In 2021, a class action lawsuit was filed against the Air Force by the name of Johnson v. Kendall. The lawsuit was filed to challenge the separation practices of the Air Force. The plaintiffs contended that other-than-honorable discharges unfairly punish veterans for the ways in which mental health diagnoses and sexual trauma affected their behavior while in uniform. Other-than-honorable discharges bar veterans from receiving benefits like Department of Veteran Affairs-run medical care, home loans and tuition assistance, and can hurt their chances of finding a civilian job.
The settlement will apply to Air Force, Space Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reservist who were discharged after 10/7/01. If their separations classified as “under honorable conditions (general)” or “under other-than-honorable conditions” they are eligible for the review. The settlement does not apply to those who received bad conduct or dishonorable discharges, uncharacterized discharges, or dismissals. Those appealing their discharge must show a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury or other mental health condition, or evidence of sexual assault or harassment during their military service.
Veterans who unsuccessfully appealed their discharge on or after Sept. 13, 2015, will get an automatic review, according to the settlement’s website. Those who tried to get their discharge upgraded between Sept. 13, 2006, and Sept. 12, 2015, can apply for reconsideration.
The Army and Navy have already agreed to reconsider other-than-honorable discharges under settlements in similar federal cases. These type of discharge reviews can open a whole new world of VA benefits, including disability and home loans.
Gardberg and Kemmerly is open for calls and online assistance and will continue to help our Veterans in any way possible. If you have a claim for disability and need assistance, please call our office and speak with one of our qualified Veterans’ Disability attorneys. Gardberg and Kemmerly is committed to helping injured and disabled Veterans obtain the benefits they deserve. If you need help with a disability claim, call the office at 251-343-1111 or 1-800-332-1529 for a free consultation. Gardberg and Kemmerly is proud to serve Veterans across the country from our home office in Mobile, Alabama.