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Proving PTSD Under the Defense Base Act

Proving PTSD Under the Defense Base Act

It’s estimated that about 25 million Americans suffer from the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at any given time, or about 8% of the total population. These percentages are much higher in the military, however — and because civilian contractors now make up about half of the U.S. military force around the world, more and more of them are reporting symptoms of PTSD once they return home from service.

Aside from causing considerable suffering, untreated PTSD can lead to sleep disorders, depression, avoidance, and even suicide attempts. Thanks to the Defense Base Act, overseas contractors (civilian or otherwise) may be able to file a DBA claim and receive compensation for PTSD injuries. As more contractors are put at risk, it’s crucial that we examine the true toll of PTSD on these individuals – and ensure an easier path to recovery for those who have been affected.

The Toll of PTSD on Contractors

Post-traumatic stress disorder is common response to extreme trauma, whether due to experiencing violence and physical harm or watching someone else experience it second-hand. Not everyone will automatically develop PTSD after a traumatic event, but with constant exposure to combat, unpredictable living conditions, and isolation on the front lines, both civilians and active military members are at increased risk for this disorder.

The U.S. Department of Defense employs thousands of private and security defense contractors, even outnumbering the U.S. troops in many battle theaters, and those numbers have continued to increase over the last few decades. As they have increased numbers, the numbers of PTSD victims have risen to match: A 2013 RAND study showed that more than 25% of all surveyed contractors could meet the criteria for a PTSD diagnosis.

Proving a PTSD Claim

PTSD claims can be difficult to prove, precisely because so many of the symptoms are emotional or psychological, and they can take months to surface. Even after a diagnosis, some contractors may not even be aware that they are eligible for DBA benefits. However, if you’ve developed PTSD during your time working overseas for the government, whether as a foreign national or as a citizen, you could indeed be able to file a claim and receive compensation.

By relying on expert medical testimony and thorough investigation, our qualified Defense Base Act lawyers in San Antonio can help you navigate a complex PTSD claim. Combining a decade of legal experience with a strong record of results, we can help affected overseas contractors seek out the funding they need to get treatment, and avoid the damaging effects of untreated PTSD.

Call (210) 807-3178 today to get in touch with The Law Offices of George P. Escobedo & Associates, PLLC!


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