Military Sexual Trauma, or MST, is in the news a lot right now. In fact, the second season of the hit show “House of Cards” dealt with a subplot involving this subject. It’s obviously a big issue for the military right now. While it is a big topic in the mainstream media, a lot of Veterans don’t know where to turn for help. A look at the VA website actually has some helpful information on the topic. For instance, did you know that a Veteran does not have to be service connected to receive treatment at a VA facility for MST? In fact, there is no need to present evidence in order to receive treatment. We strongly encourage any Veteran to seek treatment for their MST at a VA facility. While you don’t need evidence to get treatment, you do have to evidence in order to get service connected.
There is a lot to discuss on the subject of MST. One thing that happens often is that individuals believe that MST is simply PTSD. When it comes to the rating code, the VA does rate MST the same as PTSD. This actually true of most psychological disorders. The VA for instance uses the same rating code for PTSD as it does depression. You won’t actually be service connected for MST, but rather PTSD due to MST.
It’s also important to note that any physical conditions that are a result of Military Sexual Trauma can be service connected as well. Due to the sensitive nature of those injuries, we won’t go into detail, but it’s something you would definitely want to speak with a healthcare professional about.
If MST results in your inability to have children, then you may be able to file special monthly compensation due to the loss of a creative organ.
While doing research for this blog, I pulled a few of our cases for Veterans, male and female, who have filed for MST. While I can’t go over specifics, I can say that there are a few things that stand out that can help a Military Sexual Trauma Claim.
For one, reporting the incident while serving will provide a lot of help in a MST claim. We understand the struggle most Veterans have when faced with reporting MST, and understand why this can be difficult.
Providing a detailed statement about the incident, or incidents will provide a lot of valuable evidence for the VA. Once again, we know it’s not easy to recall those times, but it will likely help you get service connected.
Buddy Statements are also a great help for MST cases. Sometimes we see cases in which a Veteran didn’t officially report the MST to a commanding officer, or make a formal report, but did talk to others he or she trusted while serving about what took place. Reconnecting with your fellow Veterans, and asking them to provide statements is not only beneficial for your case, but it can also help you personally. Also, if you know of other Veterans who were sexually assaulted by the same individual, their statements may help your claim.
Like with any other type of VA Disability Claim, every MST claim is different. Even if you have the evidence listed above, there is still a chance you will get denied. These are just some helpful tips from what we have seen over the years.
Regardless, if this is your first time filing a Military Sexual Trauma claim, or if you have been denied, give us a call for a free consultation. 1-877-526-3457, or fill out this form for us to give you a call.