Report: 100,000s of former servicemembers excluded from VA help

There are more than 18 million living veterans in the U.S.—and each year more than 9 million are in some way touched by the Department of Veterans Affairs, through some form of health care or service.

But—as noted in a report in the Washington Post—the VA’s own records show that more than 500,000 former service members received “other than honorable” (OTH) discharges, making them ineligible for VA care and benefits.

The author, an advocate for vets, highlights that a large portion of those burdened by an OTH separation from service transgressed in minor ways—often due to behaviors resulting from psychiatric and other conditions—such as PTSD and brain injuries. This is a profoundly unfair outcome, as most of these illnesses were caused by traumas suffered in the military.

Despite these facts—known to the VA, Congress and other policymakers alike—the article reports, hundreds of thousands continue to be excluded from VA healthcare, housing and other help.


Reader comments

Sat, Nov 16, 2019 19YearVet

Cmon everyone. just because you do 4 or 5 years active duty, doesnt mean you should have a lifetime of VA medical care. The VA Medical system should be for people with service connected disabilities, and retirees. If you did 7 years active, got out , and are now 27 years old, and working, you should be managing your own medical situation..UNLESS you have a VA disability rating. THEN you get VA medical for THAT ISSUE.

Sat, Nov 16, 2019 19YearVet

Jessie Ramirez Jr: If you are retired like you say, then you have medical benefits.

Sat, Nov 16, 2019 19YEARVET

WEJ, what are you talking about? "And executive order that prevents at the bottom of the list to be considered for federal jobs". That makes NO sense. Are you saying that people at the bottom of an eligibility list are not being selected for federal positions? GOOD. Thats how it works. The federal hiring system works VERY WELL for veterans. Some jobs will even say "Qualified Veteran applications will be selected prior to any other applications". Not sure what you are saying.

Sat, Nov 16, 2019 19yearvet

To the person who said they make too much money...thats crazy isint it? I remember, prior to getting my disability rating, every year i had to submit a "ways and means" report, so they could see how im doing financially. Its nuts, BUT makes a little sense. If you serve...4 years..and are honorably discharged, with out any medical complaints, then you really dont have any need for VA medical care. The only exception is once you get a service connected disability rating. At 0-40 %, you get free medical care for listed disabilities. 50 % and higher, you have full medical.

Fri, Nov 15, 2019

To 19yearvet . That's interesting. Didn't know that. Maybe a lot of people here don't know the exact rules these days on qualifying for vet status.

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