Two legal memos in recent years made it simpler for veterans who have mental health issues. It is easier for them to receive discharge upgrade. The Kurta Memo and the Hagel Memo are these memos. Each letter established unique guidelines. They explain to review panels how to handle veterans with a history of mental health issues.
They permit veterans who have requested discharge upgrades before to do so again. Which allows the boards to consider their requests under the new regulations. You may now apply for a discharge upgrade even if you requested one before. They can do so even if they got rejected before.
How Does this matter to me
This pertains to you if you developed a mental health condition while serving. If you were subjected to sexual harassment it also pertains to you. The boards will be more understanding when reviewing your discharge upgrade application. You can speak to a mental health professional or a military discharge lawyer. They would check your military discharge information. That is to know if you are entitled.
If you were discharged under military General discharge or for military medical discharge reasons it applies to you.
Can a military discharge lawyer help me?
Are you a veteran who received a less-than-honourable discharge from the military?
You might be qualified for an upgraded discharge.
A military discharge lawyer can assist you whether you are starting from scratch or making an appeal for an earlier denial. An attorney for military discharges can explain each condition to you. Your military discharge documents can be examined by them. They will determine if you qualify for a military discharge upgrade. It’s important to comprehend each state and how it might affect you.
How does this help my application?
There are steps you can take to strengthen your application if you got discharged under:
- Military medical discharge for mental health
- medical discharge reasons
- If you self-medicated and discharged for using drugs
- If you had a flashback and discharged for disobeying orders
Mention how the trauma affected your mental health in your written statement. Also mention how it affected your life. Here are some pointers for preparing your application.
Application Tips: 4 Things to Prove
1. Display any relevant mental health conditions have had.
The best proof you can offer to support your claim is a medical professional’s diagnosis. If you don’t have a formal diagnosis, you can still provide proof of your mental health issues.
For details on what qualifies as this type of evidence, see the section below.
2. Prove that the mental illness started while you were serving.
If you have records from the VA that show a diagnosis of service-related:
- A related condition you have evidence of
The boards will also take into account of military discharge documents. The documents should state that the condition started while you were serving.
Your documents should state that the illness started while you were serving in the military. It should also detail how it was both during and immediately after. This might be hard if you have been discharge for a while. Evidence from that time is more crucial to include than how you are doing right now. Because the board want to know the connection between the illness and your discharge.
3. Describe the impact your mental health had on your discharge.
Explain how the signs of your mental health issue were related to your reason for discharge, such as:
- going AWOL,
- or drug usage,
- in other words (for example, you were self-medicating or experiencing a panic attack).
4. Discuss how your mental health should “mitigate” your status as a discharged patient.
The boards may believe that a veteran’s serious misconduct was not caused by mental illness. Describe how this is untrue in your case. That it was as a result of the mental illness.
Also explain how your mental health issue explains and your discharge rationale.
What documents can I use to support my application?
Any proof that you struggled with a mental health issue while serving your country should be in your essay.
Here, you have a lot of room for imagination because the proof might be anything.
Follow the 4 application tips listed above, and write about your mental health issue. Your written declaration is evidence in and of itself. Even if you are unable to provide any other form of evidence, you should submit your own statement.
If you requested a transfer, you can still provide other types of evidence even if you did not disclose the attack at the time. Ask your friends and family to describe any signs they have noticed of your conditions. They may have noticed changes in you since you left the military.
How your discharge was based on the condition from sexual abuse should in the application for a discharge upgrade. Get proof from your past that may show you experienced mental health issues while serving.
You can submit any data from a sexual assault investigation. You can also submit results of tests for STD’s or pregnancy if you were sexually attacked while serving.
In this instance, evidence of sexual assault could be obtained through one of the following third parties:
- The hospital’s medical records
- Counseling for mental health records
- pregnancy tests
- a rape crisis center’s records
- notes from a physician (s)
- screens for STDs
- Comments from close friends, family members, and coworkers as well as those from the community at large.
Requests for transfers and records of behavior changes after the incident could potentially be used as evidence.
Any medical or health records indicating a diagnosis of the mental health issue should be in the application. Compile records from both civilian and VA providers.
Get a medical evaluation from a mental health specialist. Statements from social workers are useful. They have less impact than a letter from a doctor. Get letters from a private doctor and a VA employee, if possible. Any written evaluations should be submitted with your application.