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New study captures more accurate picture of PTSD among deployed vets

As readers know, this week we celebrated Veterans Day as a nation. It is common knowledge that disability is prevalent among Iraq and Afghanistan vets, particularly mental disability in the form of post-traumatic stress. Estimates of the extent of the impact vary, but according to a new study, PTSD is said to impact over one in six soldiers who served in the two most recent war efforts.

These individuals, the study found, are nearly five percent more likely to come out positive in PTSD screenings than those who were not sent overseas. The study found that around 15.7 percent of soldiers sent overseas are at risk for the disorder. The study is thought to be more accurate than previous findings because of the fact that it is the first to factor in soldiers who don’t make use of VA benefits and those who didn’t actually deploy overseas.Â

Although the study is thought to better capture the PTSD risk among those who were put on the front lines in the war efforts, it is still estimated that it will be many years before the Veterans Administration has full knowledge of just how extensive the mental health toll has been.

Soldiers, of course, are able to obtain benefits for PTSD through the Veterans Administration, but those with serious cases of PTSD may also be able to obtain Social Security disability benefits.

To qualify, the condition must be serious enough that it prevents the disabled individual from engaging in substantial gainful activity in any industry for at least a year. Substantial gainful activity, as we’ve previously noted on this blog, is the ability to earn $1,070 per year, for the non-blind. Soldiers who have been seriously affected by PTSD do well to look into the possibility of qualifying for SSDI, and it can certainly help to work with an experienced advocate.

Source: National Journal, “One in Six Iraq, Afghanistan Veterans Might Have PTSD,” Jordan Carney, Nov. 12, 2014.Â

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