Episode #3 – What To Know About Military Sexual Trauma VA Disability Benefits

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Anyone can experience MST, regardless of gender. It is important that Veterans who are thinking about filing for MST understand what they must go through to receive service-connection.

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Podcast Disclaimer⬇️

Vet Comp & Pen Medical Consulting, LLC. (VCP) does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of the information contained in this podcast episode. Nothing contained or provided in this podcast episode is intended to constitute advice or to serve as a substitute for the advice of a licensed healthcare provider, attorney, or agent accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to assist with the filling of disability claims. Any reliance you place on this information is strictly at your own risk.

Always seek the advice of your qualified medical provider, attorney, or VA agent, to address individual circumstances. This podcast episode is for general information purposes only. All uses of the term “you” are for illustrative purposes regarding a hypothetical Veteran. VCP disclaims any control over, relationship with, or endorsement of the ideas expressed by viewers of this content.

Episode Description

➡️Military Sexual Trauma can be a sensitive topic for many Veterans. In this episode, Robin and one of Vet Comp and Pen’s mental health specialist, Lucas, break down what to expect when filing for MST, who qualifies for service-connection, and the long-term mental health effects it could cause.

Anyone can experience MST, regardless of gender. It is important that Veterans who are thinking about filing for MST understand what they must go through to receive service-connection.

Time Stamps

[00:02] – Robin Hoon, joined by Lucas Wilson, shares this episode will be all about Military Sexual Trauma. It covers the implications and what service members can do to seek help in overcoming the trauma.

[07:03] – Robin expounds that MST isn’t just sexual assault or rape. It includes both contact and non-contact abuse. It can produce long-term damage that can ostracise people.

[11:58] – Robin and Lucas both agree that MST happens to men, too. As medical consultants, there have handled several MST cases that involved men as victims. It can happen to anyone.

[14:28] – Lucas clarifies that MST is not a mental health diagnosis. It is a trauma where a mental health diagnosis can stem from stressful incidents.

[17:12] – Robin and Lucas shed light on the common mental health diagnoses related to MST.

[20:22] – Robin confirms with Lucas that PTSD isn’t usually a more severe condition than anxiety and depression. It always depends on the actual level of social and occupational impairment of the person.

[40:20] – Robin asks Lucas how Veterans who have earned medals on their DD214, for example, are treated differently during their mental health claims.

[28:19] – Lucas shares how it’s difficult for MST victims to trust others enough to share their harassment stories. This makes it more challenging for the medical consulting firm to file claims and help these people.

[37:57] – Lucas explains what service members can powerfully present whenever they file for a MST claim. He shares various scenarios that may help those who are going through a similar issue.

[44:31] – Robin and Lucas play out a scenario where an MST victim gathers enough evidence to prove their claim.

[53:30] – Robin shares a story about a Veteran he’s consulted with on his journey to overcoming MST.

Checklist of Actionable Takeaways

✔️ Become aware of the implications of Military Sexual Trauma. The VA uses the term to refer to sexual harassment cases during military service. It pays to know your own and respect other people’s rights and boundaries during and after your time in the military. 

✔️ Understand that sexual trauma can happen anywhere, not just in the military. It doesn’t involve physical contact all the time, either. Sexual trauma includes both contact and non-contact forms of abuse.

✔️ Always ask for consent and vice versa. Sexual activity without consent is rape. Sexual contact without consent includes assault when somebody is intoxicated, contact while someone’s asleep, and using physical force in coercing someone to have sex. 

✔️ Never pressure anyone into doing any form of sexual activity. Respect other people’s boundaries, especially when they say no.

✔️ Don’t lay hands or sexually touch anyone in a non-sexual environment. A workplace is a place of respect, and everyone around you should be treated with dignity.

✔️ Avoid making lewd comments about another person who’s only interactions with you are in professional matters. Verbal abuse is considered sexual harassment. 

✔️ Report or reprimand right away whenever you witness any form of sexual harassment. This type of behavior should never be condoned to keep the workplace a safe environment for everyone. 

✔️ Create a safe space for your colleagues. Work together to build a community that respects each other’s boundaries. 

✔️ Encourage anyone who’s experienced MST to seek help and assistance. There is always a support system that can help victims of sexual harassment. 

✔️ Reach out to Vet Comp & Pen Medical Consulting to learn more about your rights regarding MST.

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