American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Aug. 24, 2009 – The Veterans Affairs Department is taking steps to help veterans seeking compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder, VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki announced today. “The hidden wounds of war are being addressed vigorously and comprehensively by this administration as we move VA forward in its transformation to the 21st century,” Shinseki said. VA is publishing a proposed regulation today in the Federal Register to make it easier for a veteran to claim service connection for PTSD by reducing the evidence needed if the stressor claimed is related to fear of hostile military or terrorist activity. Comments on the proposed rule will be accepted over the next 60 days, and a final regulation will be published after consideration of all comments received, VA officials said. Under the new rule, VA would not require corroboration of a stressor related to fear of hostile military or terrorist activity if a VA psychiatrist or psychologist confirms that the stressful experience recalled by a veteran adequately supports a diagnosis of PTSD and the veteran’s symptoms are related to the claimed stressor.