More Minority Veterans May Suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

A 2007 report on the Department of Veterans’ Affairs website examined the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among Vietnam veterans, finding that ethnic veterans suffered from this disorder at a higher rate than white veterans. The report cautioned that not all reports were consistent, but noted that the cumulative findings may suggest a higher risk of PTSD among minority servicemembers and veterans.

The report cites a 1990 study, the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study, which found rates of current PTSD at the time were 28% for Hispanic Vietnam vets, 21% for African American vets, and 14% for white vets. The VA report also indicated a higher rate of lifetime PTSD events among minorities compared to white veterans – 45-57% for American Indians, 43% for African Americans, 39% for Hispanics, 38% for Native Hawaiians, and 24% for whites.

In VA reports, many experts have concluded that ethnic minority veterans, especially Hispanics and African-Americans, are exposed to more war trauma and stresses than their Caucasian counterparts. One study on PTSD rates accounted for the additional stressors to Hispanic veterans and still found that rates for the disorder were higher than Caucasian soldiers.

PTSD may occur in any servicemember regardless of ethnicity. Many veterans advocates believe that the recently higher rates of PTSD in the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans is due to the higher occurrence of servicemembers who deploy on multiple tours with little time between orders. A 2008 RAND study found that about 18.5% of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars experience PTSD or depression.

Veterans of any era who suffer from PTSD have the right to file a veterans’ disability claim to seek benefits from the VA. Through the services and amenities offered with these benefits, a disabled veteran may cope with their symptoms and find help in leading a healthy veteran life.

If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, a South Florida disability attorney from Veterans Help Group is ready to help. To learn if you are entitled to certain programs and benefits contact our veteran’s disability rights firm today  1-855-855-8992.