Veterans AffairsAdjustment disorder may now net disability pay

The Pentagon has changed its physical disability policy to include chronic adjustment disorder as a condition potentially eligible for disability compensation.

The Defense Department amended DoD Instruction 1332.38 in April to name chronic adjustment disorder as incompatible with military service, but possibly service-related and therefore eligible for disability compensation.

The change is notable because thousands of service members have been discharged for adjustment disorder, which had been previously characterized as a condition present before troops joined the military, and therefore ineligible for compensation or mental health treatment.

A Defense Department spokeswoman said the change was made to bring the policy in line with the Veterans Affairs Department’s schedule of rating of disabilities.

Critics have charged that the military services used the diagnosis of adjustment disorder in lieu of post-traumatic stress disorder to avoid paying benefits to troops who could no longer serve.

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