Benefits Eligibility Extended

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By James Dao The New York Times

At least 4,300 veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan who left the military because of post-traumatic stress disorder are eligible to have their cases reviewed to see if they were improperly denied benefits, a nonprofit veterans group said. The group, National Veterans Legal Services Program, said the law required service members who had been separated from the military at least in part because of post-traumatic stress must receive disability ratings of at least 50 percent to receive benefits. At least 4,300 such veterans received ratings of less than 50 percent, according to a review by the Pentagon. In response to a lawsuit by the legal services program, a federal court last month ordered that those veterans be informed that they can ask to have their cases reviewed. Those with ratings of 30 percent or higher will become eligible for benefits, said Bart Stichman, co-executive director of the veterans group. Applications are at PTSD Lawsuit.com

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