Establishing a PTSD Claim Through Lay Testimony
If the DoD does not have records of a Veteran’s PTSD diagnosis or a record of the circumstances of the claimed stressor that caused the condition, there are still ways to establish a PTSD claim. One way is through lay testimony that provides evidence of the event that caused the Veteran’s PTSD. In order for a Veteran’s lay testimony to be used to establish a claimed in-service stressor for PTSD, the following must be proven:
- There is a diagnosis of PTSD by a VA psychiatrist or psychologist
- The Veteran’s symptoms are related to the stressor
- The stressor is consistent with the places, types, and circumstances of the Veteran’s service and there is no clear or convincing evidence to the contrary
The VA will not hold it against the Veteran if the DoD does not have adequate records regarding the stressor that caused the PTSD. Depending on the circumstances, the VA may not require evidence to support the occurrence of the stressor if the stressor in question is related to the Veteran’s fear of hostile military or terrorist activity. The VA will give the Veteran the benefit of the doubt if they provide enough evidence to support their claim and establish a connection to PTSD while in service.
Contact a Veterans Benefits Attorney Today
If you have been denied benefits for PTSD or need help with an appeal, contact the office of Sean Kendall, Attorney-at-Law, for a free, no-obligation consultation. We will work to protect your legal rights so you can get the benefits you deserve. Call us today at 877-629-1712 or use our online contact form to find out more.