Veterans’ Other-Than-Honorable Discharge Lawsuit

less than honorable discharge

Veterans’ Other-Than-Honorable Discharge Lawsuit

The eras of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars has led to an increase of veterans with mental health conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Since Sept. 11, 2001, over 150,000 soldiers have been discharged from the Army with a less-than-honorable discharge.

Most of these discharges were a result of misconduct possibly in relation to their conditions. By receiving these discharges, these veterans no longer have access to government benefits that would help them with their mental health. Instead of assistance, many veterans have faced unemployment, substance abuse, or homelessness.

A new lawsuit hopes to help upgrade other-than-honorable discharge statuses under certain qualifying conditions, in order to get them the help and services they need.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, over 150,000 soldiers have been discharged from the Army with a less-than-honorable discharge.

Class-Action Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of Veterans to Upgrade Discharge Statuses

As a result, the U.S. District Court of Connecticut filed a class-action lawsuit for veterans with mental health conditions in order to upgrade their discharge statuses. This lawsuit was brought up three years ago by two Army veterans, Steve Kennedy and Alicia Carson, both of whom had problems with the system when applying for a discharge upgrade.

Army would be compelled to automatically review cases from 2011.

As a result, the U.S. Army is reconsidering these cases and will review those who were separated from service after Oct. 7, 2001. However, the Army would be compelled to automatically review cases from 2011.

Conditions for Previously Denied Applications to Be Reviewed

While reviewing these cases, they must take in regard the underlying health conditions of the veterans. They must also consider the soldiers who have had their applications denied by the Army Discharge Review Board for displaying symptoms of, or claimed:

  • Mental health conditions and behavioral disorders, including PTSD
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Sexual assault or harassment during military service
  • Sexual orientation (including under the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy)

Potential for Possible Upgrade to Discharge Status

They will potentially upgrade these veterans’ paperwork to an “honorable” status as opposed to other-than-honorable. This agreement could help thousands of veterans gain access to the full array of benefits which were previously not guaranteed because of their discharge status.

Usually, veterans who want to apply for a discharge upgrade will go onto the Veterans Affairs website which offers step-by-step instructions. Those who were denied a discharge upgrade, will be informed of new opportunities to reapply by receiving individual notices. These notices will inform veterans of their rights and how the entire process works.  Veterans will also be allowed to telephone in for hearings in their cases if they cannot make it in person.

Now that defense officials have released clearer guidance in regard to handling these cases, many veterans can receive the help they need.

 

>> Are you VA-rated at less than 100%?  Frustrated with your rating?  Register for a free consultation to increase your rating.

 

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