A change in federal legislation now allows women to have an easier time seeking treatment for suspected post-traumatic stress disorder.

Women serve alongside men in times of war. However, it is assumed that only the men come back with PTSD. But, women who enlist and serve in the military are just as apt to return with PTSD, as men. Consequently, a change in federal legislation now allows women to have an easier time seeking treatment for suspected post-traumatic stress disorder.

Unlike previous protocol, any veteran can now ask for and receive screening for PTSD. If there are any symptoms of Veterans PTSD apparent, the VA will automatically assume that the symptoms are caused by some traumatic event while serving, and therefore qualify the veteran for PTSD treatment.

Previously, a veteran exhibiting symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder was required to document the source of the trauma, in order to qualify for treatment.

The updated policy is expected to benefit women, given their support roles in war. Combat stress is not confined to just the front lines.

Last year about 319,000 veterans nationally received PTSD treatment, including counseling and medication, according to VA statistics. An estimated 20 percent of all women and eight percent of all men develop PTSD at some point during military service, the VA says. Therefore, the change in policy should help more servicemen and women qualify for veterans disability benefits.

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