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Can a discharged veteran with war-related mental illness sue?

There is nothing worse than risking life and limb to defend your country, but when returning to the United States, being treated like a second-class citizen, denied the care you require and being forced onto the streets. Nevertheless, this has happened to countless U.S. war veterans who developed mental health problems from their military service careers. Some of these individuals may have the right to sue the military.

In November 2018, a federal judge in Connecticut ruled that Navy and Marine Corps Veterans who were discharged because of incidents caused by untreated mental illness could be on the right side of the law. Because their discharges were not honorable discharges, these veterans were denied future VA benefits, which would have allowed them to get medical care to treat their service-generated mental health problems that led to their discharges.

The gravity of this circumstance is dumbfounding. A service member enlists to fight for his or her country, yet in the course of that fighting, the service member develops a grave mental health problem that disrupts his or her ability to continue fighting. Then, the service member is kicked out of the military, not honorably discharged and prevented from getting the health care benefits they should have the legal right to receive.

Many of these veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other serious and destructive mental health problems. Yet, they would still be serving their country had they not contracted these debilitating conditions while they served honorably. If you’re a military veteran who is in a situation like this, don’t delay in contacting a skilled attorney who represents veterans in cases that involve war-related injuries, mental illness and disability-related claims.

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