IMMEDIATE RELEASE





Press Release

August 30, 2005

No. 05-020


Contact:
Mokie Porter

(301) 585-4000 Ext. 146
(301) 996-0901

 

Vietnam Veterans of America Says VA Review
Will Penalize PTSD Veterans

 


(Washington, D.C.) –  “The decision by the Department of Veterans Affairs to review 72,000 cases in which veterans receive compensation for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) could unfairly penalize thousands of suffering veterans,” said John Rowan, the newly elected national president of Vietnam Veterans of America.  

The VA Inspector General (IG) recently reported that 527 out of 2,100 PTSD cases had no evidence or inadequate evidence of a stressor (a traumatic experience necessary to support a diagnosis of PTSD). The review will encompass all awards of service connection for PTSD, awards for 100 percent ratings for PTSD, and awards of individual unemployability with PTSD as the veteran’s primary disability. Only decisions made between 1999 and 2004 will be audited. Veterans with combat service should be exempt from review. 

“The inconsistent decision-making practices shown in the IG report on the part of VA adjudicators are due to inadequate training and supervision of VA adjudicators,” Rowan said. “Well-trained and well-supervised adjudicators would not be making the errors reported by the IG.” 

“We will continue our efforts to prevent this uncalled-for review to be used as a pretext to cut spending for VA benefits and health care,” Rowan said. “VVA will not stand by and allow the VA to cause potentially irreparable harm to veterans who suffer from PTSD and their families as a cover for the inadequacies of its decision-makers,” Rowan said. 

“VVA will continue to advocate for the treatment, care, and compensation for those suffering from PTSD as a result of their service in America’s military,” Rowan said.

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Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is the nation's only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated to the needs of Vietnam-era veterans and their families.  VVA's founding principle is “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.”

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