A lawsuit against the US Army alleges the military refuses to give people with substance use disorders honorable discharges. The result is the loss of federal benefits that would help them get treatment for physical and mental health issues. The lawsuit, filed last Thursday, seeks to help people with substance use disorder recover vital benefits for people with substance use disorder, which has been recognized as a disease of the brain. These benefits could be used to access therapy or even Medication-Assisted Treatment for thousands of ex-military.
What Is The Army Lawsuit About?
The lawsuit, filed by Army veteran Mark Stevenson flanked by volunteers from Yale Law School, accuses the Army of violating the rights of veterans, its regulations, and the Constitution by refusing to give soldiers with alcohol and substance use disorders honorable discharges.
Many soldiers develop these disorders due to trauma they have endured helping quell symptoms of PTSD and even trying to cope with pain from injuries.
Similar Lawsuit For Mental Health Disorders In The Army
This lawsuit follows another lawsuit against Yale’s Veterans Legal Services Clinic on behalf of former military members with PTSD or other mental health disorders who were denied honorable discharges because of misconduct. As a result of that lawsuit, all four military branches (Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines) will bow reconsider the discharges of people with diagnosed mental health disorders.
How Many People Are Affected By These Discharges?
According to the Veteran Legal Services Clinic, there are thousands of discharges that are not considered “honorable” every year. When veterans exit the military without an honorable discharge, they are denied benefits, including health insurance or counseling. This is true even if their mental or physical health contributed to the discharge circumstances.
They also say that the Army is violating military policy to provide “liberal consideration” in discharge decisions of whether the misconduct was related to mental health problems, the clinic said, in addition to violating a veteran’s right to due process under the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, which also requires federal agencies to follow their regulations and guidance, it said.
Winning the lawsuit will allow people with substance use disorders to appeal for an honorable discharge and get the mental health and physical health benefits to help them recover.