Veterans’ disability compensation may be available for those who have suffered military sexual trauma. One of the factors that determines eligibility is proving that sexual assault caused post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
But now veterans are suing the U.S. government for failing to act on a petition filed months ago. The petition seeks a reduction in the burden of proof for PTSD stemming from sexual assault.
In general, veterans must show their disabling mental and/or physical injuries are service-related. Certain conditions don’t require this proof, though, such as injuries related to exposure to Agent Orange.
For a victim of sexual assault to receive disability payments, it requires a generous amount of evidence. But veterans would like to see nothing more than testimony from a healthcare provider that a veteran suffers from PTSD.
Currently, evidence must include proof of both the sexual trauma and that it caused changes in behavior. This is oftentimes difficult to establish, not to mention that claims for military sexual trauma deal with an especially sensitive issue.
It’s a bigger problem than many people think. According to a VA national screening program, one in four women experience sexual assault while serving. But they aren’t the only victims; one in every 100 men experience the sexual assault while in the service.
It’s not uncommon to receive a denial for this type of disability claim. As if the trauma itself wasn’t enough to deal with, a victim may have to do provide ample proof that it happened. It’s important to consult with an attorney who can help file an appeal. Don’t hesitate to contact The Law Offices of Veterans Help Group for assistance: 855-855-8992.