WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI), Chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, released the following statement today in response to a report by the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council on "PTSD Compensation and Military Service." The report raised questions about the effectiveness of VA's system of assessing and rating post-traumatic stress disorder, a condition that afflicts a large number of combat veterans:
"Our nation's veterans need to have confidence that the assessment and rating systems used to diagnose and treat PTSD are appropriate and consistent, whether they live in Hawaii or Virginia," Akaka said. "Over one million servicemembers have been sent overseas to fight the Global War on Terrorism, and unfortunately, the number of PTSD claims is certain to continue increasing. To ensure that veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan receive the care they need and deserve, VA must take action now."
Specifically, Chairman Akaka says the VA should implement the following recommendations made by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council today:
"VA must follow-up on the report's recommendation and make a concerted effort to help disability raters better address the management of PTSD claims, "Chairman Akaka said.