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Sean Kendall

Q:
PTSD and Military Sexual Trauma, how do I build a case showing relationship between PTSD and MST?

A:

First and foremost, it is important to note that as of 2010, the VA has made it simpler to build a case concerning service-connected PTSD. Now, a veteran can prove PTSD by showing following:

  • that PTSD is related to the veteran's fear of hostile military activity,
  • a VA psychiatrist or psychologist confirms that the claimed stressor is adequate to support a diagnosis of PTSD,
  • the veteran's symptoms are related to the claimed stressor, and;
  • the claimed stressor is consistent with the places, types, and circumstances of the veteran's service.

In this type of case, you no longer need to provide independent evidence that the stressor occurred. If a VA medical care provider refuses to diagnose PTSD, but a private doctor does, then independent evidence of the stressor is required.

New rules allow service-connection for PTSD in MST cases by showing at least one of the following:

  • evidence from sources other than the veteran's service records that corroborate the veteran's account of the stressor, such as records from law enforcement authorities, statements from family members, or fellow service members, or,
  • evidence in the form of an examination and opinion by a mental health professional that states PTSD was caused by the in-service assault may be used to corroborate the stressor, or,
  • evidence of behavior changes that is credible evidence of the stressor such as a request for a transfer to another military duty assignment; deterioration in work performance; evidence of mental health problems; or unexplained economic or social behavior changes.

Have more questions about a PTSD or MST claim? Contact us.