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Mass. Vets Claim More PTSD Benefits Under New Rule

Dozens of Massachusetts veterans have already taken advantage of a new rule that makes it easier to get benefits after post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Starting earlier this month, veterans have been able to claim benefits related to PTSD without providing evidence of the specific events that caused them stress. The Veteran's Administration changed the rule after reviewing evidence that living in war zones increases the risk of PTSD, even if one never sees combat.

Michael Figlioli, from the Massachusetts branch of Veterans of Foreign Wars, said claims on PTSD-related issues are rising quickly.

"We’ve probably had 50 or 60 alone in my office and there are six or eight other offices over here for various veterans' service organizations," Figlioli said. "I’ve heard that they’re having increases as well."

Figlioli says the change appears particularly useful for older veterans.

"This is sometimes 30 or 40 years later. Months become years and what happened in the spring actually took place in the autumn and if they go back over those records and it’s not there, it can make a difference," Figlioli said.

This program aired on July 26, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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