Local veterans' groups pleased with new PTSD regulations
Wednesday, July 14th, 2010
Local Veterans groups and Veterans' Affairs officials are applauding new federal legislation regarding benefits for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Under the new regulations, veterans seeking benefits for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder no longer have to provide evidence and documentation of stressful situations that might have lead to their diagnosis. They still have to be diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder by a VA mental health professional.
Marsha Four is the executive director of the Philadelphia Veterans' Multi-Service and Education Center. She says this legislation streamlines a process that has been tedious and painful for vets in the past:
Four: “It's a very disturbing thing for a veteran to know that you are telling the truth, but the frustration of not being able to prove it, and the VA says you have no claim there's a certain level of feeling that nobody believes you.”
Dr. David Oslin is acting chief of staff at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center. He says easing the rules will not lead to an onslaught of benefits claims since many vets are reluctant to seek help for Post Traumatic Stress:
Oslin: “You know, they have marginally skated by for many years, not thinking that this is something that they should be compensated for, so I'd say more the difficulty we have is helping them understand that it would be okay to be compensated they served the time, this is something they have lived with for a number of years, and it's okay to get the benefits for it.”
Last year, close to 400-thousand veterans were treated for Post Traumatic Stress at VA centers.