The Veterans Affairs Department will publish a final regulation tomorrow intended to ease the claims process and improve access to health care for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, VA officials announced today.It opens the door to wholesale PTSD fraud - which there already is plenty - and will cause a dilution of resources, intellectual capital, and funds from those who have clear PTSD.
“This nation has a solemn obligation to the men and women who have honorably served this country and suffer from the often-devastating emotional wounds of war,” Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki said in a statement issued today. “This final regulation goes a long way to ensure that veterans receive the benefits and services they need.”
The new rule, to be published in the Federal Register, will relax the evidence requirement if the PTSD stressor claimed by a veteran is linked to “fear of hostile military or terrorist activity and is consistent with the places, types and circumstances of the veteran’s service,” a VA news release said.
Currently, VA decision makers are required to confirm that a noncombat veteran actually experienced a stressor related to hostile military activity, the release said.
Under the new rule, VA no longer will require substantiation of a stressor tied to fear of hostile military or terrorist activity if a VA psychiatrist or psychologist can confirm that the experience recalled by a veteran supports a PTSD diagnosis and the veteran's symptoms are related to the stressor, a VA release said.
“With this new PTSD regulation, we are acknowledging the inherently stressful nature … of military service in which the reality and fear of hostile or terrorist activity is always present,” Michael Walcoff, VA’s acting undersecretary for benefits, said during a news conference today.
PTSD fraud is well documented and grew huge roots after Vietnam. Those who practiced PTSD fraud then are largely responsible for the smear of that generation's vets - both with and without PTSD. This will only make it worse for our generation.
Make no mistake - there is $$$$$ in PTSD fraud. If you make it easier to practice that fraud - ECON 101 tells you all you need to know. Sure - you may help one; but you create enough fraud to smear thousands.
As a friend put it in correspondence with me yesterday, it DEFINES PTSD as "something a veteran says they have." It follows that legally there can be no such thing as PTSD fraud. (unless someone claims vet status fraudulently.) The fraud is the one the government is perpetrating on the American people.
This also separates veterans into two classes - those who admit they have PTSD and those who deny it. I believe Orwell saw this coming. "there is $$$$$ in PTSD fraud" - there is even more money in treating an "epidemic."
This makes me sick.
As well documented in B.G. Burkett's book about what happened to the Vietnam War generation of Vets - Stolen Valor : How the Vietnam Generation Was Robbed of Its Heroes and Its History - PTSD has a long history of fraud, and even worse, being used to smear all vets by using it as a cause of everything that may go wrong in a person's life.
The VA needs a human psychology and economics lesson it seems. They should know better.
Veterans Affairs Department officials who are lowering the bar for veterans to receive benefits related to post-traumatic stress disorder say they don’t expect more people to try to jump over it.This is bad, very bad. This is bad for the taxpayer, for the veterans who have ligit PTSD, and for all veterans.
But VA may be underestimating a potential flood of claims that could result from an Obama administration decision to make it far easier for veterans who served in noncombat jobs to prove their mental health issues are service-connected.
Final rules are expected to be published in Tuesday’s Federal Register, and will apply to any PTSD-related claim filed beginning Tuesday or that is pending before VA, including those under appeal at any step in the process. As a result, retroactive benefits claims are possible for some veterans, because the effective date for benefits is the date a claim is filed.
Veterans whose PTSD claims were denied will have to reapply, with their benefits effective from the day of the claim.
Dr. Robert Petzel, VA undersecretary for health, described the new policy as “historic,” especially beneficial to women veterans and those who had been assigned to support and administrative units. Those veterans, unlike troops from combat units, had to prove they experienced something in their service that caused their PTSD. And the records of people in supporting units often don’t contain information about sniper fire, explosions, mortar attacks and other incidents that could be the cause of fear, helplessness and horror — the root causes of post-traumatic stress, Petzel said.
Like I warned in 2004 when I started this blog - they will marginalize us by making us all victims. If we are marginalized, then we don't have to be taken seriously and our opinions are of less value.