Assisting Survivors with Claims for VA Benefits Associated with Military Sexual Trauma (Attorney)

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Presenter: Mary Edokpayi

Length: 86 minutes

Recorded: December 2020

Approved for 1.5 CLE credits by the Virginia State Bar


Webinar Description:

Sadly, sexual assault and sexual harassment are experienced by many service members. These despicable acts are not just traumatic when they occur, but often have long-lasting effects on the survivor. Military sexual trauma (MST) may cause mental disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder, as well as physical disabilities associated with injuries suffered during an assault.

Veterans who have disabilities caused by MST are entitled to VA benefits for those conditions. However, because most instances of MST go unreported, MST survivors often have difficulty proving their claims. It is therefore vital for veterans advocates to know strategies for success.

In this webinar, we will discuss the best methods for ensuring that the VA grants claims for service-connected benefits for disabilities that are the result of MST. We will discuss key legal developments regarding MST claims. We will also provide tips for establishing a trusting relationship with MST survivors you represent.

This webinar will cover:
• An MST claims primer, including how to use “markers” to establish that an unreported MST occurred
• Advanced advocacy advice, including how to use recent legal developments to win MST claims
• Advice for choosing the appeal/review option when the VA denies an MST claim
• VA’s proposal to change its Characterization of Discharge regulation and its potential impact on MST claims
• How to build an effective relationship with a client who is an MST survivor
• And more!