The Department of Defense has agreed to reconsider bad-paper discharges for Vietnam veterans and other past war veterans who may have suffered from combat-related PTSD and received other than honorable discharges. The Department of Defense has agreed to give “liberal consideration” for Veterans who seek to correct their military records and upgrade their other than honorable discharge if the Veteran can provide evidence of a PTSD diagnosis that existed at the time of service.
In years past, the VA has denied veterans’ applications to upgrade an other than honorable discharge based on PTSD because there was no diagnosis of PTSD during the 1970s. PTSD, however, was not recognized by the medical profession until the 1980s. Today, PTSD is considered a mitigating factor for misconduct and behavioral problems. As such, the military is required to grant a medical evaluation before finalizing a bad discharge to any service member who claims PTSD.
A veteran seeking an upgraded discharge will have to prove (1) that he or she suffered from PTSD at the time of service, (2) that the PTSD was related to military service, and (3) that the PTSD symptoms were a factor in the misconduct underlying the other than honorable discharge. “Liberal consideration” will be given in cases where civilian providers confer diagnoses of PTSD or PTSD-related conditions and there is further evidence that the disorder existed at the time of service. “Liberal consideration” will be granted in cases where any document – military or otherwise- can substantiate the existence of one or more symptoms of what is now known as PTSD.
If you are a veteran who needs help navigating the VA disability claims process, contact the experienced veterans’ disability attorneys at Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. today for a free case evaluation. Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. serve veterans across the Gulf Coast, including, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi.