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VA Disability Benefits for Military Sexual Trauma (MST)

Posted by Gregory M. Rada | Firm News

VA Disability Benefits for Military Sexual Trauma (MST)

The VA Reports that 1 in 4 female veterans and 1 in 100 male veterans report experiencing MST in the military, however, the number is likely much higher due to fact that most MST victims do not report their trauma. Military sexual trauma, such as physical assaults, sexual harassment, or sexual coercion can result in long-lasting physical and mental symptoms for years to come. PTSD is one of the common results of an MST.

The VA has worked to change the process for applying for VA disabilities benefits for MST survivors. Sexual assaults are most often not officially reported because the victim is embarrassed and fearful of reprisal from the assailant. Therefore, the VA has relaxed the standards for proving the occurrence of an MST and a veteran can prove the MST with other circumstantial evidence. When a veteran applies for disability benefits, the VA will review the claim for “markers” that may indicate that the traumatic event took place.

Such markers include evidence such as pregnancy tests, statements from family and friends, and evidence of behavior changes, such as a request for transfer, deterioration in work performance, substance abuse, episodes of psychiatric symptoms without an identifiable cause, or other unexplained economic or social behavior changes.

If you suffered a MST and believe you have psychiatric symptoms from the assault, you should speak with a VA disability lawyer about the claims process. Get a free phone consultation from nationwide VA disability attorney Gregory M. Rada, who is a disabled veteran with extensive experience in the VA disability claims process.