When you suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, one of the most frustrating means of being denied disability benefits by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs is to be told that an other-than-honorable discharge from service, caused by the very disability you are seeking compensation for, is what stands between you and the benefits you deserve. It has been estimated that a third of the 250,000 other-than-honorable discharges given to Vietnam-era veterans may have been related to PTSD.
In September of last year, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel signed a directive making it easier for veterans with PTSD claims to get their discharges upgraded. PTSD was not considered a legitimate medical diagnosis in the Vietnam era, and under new VA regulations many veterans are successfully upgrading their discharges by arguing that PTSD was the reason for their other-than-honorable discharges. Under the Obama administration’s new directive, “liberal consideration” will be afforded to veterans who have evidence that PTSD at least partly caused whatever misconduct resulted in the discharge preventing them from receiving disability benefits.
To apply for an upgrade, give the office of Attorney Sean Kendall a call at 877-629-1712 or head to the Army Review Boards Agency’s new website to take steps to apply for a discharge upgrade based on Post Traumatic Stress-related issues in service. As the Army Times noted recently, “The new guidance only applies to veterans who received ‘other than honorable’ discharges. It does not apply to veterans who received less than honorable or dishonorable discharges because of serious infractions.”