Writing The Stress Letter
08-01. General. One of the most difficult things you will be required to accomplish during your battle with PTSD is the writing of your "Stress Letter." It will be difficult because of the emotional impact and because of the effort and time required to write an effective letter. This letter is your "justification" for having PTSD and must be submitted to the Department of Veterans Affairs if you intend to apply for disability compensation. (Donít get up-tight about having to justify your combat tour. First, remember you are dealing with the government, and second, itís like applying for a physical disability, if you ainít got it you donít get it).
I would like to point out that the Stress Letter is used by the VA to establish that you experienced a stressor, not the severity of the stressor. Your actual disability and percentage of disability will eventually be determined by your PTSD C & P (Compensation and Pension ) interview and your CURRENT social (in)adaptability.
This chapter will include a discussion of the dangers of writing the letter, some pointers on obtaining supporting evidence for your letter, an explanation of how you can write your stress letter, notes explaining what happened to me as I wrote my letter, and a list of places where you can get help in writing the letter.
08-02. Donít Be Ashamed. Lets get one thing straight at the beginning of this chapter. You are a combat veteran, you have nothing to be ashamed of, and you are entitled to benefits if, as a result of your combat duty, you sustained physical, mental or emotional damage.
This page last updated 06-01