The U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs, (VA) has determined that Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, (PTSD), is the most common mental health issue faced by our soldiers that have returned from combat.
PTSD symptoms may appear in you or your loved one after facing an extremely traumatic event that involves being close to real or threatened death, injury, or witnessing events that involve the death or injury to someone else.
Symptoms of PTSD include, but aren’t limited to, angry outbursts, helplessness, suicidal ideation, horror, and/or reliving the traumatic event over and over.
If you or a loved one is suffering from PTSD as a result of your service in the military, you may be eligible for VA disability compensation.
In July of 2010, new regulations went into effect that is intended to streamline the claims process for veterans that suffer from PTSD. For veterans not in direct combat, the regulations allowed them to show that their PTSD stressor is related to being afraid of hostile military or terrorist activity, but only if the stressor is in line with the places, types, and circumstances of the veteran’s service. These new regulations require that:
The Veteran’s Administration is now using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, (DSM-V) to diagnose and evaluate you or your loved one’s mental disability. Before that, the VA was using DSM-IV to diagnose and evaluate your PTSD. One of the major changes is that the Veterans’ Administration used to heavily rely on the Global Assessment of Functioning Score (GAF) to determine a rating for a veteran’s PTSD and other mental disabilities.
Another change in the DSM-5 is the change in the criteria for the diagnosis of PTSD, and the events that qualify for a PTSD diagnosis have been narrowed. It’s now required that veterans have, at a minimum, one ‘avoidance’ symptom. In addition, new subtypes of PTSD have been added that include delayed expression and a dissociative subtype of PTSD. Note, that in both specifications, the full criteria for PTSD must be met for the application to be deemed warranted.
Below are the criteria for the DSM-5 in regards to PTSD:
If the veteran was exposed to death, the threat of death or actual or threatened serious injury, or actual or threatened sexual violence, one of the criteria is required:
The traumatic event is persistently re-experienced in the following ways: One or more of these is required:
Persistent effortful avoidance of any distressing trauma-related stimulus after the event. One of the symptoms below is required:
Changes in arousal and reaction that began or became worse after the traumatic event.
Two of the following must be present:
The symptoms in criteria’s B, C, D, and E must be present for more than a month.
Symptom-related distress or functional impairment that is significant.
The disturbance is not related to any medication, substance abuse, or other illness.
Along with having to meet the criteria for a diagnosis of PTSD, you or your loved one experiences any high levels of the following as a reaction to trauma-related stimulus
Although PTSD symptoms can occur immediately, many veterans experience symptoms months or years or decades later. PTSD diagnosed more than 6 months after a traumatic event is referred to as delayed expression or delayed-onset PTSD. A delayed expression can occur for a variety of reasons including the presence of PTSD symptoms that don’t meet the full diagnostic criteria of PTSD.
If you or a loved one is a veteran that has been diagnosed with PTSD and the VA has denied your claim, you may want to seek the help of a qualified attorney who specializes in VA disability law to assist you in appealing your PTSD claim to ensure that you or your loved one receives all the benefits due you. Don’t wait to call After Service, LLC today.