The VA no longer requires proof of trauma in order to file a PTSD claim
By Kelly Kennedy
June 10, 2018
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has dumped a policy requiring combat veterans to verify in writing that they have witnessed or experienced a traumatic event before filing a claim for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
In the past, a veteran had to provide written verification — a statement from a military commander or doctor, or testimony from co-workers — that he or she was involved in a traumatic situation in order to receive disability compensation for PTSD from VA. The Defense Department uses the same rules in evaluating PTSD for disability retirement pay.
In Iraq, troops joke about keeping a pen and paper on hand in case they witness a shooting or explosion or are injured themselves. That way, they can run around and have all their buddies sign a quick statement saying it really happened. The joke loses steam when a Marine has to prove he was involved in a traumatizing event when he had a hand blown off in that event, or when a soldier has to prove he watched his friends die to qualify for benefits.
The rule also slows the process as veterans wait for yet more documentation before their claims may be processed.
The new policy indicates that veterans will be diagnosed with PTSD through a medical examination with no further proof necessary.
For assistance and clarification of this existing policy, veterans should visit with a certified VSO.