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Feigning Screeners in VA PTSD Compensation and Pension Examinations

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Abstract

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) occurs at relatively high rates among individuals involved in military combat and captivity. In 2010, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) instituted a regulation that liberalized the evidentiary standard for veterans claiming service connection for PTSD. The relaxed standard has allowed more veterans with PTSD to obtain monetary benefits. However, research suggests that PTSD is relatively easy to feign. As such, the relaxed standard may increase the potential for fraud. The literature concerning the rate of over-reporting of PTSD symptoms among compensation-seeking veterans is discussed. Assessment measures useful in detecting feigning among compensation-seeking veterans are reviewed. Due to the large number of veterans seeking compensation and the fact that VA evaluators have a limited amount of time to conduct mental health examinations, feigning screeners are proposed as a brief, evidence-based approach to begin the process of determining whether or not a veteran is feigning PTSD during compensation and pension examinations.

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Correspondence to Christopher L. Ray.

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The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the Department of Veterans Affairs or the US Government.

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Ray, C.L. Feigning Screeners in VA PTSD Compensation and Pension Examinations. Psychol. Inj. and Law 7, 370–387 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12207-014-9210-2

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Keywords

  • Feigning screeners
  • Compensation and pension
  • PTSD
  • VA