I am a retired combat veteran and I work for mental health clinic for veterans. I see on a daily basis veterans coaching each other on how to convince a mental health provider to give them a higher disability rating for PTSD. They tell each other not to shower for a couple days and to wear clothes with holes in them. It has become a common goal of veterans once diagnosed with PTSD to get the maximum amount of compensation rather than to receive therapy to relieve the symptoms.
This is only going to get worse as we go on with our unchecked patriotism and nationalism that plagues this country. In the coming decades the federal dollars being funneled to veterans is going to increase significantly unless something is done to push for better PTSD treatment and more liberal programs to get vets to a point that they can be empowered.
There is much evidence that perceived severity of a traumatic is seriously decreased among vets with a college education. In the enlisted military population there is a very low level of members who come from homes with college educated parents. A recent study done by the military showed 25% of enlisted have undiagnosed mental illnesses prior to deploying. When you have a population that is at great risk for PTSD it should not be a surprise to have such a high level of issues. Those issues are much better dealt with with empowerment of veterans through education rather than a permanent income. We need to increase veterans benefits for education if we want to avoid creating a new welfare system.
PTSD is a mental disorder that has been well documented for a very long time at least since the First World war. So to assume that veterans are using PTSD as a form of welfare is akin to saying that PTSD does not exist. This flies in the face of the science that has proven that PTSD is in fact a real disorder.