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Fairfield Veteran’s Case May Upgrade Thousands of Army Discharges

In April 2017, a Connecticut veterans’ leader filed a federal class action lawsuit following a less than honorable discharge based on behaviors that were later attributed to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder on behalf of himself and other veterans nationwide. The lead plaintiff is a decorated Army veteran and founded the state chapter of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

The lawsuit alleges the Army isn’t following a policy put in place by the Pentagon that helps veterans upgrade their discharge status when their behaviors stemmed from PTSD. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Bridgeport. The lawsuit aims to have the court order to have the Army abide by the laws in place and formally apply the policy.

The policy in question was issued by former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. Hagel’s policy outlines how the military review board should give consideration to veterans who are later diagnosed with PTSD when considering upgrading their discharge status. A second plaintiff has also been named.

The lawsuit has the potential to change the statuses for veterans who have been discharged under General Under Honorable and Other Than Honorable discharge status and includes veterans who have been discharged since April 2002. The lawsuit could affect thousands of veterans.

Benefits of Upgraded Status

An upgraded status could mean a lot for the affected veterans. In some cases, a general discharge being upgraded could mean those who have gone through therapy and wish to return to the Army could be re-entered. Even further, they could become eligible for benefits under the federal G.I. bill and receive other perks such as scholarships offered by veteran groups that only offer such scholarships to those with honorable discharges.

Federal and state veterans’ benefits such as health care and disability benefits could also become a much-needed possibility for these veterans, along with state property tax exemptions, which many are unable to get at this time. The plaintiff hopes to get the needed upgrade to his own and the statuses of other veterans in hopes to create a better future for himself and other veterans.

If you were diagnosed with PTSD, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact our attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Personal Injury Lawyers today to find out more.