Vets With PTSD May Have Been Denied Benefits

Military is reviewing thousands of records
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 25, 2010 8:09 AM CST
Jesus Bocanegra walks to a Memorial Day service May 27, 2006 in Benavides, Texas. Bocanegra has been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a result of his service in Iraq in 2003-04.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – The military is speeding up a review of the records of thousands of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans discharged with post-traumatic stress disorder to determine whether they were improperly denied benefits. The agreement stems from a class action lawsuit filed by seven combat veterans who alleged the military illegally denied benefits to those discharged because of PTSD during a six-year period that ended in 2008.

Millions could be paid to veterans under the agreement, with some receiving hundreds or more dollars in increased monthly benefits. Each of the seven plaintiffs was discharged with a military disability rating of 10% or less; the law requires the military to assign a disability rating of at least 50% to those discharged for PTSD. The higher rating ensures that the veteran receives lifelong monthly disability payments, free health care for the veteran and the veteran's spouse, as well as health care for the veteran's minor children.

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