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Female veterans must get more help from VA

There’s been a backlog and issues with veterans disability at the the Department of Veterans Affairs for years. The promises to help fix these problems and speed the process up have slowly started to come to fruition, but one prominent advocacy group said female veterans still need far more help after they return home.

Military.com said Disabled American Veterans released a report that highlighted more than two-dozen changes needed to ensure female veterans are getting the same treatment as male vets. As it stands, women face a higher rate of unemployment and homelessness compared with non-veterans.

Shockingly, one-in-five female veterans said they experienced sexual trauma while serving, which could very well contribute to mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

Recommended changes from the group include improved healthcare, better disability compensation, transition assistance, housing and employment assistance. Numbers from Military.com found that women make up 20 percent of new recruits, 14.5 percent of those in active military duty and 18 percent of the reserve force. There have been nearly 300,000 women who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan since 2001.

The Law Offices of Harold W. Conick and Associates represents veterans of both genders, as both deserve equal veterans benefits. Female veterans can sometimes have unique medical issues that require special attention and proof in order to obtain VA disability benefits. We are ready, willing and able to assist with their claims.

New rule may help more veterans receive benefits

For Vietnam-era veterans who were not able to receive benefits due to receiving a less-than-honorable discharge, there may be hope. A new set of guidelines was released by the Defense Department earlier this month may make thousands eligible for upgrades to their veterans benefits.

This new rule examines how the first guidance to military discharge review board looks at post-traumatic stress disorder. The new guidelines from the Defense Department now give consideration to the fact that the veteran who was kicked out of the military and stripped of benefits may have had their PTSD or other disorder play a part in their misconduct.

According to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, there needs to be “fair and consistent” results in harder cases where the rigors of war may have taken their toll on a veteran.

“This is our responsibility and the right thing to do for veterans,” Hagel said. “This new guidance reflects our commitment to those who served our country during times of war many decades ago.”

The Law Offices of Harold W. Conick and Associates are available to assist veterans pursue all VA benefits to which they are rightfully entitled.

 

Be aware of the debilitating symptoms of migraines

This week, from September 7 through the 13th, it’s Migraine Awareness Week. While many may think of a migraine as just a headache, sufferers know that they can be debilitating, causing them to stay at home from work for days on end. Those who suffer should seek treatment; for those who can’t hold a job, it may be time to apply for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration.

According to Migraine.com, 91 percent of those who suffer from migraines miss work or cannot function normally during an attack. Most sufferers, 70 percent, are women, and 69 percent of overall sufferers said they have looked for help from a physician due to the intense pain these migraines can bring. For 25 percent, migraines are something they have to deal with multiple times per week.

If these excruciating migraines are hampering your life, you need to start visiting doctors and specialists and saving these medical records in your bid for SSA disability benefits. The only way an administrative judge will approve your benefits is if they see you have been trying to stop the problem. Make sure you and an attorney are able to review all of your records to ensure you have everything that is necessary; one misstep could lead to a denial.

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Harold W. Conick and Associates have successfully represented numerous clients suffering from migraines obtain their SSA disability benefits. It is critical that clients are consistently treated for their migraines and keep a headache log documenting the severity and frequency of their migraines. Supportive, objective medical evidence of the debilitating nature of the migraines will enable the SSA judge to determine that employment is not possible and therefore grant disability benefits.

Study finds impact of PTSD long-lasting for war veterans

Post-traumatic stress disorder is one of the most common ailments veterans of any war deal with when returning home. This is a long-lasting disease that can affect a veteran for years; they should seek veterans disability benefits as soon as possible to help stabilize themselves financially and medically.

The impact of PTSD is long lasting. A recent report financed by the Department of Veterans Affairs found that most veterans who suffered from PTSD a decade or more after Vietnam ended have shown little to no improvement since then. A large percentage of these veterans passed away; in fact, 18 percent with PTSD passed away by retirement age.

Starting decades ago, this research found that members of minority groups who enrolled before finishing high school were far more likely to develop PTSD or a similar war-related trauma. Veterans who had killed multiple people while they served were also very susceptible to the effects of PTSD.

“This study shows us what the road ahead is going to look like,” said. Dr. Charles Marmar, an author on the report, chairman of psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center and director of the NYU Cohen Veterans Center. “A significant number of veterans are going to have PTSD for a lifetime unless we do something radically different.”

The attorneys and staff at the Law Offices of Harold W. Conick and Associates are experienced with clients affected by the symptoms associated with PTSD. These symptoms can be quite disabling, affecting every aspect of a person’s life. PTSD can be caused by individuals exposed to military combat as well as other traumatic life threatening and tragic events, such as sexual assault, auto accidents, death of loved ones and divorce.

Early and consistent treatment is important to manage PTSD. We have successfully represented numerous clients who suffer from PTSD in obtaining disability benefits.