Fortunately, today our understanding of combat and war-induced trauma, together with a healthy societal openness about diagnosis and treatment, means now is as good a time as any to obtain assistance for your Veteran. When it comes to applying for and obtaining service-connected mental disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the key is having a knowledgeable advocate on your side.
VA largely relies on the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders when evaluating mental disabilities. The manual was most recently updated in 2013 and is referred to as “DSM-5,” meaning the fifth edition of the manual. You don’t need to know all the details of DSM-5. That’s why you have a VA-accredited representative. What is important is that you (the Veteran) or you (the loved one of a Veteran) recognize signs of possible service-connected mental disorder. Continue reading