Veteran's Disability and Relaxed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD Claims


December 10, 2010

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating legacy of one's military service for millions of veterans. Despite its prominence among military veterans, PTSD claims can be among the most complicated and time consuming. Many PTSD claims are denied, or it can take years to obtain benefits. If a claim for PTSD is filed by a veteran who was in combat, they must show a stressor (specific event or incident that caused the condition) that is consistent with the nature and circumstances of combat service.

If When a claimant was not in combat, then PTSD claims have required very specific evidence of a stressor which made the process of obtaining benefits for PTSD frustrating. New rules have made PTSD claims easier to prove by eliminating this requirement if the stressor is related to fear of hostile military or terrorist activity and is consistent with the places, types, and circumstances of their service. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we recognize the enormous sacrifice that veterans make and are committed to helping veterans obtain the disability benefits that they are entitled to receive.

This simplification of PTSD claims will greatly benefit veterans who served in combat zones but have difficulty providing the exact details of the stressors that caused their PTSD. Under the new standards, a veteran who has been diagnosed with PTSD by mental health specialists within the VA health care system must establish that they served in a war zone or some other area where they were exposed to the threat of death or serious injury. This change has long been sought by veterans' advocacy groups and is particularly appropriate given the nature of combat in Afghanistan and Iraq. Those serving in Afghanistan and Iraq face the constant threat of improvised explosive devices. Despite the obvious applicability of the reduced evidentiary standard to the threat of improvised explosive devices, the same relaxed evidentiary standard also applies to PTSD claims by Vietnam veterans.

The new standard will be used in evaluating 84,000 current PTSD claims including over 28,000 by first time applicants. The balance of the pending PTSD claims are appeals of claims previously denied or are claims seeking a higher disability evaluation for veterans who have a service-related PTSD rating. Historically, many veterans' claims for PTSD disability benefits are denied because they cannot provide sufficient detail and evidence of the stressor. Although the new rules will make it easier to obtain disability benefits for a PTSD claim, many veterans may still be denied and the process is still complicated. Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, can help you if you need to file for veterans' disability benefits and may be able to help you if you need assistance in filing your appeal if you have had your claim for veterans' disability benefits denied based on PTSD or any other disability.

If you or your loved one needs assistance obtaining veterans' disability benefits, contact Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law today. Our Georgia veterans benefits lawyers are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Dalton, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. Call us today for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333) or visit us on the web at www.montlick.com.

Category: Personal Injury

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