Recent veterans’ legislation, the Ruth Moore Act, was introduced on February 13, 2013 to help reduce the delays and denials of veterans’ disability claims related to cases of military sexual assault.
The legislation requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to approve benefits for veterans who can demonstrate disability from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) due to military sexual assault.
The new rules would require that a veteran has a doctor’s diagnosis of PTSD and that sexual trauma during service was the cause. This approval would come regardless of if the sexual assault and trauma was formally documented or not.
Military Sexual Assault & VA Disability Benefits
Military sexual assault is still a concern for the VA in regards to addressing disability cases. The veterans’ disability rating and benefit awards are based on evidence of a service connection with the disabling condition – it must be proven that the condition developed due to the veterans’ military service.
According to the Department of Defense, in 2011 there were an estimated 19,000 cases of sexual assault, but only 3,000 were reported and less than 300 were prosecuted. Because more than 85 percent of military sexual assaults are either unreported or have been covered up, there are few cases where a veteran is able to show proof that PTSD is due to a documented case of sexual assault.
While the VA has relaxed some of the requirements and standards for connecting PTSD to combat trauma, there may still be complications for veterans’ disability claims related to sexual assault that the new legislation hopes to resolve.
The veterans’ disability attorneys at The Law Offices of Veterans Help Group can help you develop a strong claim for veterans’ disability benefits. Contact us – 1-855-855-8992.