By now most have heard the flurry of reports about how much easier it will be for Veterans to get benefits for PTSD. At first glance it would appear the changes would benefit Veterans since the rules on proving the occurrence of stressors has been lessened. No doubt that this was a huge problem for Veterans since the records kept during battles is understandably imperfect and the new changes address this problem. Whats less clear is what the effect of the other change will be in terms of only VA employed psychiatric professionals diagnosing and legitimizing PTSD in Veterans. PTSD is often very difficult to diagnose and what may happen is that Veterans could be dismissed by VA psych professional as having non service related depression. Almost every case of PTSD includes a diagnosis of depression as well. It could give these VA employees an unlimited amount of discretion in terms of PTSD claims and the opinion of qualified non VA psych professionals would basically be ignored. We will have to see the effect of these changes over time to fully comprehend how these changes will or will not help Veterans.
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