Servicemembers facing a less-than-honorable discharge will now have their cases reviewed by a board with at least one mental-health professional under the bill that Congress sent to President Obama mid December.
Thousands of military men and women have been diagnosed with post-traumatic-stress disorder (PTSD). Any time a person has experienced an event such as war, a serious accident or assault, they can suffer the lasting effects of PTSD. The alarming issue is many Service men and women are receiving "Less Than Honorable" discharges from their military service, often due to an undiagnosed battle with PTSD that is instead attributed to a "personality disorder." Without a honorable discharge, receiving education assistance, medical care and disability support is next to impossible.
The tide has thankfully turned in defense of those who suffer from PTSD and who have been denied benefits. Congress recently sent a bill to President Obama, who then approved it, that is requiring all discharge cases be reviewed by at least one mental health professional. Veterans and exiting Servicemembers, who have been or are facing a less-than-honorable discharge and denial of their benefits, would then have the chance to have their records corrected under the National Defense Authorization Act.
In September, the federal government granted benefits to many Vietnam Veterans who had their PTSD misdiagnosed. Vietnam Vets for America filed a class action lawsuit stating that they could prove that more than 80,000 Veterans could prove they suffered from PTSD. This is just Vietnam-era Veterans, imagine how many other Veterans have been diagnosed and denied their benefits. The good news is Veterans can now have their records corrected and future service men and women can expect the right diagnosis and care when it comes to service related illness and injuries.
To read the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act click here. The amendment can be see on page 149.