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Eliminate Processing Ambiguity Relating To Ptsd Claims

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Eliminate processing ambiguity relating to PTSD claims

Date: Jun 10, 2011 9:09 AMhttp://militaryadvantage.military.com/2011/06/fearbasedptsdcriteriaexplained


http://www.scribd.com/doc/56836424/CPServiceBulletinApril2011 Go to web


A recent VA Compensation Service Bulletin sought to eliminate processing

ambiguity relating to PTSD claims. Regional Offices nationwide have been

largely critiqued because of erratic application of rating criteria. The

current bulletins are intended in part to decrease the overall 23 percent of

botched claims processing.

Anyone paying attention to veterans' issues has heard horror stories from

veterans who attempted to gain service connection for PTSD despite

possessing medals and records showing their unit came under hostile fire in

Iraq and Afghanistan. My friend Jim is one of these. Once denied, many of

these veterans give up on the appeals process because it forces them to

revisit the trauma every time the issue is revisited.

If you are one of these veterans or know one who is, here's what you need to

know about the bulletin and how it can affect your claim for disability


First, the 2010 change to the VA regulation governing PTSD disability claims

is intended to encompass all PTSD situations from military service. This

means veterans who were assaulted, either sexually or physically, while on

active duty may be eligible for this benefit if the stressor is documentable

or contained somewhere within their service medical records. The regulation,

38 CFR 3.304(f)(3) also allows for the veteran's lay statement to satisfy

the establishment of an "occurrence" under specific criteria. The occurrence

must be:

. "related to fear of hostile military or terrorist activity, and

. a VA psychiatrist or psychologist, or contract equivalent, confirms that

the claimed stressor is adequate to support a diagnosis of PTSD, and

. the veteran's symptoms are related to the claimed stressor."

This solution seems relatively straightforward; however, the jury is out as

to how well the VA is implementing the criteria.

Second, the process may prove lengthy because the VA has implemented a

casebycase review of the facts surrounding each claim. The VA claims

representative will need to verify that the facts given by the veteran are

true, including duty locations and service or campaign medals, prior to the

veteran being scheduled for an exam. Thus, certain medals are now sufficient

to schedule a PTSD examination. For example, VA Compensation has concluded

that a veteran's receipt of the Vietnam Service Medal or Vietnam Campaign

Medal is sufficient proof that the veteran service in a hostile military

environment. This also includes veterans aboard ships in "blue water."

Therefore, veterans with either of these medals should be able to pass the

first threshold of proving the occurrence. Once the claim is verified, an

examination should be scheduled.

Third, veterans who have already been denied service connection for PTSD,

but who have evidence similar to that discussed above may wish to reevaluate

their initial claim and/or denial. Those veterans with old disabilities may

want to revisit their condition for an increase. Either way, the process

starts by knowing what is within your claims file. See "Beat Denials &

Lowball Ratings" to begin researching your own claim. The first step is

filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for your file. The second

should be finding a quality Veterans Service Officer or Veterans Law

attorney in your area who you trust.

Read more:




Read more:




From: Fletcher, Robert

Sent: Friday, June 10, 2011 10:08 AM

To: Colonel Dan

Subject: FW: PTSD claims (UNCLASSIFIED)

Subject: PTSD claims

__._,_.___ "Keep on, Keepin' on"

Dan Cedusky, Champaign IL "Colonel Dan"

See my web site at:



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