VA Eases Access to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Benefits
Nevada Office of Veterans Services Reviewing all Previously Denied Nevada Claims
RENO, NEVADA, JUNE 27 - On July 12, 2010, the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)published final regulations that will make it easier for veterans seeking health care and disability compensation for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a medically recognized anxiety disorder that can develop from seeing or experiencing an event that involves actual or threatened death or serious injury to which a person responds with intense fear, helplessness or horror, not uncommon among war veterans. The VA has reduced the evidence needed if the trauma claimed by a veteran is related to fear of hostile military or terrorist activity and is consistent with the places, types, and circumstances of the veteran’s service. They concluded that veterans have an increased risk of PTSD if deployed to a war zone. Previously, claims adjudicators were required to corroborate that a non-combat veteran actually experienced a stressor related to hostile military activity. The VA expects that this will decrease the time it takes for them to decide access to care and claims falling under the revised criteria.
In response to this new ruling, the Nevada Office of Veterans Services (NOVS) began reviewing more than 10,000 claims for Nevada veterans who were previously denied PTSD benefits and might now qualify under the new VA guidelines. NOVS will contact any veterans whose claims are identified as falling within the new criteria to offer assistance in reopening their claims for them. They expect to complete the review in the next few weeks. All veterans who believe they might have PTSD, were previously denied service connection for PTSD, or currently have a pending claim with the VA for PTSD and want to know if the new rule applies should call the Nevada Office of Veterans Services for assistance at one of the numbers below:
Toll Free Statewide 866-630-VETS (8387)
Las Vegas / 702-636-3070 Reno / 775-688-1653 Elko / 775-777-1000
Boulder City (Nevada State Veterans Home) / 702-332-6784
NOVS was created in 1943 to provide assistance and services to veterans, their family members, and residents of Nevada serving in the Armed Forces of the United States. The Agency has three programs: Veterans Benefit Assistance, Veterans Cemeteries (Boulder City and Fernley), and a Veterans Nursing Home (Boulder City). There are approximately 339,000 veterans residing in Nevada eligible for these services. For more information, call NOVS toll free at 1-866-630-VETS (8387) or visit our website at www.veterans.nv.gov.
MEDIA CONTACT – NOVS
Bill DiBenedetto, Media Relations