Friday, July 16, 2010

New PTSD Rules

It has been reported in the New York Times, and NBC, that VA intends to issue new rules loosening the requirements for PTSD. VA is apparently evaluating essentially eliminating the requirement that veterans document specific events like bomb blasts, firefights or mortar attacks that might have caused PTSD. We know this as proving "a service stressor". This is particularly difficult for certain types of stressors that are not documented or reported. For example, sexual assault on women is not reported 75% of the time. Veteran groups assert that the current rules discriminate against tens of thousands of service members — many of them women — who did not serve in combat roles but, nevertheless, suffered traumatic experiences. The new rules, which we have not seen, reportedly say if a veteran can simply show that they served in a war zone and in a job consistent with the events that they say caused their conditions, that is sufficient. Sounds too good to be true. We know VA employees will need retraining not to just deny. How will VA define a "war zone"? How does that help military sexual trauma (MST) and assault victims? But we will keep you posted if the new rules get issued. If you have been denied in the past because of lack of stressor, it is time to reapply for benefits. You can read the New York Times article at the link below.

VA Is Easing Rules to Cover Stress Disorder

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