Post-traumatic stress disorder is well-known to be a common condition among veterans, but many aren't aware of just how common it has become. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the number of veterans currently receiving compensation based on post-traumatic stress has significantly increased in recent years, having gone up nearly fivefold over the last 13 years.
The return of vets from service in Iraq and Afghanistan is part of what is behind the surge, but there is also the concern among some that the problem may also be that many vets are either exaggerating or altogether fabricating symptoms. But how can this happen? Can't mental health professional tell the difference between authentic symptoms and faking? Not easily, it seems.
Although tests have been developed to help sort out true symptoms from false symptoms, these tests are not always accurate. In fact, there have been cases where vets have been denied benefits because the mental health professional conducting the evaluation wrongly concluded that the symptoms were faked or exaggerated.
Vets who have been wrongly denied disability benefits because of a faulty assessment should consider working with an experienced attorney in appealing their claim. In addition, it may be worth filing an application for Social Security disability, which also provides benefits for PTSD suffers who meet specific requirements.
Source: Los Angeles Times, "As disability awards grow, so do concerns with veracity of PTSD claims," Alan Zarembo, August 3, 2014.