VA Seeks to Ease Requirements for Stress-Related Disability Payments

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[Editor’s note: This updates and expands a story we ran yesterday from the VA. Bob Higgins]

By Kimberly Hefling The Washington Post

Troops serving in dangerous roles behind the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan have long said that it was hard to prove their combat experience when applying for disability for post-traumatic stress disorder.

But the Department of Veterans Affairs has proposed reducing the paperwork required for veterans to show that their experience caused combat-related stress. Even just the fear of hostile action would be sufficient, as long as a VA psychologist or psychiatrist agreed.

     

VA says the change would streamline claims and recognize the "inherently stressful nature" of war service. The agency is accepting comments until Oct. 23.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki told lawmakers Wednesday that he is committed to improving trust in the claims process between veterans and his agency, and to helping veterans receive benefits.

"We will change the culture," he said. "I will assure you of that." 

Read more at The Washington Post

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