PTSD Comments of Army Doctor Investigated

Image by Ilona Meagher (Flickr)

New PTSD reviews were given to a dozen soldiers who believed their evaluations had not been fair because the team’s doctor allegedly viewed his role to help keep down the cost of PTSD disability claims.

United States Sen. Patty Murray, chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, told the Seattle Times that an Army psychiatrist who screens soldiers for post-traumatic stress disorder has been assigned to administrative duties while investigators look into remarks he made about patients and the financial costs of PTSD disability benefits.

More than a dozen soldiers who believed their PTSD diagnoses were wrongly dropped by the Madigan team gained new reviews this year at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in an unusual intervention arranged by Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho.

The forensic team’s validation of a PTSD diagnosis can help qualify a soldier for a medical retirement with considerable benefits — such as lifelong health insurance for a retiree, spouse and dependents. The diagnosis also can help qualify a retiree for disability benefits from the federal Department of Veterans Affairs.

The full Seattle Times story is available HERE.

The VA has its own guidelines for PTSD compensaton and new rules were adopted in July 2010. Two items must exist:

  • Stressor:  In a recent regulatory revision, the VA will accept as a stressor the fact that a veteran was in “fear of military or terroist activity.”  Likewise any event that involves actual or threatened death or serious injury could also be considered as a stressor.  That fear or event must be consistent with the places, types, and circumstances of the veteran’s service.
  • Diagnosis: A diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder rendered by a psychiatrist.  Counseling reports prepared by Vet Centers may be considered in determining the degree of your impairment; however, there must be a diagnosis of PTSD made by a physician specialized in psychiatry.
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