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:
The issue of burn pits at military bases has been a source of controversy for years now, as this form of waste disposal has been tied to serious environmental and health consequences. In particular, many veterans have been left with severe health problems resulting from burn pit exposure. But what does it mean to be exposed to burn pits, and how might that impact your ability to obtain veterans disability benefits?
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (also known as the VA), around 80% of all claims under the Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022 were approved. This means that veterans who filed under the Act were able to get approved for veterans disability benefits. However, there are still issues, as 1 in 3 PACT Act claims resulted in a 0% disability rating, prompting a review from the VA.
A new program introduced by the Department of Veterans Affairs (also known as the VA) is set to improve veteran access to physical therapy (PT). Known as the Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) PT, this program seeks to help veterans begin physical therapy earlier, allowing them to begin the process of recovering much sooner. Currently, the program is available in 86 VA hospitals, with plans to expand the program in the future.
Under the PACT Act, more than 300 medical issues have been added to the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA’s) list of presumptive conditions. This has helped to dramatically increase the number of veterans who are able to access disability benefits through the VA, particularly veterans suffering from burn pit exposure. Veterans who want to take full advantage of the PACT Act should submit their claims as soon as possible to maximize their chances at getting the benefits they deserve.
The House Armed Services Committee has advanced a bill that, if passed, would substantially increase many disabled veterans’ access to retirement benefits. The “Major Richard Star Act,” as it is called, would allow veterans who medically retire before 20 years in the military to obtain both retirement benefits and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability benefits. This could help as many as 50,000 disabled veterans to obtain more benefits for their service, helping them to live more comfortably in civilian life.
Veterans are substantially more likely than regular citizens to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD, with around 7% of veterans dealing with the disorder. However, a shocking number of veterans never get treated, due in part to not recognizing the symptoms, meaning they do not receive the care or benefits they are otherwise entitled to. Here are seven potential signs of PTSD you should watch out for:
Veterans and their families who were stationed at Camp Lejeune are about 70% more likely to develop Parkinson’s Disease compared to the general population, according to a recent study. This study attributes the high rate of the disease among victims of Camp Lejeune to potential exposure to trichloroethylene, a chemical commonly used in certain industrial processes. This means that veterans who suffer from Parkinson’s may be able to seek disability benefits as a result of their condition.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (also known as the VA) has announced that more than 500,000 veterans and survivors have filed claims under the PACT Act. This law, which was signed into law in August 2022, was intended to help veterans suffering from illnesses related to toxic exposure. It has also helped more than three million veterans get screenings for toxic exposure, helping them to learn if they may need to file for benefits.
It is estimated that nearly five million veterans, or about 27% of all veterans, have some kind of disability related to their military service, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, there are a substantial number of veterans who may be eligible for compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (also known as the VA) who do not currently receive them. So how do you know if you are eligible for veterans disability compensation?