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Veterans with PTSD May Receive Discharge Upgrades

Veterans with PTSD May Receive Discharge Upgrades
October 24, 2014 Jan Dils

Veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who received other-than-honorable discharges from their military service can petition to upgrade their discharge based on evidence of their PTSD. This applies to upwards of 80,000 veterans who may have the opportunity to restore difficult pieces of their past and also become eligible for certain veterans’ benefits.

At the direction of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, veterans who submit official medical documentation of their PTSD will be given full consideration by military records boards if it’s determined the behavior that caused their other-than-honorable discharge was caused by PTSD.

Post-traumatic stress disorder didn’t even have a medical diagnostic code until 1980, so veterans who served in the Vietnam War weren’t recognized to have this service-connected, disabling condition.

Hagel has instructed the boards to give “liberal consideration” in their investigations, so any terminology that could be connected to PTSD symptoms and any related findings from civilian healthcare providers can be favorable for the outcome of a veteran’s petition. If it’s concluded that the individual exhibited signs of PTSD during discharge, this is to be a “mitigating factor” in the circumstances of his or her discharge.

If you have questions about veterans’ benefits or service-related disabilities, contact an experienced VA Disability Attorney at Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, today by calling toll-free 1-877-Veteran (877-838-3726) or by clicking here.