Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New PTSD Rule - New Problem

by Jim Fausone

As many VA watchers know, VA adopted a new law "Relaxation of Evidentiary Standard for Establishing In Service Stressors in Claims for PTSD" dated July 13, 2010.

We at Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC have received the first rating decision taking this law into account. The VA conceded the Vietnam Vet's stressor exposure based on the new rule. This Army veteran had a Vietnam Service Medal and Campaign Medal. VA granted a 10% rating and set an effective date of July 13, 2010. VA did not evaluate the stressors under the old law. If it had, the effective date would have been 9 months earlier. Is this going to be the way VA handles these PTSD cases? VA concedes the stressor under the new law and does not evaluate or give an effective date back to the filing of the claim. It seems to me this is improper when the law was changed to make VA's life easier not to swindle vets on the effective date and retro payments.

Yes, we are going to appeal. I believe the Court will remand and make VA look back to the date of filing the claim using the old law.

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