Veterans Apply For Disability In Historic Numbers
America’s newest veterans are filing for disability benefits at a historic rate, claiming to be the most medically and mentally troubled generation of former troops the nation has ever seen.
A staggering 45 percent of the 1.6 million veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are now seeking compensation for injuries they say are service-related. That is more than double the estimate of 21 percent who filed such claims after the Gulf War in the early 1990s, top government officials said.
What’s more, these new veterans are claiming eight to nine ailments on average, and the most recent ones over the past year are claiming 11 to 14. Vietnam veterans are currently receiving compensation for fewer than four, on average, and those from World War II and Korea, just two.
Do you think this trend is due to the type of combat or veterans being more aware of the risks and issues involved with service?
FIRSTLY ..THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT FAVOR THE ENEMY; SECONDLY, THE MANY AND VARIED DEPLOYMENTS ARE A SIGNIFICANT STRESS ON THE TROOPER; FINALLY, THERE ARE NO CLEAR BATTLE LINES; THE IDENTITY OF THE ENEMY IS IN A CONTINUAL STATE OF FLUX. WE HAVE HEROIC, NOBLE, DEDICATED, SACRIFICING MEN/WOMEN WHO STAND IN HARM’S WAY FOR OUR FREEDOMS. BUT THERE IS A LIMIT , THEY ARE ONLY HUMAN. WE NEED TO HONOR , LOVE AND NOT FORSAKE THEM. REMEMBER AND HONOR THE BRAVE !!
I think it’s multiple things that contribute to these record number of claims.
First, you have many service members that have done multiple deployment rotations without the proper recovery time (physical, mental, and emotional) between those deployments – when you don’t fully recover from something before being subjected to stress on that injured part, it will go back to where it was or worse.
Second, service members are more inclined nowadays to claim their disabilities, whereas in the past, most Veterans would not want to admit they had anything wrong with them. Along with that, service members are more well-informed when they begin their application process, knowing what can be claimed, and how to go about it.
An obvious one is the compensation and health care. Depending on their health, Veterans need a lot of continuing care, and to do so in the private medical sector would probably be extremely cost-prohibited, if not impossible to do. Also, with a lot of service members leaving and joining the Veteran ranks, they’ll want to have things like Hiring Preference in their favor to secure a job (or hopefully a career) in their next stage of life.
The other big thing is PTSD & TBI claims. These conditions are new to the system in their own way (PTSD now being mainstream accepted, TBI coming in as a new condition), and I would guess that a majority of these claims have one or both of those conditions claimed.
The last one I see is that with the reduction in force measures in progress across the services, there will be more people finding themselves out of the military and looking to make sure they are taken care of. With the Army trying to cut 50,000 troops in five years, that’s a major influx.
All of this leads to this record number of claims, of which as the drawing down of troops in Afghanistan is soon to begin, will make it even higher.
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