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Many soldiers get boot for 'pre-existing' mental illness
St. Louis Post-Dispatch ^ | 10/1/07 | Philip Dine

Posted on 10/01/2007 7:59:58 AM PDT by SubGeniusX

WASHINGTON — Thousands of U.S. soldiers in Iraq — as many as 10 a day — are being discharged by the military for mental health reasons. But the Pentagon isn't blaming the war. It says the soldiers had "pre-existing" conditions that disqualify them for treatment by the government.

Many soldiers and Marines being discharged on this basis actually suffer from combat-related problems, experts say. But by classifying them as having a condition unrelated to the war, the Defense Department is able to quickly get rid of troops having trouble doing their work while also saving the expense of caring for them.

The result appears to be that many actually suffering from combat-related problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injuries don't get the help they need.


The legislation sets a higher bar for the Pentagon to use the personality-disorder discharge, and also mandates a review of the policies by the Government Accountability Office. Bond said it also would "force the Pentagon to stop using this discharge until we can fix the problem."

Bond said he learned of the practice from returning Iraq veterans. He called it an "abuse" of the system and "inexcusable."

"They've kicked out about 22,000 troops who they say have pre-existing personality disorders. I don't believe that," Bond said in an interview Friday. "And when you kick them out, they don't get the assistance they need, they aren't entitled to DOD or Veterans Administration care for those problems."


Defense Department records show that 22,500 cases of personality-disorder discharges have been processed over the last six years.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: banglist; dod; mentalhealth; ptsd; wot
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To: armymarinemom; darkwing104


41 posted on 10/01/2007 2:31:58 PM PDT by Madame Dufarge
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To: SubGeniusX
Or, the authors of this piece are trying to zing it to the military. Who would do such a thing?

How did these so-called experts rule out personality disorder in these patients?

42 posted on 10/01/2007 2:42:12 PM PDT by Rudder
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To: Justa

You agree now when you were formerly disagreeing about retirees?

43 posted on 10/01/2007 2:57:35 PM PDT by em2vn
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To: ReignOfError; darkwing104

whoever wrote what you claim to remember is full of it.....and I expect that what you fell for is the poseur veteran who was working in some sporting goods shop in NJ? who was exposed as a fraud.


[Page 337-338]




Subpart A—General Policy in Rating

Sec. 4.16 Total disability ratings for compensation based on unemployability of the individual.

(a) Total disability ratings for compensation may be assigned, where
the schedular rating is less than total, when the disabled person is, in
the judgment of the rating agency, unable to secure or follow a
substantially gainful occupation as a result of service-connected
disabilities: Provided

[[Page 338]]

That, if there is only one such disability, this disability shall be
ratable at 60 percent or more, and that, if there are two or more
disabilities, there shall be at least one disability ratable at 40
percent or more, and sufficient additional disability to bring the
combined rating to 70 percent or more. For the above purpose of one 60
percent disability, or one 40 percent disability in combination, the
following will be considered as one disability: (1) Disabilities of one
or both upper extremities, or of one or both lower extremities,
including the bilateral factor, if applicable, (2) disabilities
resulting from common etiology or a single accident, (3) disabilities
affecting a single body system, e.g. orthopedic, digestive, respiratory,
cardiovascular-renal, neuropsychiatric, (4) multiple injuries incurred
in action, or (5) multiple disabilities incurred as a prisoner of war.
It is provided further that the existence or degree of nonservice-
connected disabilities or previous unemployability status will be
disregarded where the percentages referred to in this paragraph for the
service-connected disability or disabilities are met and in the judgment
of the rating agency such service-connected disabilities render the
veteran unemployable. Marginal employment shall not be considered
substantially gainful employment. For purposes of this section, marginal
employment generally shall be deemed to exist when a veteran’s earned
annual income does not exceed the amount established by the U.S.
Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, as the poverty threshold
for one person. Marginal employment may also be held to exist, on a
facts found basis (includes but is not limited to employment in a
protected environment such as a family business or sheltered workshop),
when earned annual income exceeds the poverty threshold. Consideration
shall be given in all claims to the nature of the employment and the
reason for termination.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501)

(b) It is the established policy of the Department of Veterans
Affairs that all veterans who are unable to secure and follow a
substantially gainful occupation by reason of service-connected
disabilities shall be rated totally disabled. Therefore, rating boards
should submit to the Director, Compensation and Pension Service, for
extra-schedular consideration all cases of veterans who are unemployable
by reason of service-connected disabilities, but who fail to meet the
percentage standards set forth in paragraph (a) of this section. The
rating board will include a full statement as to the veteran’s service-
connected disabilities, employment history, educational and vocational
attainment and all other factors having a bearing on the issue.

[40 FR 42535, Sept. 15, 1975, as amended at 54 FR 4281, Jan. 30, 1989;
55 FR 31580, Aug. 3, 1990; 58 FR 39664, July 26, 1993; 61 FR 52700, Oct.
8, 1996]

44 posted on 10/01/2007 3:44:55 PM PDT by Vn_survivor_67-68
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To: ReignOfError; darkwing104

here’s some more on the exact subject you were on about.




Subpart A—General Policy in Rating

Sec. 4.15 Total disability ratings.

The ability to overcome the handicap of disability varies widely
among individuals. The rating, however, is based primarily upon the
average impairment in earning capacity, that is, upon the economic or
industrial handicap which must be overcome and not from individual
success in overcoming it. However, full consideration must be given to
unusual physical or mental effects in individual cases, to peculiar
effects of occupational activities, to defects in physical or mental
endowment preventing the usual amount of success in overcoming the
handicap of disability and to the effect of combinations of disability.
Total disability will be considered to exist when there is present any
impairment of mind or body which is sufficient to render it impossible
for the average person to follow a substantially gainful occupation;
Provided, That permanent total disability shall be taken to exist when
the impairment is reasonably certain to continue throughout the life of
the disabled person. The following will be considered to be permanent
total disability: the permanent loss of the use of both hands, or of
both feet, or of one hand and one foot, or of the sight of both eyes, or
becoming permanently helpless or permanently bedridden. Other total
disability ratings are scheduled in the various bodily systems of this

45 posted on 10/01/2007 3:54:59 PM PDT by Vn_survivor_67-68
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To: Vn_survivor_67-68

That's what I "claim to remember." Or part of it. The US News Web site doesn't allow browsing by date or edition that I can find , and the story linked above is one of several similar stories in the same issue.

I don't know what your point is in posting chapter and verse from the US Code -- no one denies that veterans' pensions are written into the law. At issue is bureaucrats downgrading veterans' disability to get out of paying pensions.

I don't consider it "supporting the troops" to call them malingering, lying frauds and to side with government bean-counters over wounded soldiers. You are obviously operating under a different definition.

46 posted on 10/01/2007 4:21:43 PM PDT by ReignOfError
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To: ReignOfError

you’d be better off not swallowing and repeating embellished and deceitful crap written for suckers or those pursuing an agenda.

The “support the troops” bandwagon is jumped on by the full spectrum of folks, some of whom would surrender for them, and at the other end of the spectrum are folks feel the need to prove their “support” in any way imaginable. Time and time again these kind of stories are printed, and the yappers that just LOOOVE victims chirp up for awhile, and then settle down until the next time it comes around. I guess people that express their “feelings” best and mean well can be part of this group, too.

Take a break.

47 posted on 10/01/2007 4:44:43 PM PDT by Vn_survivor_67-68
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48 posted on 10/01/2007 7:49:20 PM PDT by Drew68
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