For Immediate Release
New Regulations on PTSD Claims
July 12, 2010 


On Tuesday, July 13, 2010, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is scheduled to publish a final regulation that will make access to care and the claims process easier for Veterans seeking compensation for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  The rule reduces the evidence needed if the PTSD stressor claimed by a Veteran is related to fear of hostile military or terrorist activity and is consistent with the places, types, and circumstances of the Veteran’s service. 

PTSD is a recognized anxiety disorder that can develop from seeing or experiencing an event that involves actual or threatened death or serious injury to which a person responds with intense fear, helplessness or horror, and is not uncommon among war Veterans.                                              
Under the new rule, VA will not require corroboration of a PTSD stressor related to fear of hostile military or terrorist activity if a VA psychiatrist or psychologist confirms that the stressful experience recalled by a Veteran adequately supports a diagnosis of PTSD and the Veteran's symptoms are related to the claimed stressor.
Previously, VA required non-combat Veterans to corroborate the fact that they experienced a PTSD stressor related to hostile military activity. 

This final rule simplifies the development that is required for these cases.                                             
VA expects this rulemaking to decrease the time it takes VA to decide disability claims and access to health care, falling under the revised criteria and for Veterans to access health care.  More than 400,000 Veterans currently receiving compensation benefits are service connected for PTSD.  If service connection for PTSD is established under the new rule, a Veteran disabled by PTSD will be entitled to disability compensation, which is a tax-free benefit paid to a Veteran for disabilities that are a result of -- or made worse by -- injuries or diseases associated with active service.

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