A recent ruling by a Senior U.S. District Judge now allows those Navy and Marine Corps veterans who developed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after their service in Iraq and Afghanistan to file suit against the military for denying them Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits. A detailed article on the case is available here.
A Question of Dispensation
A federal judge in New Haven, Connecticut certified a class-action lawsuit brought by a number of veterans against Navy Secretary Richard Spencer. The suit alleges the servicemembers unfairly received less-than-honorable discharges following minor infractions brought on by untreated mental health problems. The less-than-honorable designation prevents these veterans from receiving VA benefits—including mental health treatment.
A Similar Case
Students from Yale Law School are representing another group of veterans in a similar class-action lawsuit against the Army. They allege nearly one-third of the close to two million veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan now suffer from PTSD and related mental health disorders. They also suggest the military issues a high number of less-than-honorable discharges for minor infractions attributable to mental illness.
Poor Odds of Appeal
Federal prosecutors cited the ability of plaintiffs to reapply for discharge upgrades as a reason to reject the class-action lawsuit. Under new rules established last year, veterans with mental-health problems now qualify for additional leniency. However, the Navy discharge review board approved only 16% of discharge upgrade applications. The Army and Air Force—in contrast—approved some 51% of upgrades.
We Can Help
If you are disabled and unable to work, call Disability Attorneys of Michigan for a free confidential consultation. We’ll let you know if we can help you get a monthly check and help you determine if any money or assets you receive could impact your eligibility for disability benefits.
Disability Attorneys of Michigan works hard every day helping the disabled of Michigan seek the Social Security Disability and Veterans Disability benefits they need. If you are unable to work due to a physical, mental, or cognitive impairment, call Disability Attorneys of Michigan now for a free consultation at 800-949- 2900.
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