A class-action lawsuit is accusing the U.S. Navy of unlawfully denying military disability retirement benefits to more than 16,000 Navy and Marine Corps veterans for more than 15 years.
“The Navy’s denial of benefits is not simply a bureaucratic matter. A denial can have negative repercussions in the lives of service members and their families for many years,” said Veterans Legal Services Program Executive Director Bart Stichman.
The complaint was brought under the Administrative Procedure Act and seeks declaratory and injunctive relief to correct the veterans’ military records to accurately reflect their full disability rating as required by law.
“In this filing, we seek to address the Navy’s failure to fully recognize and afford benefits to Navy and Marine Corps veterans for service-connected disabilities that contributed to their medical discharge,” said Phillip Garber, Dechert associate and former Navy hospital corpsman second class.
Military disability retirement benefits are critical to veterans who are injured during their military service, and who depend on them for access to health care and other benefits for the service member and his or her family, the release states.