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Originally published: 2012-11-29 10:36:17
Last modified: 2012-11-29 10:36:17

Veterans’ Corner 11.29.12

Mike Halus

What is PSTD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can occur following a life-threatening event like military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, serious accidents or violent personal assaults like rape. Most survivors of trauma return to normal given a little time. However, some people have stress reactions that don’t go away on their own, or may even get worse over time. These individuals may develop PTSD.

People who suffer from PTSD often suffer from nightmares, flashbacks, difficulty sleeping and feeling emotionally numb. These symptoms can significantly impair a person’s daily life.

PTSD is marked by clear physical and psychological symptoms. It often has symptoms like depression, substance abuse, problems of memory and cognition and other physical and mental health problems. The disorder is also associated with difficulties in social or family life, including occupational instability, marital problems, family discord and difficulties in parenting.

Each VA medical center has PTSD specialists who provide treatment for veterans with PTSD. Plus, the VA provides nearly 200 specialized PTSD treatment programs. A referral is usually needed to access the specialty programs. You can use this VA PTSD Program Locator to see if there is a specialized program near you. Avery County also has a monthly meeting in Newland for veterans dealing with PSTD issues – contact Mike Halus at ( for details.NOTE: If you are in crisis dial 911 or (800) 273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).

Survivors Benefit Plan benefits not subject to state income tax

In contrast to the federal income tax treatment of a direct payment of the award, an award paid directly to a recipient will not be subject to state income tax. This exclusion is a result of the North Carolina Supreme Court’s decision in Bailey v. State of North Carolina, in which the Court held that North Carolina could not impose an income tax on retirement benefits paid to former state and local government employees who were vested in the retirement system with five or more years of service as of Aug. 12, 1989. The awards in Faulkenbury are limited to those employees who had five or more years of service as of July 1, 1982, and are therefore not subject to state income tax. 

Note: the Bailey Decision also includes military personnel retired pay, which is exempt from N.C. State income tax.

Note: Those without computers can go a library for computer assistance.For VA questions, call Georgia Henry at (828) 733-8211. 

Comments and suggestions on the Veteran’s Corner can be emailed to Mike Halus at (