Two United States Senators have sent a letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs outlining their concerns regarding the disability benefits claims process for victims of sexual assault. Senator Patty Murray, the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee chairwoman, and Senator Jon Tester, a veterans’ committee member, penned a letter voicing their opinions about how the claims of military servicemen and women are reviewed in the case of rape or other sexual trauma.
While the VA has made considerable positive changes to their treatment of sexual trauma disability claims in recent years, many worry that the process is still not fair to those suffering from mental and physical disabilities due to such trauma. The main issue? Sexual trauma in the military is hard to prove since many cases are never reported, and there is not often sufficient evidence to back up claims because of the nature of the ordeal.
While Murray and Tester say that the VA has taken good steps by making sure that counselors and claim processors are better trained to take on these issues, they want to see more proof that sexual trauma victims are able to secure the resources that they need, from counseling to financial support.
At Morgan & Weisbrod, we are pleased that government officials and the VA are both working toward a more fair system for veterans who have disabilities stemming from sexual trauma – whether or not they are seeking a disability rating. If you need help with a legal issue related to these topics, please call our Texas disability attorneys today to schedule a confidential meeting.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.