Recent reviews of the staffing at many hospitals and clinics supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have shown a serious shortage of psychiatrists available to attend to veterans with mental conditions.
The VA reports that there’s a 15% national vacancy rate for mental health professionals at VA run hospitals and clinics. This number is as high as 20% in some areas, such as the northwest and south. In September 2011, it was determined that 266 psychiatrists needed to be hired at VA facilities across the U.S. to meet increasing demands, yet the hiring process was taking an average of 8 months to complete.
This news is concerning to many disabled veterans who are seeking diagnosis and treatment for common mental health disorders connected to their military service. Many veterans are waiting weeks, even months for evaluation or treatment for conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is diagnosed to 10,000 veterans every 3 months.
Applying and qualifying for veterans’ disability benefits is an important step in becoming eligible for mental health treatment through the VA hospitals. A veteran who’s experiencing symptoms of a mental disorder should get in touch with a veterans’ disability attorney to learn about their right to evaluation and treatment for their condition, even if it may take some time to obtain service from a VA psychiatrist.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, a South Florida disability attorney from LaVan & Neidenberg is ready to help. To learn if you are entitled to certain programs and benefits contact our veteran’s disability rights firm today – 1-888-234-5758.