Social Justice

Testifying to the shocking disparity of PTSD benefits for female veterans

Why is it tougher for female veterans to receive post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) benefits than it is for men? It’s a pretty shocking disparity.

Dr. Joseph Troiani, who heads our Psy.D. track in Military Clinical Pscyhology, is a retired U.S. Navy commander and a nationally recognized expert on veterans, the military and mental health. He’ll be testifying at a Chicago City Council hearing Thursday morning on why female veterans need better access to PTSD benefits.

The hearing begins 10 a.m. Sept. 1 before the Chicago City Council’s Committee on Health and Environmental Protection at City Hall (121 N. LaSalle St.) in room 201A. The hearing was called by 11th Ward Alderman James A. Balcer, a decorated Vietnam veteran and former Director of Veterans Affairs for the City of Chicago. He introduced an ordinance in June calling for the committee to hear testimony about the PTSD disparity.

More than 230,000 women have served in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001. More than 20 percent of those women came home with PTSD. In addition, a report from the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of the Inspector General found that women were denied PTSD benefits at a higher rate than men.

It’s time to call out this problem and do something about it. Kudos to Dr. Troiani for his part, along with the Adler School students who are also planning to attend tomorrow’s hearing amid our first week of classes here at the School.  It’s worth noting that among our first-ever class of  Military Clinical Psychology track students this fall, most of them are women and a number are military veterans.