An important subject that should not go overlooked today:
The government is preparing to issue new rules that will make it substantially easier for veterans who have been found to have post-traumatic stress disorder to receive disability benefits, a change that could affect hundreds of thousands of veterans from the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam.
This as a major, ground-shifting change in the way our nation treats returning veterans - many of whom clearly suffer from PSTD, but have not been able to provide the documentation necessary to "prove" it and thereby receive treatment from the VA. Now, under the new rules issued by the Veterans Administration Dept (led by Obama appointee Eric Shinseki), literally hundreds of thousands of soldiers from all our past wars will now be able to access much-needed treatment.
The regulations from the Department of Veterans Affairs, which will take effect as early as Monday and cost as much as $5 billion over several years according to Congressional analysts, will essentially eliminate a requirement that veterans document specific events like bomb blasts, firefights or mortar attacks that might have caused P.T.S.D., an illness characterized by emotional numbness, irritability and flashbacks.
This requirement has forced suffering veterans countless and fruitless hours searching for any sort of evidence, paperwork that's not easy to come by. Now?
Under the new rule, which applies to veterans of all wars, the department will grant compensation to those with P.T.S.D. if they can simply show that they served in a war zone and in a job consistent with the events that they say caused their conditions. They would not have to prove, for instance, that they came under fire, served in a front-line unit or saw a friend killed.
Not surprisingly, some in conservative quarters are crying that this will open the floodgates for abuse and create a system of dependent veterans who don't want to work:
"I can’t imagine anyone more worthy of public largess than a veteran," said Dr. Sally Satel, a psychiatrist and fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative policy group, who has written on P.T.S.D. "But as a clinician, it is destructive to give someone total and permanent disability when they are in fact capable of working, even if it is not at full capacity. A job is the most therapeutic thing there is."
Ah yes, that lazy vet would much rather get disability instead of work.
Well, luckily this administration ignores the advice of the American Enterprise Institute and does the right thing for our veterans.