DD Improperly Denied Medical, Disability Benefits To PTSD Veterans

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A class-action lawsuit filed in U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C., alleges that the Department of Defense illegally denied medical and disability benefits to veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

The suit, filed on behalf of five veterans and the National Veterans Legal Services Program, claims that the individuals were discharged from duty after an Army review board concluded they had experienced PTSD and were unable to serve; however, the lawsuit states that the disorders were not rated severe enough for the veterans to qualify for ongoing disability payments and medical coverage for themselves and their families.

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The lawsuit states, "Almost two million U.S. armed services personnel have been deployed around the world as part of the U.S. efforts to combat global terrorism," adding, "Countless thousands of these service men and women have been exposed to traumatic events during combat, and many have returned home with a variety of psychological and mental injuries."

Barton Stichman, co-director of the veterans legal services program, said the veterans named in the lawsuit should qualify for between $120 and $660 per month in disability payments.

The Army said it has not yet seen the suit and declined to comment (Mondics, Philadelphia Inquirer, 12/22).

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