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EVOLVING STANDARDS IN VETERANS’ DISABILITY CASES

October 3rd, 2013 Veterans Disability

medical-expertIn the wake of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, thousands of veterans have returned home, many to Arkansas and Oklahoma to readjust to life in the civilian world.  Often the adjustment can be quite difficult.  Prior to these wars, a veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSDs) would not be able to get disability benefits or treatment from the Veteran’s Administration (VA) for such a condition.  However, knowledge about and attitudes towards PTSDs have advanced considerably.

What had previously, during different wars, been considered the phenomenon of being “shell-shocked” has now been diagnosed and accepted as a cognizable medical injury, PTSD is now recognized by medical authorities and the Defense Department as generally consisting of four symptoms:

(1)   Reliving the Event – As PTSD is usually caused in response to a particular event, those who suffer from the condition often believe they are reliving the event even after they are back home.  The backfiring of a car engine or the sound of an automobile accident can trigger uncomfortable feelings associated with PTSD.

(2)   Avoiding Similar Situations – Another symptom of this condition is the tendency to avoid situations which simulate the traumatic event in which the soldier was involved.   Such avoidance may not be obvious to the patient himself.  He or she may unconsciously avoid riding in trucks, as an example, if they had experienced a negative experience in a truck during war.

(3)   Feeling Numb – Some veterans have difficulty feeling joy or sadness if they are experiencing PTSD.   They may avoid their loved ones and family members and not realize they have lost their capacity to experience normal emotions.

(4)   Being Keyed Up – This can involve being irritable or being subject to sudden outrage or grief.  Many PTSD victims do not even recognize these symptoms and deny they exist.

The Department of Defense and VA have changed their regulations concerning how these conditions should be diagnosed and treated.  A veteran may be entitled to treatment and benefits for PTSD.   Veterans who handle their own VA benefits appeal(s) without legal representation are at a great disadvantage because VA laws and regulations are complex and constantly changing.  Let the Veteran Disability Attorneys at the law offices of NOLAN CADDELL REYNOLDS analyze your claim history and determine the best and most efficient way to getting you the benefits you deserve.

At the law firm of NOLAN CADDELL REYNOLDS, our attorneys have substantial experience representing veterans.  Contact us toll free at 1-800-709-5297 or locally at 479-782-5297.  Or you can reach us on our website at www.nolancaddellreynolds.com

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John T