Vets With PTSD: Benefit Eligibility Varies by Location

McClatchy Newpapers Reports from WASHINGTON: Veterans coming home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with debilitating mental ailments are discovering that their disability payments from the government vary widely depending on where they live, an exclusive McClatchy analysis has found.

As a result, many of the recent veterans who’re getting monthly payments for post-traumatic stress disorder from the Department of Veterans Affairs could lose tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in benefits over their lifetimes…So far, more than 43,000 recent veterans are on the disability compensation rolls for a range of mental conditions from post-traumatic stress disorder to depression and anxiety. Of those, more than 31,000 have PTSD, which has emerged as one of the signature injuries from the war on terrorism. Given the number of soldiers who’ve served in Iraq and Afghanistan, that’s a fraction of what the total will be.

The VA’s assessments of those injuries, however, are all over the map.

Of the recent veterans processed by the VA office in Albuquerque, N.M., 56 percent have high ratings for PTSD. Of those handled by the office in Fort Harrison, Mont., only 18 percent do, the McClatchy analysis found.

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