Posted by defensebaseactcomp on July 13, 2010
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is amending its adjudication regulations governing service connection for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by liberalizing in some cases the evidentiary standard for establishing the required in-service stressor.
This amendment eliminates the requirement for corroborating that the claimed in-service stressor occurred if a stressor claimed by a veteran is related to the veteran’s fear of hostile military or terrorist activity and a VA psychiatrist or psychologist, or a psychiatrist or psychologist with whom VA has contracted, confirms that the claimed stressor is adequate to support a diagnosis of PTSD and that the veteran’s symptoms are related to the claimed stressor, provided that the claimed stressor is consistent with the places, types, and circumstances of the veteran’s service.
This amendment takes into consideration the current scientific research studies relating PTSD to exposure to hostile military and terrorist actions. The amendment acknowledges the inherently stressful nature of the places, types, and circumstances of service in which fear of hostile military or terrorist activities is ongoing. With this amendment, the evidentiary standard of establishing an in-service stressor will be reduced in these cases. The amendment will facilitate the timely processing of PTSD claims by simplifying the development and research procedures that apply to these claims.