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Proposal could ease way for disability payments

Discussion in 'Political Debate & Discussion' started by KenH, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. KenH

    KenH Active Member

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    Proposal could ease way for disability payments

    By Kimberly Hefling - The Associated Press
    Posted : Thursday Oct 15, 2009 13:10:33 EDT

    WASHINGTON — Female soldiers and others serving in dangerous roles behind the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan have long complained it was hard to prove their combat experience when applying for disability for post-traumatic stress disorder.

    That could soon change. The Veterans Affairs Department has proposed reducing the paperwork required for veterans to show their experience caused combat-related stress. Even just the fear of hostile action would be sufficient, as long as a VA psychologist or psychiatrist agreed.

    The VA says the change would streamline claims and recognize the “inherently stressful nature” of war service. The agency is accepting comment until Oct. 23.

    Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki told lawmakers on Wednesday he’s committed to improving trust in the claims process between veterans and the VA, and to helping veterans receive benefits they are entitled to.

    ...

    Post-traumatic stress disorder can affect anyone who is traumatized by an experience. From the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, more than 134,000 veterans have sought help at a VA facility for possible PTSD, the VA says. The symptoms include flashbacks and anxiety, and for some, it’s so debilitating that it makes it difficult to work after they leave the military.

    ...

    A World War II-era law established that veterans who “engaged in combat with the enemy” receive special treatment when they seek disability compensation, so it’s less burdensome to prove an injury was from war service.

    Troops from an infantry or special forces unit are awarded a badge that makes it easier to prove they engaged in combat.

    Truck drivers, cooks and others in support roles aren’t eligible for the badge but can use other types of documentation or medals, such as a Purple Heart, to prove they were in combat.

    But veterans and service organizations that work with them have said doing so is often incredibly difficult, in part because of the lack of paperwork kept by many units. About half of all post-traumatic stress disability claims filed by veterans are denied — with the majority of denials coming because the veteran lacks sufficient documentation, the VA has said.

    - rest at http://militarytimes.com/news/2009/10/ap_military_va_ptsd_disability_101409/
     
  2. abcgrad94

    abcgrad94 Active Member

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    I'm glad to see this. PTSD is a terrible thing to have, and I think our troops deserve treatment for it.
     
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