The veteran is totally disabled due to PTSD from a military sexual assault.
Result: 100 percent service connection and back pay of $145,000.
The veteran served active duty in the early 1960s. An older service member sexually assaulted the veteran during his time in the service. Understandably, the veteran never told anyone about this tragic event. The veteran was honorably discharged.
Following service the veteran did the best he could to go on with his life. He did relatively well for a while. But as the years passed the trauma from the assault began to create more and more problems. The veteran eventually went to the VA and was diagnosed with PTSD. He filed a claim for service connection.
But because the incident was not documented in his service records and because so many years had passed since discharge, the VA did not believe him. They denied the claim repeatedly. This prompted numerous levels of appeals. The veteran eventually appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. At this point the veteran made contact with our office. The Court of Appeals eventually remanded the claim back to the regional office. Fortunately, the VA granted service connection, but did not award a sufficient rating. Even though the veteran had been unable to work for at least 5 years, the VA only awarded a 50 percent rating.
Just prior to making its decision, the VA sent the veteran to a VA examination. The VA doctor gave an inaccurate report, which suggested that the veteran’s symptoms were not that severe. Naturally, we appealed the decision, and argued that VA should have assigned a 100 percent rating. However, the file contained a very unfavorable VA examination. Strategically, we had to counteract the VA examiner’s report.
Therefore, we determined that we needed to have the veteran examined by one of the leading expert’s in sexual assault. We ended up flying the veteran to the West coast to be examined by this leading expert. We obtained a favorable report and submitted additional argument to the VA. But we did not stop there. We retained another notable psychologist who specializes in veteran’s cases. He also gave an opinion favorable to the veteran’s claim. We submitted additional argument and then waited for VA’s response.
Finally, the VA issued a decision granting the veteran 100 percent for his PTSD.