Sexual Assault and PTSD in the Military

According to an article in the New York Times, a recent Pentagon study noted a fifty percent increase in the number of military sexual assaults reports.  The study indicated that over 5,000 sexual assaults were reported in 2013.  Less than ten percent of those cases went to trial.  There is uncertainty about whether the increased reporting is due to changes made by the military to encourage reporting by sexual assault victims or whether there is actually an increased number of sexual assault cases.

It goes without saying that sexual assault is a horrible crime.  The victims of sexual assault are harmed physically and emotionally.  Many sexual assault victims develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of their traumatic experience.  When PTSD develops after a sexual assault in the military, the service member should receive disability compensation benefits.  However, as reported by NBC News, a recent lawsuit filed by two veterans organizations claims that the Department of Veterans Affairs discriminates against victims of sexual assault in PTSD claims.

The plaintiffs in this lawsuit indicate that VA is as much as thirty percent less likely to authorize a claim for sexual assault related PTSD when compared to other PTSD claims.   VA claims that there is only about a six percent difference in the approval rate for the fiscal year 2013.  It is important to realize that this is only a lawsuit that has been filed and no determination has been made about the merits of the claims made in the lawsuit.  Nevertheless, it is concerning that there is data to indicate that service members who are victims of sexual assault may be held to a higher standard than service members who developed PTSD as a result of some other service-connected event.

Travis Studdard is an attorney who focuses on representing veterans in VA disability compensation claims.  He regularly writes about issues that are important to veterans and their families.

You can subscribe to his Veterans Disability channel on YouTube.

Thank you Jason and Tina for everything you've done. Much appreciated. Great law firm! Great results!! Thank you!!! (Austin and Valerie)Valerie Mellinger
Travis and the team working on my VA claim are awesome. I’m happy with their integrity and diligence on working on my claim.Chris “Greybeard” Mullennix
I can't express enough how great it was to work with Perkins Studdard. They are extremely knowledgeable, professional and keep you aware of everything happening with your case. Very friendly from the front office to Mr. Perkins. I would HIGHLY recommend Perkins Studdard!James Strickland
I recommend Travis for an Veteran that has been dealing with constant denial with claims. He also , cover cost for my nexus letter when I ran into financial troubles , that helped me win my case.edwin Cook
I highly recommend Travis Studdard to represent anyone looking to help with VA claims. The VA is very difficult to deal with when attempting to get benefits from service connected injuries, at least that's my experience. Travis and his team knows the VA system and the legal procedures to help you get what you deserve. Travis was kind and passionate with me throughout this process and therefore, I highly recommend this law firm to represent DAV's.Terry Hembree
Such an awesome team. They spoke to me like a person and helped me through every decision with knowledge.Kevin Collett
Highly recommend this firm. Did exactly what they said they were going to and fairly timely. The VA is sometimes extremely difficult to navigate but this took all the leg work away from me and got me the result I thought was fair.Andrew Boone
Amazing staff, very informed along with excellent communication. Within just a few weeks of work, Mr Studdard was able to make things happen that normally take years! Highly recommendJacob Sylvester
Perkins Studdard LLC is the place you need to be if you have a Workers Comp case going on! Mr. Jason Perkins and his staff get the results that you need. They work with you and fight for you.Coming from another lawyer my husband and I were really surprised and appreciated the communication and honesty and understanding throughout the entire process. My husband loves the videos because they held so much information and helped him understand what what was going on. Thank you so much for representing us!!!Deborah Tompkins
I highly recommend Jason Perkins and the Team at Perkins and Studdard. Jason did a wonderful job on my case and actually got me better results than what I was hoping for. He was always so patient with me and made sure I was understanding every process in my case. He never seemed to mind me asking questions and always gave me straightforward answers. My phone calls to him or his staff were promptly answered or returned and everyone was always so helpful, personable, and respectful. He kept me updated on all the details of my case and sent helpful videos for me to review that were very informative.Dru Vaughn

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