Family law attorneys are seeing so much pain in our military families. Here is some news about veteran's benefits for PTSD that we should send on to our military clients, past and present. Many of them may be aware of this, but it never hurts to make certain.
The New York Times reported on July 7, 2010 that the Department of Veterans Affairs will make it "substantially easier" for veterans to receive disability benefits for post-traumatic stress disorder. The rules will apply to veterans of all wars, not just the most recent ones.
Under the new rules, first proposed last summer and scheduled to take effect as early as next week, veterans will not have to document specific events that may have caused PTSD. Claimants need "simply show that they served in a war zone and in a job consistent with the events that they say caused their conditions," according to the Times.
In addition to the estimated $5 billion cost of the change, there is also concern that it "will lead to economic dependency among younger veterans whose conditions might be treatable," the Times reports.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called the change in policy "long overdue." Last year, Schumer and Rep. John Hall, D-N.Y., proposed legislation similar to the new rule. "It is so unfair to put the burden of proof on the brave men and women who have already put themselves in harm's way," Schumer said Thursday. "These guidelines rectify that and should bring more veterans who've served their country the help they need."
V.A. Is Easing Rules to Cover Stress Disorder, James Dao for the New York Times storyNPR Radio: