Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mental Health Care for Disabled Veterans

For anyone seeking to claim benefits for disabled veterans, finding mental health coverage is not always easy. A number of reports in recent years have suggested that veterans are more likely to report mental health problems than the general population, and that these reports usually occur 6 months or more after returning home. While a mental health assessment is usually carried out by the army before the veterans return home, the fact that the claims occur after six months means that some veterans are missing out.

Being Eligible for Mental Health Care

Any veteran who is already receiving benefits for disabled veterans should be eligible to apply for general mental health coverage. This includes mental health services such as clinics, residential care, assisted living, and primary care clinics. Veterans with serious mental health issues may also have work programs and rehabilitation paid for, in addition to long-term case management of their illness.

Being Assessed

If you want to claim benefits for disabled veterans due to a mental illness which has developed after your retirement, then you will probably have to be re-assessed by a VA physician. This may improve your disability ratings, so that you receive a benefit from the VA, but it is much harder to claim for mental health issues than for obvious physical disabilities.

Jerald Terwilliger
National Chairman
American Cold War Veterans
"We Remember"

---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996