According to Veterans Affairs, there has been a sharp increase in the amount of veterans receiving disability payouts due to post-traumatic stress disorder over the last ten years, Navy Times reports.
The VA reported that in 2008, there were roughly 345,000 of PTSD-related disability cases and there are more than 940,0000 cases today.
In this timeframe, these cases have tripled, and now 22 percent of veterans receiving disability payouts do so because of PTSD-related issues.
Veterans receiving PTSD-connected disability payouts come from all age groups and are not solely connected to the country’s more recent wars.
Despite this stark increase in PTSD-related disability cases, there is concern that not enough veterans are receiving the help and the payouts that they need for their PTSD symptoms.
“One-size-fits-all does not work when it comes to PTSD,” Rep. Mike Bost, R- Ill. Said.
“When you’re dealing with a human mind damaged by some really bad circumstances, we have to do everything we can. I know we’re trying, but we hear concerns from constituents on a regular basis.”
According to Ronald Burke of the Veterans Benefits Administration, the increase in PTSD-related disability cases is due in part from a 2010 decision to make it easier for veterans to receive disability due to PTSD.
Additionally, Burke believes an increase in public discussion has made veterans more aware of the issue and more likely to file a disability claim, which also contributed to the spike in PTSD-connected cases from veterans of all ages.
There are still problems with eligibility and evaluations.
“We have seen cases where a veteran presents extreme symptoms, but is only given a 30 or 40 percent (disability) rating,” Gerado Avila of the American Legion’s rehabilitation division said. “It can be overturned, but it’s not likely to happen. And that could mean years of waiting for an appeal.”
While there are still issues within the system and much work to be done to help veterans with PTSD, the spike in veterans claiming PTSD-related disability indicates that heightened discussion, decreased stigma, and relaxed rules have helped many veterans get the help they need.