When considering what segment of military veterans is growing the fastest in the United States today, who comes to mind? If you thought of women, you would be correct.
As of today, women make up almost 10% of the military, with the number expected to double by 2040.
While women serving in the military isn’t anything new, it took until after World War II for their contributions to be formally recognized. Even after recognition, women have continued to have to fight to access the same standard of healthcare from the VA as their male counterparts, especially when it comes to VA Disability claims for service-connected conditions.
Let’s take a closer look at injured military women and their fight to receive the standard of care from the VA that they are entitled to.
According to this excellent article on female veterans from The Lily, the amount of women veterans using VA healthcare nearly doubled in just the ten years between 2005 and 2015.
Nearly 300,000 women have served during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq alone, and 2 million women are currently serving in the United States Armed Forces overall.
They challenge the traditionally male “stereotype” of military veterans, and often find it hard for their service to be taken seriously.
Unfortunately, this also extends to their attempts to utilize Veterans Affairs both for recovery after a disabling service-connected injury or even for basic healthcare needs.
Veterans Affairs was never adequately prepared for an influx of women (whose basic healthcare needs often include gynecological, pregnancy care, and obstetric care). While many VA locations are providing gynecological and pregnancy care, obstetric is still not provided under the VA and available services vary heavily from location to location.
This means some military women find themselves searching for private gynecologists when none are available at their local Veterans Affairs location.
According to Veterans Affairs, women who serve are also disproportionately likely to suffer from sexual harassment while in service and from PTSD as a result of military sexual trauma, with mental healthcare services being a necessity to aid in recovery.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, accounted for 12% of service-connected disabilities for women who served in the military. Whether a veteran sees combat or not, PTSD has become a disturbing reality of life in the military regardless of gender, and veterans suffering from PTSD should seek care with the VA immediately.
Veterans whose PTSD is disabling or interfering with their everyday lives may be able to file a VA Disability claim for PTSD to help them with recovery. Veterans who suffer PTSD rated at 70% or more or who have a combined rating of 70% with at least one disability rated at 40% or more may be totally disabled and may consider filing for Individual Unemployability which is paid at the 100% level.
Filing a VA Disability Claim in Columbia, SC?
The Veterans Advocates Team at Bluestein Attorneys is made up of fellow veterans, who understand the unique pressures and stress of military life and have a personal understanding of Veterans Affairs. Request a FREE VA Disability consultation by giving us a call at (803) 779-7599 or contacting us online at any time.