OTHER THAN HONORABLE FACT SHEET
Summarily Denial of Services by Veterans Administration
- The VA is excluding 125,000 veterans who served since 2001 without ever reviewing their records for eligibility.—33,000 served in Iraq or Afghanistan
- This represents 6.5% of veterans who served since 2001
Highest Rate of Exclusion in Our Nation’s History
- In 1944 the percentage of veterans excluded from VA services stood at 1.7%. During the Vietnam era the rate was 2.8%.
- At no point in history has a greater share of veterans been denied basic services and compensation for service-related injuries.
- Since WWII, the rate of punitive discharges has remained static while the rate of increase OTH Administrative Discharges has increased fivefold.
Waiting Game is Deadly
- Only 15% of Vietnam veterans who received a COD review were granted eligibility for VA benefits
- Over 560,000 combat veterans who served in Vietnam were separated from military service under less than honorable conditions. Over 260,000 of these had Other than Honorable or Bad Conduct Discharges.
- In 2014 Secretary Hagel issued new direction for the Branches of Service to grant Liberal Consideration for purposes of discharge upgrades when PTSD linked to service could be established.
- DOD was ordered to engage in “meaningful public notification” so that the hundreds of thousands of combat veterans and their families, long ineligible for medical care and compensation, by the SECDEF and Congress. To date, almost nothing has been done.
- 201 Veterans have applied!
New Wars – Same Abuses
- 90% of Iraq-Afghanistan veterans with “bad paper” discharges have not received an eligibility review.
- 1200 Days: Average time VA requires to complete a Character of Discharge Determination for eligibility for healthcare services.
- Three out of four veterans with bad paper discharges and who have been diagnosed with combat-related PTSD or TBI are denied eligibility for benefits by the BVA
Forsaken and Forgotten
Other Than Honorable and the Traumatic Brain Injuries and PTSD that formed the basis for it typically means a lifetime of unemployment, poverty, broken families and broken veterans.
Inability to get treatment for the Traumatic Brain Injuries and PTSD suffered during service means a lifetime of mental health struggles.
Once they have broken by war, these men and women are forsaken and forgotten by the military, the Veterans Administration and the American people.
ALL TOLD, OTHER THAN HONORABLE MEANS HIGH RATES OF POVERTY, HOMELESSNESS AND SUICIDE.