 S. 374 and H.R. 1092, the Service members and Veterans Empowerment and Support Act of 2019:

This legislation will codify VA regulations regarding the adjudication of claims for mental health conditions,  including post-traumatic stress disorder, associated with experiencing Military Sexual Trauma (MST).  It would  also add technological abuse, defined as “behavior intended to harm, threaten, intimidate, control, stalk, harass,   impersonate, or monitor another person, […] that occurs via the Internet, through social networking sites,   computers, mobile devices […] to the types of trauma and resulting conditions for which survivors may seek   benefits and health care.  Finally, the bill would require VA to re-establish specially trained teams to adjudicate   MST-related claims for mental health conditions and to report annually to Congress to ensure that these claims are adjudicated equitably.

            VA’s regulations for adjudicating claims for mental health conditions stemming from MST allow the Department to consider sources such as a statement from police, a rape hotline, or corroborating reports from friends, relatives  or roommates to substantiate a claim. However, in 2017 the Inspector General (IG) issued a report indicating VA    had discontinued the specialized training and handling of MST-related cases which resulted in discrepancies in  the outcome of many of these claims.

This entry was posted in News. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *