USA — Family Matters Blog: VA Eases Rules for Veterans With PTSD

WASHINGTON — I want­ed to share infor­ma­tion about a new reg­u­la­tion by the Depart­ment of Vet­er­ans Affairs that will ease the claims process and improve access to health care for vet­er­ans with post-trau­mat­ic stress dis­or­der.

I hope our mil­i­tary fam­i­lies help spread the word about this reg­u­la­tion change that can only ben­e­fit our vet­er­ans bear­ing the invis­i­ble wounds of war.

Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma called the changes a “long-over­due step” in his week­ly address.

“I don’t think our troops on the bat­tle­field should have to take notes to keep for a claims appli­ca­tion,” Oba­ma said. “And I’ve met enough vet­er­ans to know that you don’t have to engage in a fire­fight to endure the trau­ma of war.”

The new rule relax­es the need for evi­dence if a PTSD stres­sor claimed by a vet­er­an is linked to “fear of hos­tile mil­i­tary or ter­ror­ist activ­i­ty and is con­sis­tent with the places, types and cir­cum­stances of the veteran’s ser­vice,” a VA news release said.

Cur­rent­ly, VA deci­sion mak­ers are required to con­firm that a non­com­bat vet­er­an actu­al­ly expe­ri­enced a stres­sor relat­ed to hos­tile mil­i­tary activ­i­ty, the release said.

Under the new rule, VA no longer will require sub­stan­ti­a­tion of a stres­sor tied to fear of hos­tile mil­i­tary or ter­ror­ist activ­i­ty if a VA psy­chi­a­trist or psy­chol­o­gist can con­firm that the expe­ri­ence recalled by a vet­er­an sup­ports a PTSD diag­no­sis and the veteran’s symp­toms are relat­ed to the stres­sor.

Since VA offi­cials won’t have to search through records to ver­i­fy accounts, the new reg­u­la­tion is expect­ed to stream­line an often lengthy and involved prac­tice, enabling the VA to make deci­sions quick­er and reach even more vet­er­ans with PTSD.

More than 400,000 vet­er­ans cur­rent­ly are receiv­ing com­pen­sa­tion ben­e­fits for PTSD, VA offi­cials said. And of the near­ly 400,000 vet­er­ans treat­ed at VA facil­i­ties for PTSD in fis­cal year 2009, near­ly 70,000, or 19 per­cent, were vet­er­ans of oper­a­tions Iraqi Free­dom and Endur­ing Free­dom.

How­ev­er, the new reg­u­la­tion has the poten­tial to ben­e­fit all vet­er­ans regard­less of their peri­od of ser­vice, Michael Wal­coff, VA’s act­ing under­sec­re­tary for ben­e­fits, said dur­ing a July 12 news con­fer­ence.

Dr. Robert A. Pet­zel, VA’s under­sec­re­tary for health, said the reg­u­la­tion will be par­tic­u­lar­ly ben­e­fi­cial for vet­er­ans who have had their mil­i­tary records dam­aged or destroyed, female vet­er­ans whose records don’t spec­i­fy they have com­bat expe­ri­ence, and vet­er­ans who have expe­ri­enced com­bat but have no record of it.

“This is good news for America’s vet­er­ans; in fact, it’s a his­toric day,” Pet­zel said.

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →