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Combat and PTSD

Definition “Combat and PTSD” refers to the relationship between exposure to combat-related trauma and the development of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a mental health condition characterized by severe anxiety, intrusive memories, and distress following a traumatic event. VA benefits for combat and PTSD address the needs of veterans who have developed PTSD as […]


“Combat and PTSD” refers to the relationship between exposure to combat-related trauma and the development of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a mental health condition characterized by severe anxiety, intrusive memories, and distress following a traumatic event. VA benefits for combat and PTSD address the needs of veterans who have developed PTSD as a result of their military service, providing access to healthcare, therapy, and other support services.

Key Takeaways

  1. Combat and PTSD refers to the connection between military combat or warzone experiences and the development of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a mental health condition that can occur after exposure to traumatic events.
  2. Veterans with combat-related PTSD may be eligible for VA benefits, such as disability compensation, healthcare services, and counseling, to assist in the recovery process and ameliorate the effects of PTSD on their daily lives.
  3. The VA assesses eligibility for benefits based on a veteran’s service records, evidence of a PTSD stressor, and a clinical diagnosis of PTSD by a qualified healthcare professional. Seeking help early and providing thorough documentation can help expedite the claims process.


The term “Combat and PTSD” is crucial in the context of VA benefits as it directly addresses the mental health challenges faced by veterans who have experienced combat situations during their military service.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a common and debilitating mental health condition that arises from exposure to traumatic events, specifically affecting many military personnel who have undergone combat.

The significance of recognizing “Combat and PTSD” lies in the tailored support and benefits provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to these individuals, which includes healthcare, compensation, and counseling services.

By acknowledging the unique circumstances of veterans diagnosed with PTSD due to combat exposure, the VA aims to facilitate a more focused and effective approach towards helping these individuals reintegrate into civilian life and manage their mental health challenges.


Combat and PTSD benefits, offered through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), serve a vital role in providing essential support to veterans who have experienced traumatic events during their military service.

These benefits are designed to address the emotional, mental, and physical challenges that can arise from exposure to combat or witnessing distressing events, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The underlying purpose behind these benefits is to help veterans transition back into civilian life and regain a sense of well-being by providing access to mental health care, financial aid, and various other resources tailored to their specific needs. One of the primary resources offered by the VA to support those with combat and PTSD-related issues is access to mental health care services, including counseling and therapy.

The VA also provides educational and employment support for veterans suffering from PTSD, assisting them in finding meaningful work and professional development opportunities. Moreover, the VA offers financial aid in the form of disability compensation, aiming to relieve the financial burden on those veterans who have been adversely affected by their traumatic experiences during active duty.

By addressing these various needs, the VA works to ensure that individuals who have sacrificed for their country receive comprehensive support and assistance, ultimately improving not only the lives of veterans themselves but also the lives of their loved ones and communities.

Examples of Combat and PTSD

Vietnam War Veterans and PTSD: Many Vietnam War veterans experienced intense combat situations during their service. Exposure to these traumatic events led to high prevalence of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) among those who served. Upon returning home, Vietnam veterans faced various challenges in adjusting to civilian life, often needing financial, medical, and psychological support. The VA benefits system provided assistance for these veterans in receiving the much-needed care they deserved.

Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans: Veterans who served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation New Dawn) have also experienced high rates of PTSD due to the intense and stressful situations they faced in combat. Similar to the Vietnam veterans, the VA Benefits system has been an essential support system for these veterans, offering medical treatment and therapy to help them cope with PTSD.

Female Veterans and Military Sexual Trauma (MST): While combat is a significant contributor to PTSD among veterans, Military Sexual Trauma (MST) cases have also been rising among female veterans. MST involves sexual harassment or assault experienced by military personnel during their service, causing significant emotional and psychological distress. The VA Benefits system recognizes the importance of addressing this issue and provides mental health services, medical support, and counseling for female veterans dealing with PTSD as a result of MST.These three real-world examples show the importance of the VA Benefits system in addressing varying causes of PTSD among veterans, whether as a direct result of combat or other traumatic experiences during their time in service.

FAQ: Combat and PTSD VA Benefits

1. What are the eligibility requirements for VA benefits related to combat and PTSD?

In order to be eligible for VA benefits related to combat and PTSD, veterans must meet the following criteria: a diagnosis of PTSD, evidence that the stressor(s) occurred during military service, and a connection between the stressor(s) and the current symptoms of PTSD. Additionally, the veteran must have been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.

2. How do I apply for VA benefits for combat and PTSD?

To apply for VA benefits for combat and PTSD, you need to submit a VA Form 21-526EZ, Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits, along with evidence supporting your claim. You can apply online through the VA eBenefits website, by mail, or in person at a VA regional office.

3. What types of benefits are available for combat and PTSD?

VA benefits for combat and PTSD can include disability compensation, health care, and vocational rehabilitation and employment services. Additional benefits may include education and training, home loans, life insurance, and more, depending on individual circumstances and eligibility.

4. How is my disability rating determined for PTSD?

A disability rating for PTSD will be assigned by the VA based on the severity of your symptoms and the impact they have on your daily life and ability to work. The rating is given in 10% increments, ranging from 0% to 100%. A higher rating represents a greater level of disability and results in increased monthly compensation payments.

5. Can my disability rating be changed after I’ve been granted benefits?

Your disability rating can be changed if there is new medical evidence showing a change in the severity of your PTSD symptoms. You can request a review of your rating by submitting a VA Form 21-526b, Veteran’s Supplemental Claim for Compensation, along with any new, relevant medical evidence.

6. Are family members eligible for any benefits if a veteran has PTSD?

Family members of veterans with PTSD may be eligible for certain benefits depending on the veteran’s disability rating. These can include health care through CHAMPVA, education assistance, and caregiver support among others. Additionally, children of veterans with PTSD may qualify for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) if the veteran’s PTSD contributed to their death.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Exposure to Combat
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Mental Health Treatment
  • Disability Compensation
  • Veterans Affairs Support Services

Sources for More Information

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