Veterans Benefits and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Members of the armed services who engaged in prolonged combat or experienced some other type of traumatizing event while serving in the military may be at risk for developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  PTSD, also commonly referred to as battle fatigue or “shell shock”, has been a recognized as a condition suffered by soldiers for several centuries.  However, only recently has PTSD been recognized in the United States as a serious and benefit worthy condition.

When people suffer from PTSD, they often full range of different symptoms that start soon after facing a life threatening event.  Moreover, PTSD is one of the most common mental health conditions that members of the military face after being in combat.  Specifically, from 1999 to 2007, the number of veterans benefits claims for PTSD more than doubled.  According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, or VA, soldiers suffering from PTSD often face the following serious difficulties:

  • Flashbacks of the traumatizing event
  • Avoidance of situations that cause you to remember the event
  • Feeling withdrawn from family and friends
  • Substance abuse problems, such as alcoholism or drug addiction
  • Feeling constantly irritated, jittery or “on the edge”
  • Problems handling relationships
  • Feeling depressed, hopeless or shameful
  • Trouble working or holding a job
  • Physical problems

Additionally, in order to receive PTSD benefits, a veteran must meet the following requirements:

  • Receive a clear PTSD diagnosis;
  • Provide evidence of the event that occurred during military service that caused the condition; and
  • Establish through evidence that the cause of one’s PTSD stems from the traumatizing event

Once a veteran is able to establish that their PTSD is connected with their military service, the VA will then determine the appropriate amount of disability award.  For service connected PTSD, the VA determines the benefit amount based upon the level of impairment.  Specifically, there is a disability scale that begins with zero and goes up to 100 percent.  To illustrate, for PTSD condition that does not cause disability, a veteran will likely receive a 0 percent rating.  In the event that someone is completely debilitated by PTSD, they may receive a much higher rating, perhaps between 70 and 100 percent.

Establishing your right to disability compensation for PTSD can be extremely challenging and complex.  However, you can maximize your chances of obtaining VA benefits by working with an experienced Kansas City VA benefits attorney.   Only a skilled attorney can evaluate your case and help you fight for your rights.

Call Us to Find out How We can Help You Get the VA Benefits You Deserve

Ms. Sanger has helped numerous veterans during the benefit application process and has also represented them in appealing a denial or rating decision.  The Sanger Law Office is conveniently located in Lawrence, KS and represents veterans who have been denied disability benefits both in Kansas and Missouri. If you are having challenges obtaining VA disability benefits or have questions about the application process, contact attorney Danielle Sanger today for an initial free consultation at 785-979-4353.