Congresswoman Chellie Pingree said today that the Veterans Benefits Administration's (VBA) recent decision to review denied PTSD claims for victims of military sexual trauma (MST) is a step in the right direction but doesn't go far enough.
"I'm pleased that the VA will take a significant step in reviewing certain claims it has denied for sexually assaulted veterans. I hope this helps many of the veterans I've spoken with who clearly deserve this assistance but have been denied time after time," Pingree said. "However, this decision doesn't take into consideration the other debilitating physical and mental conditions some veterans suffer after being sexually assaulted--anxiety and depression among them. If the Department wants to do the right thing, it should review denied claims for all MST victims, not just do the job halfway."
Pingree has been a leader in efforts to change Veterans Administration policies that prevent many veterans from getting benefits for disabilities they suffer as a result of military sexual trauma. A bill she has introduced would lift many of these burdens.