By Raymond Gustavson
PTSD and You
Are you thinking about filing a claim for service-connected PTSD? Or have you done that already and come up empty? Here’s some advice from an expert in the field of VA claims.
Having your claim for service-connected post traumatic stress disorder approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) doesn’t have to be an agonizing process. Simply put, you must have the following:
• Evidence that your in-service stressor actually occurred.
• A current diagnosis of PTSD.
• Medical evidence of a causal nexus (or link) between your current symptoms and the in-service stressor.
Criterion #1: A Stressor
So, what is a stressor? Simply put, it is a condition, stimulus, or life event that causes or provokes a stressful response in someone. That is, you witnessed a stressful incident. The stressor can be combat- or non-combat-related.
To determine if you have a stressor, the VA rating specialist will look, first of all, at your DD214, and see if you were awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB), Combat Action Ribbon, or other medal. If the stressor is not found on the DD 214, the rating specialist will look at your military 201 Claims File to see if you received one of the following…(To read the rest of this fact-filled article, you’ll have to get a printed copy of the VietNow National Magazine. See paragraph below.)
Full details of the way a VA rating specialist may view your case and may determine your degree of disability (if any), are available in former VA Rating Specialist Raymond Gustavson’s full 5-page article printed in the Fall/Winter 2006 issue of the VietNow National Magazine, which is available to VietNow members. Click here to join with thousands of other veterans in VietNow.
Ray Gustavson served with the U.S. Army in Vietnam, and is a retired VA Rating Specialist. He’s currently working on a novel about the Civil War, and also is writing a self-help book for veterans who want to better understand the complexities of the VA claims process.
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