PTSD Claim - Common Questions About Filing - Veterans Guardian

PTSD Claim – Common Questions About Filing

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While it is natural to have upsetting thoughts and memories after witnessing a traumatic event, if symptoms persist more than a few months, you may have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

In this post, we want to reveal some of the most frequently asked questions we get in regards to filing a PTSD claim.

While it is natural to have upsetting thoughts and memories after witnessing a traumatic event, if symptoms persist more than a few months, you may have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The Department of Veteran Affairs defines PTSD as a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event. For example, combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault may qualify as stressor events for PTSD.

Without a treatment plan, PTSD can affect personal and professional relationships, as well as daily routines – it can rob people of their quality of life. Additionally, symptoms of PTSD can show up years after the traumatic event occurs. Common symptoms include nightmares, anxiety attacks, or flashbacks about the event.

Often, veterans avoid discussing their more traumatic experiences because of the social stigma attached to mental health conditions. In reality, no veteran should suffer in silence.

If I’m rated for PTSD, do I have to get rid of my guns?

The overwhelming majority of people rated for PTSD can legally own guns.

One of the most common misconceptions people have about being rated for PTSD is that their guns will be taken from them. Your guns will not be taken away unless:

  1. You are an imminent threat to yourself or others
  2. . You have been committed to a hospital by law enforcement for being outside of your control,

Why would I live through my trauma again, just to have my claim denied?

If you experienced a traumatic event and can provide a verifiable account of the incident, you will have an easier time building a case. The key is being able to verify that a stressor (the event) occurred while you were in-service, and that you were directly or indirectly affected by it.

Our team can work with you to help you understand whether or not you have enough evidence to pursue a PTSD claim.

Won’t I be judged for having PTSD?

Many veterans who have PTSD suffer in silence and do not seek the help. Furthermore, they don’t always seek the compensation they deserve because they don’t feel comfortable sharing their story. For this reason, symptoms can be invisible to their friends and close family.

You are not alone. You might be surprised by the number of estimated PTSD cases. According to the VA, the number of Veterans with PTSD varies by service era:

  • Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF): Up to 20% who served in OIF or OEF have PTSD in a given year.
  • Gulf War (Desert Storm): 12% have PTSD in a given year.
  • Vietnam War: Estimates say that 30% of Vietnam Veterans have had PTSD in their lifetime.

If you have PTSD, seek help and keep up with your appointments. If you are in crisis call the VA Crisis Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 and press 1 to talk to someone. A trained responder will answer your call, text, or chat and you can decide how much you want to share. This service is free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Can I submit a PTSD Claim if I was never combat deployed?

The military is a unique work environment which exposes service members to a variety of dangerous work conditions. The battlefield isn’t the only triggering event for PTSD. Due to the nature of the job, veterans face more stressor events that can provoke PTSD compared to the average American.

A stressor may include being exposed to direct or indirect fire, or witnessing graphic medical injuries on the battlefield. Furthermore, it can also include MST or scenarios where the veteran experiences a severe workplace related training injury in a non combat zone.

I don’t want to risk being rated for PTSD because of work restrictions.

Actually, being rated for PTSD does not automatically result in work restrictions. Per SF 86, Mental health treatment and counseling in and of itself is not a reason to revoke or deny eligibility for access to classified information or holding a sensitive positions. Seeking or receiving mental health care for personal wellness and recovery may contribute favorably to decisions about your eligibility.

If you have questions about filing or increasing a PTSD Claim, reach out to us.

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