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Change in PTSD definition could affect veteran benefits

Veterans looking for disability benefits should keep a watchful eye on the proposed new definition changes of post traumatic stress disorder. The proposal can be found in a draft of the American Psychiatric Association’s fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which serves as a guide for mental health workers across the world, according to The Augusta Chronicle.

Changes include remove subjective criteria such as fear and expanding other definitions, such as traumatic events, the news source said. Dr. Bill Albrecht, a staff psychologist at Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center said they’ll be getting rid of some problems but may be gaining some in the process, according to the Chronicle. He said while dropping “disorder” from the title may reduce stigma, changing it to “injury” may make it hard to qualify for benefits.

“That’s the concern,” said Dave Autry, the deputy national director of communications for Disabled American Veterans, told the news source. “We’re certainly keeping an eye on it.”

PTSD is a traumatic and long lasting injury that can lead to inability to work. Veterans affected by PTSD are to entitled to Veterans benefits if they can present sufficient and credible evidence of the illness. The Law Offices of Harold W. Conick and Associates are experts on proving PTSD cases for United States military service veterans.