PTSD is a painful and debilitating disorder, and for so long much of the attention has been focused on the emotional toll it takes on our Veterans. It’s encouraging that medical experts are also examining how PTSD manifests on the body itself.
Parkersburg, WV (PRWEB) June 25, 2011
New research suggesting that post-traumatic stress disorder affects war Veterans’ physical as well as mental health will be unveiled at a conference in California this week, according to a recent report from a San Francisco ABC news affiliate.
The findings from the Veterans Health Research Institute indicate that Veterans who have PTSD aren’t only suffering psychologically. The disorder has been linked to physical health problems such as an increased likelihood of developing dementia and heart disease.
“This is incredibly important research,” says Jan Dils, a West Virginia Veterans’ benefits attorney whose law firm handles disability claims for Veterans of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard.
“PTSD is a painful and debilitating disorder, and for so long much of the attention has been focused on the emotional toll it takes on our Veterans,” Dils says. “It’s encouraging that medical experts are also examining how PTSD manifests on the body itself.”
Around 15-20 percent of Veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from PTSD, which traditionally has been marked by psychological symptoms such as depression, anger and anxiety.
But the new research also found that the hippocampus, the area of the brain that controls memory and is highly reactive to stress, is smaller on Veterans with PTSD. Doctors are hopeful the brain’s “plasticity,” or ability to change itself, may lead to treatments that can help PTSD sufferers.
As all of this new science emerges, it will be more important than ever for disabled Veterans to apply for benefits, Dils says.
The average amount of Veterans’ benefits ranges from $123 to $2,613 per month, depending on the extent of the disability and the disability rating. But Veterans can encounter any number of roadblocks along the way that might prevent them from getting what they rightfully deserve, warns Dils.
First, filing disability claims can be a difficult and confusing, the West Virginia attorney says.
“Applying for benefits involves a lot of complex paperwork from the start,” says Dils. “And that’s not counting all of the appeals work that must be done if a disability claim is denied or if the Veterans Administration rates the claim as less severe than it really is. For Veterans with PTSD, who can so easily be overwhelmed by life’s events, applying for the benefits can seem an insurmountable task.”
Another complication that disabled Veterans encounter is the lengthy time it takes for a claim to be processed at a local VA office and then routed through the correct channels so that disability benefits are actually paid.
“There is also a high error rate during claims processing, which slows the Veterans’ claims even more,” says Dils.
At her law firm, a team of attorneys and claims representatives helps Veterans get through the system so they can get on with their lives.
“When you’re working with Veterans on a daily basis, you see firsthand the incredible sacrifices they’ve made for our country,” says Dils. “When we’re able to help those disabled individuals navigate through the maze of paperwork and achieve compensation that they deserve, it’s a way that we can give something back to them, even if we weren’t beside them in the line of duty.”
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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