The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is issuing new rules which will help veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The new rules will make it easier for these veterans to get their owed benefits and according to Congressional analysts will costs up to $5 billion over the coming years.
Under these new rules, veterans will no longer have to document the precise event that may be the cause of the veterans PTSD. Veterans have long since complained about the difficulty and sometimes even impossibility of tracking down the records required to document such events.
The current rule even serves to discriminate in the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Thousands of soldiers have returned and are returning to the U.S. suffering from PTSD but never served in combat roles. For these veterans, compensation for PTSD is impossible.
The new rules will correct this injustice. No longer will veterans have to prove the existence of a specific, traumatizing event. Instead, the only thing soldiers will need to show to be compensated is:
- They served in a war zone; and
- In a job consistent with the events they claim caused their PTSD; or
- They had reason to fear stressors (traumatic events) without even experiencing those events.
Initial opposition to the new rules cite the high cost as well as younger veterans becoming dependent on the compensation as opposed to seeking treatment. Treating someone as totally disabled when they are not is destructive. Proponents of the new rules believe veterans apply for compensation for the health care, not to make money off the disability checks. The majority of disabled veterans would rather be functional than doing nothing but collecting checks.
The new rule does include a fail safe for this very reason. Final determination for benefits rests with a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) psychologist or psychiatrist. This will ensure consistent standards for assessments as well as providing protection for veterans in need of services.
No longer are PTSD compensation benefits available only to combat personnel. These new rules ensure those veterans in need of benefits are given the most help possible.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact Veterans Help Group. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.