After the traumatic and life-threatening conditions of military combat, some military veterans have reactions ranging from severe nightmares and flashbacks to insomnia and increasing social isolation. If you have these symptoms and they do not go away or if they get worse, you may be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In the past, PTSD was called shell shock or battle fatigue.

PTSD is a form of anxiety disorder. But unlike other anxiety disorders, PTSD can occur a long time after the traumatic event has occurred.

New regulations passed in 2010 made it easier for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder to qualify for VA disability benefits, but there are requirements you must meet.

First, complete an application for benefits. The VA has a specific form for PTSD claims which you can download from the VA’s website. Next you must have a PTSD diagnosis. You must be seen by a psychiatrist or psychologist at a VA medical facility for evaluation of your symptoms. Your symptoms must be related to a traumatic event and the VA mental health professional must confirm that a triggering stressor—related to fear of hostile military or terrorist activity — was enough to cause your PTSD.

Finally the VA must believe that your stressor is one that is likely to have happened in the locations and circumstances of your service. The VA will consider how severe your PTSD symptoms are, how frequently they occur, the length of your remissions and how much your ability to work and function socially is impaired and will then assign a percentage of disability from zero to 100 percent. The amount of benefits you are awarded will be proportionate to this disability rating.

Completing a claim may be a slow and lengthy procedure, and the VA will likely request additional evidence as it considers your claim. Make sure you keep copies of all your paperwork. 

If you have been turned down by the VA for benefits for PTSD and you believe the denial was unfair, you have the right to appeal and you have the right to have an attorney represent you. At Cuddigan Law you have a dedicated team of professionals in your corner who understand the system and who will fight for your rights. 



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