Lawmakers Urge Change in Defense Bill to Allow Veterans with “Bad Papers” to Upgrade Their Discharge

Advocates are aggressively seeking to change the final version of a defense policy bill to include language that would make it easier for veterans with “bad papers” to upgrade their discharge. Thousands of veterans received “bad discharge papers” due to behavior that can be linked back to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), or sexual trauma. Currently the revisions in the Senate state that they would require discharge review boards to provide liberal consideration to a veteran diagnosed with PTSD, TBI, or sexual trauma who is seeking to upgrade their status. The House does not include this revision and a bipartisan group of nine lawmakers along with veterans groups are advocating to make the adjustment.

Currently a veteran discharged with “bad papers” is not allowed to take part in benefits such as health care. On Tuesday, September 13th, 2016 a press conference was held. Veterans got the chance to share their stories. Tyson Manker, a Marine veteran who served in Iraq stated that he was discharged after smoking marijuana once to treat his PTSD symptoms. Kristofer Goldsmith, an Army veteran who served in Iraq, was discharged after attempting suicide by overdosing on Percocet and vodka. He is thankful to be alive but not long after that attempt he was administratively discharged and stripped of his GI Bill. Walker Jones, Republican House member from South Carolina, stated in the conference “We’re here today to say to those of you who got less than an honorable discharge, you will not be forgotten. You have earned the right to have reconsideration.” There is no word yet if these changes will be implemented.

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Are you a veteran with “bad papers” trying to receive VA Benefits?

If you suffer from PTSD, TBI or sexual trauma and are seeking discharge upgrades, we can answer your questions. The advocates at Veterans Help Group stay current with changing regulations regarding “bad paper” upgrades. We welcome you to contact us for a complimentary consultation.

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