Surviving Trauma: Jeremy’s Story

Jeremy* was an idealistic young man who joined the Army to serve his county. 

While in the service, Jeremy was traumatized when an Army Jeep flipped and ejected him. The memory of the car crash haunts him. The doctor’s words still echo: “If you’d been wearing a seatbelt, you might not have made it.” To this day, Jeremy is terrified of seatbelts–a constant reminder of the trauma he’s endured. 

Jeremy’s time in the service left deep scars, making him feel unsafe wherever he went. He began experiencing post-traumatic stress symptoms, suffering from hypervigilance and sleepless nights. As his symptoms grew worse, he became homeless. But when he reached out for help by applying for military service benefits, he was denied. 

In November 2021, he was connected to Inner City Law Center’s medical-legal partnership (MLP) at the West Los Angeles VAMC. Jeremy and his ICLC attorney worked together to find the evidence in his service records that he needed to corroborate his narrative.

The VA finally granted Jeremy service-connected disability benefits for PTSD in January 2023
with a rating of 70%. He and his attorney then immediately applied for Total Disability due to
Individual Unemployability (TDIU) because Jeremy’s PTSD symptoms were so severe that he
had been unable to work for years. Those benefits were granted in February 2023.

Jeremy now receives over $3,600 per month and will for the rest of his life. He continues to work with his ICLC
attorney to correct the effective date of his claim to recover years of retroactive benefits.

* Names have been changed and photos may not depict ICLC clients. We take client privacy seriously and make these changes to protect client confidentiality.