» Troops Seeking PTSD Benefits For Sexual Trauma Face Uphill Battle, Report Suggests

Troops Seeking PTSD Benefits For Sexual Trauma Face Uphill Battle, Report Suggests

Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) December 13, 2013 - Veterans face difficulty getting post-traumatic stress disorder cases linked to sexual trauma approved.

Legal Help for Veterans is a law firm helping veterans get the benefits they deserve.

A study conducted by the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN) and the American Civil Liberties Union was made public November 5. The study has found that members of the U.S. armed services who sought benefits for post-traumatic stress disorder due to sexual trauma have a tougher time getting their claims approved than those troops filing PTSD claims for other reasons.

The approval rate for PTSD claims linked to sexual trauma during the fiscal year 2012 stood at 56.8 percent, whether that trauma was the result of a rape, assault or harassment. By comparison, 73.3 percent of PTSD claims not linked to sexual trauma were approved the same year.

While the numbers for sexual trauma-related PTSD claims that were approved are 30 percent better than the figures from 2008, the number of non-sexual trauma PTSD claims that were green-lit also improved during the same time frame, going up 20 percent.

The report blamed a dysfunctional bureaucracy, responsible for extended delays and erroneous judgments, for the relatively poor success rate of sexual trauma-connected PTSD claims. But the study also pointed out that veterans who endured sexual trauma while they were on active duty later face discrimination when they file their claims.

While the number of sexual trauma-tied PTSD claims represents a small fraction of all PTSD cases during the period from 2008 to 2012 — 15,862 such claims out of 591,456 in total — previous findings suggest that differences in the manner in which male and female veterans handle sexual trauma may have played a role in suppressing the number of reported claims.

Indeed, while the SWAN/ACLU report tracked how both male and female troops fared when they filed sexual trauma-related PTSD claims, one fact stands out: 53 percent of all sexual assaults from 2010 to 2012 involved attacks upon men. And with men more likely than women to experience a greater sense of shame, embarrassment and fear of a negative reaction from others, it is not surprising that they would be more reluctant to report sexual abuse, much less file a related PTSD claim.

In response to the most recent findings, the Department of Veterans Affairs has issued a statement saying that it is “committed to ensuring that veterans have access to military sexual trauma-related health care and disability benefits.”

Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC
41700 West Six Mile Road, Suite 101
Northville, MI 48168
Toll Free Phone: 800.693.4800

  • Veteran’s suicide in VA parking lot highlights shortcomings of disability benefits process
    Veterans are promised care in return for their service to our nation. However, many former service members struggle for years to get the financial support and benefits they deserve. The recent suicide of a 63-year-old Navy veteran is yet another tragic reminder that a lot more needs to be done. Police from the Durham VA […]
  • Veteran Caregivers are Being Dropped from Roles by VA
    Kristina Derro, Esq. The Department of Veteran’s Affairs Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers is a program used to provide stipends for family caregivers who are forced to stay at home to take care of their veteran family member. Since these veterans have suffered serious injuries, the program is a great way to give […]
  • VA transitioning to commercial software to better serve veterans
    The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) efforts to serve the nation’s veterans as efficiently as possible have long been hampered by its outdated information technology system. Now, the agency is looking to replace its current system with a commercial electronic health record (EHR) system. During a House Committee on Veterans Affairs hearing, VA Secretary David […]
  • New bill to launch mental health treatment program for veterans
    Two senators introduced legislation that seeks to provide cutting-edge medical treatment for veterans struggling with mental health issues. The No Heroes Left Untreated Act will open up treatment options to veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). The Senate legislation aims to establish pilot programs at two Department of Veterans Affairs […]

See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: , , , , ,



Get headlines from Law Firm Newswire sent right to your inbox.

* indicates required