New Study Shows Thousands of Troops Discharged for Misconduct had Undiagnosed PTSD or TBI
A new report released by the Government Accountability Office on Tuesday revealed that three-fifths of troops discharged from the military for misconduct in recent years had a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), or another associated condition.
According to the report, nearly 92,000 troops were discharged for misconduct between the years of 2011 and 2015, severing them from benefits designed to ease their transition from service in war. Of the 92,000 discharged for misconduct, 57,000 had a diagnosis of PTSD or TBI. Other-than-honorable discharges were given to 13,000 troops who were found to have a diagnosis of PTSD or TBI. Veterans that have received other-than-honorable discharges are also ineligible for disability compensation, pension, and a number of other benefits provided through the Department of Veterans Affairs absent a discharge upgrade.
Recently, the military has adopted regulations to require mental health screenings to detect PTSD or TBI before a soldier was punished or discharged for misconduct. However, the Government Accountability Office’s report found that in the Army and Marine Corps, about 40 percent of the cases reviewed did not have the required screening performed. Further, neither individual military branches nor the Department of Defense monitored whether the screenings or other safeguards were put into effect.
If you have questions about your VA disability claim, please contact the experienced Veterans’ disability attorneys at Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. today for a free case evaluation. Gardberg & Kemmerly serves Veterans across the United States from their home office in Mobile, Alabama.