Webinar: Misconduct Discharge Issues

May 18, 2015 10:00 am

The Practising Law Institute (PLI) is hosting a free webinar to educate attorneys to issues arising from military discharge for misconduct. A major obstacle to getting health care and services arises when a servicemember is discharged for misconduct. In those cases, the Department of Veterans Affairs will decide whether their conduct should make them ineligible for veteran benefits. Post traumatic stress, traumatic brain injuries, and other mental health trauma can manifest as symptoms that lead to misconduct discharges.

This affects a large number of servicemembers and some of these are people most in need of care and services. A 2005 study found that Marines who deployed to combat and who received a PTSD diagnosis are 11 times more likely to receive a misconduct discharge than those who do not have a PTSD diagnosis. A 2015 study showed that former servicemembers with misconduct discharges are twice as likely to commit suicide as other veterans.

Since 2001:

  • Over 140,000 people have been separated from military service with potentially disqualifying discharges.
  • Over 130,000 of them are not recognized as veterans by the VA and are therefore not eligible for most veteran benefits.

Becca von Behren and Bradford Adams, veteran law attorneys from Swords to Plowshares, will discuss ways to help veterans discharged for misconduct maximize services they can obtain from the VA. The discussion will include:

  • Explaining the standards that the VA uses for determining eligibility based on Character of Discharge review
  • Suggesting arguments and evidence that might be helpful in obtaining a favorable Character of Discharge review
  • Explaining the procedures for obtaining a Character of Discharge review
  • Identifying services that servicemembers can obtain even if their character of discharge review is unsuccessful

This training is eligible for CLE credits from PLI.

When: May 18, 2015. 10AM PST

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