President Obama announced today that the Department of Veterans Affairs will begin on Monday to make it easier for veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to receive the benefits they need.
Until now, veterans with PTSD have been stymied from receiving benefits by tedious regulations requiring them to produce evidence that a specific event caused the disorder.
Streamlining the process will help not just the veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, but VietNam veterans too.
“In past wars, (mental illness) wasn’t something America always talked about. And as a result, our troops and their families often felt stigmatized or embarrassed when it came to seeking help,” said Obama in his Weekly Address.
“Today, we’ve made it clear up and down the chain of command that folks should seek help if they need it. I don’t think our troops on the battlefield should have to take notes to keep for a claims application.”
Soldiers will still need to be diagnosed as having the mental disorder by a psychiatrist, which should cut down on fraudulent claims.
A senior official at the Department of Veterans Affairs said they don’t expect the number of veterans receiving benefits for PTSD to rise dramatically, because “most veterans do eventually get claims”. The new rules, most importantly, will cut the wait time needed for monthly benefits to begin.
(More at CNN)