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PTSD, What is the first step to get it Service Connected?

It’s no secret that thousands of Veterans are struggling with posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. One of the biggest struggles a Veteran encounters is getting Service Connected for this mental disability. Regardless if you served during Vietnam, Iraq, or even during peace time, just getting started can be an uphill battle. This blog will serve as a guide to those Veterans who want to start the process of getting service connected for PTSD.

A more condescending blog might start by saying the first step is recognizing that you have an issue. You obviously acknowledged this because you found this blog. The real first step in getting PTSD service connected is getting a diagnosis from a mental health professional. Many Veterans, especially our younger men and women, don’t know how to do this first step. It’s actually quite simple. If you are already seeking treatment at the VA you can simply ask to be evaluated for PTSD. The VA should then schedule you for an evaluation. Once that evaluation is complete, and if you received a diagnosis of PTSD, you can go forward with filing a claim for service connection. (We will discuss that in a later blog.)

Let’s say you don’t treat at the VA, or possibly, you don’t live near a VA facility, what can you do? You can get diagnosed from a private doctor. Most of us who aren’t Hollywood types don’t see a mental health professional on a regular basis, and in a lot of cases, you can’t just get an appointment with a psychologist. In this case, you can simply ask your family doctor for a referral. Your doctor should have no issues referring you to a mental health doctor who can evaluate you for PTSD.

As we are talking about PTSD anyway, I’d like to take a moment to address a myth. A lot of Veterans I speak to think that you have to be in combat to receive disability compensation for PTSD. That is simply not true. While I will admit that a combat Veteran is more likely to get this benefit, we have seen a lot of cases in which Veterans who served in peacetime, or never left the United States, were granted service connection for PTSD. Remember, Service Connection refers to disability that occurred while in service, as a result of your time in service, or made worse from your time in service. Many traumatic events from a Veteran’s time in service may cause PTSD. So, if you are a non-combat Veteran and experienced a traumatic event in service, you can still be granted service connection if you have a diagnosis from a mental health professional.  Why are we making such a big deal about getting diagnosed? To put it simply, the lack of a diagnosis will automatically result in a denial for a PTSD claim.

We realize that PTSD is not an easy topic to discuss for Veterans. However, if you would like to learn more about what our firm can do to get you service connected, give us a call today. 1-877-526-3457. Or tell us what is going on now.

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