Mass. Vets Claim More PTSD Benefits Under New Rule

Published July 26, 2010
BOSTON — Dozens of Massachusetts veterans have already taken advantage of a new rule that makes it easier to get benefits after post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Starting earlier this month, veterans have been able to claim benefits related to PTSD without providing evidence of the specific events that caused them stress. The Veteran’s Administration changed the rule after reviewing evidence that living in war zones increases the risk of PTSD, even if one never sees combat.

Michael Figlioli, from the Massachusetts branch of Veterans of Foreign Wars, said claims on PTSD-related issues are rising quickly.

“We’ve probably had 50 or 60 alone in my office and there are six or eight other offices over here for various veterans’ service organizations,” Figlioli said. “I’ve heard that they’re having increases as well.”

Figlioli says the change appears particularly useful for older veterans.

“This is sometimes 30 or 40 years later. Months become years and what happened in the spring actually took place in the autumn and if they go back over those records and it’s not there, it can make a difference,” Figlioli said.

PTSD: Obama Announces New Regulations to Make It Easier for War Vets to Get Help

by: Brad Knickerbocker  |  The Christian Science Monitor | Report

PTSD rating is based on its overall effects on social and occupational functioning. A veteran does not need to have any or all of the specific examples of signs and symptoms listed in the general rating formula for mental disorders in order for a particular evaluation level of PTSD to be assigned.

Some examples of PTSD:

Sleep disturbances
Re-living the incident
Unable to feel or show affection
Avoidance of most people and social events
Distant and estranged from others
Aggressive outbursts
Decreased concentration
Mood depressed and hopeless
Suicidal ideation
Fatigued and irritable
Hallucinatory flashbacks
Impairment in reality

***WebMD has numerous articles regarding PTSD and possible treatments***