Five Things Veterans Need to Know About Psychological Disabilities

When people discuss disabled veterans, often the focus tends to stay on physical disabilities, which are more obvious and pronounced. However, the psychological impact of military service can be just as disabling as any physical injury, leaving veterans struggling to hold down a job or care for their basic needs. Here are five things veterans need to know about psychological disabilities:

  1. 1.7 million veterans receive mental health treatment
    • It is estimated that about 1.7 million veterans receive mental health treatment from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This includes veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety disorders, and other issues commonly found among veterans. About one in four veterans suffers from some kind of psychological disability overall.
  2. Veterans are at much higher risk of PTSD
    • Compared to the general population, veterans are at a significantly higher risk of suffering from PTSD. This is often due to exposure to combat and other life-threatening scenarios, but may also be the result of experiencing sexual assault, natural disasters, or other forms of trauma. Overall, about 7% of veterans experience the symptoms of PTSD, with female veterans being especially at risk.
  3. Veterans with psychological disabilities at higher risk of homelessness
    • The issues caused by psychological disabilities often mean that veterans struggle to hold down jobs or maintain stable home lives. As a result, veterans are disproportionately likely to suffer from homelessness, which impairs their ability to get treatment for their medical and psychological problems. This issue is compounded if the veteran also suffers from some kind of physical disability due to their service.
  4. Many veterans have psychological disabilities that go untreated for years
    • Despite the relatively high rate of psychological disabilities among veterans, it is possible that these estimates are actually undercounts. This is because many veterans fail to seek out treatment or diagnosis for their psychological issues, either not realizing they have a problem or trying to handle it on their own. This, unfortunately, is part of why veterans also have an elevated risk of suicide.
  5. You may be eligible for disability benefits
    • If you are a veteran and you have been diagnosed with any psychological disabilities, you may be eligible for disability benefits through the VA. However, to know what options you may have available, you should speak to a lawyer with experience handling veterans disability benefits. They can guide you through the process and give you the best chance possible of success.

The attorneys of Sullivan & Kehoe place a special focus on assisting disabled veterans. Our veterans’ disability lawyers are still available for remote consultation on your legal issues. 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, or visit our contact page.

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