Thursday, July 8, 2010

New PTSD rules make it easier on veterans to apply for benefits

It will soon be easier for veterans to claim benefits for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This will probably have an impact on many soldiers who served in Iraq, Afghanistan and even Vietnam.

These new rules will be available starting next week. Veterans that claim to suffer from PTSD will find it easier due to the elimination of needing records to prove they were involved in such incidents as bombings, under enemy fire, or any incident related to combat.

Under the old rules, a veteran had to obtain military records to show that they were actually involved in specific combat incidents. But as most of you know, finding and getting records from the government can be an onerous task. Sometimes taking a long time. Many times not even getting them.

Plus, any woman that claimed this had a very hard time substantiating any claim. Women are normally not involved in combat situations, so there would be little or no record. Even though many women were in situations where they came under attack of all forms from the enemy. Such as the firing on or mortar attack of a command building or post.

To add even more veterans to be eligible for PTSD benefits, veterans do not even need to have actually been involved directly. Just the stress or likeliness that one could have been under attack would be enough to claim some benefit. Obviously this can lead to a lot of frivolous claims, but hopefully the majority of veterans will be honest. Plus, the government should do a good job of eliminating false claims.

Veterans must now only show that they served in a position that was in a war zone and was susceptible to being under various forms of attacks.

However, there is still a rule that the veteran must be diagnosed by a psychiatrist or psychologist that works for the federal government in veteran's affairs.

The new rules also make it easier for those who claim to be victims of agent orange. Just showing that they were in Vietnam would be enough reason to claim certain illnesses were caused by exposure.

We can only hope that these new rules make it easier for veterans to get the help they need and return to normal civilian life. Visit the Veterans Affairs Page.

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