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Veteran says misdiagnosis cost him big in benefits

We owe our nation's veterans a debt of gratitude. The brave men and women of our armed forces put their lives on the line to protect our freedom -- and as a result, they are entitled to certain benefits. However, if these veterans are not classified properly based on the nature of a disability they might have received as a result of their service, it could have a big impact on their future.

Take, for example, a man in Connecticut who served in the U.S. Army during the Iraq War. The man saw members of his unit killed and other horrible facets of conflict while serving overseas; as a result, he says he has post-traumatic stress disorder -- one of those veterans' issues that almost everyone has heard of.

However, the military did not agree with this assertion. Instead, the man was officially diagnosed with adjustment disorder, rather than PTSD. As a result, he was discharged from the service. Had his diagnosis been PTSD instead, he would have been permitted to retire from the Army for medical reasons.

This is an important distinction because it limits his education and retirement benefits. In fact, the diagnosis made him eligible for only half the education benefits and about $18,000 in retirement benefits he would have received otherwise.

Many veterans need an advocate to help them receive what is due to them -- whether that is veterans' benefits, Social Security disability insurance benefits or something else. An attorney with experience dealing with government agencies might be a good resource to use.

Source: Fox News, "Connecticut veteran sues Army over diagnosis, benefits," Nov. 23, 2013

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