Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD is a mental health condition recognized by the American Psychiatric Association. During the Vietnam War, which took place from 1961 to 1975, PTSD was not a clinical diagnosis. Therefore, many veterans serving the armed forced during this time period did not receive treatment for their condition and therefore did not have a documented diagnosis or condition in their medical files.
With time, research showed that PTSD is linked to a major traumatic event that exposed a veteran to a significant stressor. Now, Veterans Affairs (VA) has set forth special rules for veterans that do not have a documented stressor in his or her service records to be able to prove that the stressor happened.
A claim of PTSD requires some of the following evidence to establish a stressor:
- Diagnosis of PTSD while serving;
- Engaging in combat;
- Fear of hostile military or terrorist activity; or
- Prisoner of war (POW), among others.
Evidence of a Stressor Related to Personal Assault
A veteran may also claim PTSD as a result of a personal assault. To establish that a personal assault occurrence amounts to a stressor, the following evidence may be provided:
- Documentation from law enforcement or a health center;
- Pregnancy testing or Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) testing;
- Any statements from family and friends, among others;
- Evidence showing changes in behavior, among others.
Today, some veterans that may have PTSD as a result of a major stressor are silent regarding his or her symptoms, however those around them may notice changes in the way he or she acts. In this instance, family members or loved ones may provide detailed statements regarding the veteran’s in-service behavior or pre-stressor behavior and how it has changed.
If you or a loved one is seeking to establish entitlement to Veterans Disability Benefits for PTSD, it is important to speak with an experienced Veteran’s Affairs Lawyer to assist you with the application process. The attorneys of Sullivan & Kehoe, LLP concentrate their practice in Veterans Disability Law. With over 50 years of combined experience between its lawyers, our attorneys may assist you or a loved one in obtaining Veterans Disability Benefits for PTSD. Call our office at (800) 395 -7830 to schedule a consultation in our New York City, Garden City, Kings Park, Riverhead, or White Plains office.