December 04, 2020

Big News for Army Veterans Seeking Discharge Upgrades

Following a recent settlement announced last Wednesday in Kennedy v. McCarthy, army officials will now automatically review tens of thousands of discharge upgrade applications that were denied over the last decade. The settlement, a result of a class-action lawsuit that was filed over three years ago, requires that reviewing Army officials use procedures more favorable to veterans regarding evidence of underlying mental health conditions upon reviewing their discharge upgrade applications. Steve Kennedy, an Iraq War veteran and plaintiff in the case, asserted that many service members he knew were discharged for symptoms of mental health conditions and then stripped of the benefits that may have helped them heal. A significant number of other-than-honorable discharges are the result of service members’ struggles with mental health and difficulty performing their daily duties, but once they receive this negative discharge, many veterans are never afforded the opportunity to improve their mental health and seek the help they need. Officials estimate as many as 50,000 Army veterans may benefit from the results of this settlement.