After a storm of veterans’ and Democrats’ denunciations, on Nov. 10, 2005, the (VA) announced that there would “no across-the-board review of (PTSD) cases,” reversing its controversial plan to review 72,000 PTSD cases.
Days later, Cheryl Reed of the Chicago Sun Times, broke a story detailing how the VA planned to implement a PTSD restructuring anyway, announced in a low-profile press release through Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID), then Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, a move that drew condemnation for the low-profile manner in which the plan was announced.
Craig's press release announced that the VA would contract with the (non-profit) Institute of Medicine (IOM) on a two-pronged approach to the examination of PTSD.
The IOM website notes that, “The surge in claims by Vietnam War veterans and other former military personnel has revealed inconsistencies in how veterans are rated for PTSD disability and in compensation levels.”
This claim is echoed in the Army Times (May 8, 2007) “While the largest share of claims is still coming from Vietnam War veterans, there are expected to be many more claims in (the) future from personnel who served in the first Gulf War and in the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the panel said.”
While some critics fear the report will be used by the VA to restrict PTSD benefits for veterans, the Vietnam Veterans of Americans (VVA) lauded parts of the IOM report.
"This report reiterates the need for much better training and standardized certification of adjudicators at VA, better training for VA's examining clinicians, and adequate time and resources for examining clinicians to do their job properly at VA. Further, it notes that the onset of legitimate PTSD or a major relapse can occur at any time, sometimes decades after the experience, sparked by a variety of causes," said VVA National President. John Rowan.