VA Benefits for Seniors with PTSD

Elder Law in Birmingham AL

Some seniors who have been in active-duty military positions may come out and suffer from PTSD. Sometimes men and women come out and PTSD or post-traumatic stress does not happen for several years. As someone gets older their mental health may change. If your elderly loved one does not know why they need VA benefits, it’s time to sit down and talk about the importance of applying for VA benefits as a senior with PTSD.

Seniors who have developed PTSD from their time serving in the military may qualify for VA disability compensation but they need to know how to apply for it. If your loved one is new to VA benefits it is important to sit down with someone who knows the laws and how your loved one can apply. VA benefits are not always straightforward and many people need help navigating the system.

First Understand PTSD

As mentioned above, PTSD stands for post-traumatic stress disorder. You may think your loved one has it, but to qualify for any benefits, this is a mental health problem that needs to be diagnosed by a doctor. This usually occurs when someone has seen or experienced awful events at some point in their lives. If it happened during military service your loved one could be eligible for specific kinds of VA benefits. If both of the requirements below are true for your loved one it is time to ask about disability and VA benefits.

  1. The stressor or traumatic event occurred during military service.
  2. A doctor was involved with the diagnosis.

Your loved one may think they have PTSD but the truth is a professional with experience in diagnosing this mental health state is needed to be sure. Your senior loved one should have a doctor they are comfortable enough to talk to and this will help a professional determine whether or not your senior mom or dad is suffering from PTSD which can look different for everyone.

Understand How The VA Defines a Traumatic Event

Your loved one may have experienced trauma in many ways but before they can qualify for the VA benefits they want, they need to know how the VA defines a traumatic event. Here is what the VA states is a traumatic event:

  • You experienced a serious or severe injury.
  • You experienced sexual trauma.
  • You went through personal trauma during service.
  • You experienced sexual violation in the military.
  • You were threatened with sexual assault.
  • You were threatened with injury. 
  • You were threatened with death.

All of these can lead to PTSD and it is how the VA defines a traumatic event. Before you apply for VA benefits, you need to sit down with someone who knows how to navigate the inner workings of the VA. You need to build your case before trying to qualify and this may mean you need to relive some memories to collect the right evidence and get the support you need from the VA. You will need to work with a lawyer that you trust and who knows what is needed to support your case.

If you or a loved one need assistance with Elder Law in Birmingham, AL, contact The Alabama Elder Care Law Firm, LLC today at (205) 390-0101