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Army is holding back on rating troops disabilities to hold down costs, critics say [View All]

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sabra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-23-07 10:07 AM
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Edited on Fri Feb-23-07 10:48 AM by sabra /

Army is holding back on rating troops disabilities to hold down costs, critics say

The Army is deliberately shortchanging troops on their disability retirement ratings to hold down costs, according to veterans advocates, lawyers and service members.


But in the Army in the midst of a war the number of soldiers approved for permanent disability retirement has plunged by more than two-thirds, from 642 in 2001 to 209 in 2005, according to a Government Accountability Office report last year. That decline has come even as the war in Iraq has intensified and the total number of soldiers wounded or injured there has soared above 15,000.


He found an Army captain whose radial nerve in his right arm had been destroyed in Iraq the same injury that has left Bob Dole, the World War II veteran and former Kansas senator, unable to use his arm to do more than hold a pen.

Smith followed the captain through the physical evaluation board process. He said that under the ratings schedule, this was an easy call: 70 percent disability. But at his first informal medical evaluation board, the captain initially was offered just 30 percent, and he had to fight to raise it to 60 percent through a subsequent formal evaluation board and then a final appeal.


Many troops accept the first rating offered them at their initial informal evaluation board, Smith said. Soldiers are trained. When the evaluation board says, This is what you get, the soldiers say, Yes sir. A lot of people dont appeal.

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