Opportunity to Upgrade Discharge Status due to Mental Trauma

A week after President Obama signed the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, the defense department announced they are reviewing and possibly upgrading discharge statuses of certain veterans. Any veteran who might have been improperly discharged for reasons related to post-traumatic stress syndrome, sexual orientation, sexual assault, and other circumstances may have the opportunities to upgrade discharge status due to mental trauma.

The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act includes a bipartisan provision to help veterans who may have been erroneously given a less-than honorable discharge due to bad behavior arising from mental trauma. These traumas can include PTSD or traumatic brain injury. The reason why this is so important is because those veterans who have less than honorable discharges are not eligible for certain benefits.

The Pentagon announced Friday they will be contacting veterans affected. The Defense Department is encouraging all veterans who believe they experienced “error or injustice” in their discharge to contact the Board of Correction of Military or Naval Records, or the Discharge Review Board.

If the discharge was less than 15 years ago complete Defense Department Form 293. For discharges over 15 years complete DD form 149. If you are seeking other records to be corrected fill out DD form 149.

A few key points to remember when filing discharge upgrades:

  1. It is very important to explain why the discharge was “unjust or erroneous”. For example: how is it connected to, or resulted from unjust policies, a physical or mental health condition related to military service, or  some other explainable or justifiable circumstance.
  2. Provide evidence to your claim, such as medical records.
  3. It is also helpful to submit copies of service records.

Visit the DOD website for more information on these changes. For information regarding how to upgrade you military discharge click here.

If you or your loved one has encountered difficulties filing a VA disability claim with Other Than Honorable discharge or if you are seeking assistance with the VA disability claim appeal, place your trust in our firm’s proven veterans disability advocates. Call Veterans Help Group at (855) 855-8992 or complete our free veterans benefits case evaluation form.

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