Veterans No Longer Need to "Re-Prove" PTSD

Kelly Kennedy at the Air Force Times reports that the Veteran Affairs Department will no longer require veterans already diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder filing a disability claim for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder to provide an additional written verification that they had witnessed or experienced a traumatic event.

As Kennedy reports:

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.

They don’t have to reprove their diabetes,” said Mary Ellen McCarthy, special projects counsel for the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “They don’t have to reprove a leg injury. I have never seen any other condition diagnosed in service [for which] people had to reprove their injury."

Under the new policy, a medical examination will be sufficient to prove PTSD, hopefully speeding up the already backlogged process of filing disability claims.

Update: Thanks to reader twocents for pointing out that Air Force Times had updated the article. The original didn't reflect that the change only affects veterans already diagnosed with PTSD by the military.