Marines and sailors with mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury and sexual trauma will have their discharge upgrade applications re-evaluated by the Navy.
In 2018, the Yale Law School Veterans Legal Services Clinic filed Manker v. Del Toro, which was approved by a bankruptcy court this week as a class-action lawsuit. According to the suit, thousands of sailors and Marines were given less-than-honorable discharges because of behaviors connected to conditions like PTSD.
In accordance with the pending agreement, discharge status upgrades decisions from the Naval Discharge Review Board from March 2, 2012, to the effective date of the contract will be reviewed again in cases where applicants did not get their discharge upgraded to honorable. These reviews will be automatic.
If this situation arises, the Navy will contact individuals and ask them for further evidence, information about referrals and legal representation, and, if necessary, their prescription medication information.
It is important to note that service members discharged more than 15 years ago will need to reapply to the Naval Records Board for correction since the NDRB has a statute of limitations.
This change is important because veterans with non-honorable discharges would be unable to receive certain benefits provided to them, like health care and educational benefits.
If there has been a discharge or termination of service for reasons that were not deemed normal, for example for dishonorable conduct, the veteran may not qualify for the review.
The agreement stipulates that veterans of the Army and Navy are entitled to request a video-teleconference hearing as part of the revision process in order to request that a personal appearance hearing be held.
To proceed with this settlement, the people who will be affected by the payment will have the opportunity to express their opinions in a virtual environment.