Veterans who have engaged in intense and prolonged combat are at risk of developing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. The anxiety disorder, known by various names including “shell shock” and “battle fatigue”, has probably been around as long as soldiers have been fighting battles. But only in recent decades has PTSD been recognized as a serious and debilitating condition.
The VA pays disability benefits to veterans who have been diagnosed with PTSD related to their active military service. The number of claims for PTSD has increased sharply. From 1999 to 2007, the number of veterans receiving compensation benefits for PTSD increased from 120,000 to nearly 300,000, according to the VA.
Anyone who has gone through combat or an event that causes feelings of intense fear or helplessness can develop PTSD, including combat veterans, survivors of terrorist attacks, survivors of serious accidents and survivors of physical or sexual assault. Strong emotions caused by the event create changes in the brain that may result in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD is the most prevalent mental health disorder from combat.
Symptoms of PTSD usually start soon after the life-threatening event, but may not occur until months or years later and may continue for years, making it difficult to continue with daily activities. The symptoms include bad memories or flashbacks triggered by a sound or sight, and feelings of emotional numbness. Sufferers may avoid normal relationships and situations that trigger memories of the event, or feel anxious and always on the lookout for danger.
The Department of Veterans Affairs offers disability compensation to veterans suffering from PTSD. To be eligible for the benefits, a veteran must present:
Once a veteran establishes to the VA’s satisfaction that his or her PTSD is service-related, the VA will determine the level of disability associated with the individual’s disorder. That determines the levels of benefits the veteran will be eligible to collect.
Establishing the right to disability compensation related to PTSD from military service can be a complicated process. The lawyers at Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, are experienced at helping veterans establish their PTSD claims at every step in the filing and appeals process.
If you think you may be eligible for disability benefits on the basis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or other service-related disabilities, contact Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, today for a free consultation. We can offer guidance regarding your eligibility. And as a reminder, we do not charge veterans unless we are successful in obtaining disability benefits for our clients.