How Veterans Affairs Handles Claims for PTSD
with Military Sexual Trauma
If you have filed a claim for PTSD or another mental or physical disability due to MST, you may get a rating decision that uses “boilerplate” (standardized pieces of text) language stating: “Service connection for acquired psychiatric disorder due to MST is denied since this condition neither occurred in nor was caused by service.”
This is not the legal analysis required by the Secretary of the VA.
This boilerplate serves as a quick answer, but it has been the cause of more problems for MST survivors. It is dismissive, unsupportive, callous, reinforces the “blame the victim” mentality, and implies to the Veteran that the VA doesn’t believe them. For many Veterans, this statement says “this did not happen.” (“Not being believed” is also one of the reasons that over 80% of male Veterans do not report their MST).