Washington Law Firm Helps Veterans Combat the Stigma Associated With Mental Health and PTSD

A Washington state law firm has increasingly focused on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and military sexual trauma (MST) cases and has assisted veterans to combat the stigma of seeking help for mental health issues.

More than one in five veterans receiving federal disability payouts suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This figure has risen dramatically during the last decade. Gustad Law Group conducts veteran outreach to assist veterans in understanding the impact of PTSD on veterans and to provide veterans with resources to assist in treatment of PTSD. Gustad Law Group assists veterans in obtaining service connected compensation for PTSD related to military service.

Veterans Affairs (VA) officials told lawmakers on Capitol Hill that the number of disability cases related to PTSD has nearly tripled from approximately 345,000 cases in the fiscal year 2008 to more than 940,000 cases through 2017.

Service-connected PTSD payouts now make up approximately 22 percent of all veterans receiving compensation benefits from the VA. This applies to all age groups of military veterans and not just recently-returning veterans from combat service.

Gustad Law Group is paying particular attention to screening veterans for military sexual trauma (MST) for both male and female service members. Gustad Law Group has discovered a disturbing trend of sexual misconduct of military service members that causes profound mental health complications. Gustad Law Group actively screens military service members for signs and symptoms of MST and assists in destigmatizing the actions perpetrated against the veteran. Gustad Law Group makes mental health referrals in an effort to assist MST survivors to deal with the guilt and shame too often associated with MST.

However, lawmakers still worry that current VA rules may still be excluding thousands of veterans eligible for the disability payouts, which are tied to injuries suffered during military service.

"When you're dealing with a human mind damaged by some really bad circumstances, we have to do everything we can. I know we're trying, but we hear concerns from constituents on a regular basis," stated U.S. Rep. Mike Bost (R, IL), Chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs subcommittee on disability assistance.

More public attention on the topics of PTSD and MST and more awareness among veterans has led to more veterans from all eras to file claims. Gustad Law Group remains committed to veterans suffering from PTSD and MST by assisting veterans in obtaining counseling services and breaking out of cycles of anonymity, secrecy, shame and guilt. Gustad Law Group is aware that the VA now has 16 training courses focused on handling PTSD cases, and represents veterans to ensure any affected veteran is identified and helped.

Gustad Law Group sees scores of cases where veterans are rejected for a lack of proof or because the VA evaluations are insufficient. Gustad Law Group has increasingly focused on PTSD and MST cases and has assisted veterans to combat the stigma of seeking help for mental health issues such as PTSD.


Tags: legal, military, PTSD, veterans