TO WIN A VA CLAIM FOR MST

 

 

 

You will need:

 

 

 

1. A Diagnosis of PTSD, Anxiety and/or Depression, from your Provider. (Filing for "MST" will not work.)

 

 

 

2. A Nexus which needs to be written by your provider as a letter or in your medical chart as a note just like this (print this out and bring it to them):

 

 

 

"After reviewing ___________'s medical records it is my opinion, more likely than not, her/his PTSD, Depression/Anxiety (PTSD, Anxiety/Depression - whatever it specifically is you filed for in your claim and must match exactly) is a direct result of military sexual trauma s/he experienced while serving on active duty."

 

 

 

3. Evidence (a police report, hospital exam, etc. Do not be surprised if this has been sanitized from your military records) or Alternative Evidence VA form #21=0781a. - This is used as "Alternative Evidence" and you need to explain *EACH ONE* of the "markers" they have on page 3.

 

 

If you did not have one of these markers, then state it specifically: "I did not use over the counter medications, because I had prescription medications for anxiety."

 

 

If you did have one of these markers, then state specifically: "I broke up with my boyfriend of 7 years after the assault."

 

 

Form VA-21-0781a - you may want to ask for help with this.

 

Page One  Just fill in Description of the Incident as "sexual assault" or "personal assault" by a known person - STATE THEIR NAME, THEIR UNIT INFORMATION and if they were punished and how.  If you do not know who it was, state that.

 

So, "On or about (VERY important here - if it was July 11th, you could lose) July 12, 1986 I was assaulted by John Doe, a corporal who was assigned to HOC 733rd MI Bn, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii - the same unit I was assigned to."

 

***IF you cannot remember the date, narrow it down to a three month time frame - a season, holiday, or event like the Presidential Elections. (This is used to cross check the paperwork and nothing else. If the paperwork is not there because the dates are wrong, then likely you will not win, so the date range is crucial.)

 

So the main thing is that you DO NOT need to find your Military paperwork the medical records and personnel files are automatic.  The VA will look for these when you file your claim. ANYTHING ELSE you have (JAG, MP, DAILY ROSTER, ETC.) YOU WILL NEED TO REQUEST VA GET SEPARATELY (the DoD most likely will not give it to you, if you request it yourself for privacy reasons), it is the VA's job to get any paperword, and they can get it much more quickly than you can.

 

You will only need to sign a Release of Information for the VA to get these.

 

Page Two  Leave page two with a line through it, and N/A (Not Applicable)**.**Seriously - do not put another incident unless you are willing to wait for a very long time (the wait is already more than a year, unless you are homeless (aka, Do not have a Rental Agreement, Mortgage or Lease - according to the VA rules, if you are couch surfing - you ARE HOMELESS). If you are Homeless, or have serious financial difficulty you must tell them. Every sentence with every person you have with at the VA should be "I am a homeless veteran, and....." Expedited claims can be 3 months. To choose which incident to file for (if there is more than one) pick the one that has any military records or medical records, no matter how small.

 

Page Three - The main thing is to address each of the items in #7 on the form (Page 3). If you had/did something say it, and if not, say you did not do this behavior. If you did not have one of these markers, then state it specifically: "I did not use over the counter medications, because I had prescription medications for anxiety." If you did have one of these markers, then state specifically: "I broke up with my boyfriend of 7 years after the assault." You need to explain EACH ONE of the "markers" they have on page 3.C

 

 

AND

 

 

 

4. A copy of anything showing you had problems in the military, such as being AWOL, ARTICLE 15 or a letter from someone who knew you at the time or before and after you served in the military and can attest to the major behavior changes you have shown. Everything should state "I swear this is accurate and true to the best of my ability."

 

 

 

5. A GAF score (Global Assessment of Functioning) can be assigned by your provider at each appointment you go to.  You must Ask for this. (Typically for PTSD the numbers would range around 35-45.) Remember, winning has everything to do with submitting the correct paperwork, and following up.

Your stories, no matter how compelling, are best left to your therapist, and have no place here, Unless it provides information on where to find Evidence.  Example:  "After the assault I went to the Mayberry Police Department and they filed a report."

 

Writing about your horrific rape situation is NOT required, so if anyone asks, it is likely that they do not know the legal requirements of winning an MST claim.  If you have questions, think about substituting the words "I lost my leg when I stepped on an IED" in place of "mst" and see if their questions make sense.  Example, "What were you doing out so late?"  The issues here is "I was assaulted."  That is all you need to say.

 

 

To find the forms, and to file on line:

 

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs - Veterans Online Application System (VONAPP) Source:

 

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Remember, winning has everything to do with submitting the correct paperwork, and following up.

Your stories, no matter how compelling, are best left to your therapist, and have no place here, Unless it provides information on where to find Evidence.  Example:  "After the assault I went to the Mayberry Police Department and they filed a report."

 

Writing about your horrific rape situation is NOT required, so if anyone asks, it is likely that they do not know the legal requirements of winning an MST claim.  If you have questions, think about substituting the words "I lost my leg when I stepped on an IED" in place of "mst" and see if their questions make sense.  Example, "What were you doing out so late?"  The issues here is "I was assaulted."  That is all you need to say.

 

 

To find the forms, and to file on line:

 

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs - Veterans Online Application System (VONAPP) Source:vabenefits.vba.va.gov

 

VA will use this form as Evidence. The 21-0781a can be filed on line, and use the PDF - ONLY FILE FOR ONE INCIDENT. http://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-21-0781a-ARE.pdf . This is used as "Alternative Evidence" which is only allowed for MST claims. VA will use this form in place of "hard" Evidence.

 

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You MUST have all of the above to win a claim IF you do not have a police report, hospital report, or other documentation - so any statement about court martial or punishment will be added insurance for your win.

 

So, again, you need the Diagnosis, Nexus and Evidence to win your VA claim. Try to keep it simple.

 

 

Lastly, I want you to know that filing for you MST claim can help in your healing process. The only thing I ask is that you help three other veterans when you are ready to. (This may take 3-5 years, so there is no pressure.)

 

I hope this helps a bit. The entire process is confusing. Use this as a checklist, ask questions and stay in touch.

 

 

We have groups on yahoo for either men or women, as well as more "local" groups so you can find veterans in your area.  In these groups you can ask questions get support and use the database for information.

 

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How to Request Information

Download the necessary forms

Toll Free Numbers for Contacting VA

VA Benefits: 1-800-827-1000