Gay Soldiers Seeking VA Disability Benefits Petition for Upgrades In Discharge Status
September 29th, 2015|
In order for a veteran to receive disability benefits from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, he or she must have received an honorable discharge from service. But until four years ago, thousands of service members were kicked out of the military because of their sexual preference, which prevents them from receiving benefits. The Birmingham veterans disability lawyers at Norris Injury Lawyers explain that now with the repeal of our nation’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, many veterans who were less than honorably discharged are seeking to have their military statuses updated.
Between 1941-2011, as many as 100,000 soldiers were less-than-honorably discharged from military service due to their sexuality. Many of those soldiers endure public and private humiliation detailed in an article from CNBC News.
Current laws allow for an upgrade in discharge status for soldiers discharged after being deemed homosexual. However, the veteran must prove there were no “aggravating” circumstances surrounding the discharge. Lawmakers are currently considering a bill called the Restore Honor to Service Members Act, which would grant upgrades to anyone who was discharged from military service because of their sexuality, regardless of the circumstances.
At Norris Injury Lawyers, we have seen the impact that veterans disability benefits can have on the lives of former soldiers. Our Alabama personal injury lawyers are hopeful to see changes to the law that help deserving veterans get the benefits they need.