these words….

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Originally uploaded by jayfherron

 The following is cheating…I did not write it-just copied it from:

Here is what they are saying about the new VA PTSD rules.

New VA Regulation Eases Burden of Proving Service Connection for PTSD

A new U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) claims adjudication regulation has made it easier for certain veterans to receive disability compensation and health care for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

PTSD is a debilitating anxiety disorder that is triggered by an extraordinarily stressful event (or “stressor”), such as combat, motor vehicle accidents and personal or sexual assaults. PTSD can become a life-long battle for not only the veteran, but his or her family and friends as well. Symptoms include uncontrolled anger, violent behavior, exaggerated startle response, flashbacks, hallucinations and blackouts. Service members and veterans with even moderate PTSD are often unable to work, go to school or have functional relationships with others. One of the scariest things about PTSD is that it can take months, years or even decades for symptoms to appear. While PTSD can be successfully treated, there is no known cure.

VA regulations require that in order to receive VA benefits for PTSD, a veteran must prove that the disorder is related to his or her military service. To prove service-connection for PTSD, there must be: (1) medical evidence of a current diagnosis of PTSD, (2) medical evidence that establishes a link between PTSD and a stressor during military service and (3) credible supporting evidence that the claimed stressor during service actually occurred.

If the veteran was in combat and the stressor is combat–related, the VA is required to accept his or her account of the in-service stressor as proof that the stressor occurred. If there is no evidence of combat, the veteran must produce military or other official documents that establish that the stressor occurred, even if the claimed stressor is combat-related.

Proving that a stressor occurred during service is often quite difficult, sometimes taking years for the VA and/or the veteran to find. Because of the backlog of pending VA PTSD claims, the VA decided to eliminate the requirement for veterans to produce credible supporting evidence of a stressor if they received a diagnosis of PTSD during service and the claimed stressor is consistent with the circumstances, conditions, or hardships of the veteran’s service. In these cases, the veteran’s description of the stressor alone will now be sufficient to establish the occurrence of the claimed in-service stressor for benefits purposes.

Without having to produce documentary evidence of the stressor, veterans with diagnoses of PTSD during service will receive their VA claims decision much faster than under the old regulations.

The new VA regulation is currently in effect, however, the VA has invited the public to comment on the relaxed evidence requirements and can still change its policy. For now, the VA will apply the new burden of proof standard to all PTSD claims for service-connection that are pending as of October 28, 2008, or that are received afterwards. Veterans with diagnoses of PTSD during service whose claims were denied before that date will not receive automatic reconsideration. Rather, they must file a new claim and specifically request considerations under the new regulation,

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