Military veterans being denied for disability is a sad truth that occurs on a daily basis in the United States. This situation is nothing new and has been a lingering problem, but reported case denials have been escalating since the late 1990s. This is in part not only to the increase of world conflicts that require American servicemen and woman, but also due a 1999 decision by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to not allow soldiers with a ‘genetic predisposition’ access to military benefits until after serving at least eight years. This is a situation that is causing thousands of military personnel to go without treatment and monetary compensation for their current condition.
The initial decision by the OMB was to discourage individuals with a preexisting condition from joining the military, just to receive medical treatment. However, many of these genetic issues are not discovered until after the military veteran has returned home after serving their country. Essentially, it is a loophole the military is able to use in order to deny individuals their proper rights to disability treatments. If any issue at all is discovered to be a genetic problem (such as known heart issues in the family history), then the military refuses to cover it and denies the claim.
As a precaution, many military physicians are actually informing soldiers to completely refuse all genetic tests. If there is no information or noted record of the individual suffering from genetic predispositions, then the military is unable to deny the claim. Of course, there are times where the military is going to force an individual to go through with the tests, on threat of a court martial. Once it reaches this stage (if it does), there isn’t much a soldier can do, outside of succumbing and taking the genetic tests.
The only real option an individual who has been denied disability has is to obtain a disability lawyer. These individuals are trained to fight for someone who has had their VA disability benefits rejected, especially those people who have served their country for many years. Most of these lawyers do not accept payment unless the claim ruling is overturned. Sadly, outside of this, there isn’t much a military veteran is able to do, outside of writing their local congressmen and requesting them to fight for a change to the OMB decision of 1999 that changed military medical benefits.