One of the most difficult topics a Military Veteran can express is their experience with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In this post, we want to address some of the most frequently asked questions we get in regards to filing a PTSD claim.

Many military personnel witness traumatic events while serving. Just know that if symptoms persist for 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. This can essentially rob people of their quality of life. Additionally, symptoms of PTSD can show up years after their 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 a PTSD condition, do I have to get rid of my guns?

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

Please are hesitant to get a PTSD diagnosis and file a claim because they think 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 law enforcement commit you to a hospital for being outside of your control

Check your state’s gun laws here: state-gun-laws

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

If you experience a traumatic event and can provide a verifiable account of the incident, you will have an easier time building a case. However, the key is being able to verify that a stressor (the event) took place while you were in service and that you suffer directly or indirectly by the stressor. You must also have a PTSD diagnosis. 

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

People judge others for having PTSD.

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

You are not alone. The number of PTSD cases out there will surprise you. 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% of military personnel in OIF or OEF have PTSD in a given year.
  • Gulf War (Desert Storm): Up to 12% of military personnel have PTSD in a given year.
  • Vietnam War: Up to 30% of Vietnam Veterans have PTSD in a given year.

If you have PTSD, seek help and keep up with your appointments. If you are in crisis, please call the VA Crisis Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 and press 1 to talk to someone today. A professional will answer your call, text, or chat and can help you decide how much of your story you want to share. This service is 100% 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 that exposes service members to a variety of dangerous work conditions. Therefore, 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 than does the average American.

Exposes to direct or indirect fire can also create stressors many feel do not count towards PTSD. Furthermore, it can also include Military Sexual Trauma (MST). These are scenarios where the Veteran experiences a severe workplace-related sexual assault. These, along with other training injuries within non-combat zones have lasting impacts upon PTSD.

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

Actually, having PTSD does not automatically result in workplace restrictions. As 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. This also includes holding a sensitive position. In fact, seeking or receiving mental health care for personal wellness and recovery may contribute favorably to decisions about your eligibility.

Veterans Guardian assists veterans in attaining the disability benefits they are eligible for. If you have questions about filing or increasing a PTSD Claim, contact us today. We are always here to help.