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Veterans File Class Action Lawsuit - PTSD

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Tuesday, 30 December 2008

iraq_veterans_against_war.jpgA class action lawsuit has been filed against the federal government by five veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The soldiers allege that they were illegally denied disability benefits despite being diagnosed with severe cases of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The soldiers were discharged by the Army after it determined that their damaged mental health left them unfit to serve. They were then assigned disability ratings well below the 50 percent figure needed to qualify for lifetime health care benefits. The complaint claims that the Army "systematically"; ignored rules requiring that all servicemen diagnosed with PTSD receive an automatic 50 percent rating. In October, the Defense Department ordered the Army to stop deflating PTSD victims’ disability ratings.

The lawsuit asks the Army to award the soldiers the disability benefits they would have received, as well as unspecified damages. Lawyers are hoping to find out how many other servicemen with PTSD were denied disability benefits through discovery. “[W]e think there were thousands,” said Bart Stichman, co-director of National Veterans Legal Services Program, which is representing the soldiers.

The soldiers are also being represented by Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. The NVLSP instituted a Lawyers Serving Warriors program to provide veterans pro bono counsel from major firms, and this is the first lawsuit from that program.

In California in 2007, a group of former soldiers filed suit against the Veterans Administration demanding that the agency completely restructure the way it processes PTSD claims, and clean up a mess that left many former soldiers without care for months.

Story here: http://charlottesville.injuryboard.com/miscellaneous/veterans-sue-federal-government-over-lack-of-ptsd-disability-benefits.aspx


Comments (2)add comment

substance said:

well thats just wonderful...they die for us and we wont even give them full disibility benefits....ugh
December 30, 2008
Votes: +2

Irish said:

The key here is being diagnosed with PTSD or any anxiety disorder while on active duty. I'm sure the denial entailed being unfit even before entry to the military, however, it is clearly stated that for a veteran to receive benefits it can be determined that the experience the veteran had contributed or aggravated the condition to the point that it was a handicap. I'm a DAV and the one who helped me the most at the end was the Red Cross who I am forever grateful. To the general population which includes the military mind, mental illness is still not accepted as a real handicap because no one can see your disability and suffering. You just have to keep fighting for your rights and know that the only ones who understand you are the ones who have a form of anxiety disorder. That's alright. We'll all make it one way or another. Whatever works for you. Take care.......Ed
August 26, 2009
Votes: +3

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 30 December 2008 )


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