Veterans may soon find it easier to receive disability benefits for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to a New York Times article, veterans of all wars will be granted compensation by proving that they served in a war zone and had a job that is consistent with the conditions related to their PTSD symptoms.
The new regulations, which could take effect as soon as July 12, will eliminate the need for veterans to provide documentation of specific traumatic events, like mortar attacks or witnessing the death of a fellow soldier. Congressional analysts estimate the change could cost the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) up to $5 billion over several years.
VA Secretary Eric Shinseki also announced last week a new initiative to automate the handling of veterans' disability compensation claims. The online system will provide faster claims decisions, reducing the response for claims to no more than 125 days. The VA estimates that the first version of the new system could help as many as 100,000 veterans.
Although more and more veterans are battling post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD can affect those involved in violent assaults and natural disasters, adult survivors of childhood cancer and others. There are PTSD resources available for veterans and families of those affected by PTSD, as well as counseling and therapy options.
Easier Path to Benefits for Traumatized Vets
New regulations would prevent veterans from having to produce evidence of traumatic events leading to PTSD.
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