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How Are Disabled Women Veterans Treated By Veteran Affairs?

How are female war veterans treated by the Department of Veteran Affairs as compared to how male war veterans are treated in the United States? And are there sufficient resources to support female-specific mental health issues following military service, such as military sexual trauma?

A new study released this December by the US Department of Veterans Affairs has researched how women vets use the services offered by the government and whether or not they are treated differently than men when it comes to securing disability benefits related to combat-related mental illnesses, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Here are just a few interesting facts that they found:

•    Female veterans are more likely than men to take advantage of the health care services offered to them and to seek disability benefits in the wake of a combat-related injury or condition.
•    Female veterans are more likely than men to continue using veterans’ health care services and disability benefits, whereas men may prematurely stop services or treatments.
•    More females are diagnosed with mental illnesses after returning home from combat. However, more men are diagnosed specifically with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.
•    Females were more likely to be denied veterans’ disability benefits when they were seeking support for PTSD.
•    Men were more likely to be denied veterans’ disability benefits when they were seeking support for mental illnesses other than PTSD.
•    The overall rate of denial of veterans’ disability benefits for men and women was more or less the same.

In addition, the study found that veterans’ disability services fell short when it came to treating and supporting women veterans who suffered from military sexual trauma. Not only was there a lack of information available for women in regional VA offices, but there is also a lack of mandatory training for coordinators when it comes to speaking with female vets about sexually traumatic experiences that they have had in the military.

If you are a female vet seeking VA disability benefits, or if you are a female vet who has had benefits denied, speak to a VA disability benefits attorney today.