get the benefits you deserve.