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No Across-the-Board Review of PTSD Cases - Secretary Nicholson

November 10, 2005

No Across-the-Board Review of PTSD Cases - Secretary Nicholson

WASHINGTON - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will not review the files of 72,000 veterans currently receiving disability compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder, the Department's secretary announced today.

        On May 19, 2005, VA's Inspector General reported on an examination of the files of a sample of 2,100 randomly selected veterans with disability ratings for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  The IG cited insufficient documentation in the files and a dramatic increase in veterans filing for disability compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder since 1999.

        "We have now just completed our own careful review of those 2,100 files cited in the IG's report,'' said the Honorable R. James Nicholson, Secretary of Veterans Affairs.  "The problems with these files appear to be administrative in nature, such as missing documents, and not fraud."

        "In the absence of evidence of fraud, we're not going to put our veterans through the anxiety of a widespread review of their disability claims,'' Nicholson said." Instead, we're going to improve our training for VA personnel who handle disability claims and toughen administrative oversight."

        "Not all combat wounds are caused by bullets and shrapnel," Nicholson added. "We have a commitment to ensure veterans with PTSD receive compassionate, world-class health care and appropriate disability compensation determinations."

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