PTSD and Your VA Claim


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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One response to “PTSD and Your VA Claim

  1. Hi From Australia, I have only just joined your group and I am amazed that your Government has not looked after you guys yet. It is pitiful how they have treated you and should be admonished for it.
    In Australia I supppose you already know that we, the Vietnam Veteran Community, have been fullly compensated for our conditions related to the VietNam war. In this fact alone your Governement should at least have a look at our compensation system and adopt it, verbatim, to your community.
    I, myself have a full TPI Pension and full Service pension, which gives me enough money to have a comfortable lifestyle without having to worry
    about Doctors bills, Hospital bills, travel costs and many other benefits that the local Government have added on.
    I am behind you and will ad my support to you for whatever you may need in your efforts to gain full compensation for your gallant service to your country.
    Garry Bryen
    gbryen1@gmail.com

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