New VA regulations for P.T.S.D. truly beneficial to Veterans?

The VA recently announced, and President Obama recently endorsed, new VA regulations concerning service connection for P.T.S.D (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) claims. The new regulations, though touted as liberalizing the evidentiary standard for Veterans claiming service connection for P.T.S.D., will nonetheless require confirmation by a VA psychiatrist/psychologist, that the claimed “stressor” while in service, was adequate to support a diagnosis of P.T.S.D. This raises serious questions and doubts concerning whether a veteran will be given a fair and unbiased medical diagnosis in this regard. Raising the potential for yet additional hurdles over which a veteran must jump, in order to attain the service connection he/she deserves. Other than this questionable benefit, the new regulation will apply to claims received by the VA on or after July 13, 2010; received before July 13, 2010 but not yet decided by a VA regional office; appeals to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals on or after July 13, 2010, but not yet decided by the Board; and pending before the VA on or after July 13, 2010, because the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims vacated a Board decision and remanded for re-adjudication.

Dear Friends and Clients,

In furtherance of our firm’s culture of commitment to always act with compassion, concern and commitment to our clients, community and colleagues, we have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligations while prioritizing health, wellness and safety of all we can.

As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced changes to many lives and businesses in our communities, and around the world. We, much like our neighbors and friends, have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligation to our clients, while also prioritizing the health, wellness and safety of our employees.

Until further notice, our offices will be closed to the public to encourage social distancing and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our team is still hard at work, many from home, and you may still call, email, live chat or video conference us if you or a loved one is seeking legal assistance. As the first law firm to offer our clients secure online access to their case file more than a decade ago, we have always been believers in using technology to make life easier and information more accessible. In these present times it has been a smooth transition for us to continue to offer our clients the same seamless and thorough service that you deserve and are accustomed to.

This pandemic is unlike anything any of us have faced in our lifetimes, and while we can continue to emotionally support one another through it all, staying home and keeping your distance is vital to the health and wellness of our communities. It does not feel good to break routines, cancel events and retreat from our normal, day-to-day socializing, but let us remember that, in times of strife, prior generations were asked to go to war and we are simply being asked to stay home. Your isolation equals more lives saved, and more time for medical providers to prepare for the treatment of patients battling COVID-19.

When the dust settles, we will join together with a greater appreciation for our lives, local businesses, loved ones and health. Until then, we will continue to offer guidance from a safe distance.

Very truly yours,

Andrew G. Finkelstein and the staff of Finkelstein & Partners, LLP