Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter today commended the Veterans Administration's (VA) plan to improve care for veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Previously, veterans were burdened with complicated paperwork and difficult evidence requirements in order to prove eligibility for PTSD disability benefits. This led to the denial of benefits for thousands of veterans who were unable to document their experiences. The new reforms will simplify the process, requiring only a VA doctor's diagnosis for veterans who served in a combat zone.
"Service members returning home from combat deserve immediate and proper attention," said Congresswoman Shea-Porter. "Nearly 1 in every 5 veterans suffers from PTSD. I am pleased the VA took these steps to cut the red tape and ensure our veterans quickly receive the care they need."
On May 28, 2010, the House of Representatives passed the Fiscal Year 2011 National Defense Authorization Act, which included language from Congresswoman Shea-Porter to require an assessment of PTSD incidence by military occupation. This study will identify military occupations where service members report a high incidence of PTSD, so preventive measures can be more accurately targeted to those most susceptible.