Obama: 'Solemn' Duty to Help Vets With PTSD

White House plans to make getting benefits easier
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 10, 2010 7:55 AM CDT
In this Oct. 21, 2009 photo, Kyle Salisbury displays his Purple Heart in his home in Bellingham, Wash.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
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(Newser) – With the military fighting two wars, President Obama said today the country has a "solemn responsibility" to ensure that veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder get the help they need. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki is to announce new regulations Monday intended to make it easier for veterans with PTSD to receive government benefits.

The regulations drop a provision requiring veterans to prove what caused their illness. Instead, veterans would have to show that the conditions surrounding the time and place of their service could have contributed to their illness. A senior official at the Veterans Administration said the department doesn't expect the number of veterans receiving benefits for PTSD to rise dramatically, as most veterans with legitimate applications for benefits do eventually get claims. The goal is simply to make the claims process less cumbersome and time-consuming, said the official. (Read more President Obama stories.)

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