Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among Veterans can be triggered by a number of events occurring during military service, including fear of involvement in a hostile or terrorist attack. Veterans with PTSD may struggle with depression, anger, anxiety, insomnia, relationship problems, substance abuse, and other symptoms that negatively affect their quality of life, but VA disability benefits can alleviate some of the strain.
How the VA Defines Fear of Hostile Military or Terrorist Activity
Under VA law, “fear of hostile military or terrorist activity” means that you experienced or witnessed an event or circumstance that involved actual or threatened injury or death or a threat to the physical integrity of you or another person—resulting in a state of fear, helplessness, or horror. Examples might include:
- An actual or potential improvised explosive device
- A vehicle-embedded explosive device
- Incoming artillery, rocket, or mortar fire
- Suspected sniper fire
- An attack upon friendly military aircraft
Please note that the VA specifically excludes sexual assault or the hostile criminal actions of other US military personnel from this definition.
Receiving Disability Benefits for PTSD Related to Hostile Military or Terrorist Activity
In 2010, the VA changed the rules for disability benefits to make it easier to qualify for service-connected PTSD related to hostile military or terrorist activity. Now, you must simply show that your condition is linked to deployment to a war zone where you were threatened with ongoing hostile military or terrorist activity. This means that you can receive benefits even if you didn’t participate in combat. This guideline applies to all Veterans serving after July 13, 2010—no matter where they were stationed.
The three key elements of a successful application include:
- A psychologist or psychiatrist contracted by the VA confirms your diagnosis.
- The psychologist or psychiatrist believes the symptoms you have can be linked to a stressor consistent with the circumstances of your military service.
- There is no “clear or convincing evidence” that contradicts your claim.
Get Help Accessing Your Benefits
Our VA disability attorneys are committed to helping those who’ve honorably served their country access the disability benefits they need and deserve. To learn more, contact the office of Sean Kendall, Attorney-at-Law, today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.