New webpage allows vets with PTSD to apply for discharge upgrade
WASHINGTON – Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder who were discharged under “other than honorable” conditions can apply on a new webpage to have their discharge upgraded if it was due to PTSD.
Veterans can go to the site to get information about applying for a change in status through the Army Review Boards Agency.
The Army says it is committed to making sure the veterans receive fair consideration of their service and the conditions that may have mitigated the misconduct that led to their discharge, he said.
The Army launched the site in accordance with a Department of Defense memorandum from September. According to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, PTSD was not recognized as a diagnosis at the time of service in past conflicts such as the Vietnam War.
In many cases, Hagel said, diagnoses were not made until decades after service was completed. The memorandum provided guidance to the military department Boards for Correction of Military/Naval Records, as they considered the upgrades. The memorandum seeks to ease the application process for the veterans.
Officials say upgrades are very important because they are linked to benefits veterans could receive through the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as being able to get medical treatment.
The Army at this point, he said, does not have an estimate on how many applications it could receive.
Veterans who were previously denied an upgrade could reapply. The Army Board for Correction of Military Records would consider such an application as a new case.
The guidance only applies to veterans with “other than honorable” discharges.