I hope this study prompts the VA to put more attention and effort on addressing the mental health needs of these female Veterans, who have sacrificed so much in service to their country.
Parkersburg, WV (PRWEB) February 15, 2011
A West Virginia Veterans’ benefits attorney said this week that she hopes a recent VA study will lead to improved access to services and benefits for women Veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The study, issued last month by the Veterans Administration’s inspector general, found that female Veterans may be unaware that Women Veterans Coordinators are available at regional offices to help them with matters such as filing disability claims for PTSD, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other mental health conditions.
The study also concluded that female Veterans are denied PTSD-related disability claims at a higher rate than their male counterparts, said the Veterans’ benefits attorney, Jan Dils.
“There may be countless women Veterans suffering from PTSD who don’t know how to get the help and benefits they need to cope with this debilitating condition,” said Dils, founder of Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, L.C., a Veterans’ disability benefits law firm with offices in West Virginia and North Carolina.
“I hope this study prompts the VA to put more attention and effort on addressing the mental health needs of these female Veterans, who have sacrificed so much in service to their country,” Dils said.
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that is triggered by exposure to a life-threatening or traumatic event, such as a life-threatening combat experience or a physical or sexual assault. It ranks among the most common service-connected disabilities suffered by Veterans, especially those who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, VA statistics indicate.
According to the recent VA study, significantly more women Veterans file PTSD claims related to military sexual trauma (MST) than men do.
However, the study suggested that better training may be needed for claims processors and Women Veterans Coordinators to help them deal with female Veterans who may be distressed or emotional during discussions about MST-related disability claims.
Additionally, the study said that steps need to be taken to make reference materials concerning PTSD and MST-related mental health conditions more accessible to women Veterans.
“In many cases, a female Veteran may have been denied a disability benefits claim for PTSD because of a breakdown that occurred in the application process,” Dils said. “It may be helpful to contact an experienced Veterans’ benefits attorney to review your case and see what may have gone wrong.”
About Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, L.C.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, L.C., focuses exclusively on helping individuals with disabilities get the financial help they deserve from the government by seeking benefits from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Social Security Administration. The firm features West Virginia offices in Charleston, Parkersburg, Huntington, Logan and Beckley and one office in Charlotte, North Carolina. To learn more about Veterans’ benefits and Social Security disability benefits, contact the firm by calling (877) 838-3726 or using its online form.
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