If you’re a veteran who experienced a traumatic event during active duty that caused your post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), this “stressor” event must be corroborated if you want disability benefits from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). We explain how you go about this.

Corroborating an In-Service Stressor

Corroborating a PTSD service-related stressorThe VA states that a stressor involves being exposed to death or threatened with death, actual or threatened serious injury, or actual or threatened sexual violence. To get a VA disability rating for PTSD, veterans must have: 

  1. A current diagnosis of PTSD by a medical professional
  2. A corroborated in-service stressor
  3. Medical evidence that links the PTSD to the stressor

If a veteran experienced a stressor that’s not linked with a combat incident for which he was awarded a medal, the VA will require a detailed account of the stressor event. There are various questions an individual will need to answer, but some include:

  • The date the stressor event occurred, within two months
  • The unit designation when the event occurred
  • The names/unit designations of anyone who was killed when the event occurred
  • The facility that treated the wounds suffered in the stressor event
  • The names of others who witnessed the event
  • The types of military equipment damaged or lost in the stressor event

Answering these questions help the VA corroborate that the event did, in fact, happen. Often, veterans are surprised and offended by the amount and type of information requested by the VA. However, because the stressor event might have occurred years and sometimes decades before the disability claim is filed, the VA needs specific data as it doesn’t have automatic access to every record maintained by the military.

Call Cuddigan Law for Your PTSD Claim

The experienced veterans disability lawyers at Cuddigan Law recognizes and respects the sacrifices veterans made to protect this country. They understand that some individuals may experience stressors that cause PTSD. If you’re a veteran who needs to corroborate your in-service stressor, we can help. We'll also assist you in obtaining the disability benefits you need to care for yourself and your loved ones.

Our veterans disability lawyers have supported veterans for years, and we’ll carefully examine your case and advise you on the best approach for receiving the maximum in disability benefits. Call us today, and you’ll speak to an intake specialist for free.


Sean D. Cuddigan
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SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska