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Legislation seeks to change claims process for military sexual assault

In our previous post, we began looking at a new bill passed by the House of Representatives that would remove barriers for veterans seeking out medical services for mental health problems connected to sexual assault that occurred during their time in the service.

As we noted, veterans who have suffered from military sexual assault may still qualify for SSDI benefits.  This can happen either by meeting the requirements of Social Security's disability listing on anxiety-related disorders, or by receiving a "medical-vocational allowance," which simply means that the applicant has a mental illness or disorder that keeps them from working, but which doesn't technically meet the requirements of a disability listing. 

Meeting the requirements for a listing in anxiety-related disorders requires documentation emotional disturbance and other symptoms that interfere with daily activities, ability to concentrate and social life. These requirements can be found on Social Security's website.

Whether one qualifies by meeting requirements in a disability listing or through a medical vocations allowance, it is critical to provide the best medical documentation possible. Doing so can help establish the existence of the condition.

Applying for benefits through the VA for post-traumatic stress is another option for vets suffering from military sexual trauma. As we mentioned last time, vets suffering from this condition may in fact have an easier time being approved for PTSD.

It isn't only women that struggle with this condition. In fact, the number of men living with military sexual trauma is greater than the number of women. In any case, the important thing is that those suffering from this condition receive the help they need, whether it comes through the VA or SSDI or another means.

Source: Marine Corps Times, "House OKs easing rules for sex assault disability," Patricia Kime, June 5, 2013.