Veterans Corner – VA looks to change standards for determining Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
September 30, 2009
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is taking steps to assist Veterans seeking compensation for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
“The hidden wounds of war are being addressed vigorously and comprehensively by this administration as we move VA forward in its transformations to the 21st century,” said Secretary Shineski.
The VA has published a proposed regulation in the Federal Register to make it easier for a Veteran to claim service connection for PTSD by reducing the evidence needed if the stressor claimed by a Veteran is related to fear of hostile military or terrorist activity. Comments on the proposed rule will be accepted until Oct. 24. A final regulation will be published after consideration of all comments received.
Under the new rule, VA would not require corroboration of a stressor related to fear of hostile military or terrorist activity if a VA psychiatrist or psychologist confirms that the stressful experience recalled by a Veteran adequately supports a diagnosis of PTSD and the Veteran’s symptoms are related to the claimed stressor.
Previously, claims adjudicators were required to corroborate that a non-combat Veteran actually experienced a stressor related to hostile military activity. This rule would simplify the development that is required for these cases.
PTSD is a recognized anxiety disorder that can follow seeing or experiencing an event that involves actual or threatened death or serious injury to which a person responds with intense fear, helplessness or horror, and is not uncommon in war. Feelings of fears, confusion or anger often subside, but if the feelings don’t go away or get worse, a Veteran may have PTSD.
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VA is bolstering its mental health capacity to serve combat Veterans, adding thousands of new professionals to its rolls it the last four years. Many of these professionals are combat Veterans themselves. The Department also has established a suicide prevention helpline (1-800-273-TALK) and a Web site available for online chat in the evenings at www. suicidepreventionlifeline.org/Veterans.
Armed with the latest study from the Institute of Medicine. The Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is petitioning VA to add more illnesses to the long list now standing. Vietnam Veterans and Korean Veterans who need to discuss these issues can give me a call.
Female Veteran health care
More improvements are coming on health for female Veterans. The VA acknowledges that the system was designed for male Veterans and it shows. Over the next few months the VA will making improvements helping female Veterans. Female Veterans that need help or information give me a call.
Calling all Veterans
To all Veterans in Grand County: If we haven’t spoken call and let me know you are here. If you need assistance we can to that. Letting me know you are here helps with me letting the VA know you are in Grand County and leads to future endeavors for our Veterans. Thanks
– Call Dave Jones, Grand County Veterans Service Officer, at 970-509-9024 or 970-725-3122 for an appointment. He is in his office from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.
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