Wounded Times, a must-read blog about PTSD, has an excellent examination of disability pay for veterans, inspired by the recent announcement that the VA will issue new regulations regarding how vets will quality for disability:
Wounded Times: VA to Issue Science-Based PTSD Regulations
Chaplain Kathie, the author of Wounded Times, asks some pretty important questions:
"Would you want to go through combat to end up with $192.50 a week with a 50% disability rating? How about $668.25 for 100%? If you end up with 100% you have to be suffering a lot and watch your life fall apart."
She points out that the vast majority of vets with PTSD only receive 50% disability, worth $770 a month for individuals (and not much more for families). Vets with 100% disability get $2,673 a month, which translates to just $32,076 -- $12k less than the median household income in the U.S.
Extrapolated further, this is about $15 an hour, assuming 52 40-hour weeks per year. A pittance.
As Kathie asks, "Would you risk your life and end up with PTSD to make less than you could make at your local grocery store?"
Anything that gets vets better and faster acceptance of PTSD, like these new regulations promise to do, is a good thing, but as a society, we need to go further.
(And of course, this doesn't even address non-military people with PTSD. That's a whole 'nother issue.)