Veteranclaims’s Blog

July 23, 2010

Who Can Diagnosis PTSD, Combat PTSD Act, Rep. LaTourette

This is good but we still believe that the Combat PTSD Act requirement that the VA only accept VA rendered PTSD diagnosis runs afoul of 38 U.S.C. § 5125 as expressed by the Federal Circuit in Gardin: ““Congress expressly permits veterans seeking serviceconnected disability benefits to submit reports from private physicians:

For purposes of establishing any claim for benefits. . ., a report of a medical examination administered by a private physician . . . may be accepted without a requirement for confirmation by an examination by a physician employed by the Veterans Health Administration if the report is sufficiently complete to be adequate for the purpose of adjudicating such claim.
see Gardin v. Shinseki, No. 2009 -7120

Full Article at: House committee adopts LaTourette’s PTSD language to help vets

Published: Friday, July 23, 2010

By John Arthur Hutchison
JHutchison@News-Herald.com

A U.S. House of Representatives committee has approved legislation to make it possible for servicemen and woman to obtain a post traumatic stress disorder diagnosis at an academic medical center.

The legislation was proposed as an amendment by U.S. Rep. Steven C. LaTourette, R-Bainbridge Township and approved by the House Appropriations Committee as part of a spending bill that funds military construction and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

LaTourette’s spokeswoman Deborah Setliff said the measure will likely be voted on by the full House of Representatives next week and then move on to the U.S. Senate.

LaTourette said the potential change would help veterans who are wary of seeking mental health assistance at a Veterans Affairs facility. Rather, they could go to an academic medical center such as Case Western Reserve University.

The VA recently changed the rules to make it easier for veterans to use a diagnosis of PTSD to qualify for disability benefits, LaTourette said. But the rules allow the diagnosis to be made at a VA facility.

Concerns were raised that if veterans seek mental health evaluations from private doctors, it could lead to fraudulent findings and disability payments that shouldn’t be made, the congressman said.

LaTourette said he understands those concerns, but said many veterans are unwilling to seek help through the VA because the process is cumbersome and can take months or years and there is a big backlog of cases.”

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