VVA-PTSD Discharge Upgrades

The PTSD Upgrade Memo

On September 3, 2014, then-Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel issued a memorandum to the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force that directed their respective record correction boards to fully and carefully consider applications submitted by veterans who seek a discharge upgrade on the basis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) stemming from military service. The PTSD Upgrade Memo directs the Boards to give “liberal consideration” both to applications that raise PTSD and to various types of evidence related to PTSD, including:

  • Service records documenting any symptom which meets the diagnostic criteria for PTSD or related conditions
  • A diagnosis of PTSD or PTSD-related conditions by a civilian provider.

The Boards must also give “special consideration” to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) determinations that document service-connected PTSD or PTSD-related conditions.

Resources for Veterans

If you are a veteran who is interested in requesting a discharge upgrade based in part on your experience with PTSD during military service, please visit the Resources for Veterans Seeking Discharge Upgrades page.

Resources for VSOs/Legal Service Providers

If you are a veterans service officer or legal service provider seeking more information about how to represent veterans in discharge upgrade proceedings, please view the one-hour webinar “Discharge Upgrades for Veterans with PTSD,” recorded on April 24, 2015.

Presidential Pardon for Veterans with Bad Paper

For information about the campaign for a presidential pardon for veterans with bad paper, please visit the Presidential Pardon page.