Connecticut groups to help PTSD vets upgrade ‘bad paper’ discharges

Frustrated by Pentagon efforts, Connecticut groups that work with veterans have informed some 1,500 veterans that they can apply for upgrades of “bad paper” military discharge statuses if they have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

News Story (Florida)

Peggy McCarthy
New Haven Register
November 16, 2016

Tags: Military Discharges, Veterans

Organizations mentioned/involved: Yale Law School Veterans Legal Services Clinic, Connecticut Veterans Legal Center, New Haven Legal Assistance Association (CT)


Although tens of thousands of veterans nationwide are eligible to apply for PTSD-related upgrades, just 1,180 have done so, according to figures provided by the Pentagon to the Yale Law School Veterans Legal Services Clinic.

In 2014, then Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel issued a policy to make it easier for veterans with PTSD to upgrade their discharge statuses and become eligible for veterans’ benefits.

“Most people don’t know about it,” said Olivia Horton, a Yale law student working on the project to contact Connecticut veterans by mail.

She said frustration with the Pentagon’s public outreach “was the impetus” to contact veterans directly.

Since a letter went out last Wednesday, Connecticut veterans have already been seeking information about the application process from Vet Centers in the state, the nonprofit Connecticut Veterans Legal Center and the New Haven Legal Assistance website,, Horton said.