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Ptsd Defense Contractor Service Connected On Army Terminal Leave?


Jundie

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I have read a couple different definitions of what is considered service connected. I have always thought that I could not service connect my PTSD because I was a defense contractor in Iraq not a solider. The VA was nice enough to treat me. Actually they were a little too excited to treat me. I was basically confirming their belief that there were all this veteran contractors out there not getting treatment for PTSD. This was way back in 2005. VA diagnosed with me PTSD. This may be a stretch but I was actually on Terminal Leave from the Army for my first week in Iraq as a Defense contractor. My second day on the ground, Mortar attack that killed 18 detainees. Some expert feedback on this one would really be appreciated.

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Welcome.

I believe the event that is the cause of your PTSD, would need to have happened while you were

on active duty.

Hopefully, other's will chime in.

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Being on terminal leave may make yours a unique situation where you are covered. ,,????

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Thank you for the quick replies. I did find this little gem of information when looking around.

Citation Nr: 0306236
Decision Date: 04/01/03 Archive Date: 04/10/03

DOCKET NO. 01-09 745A

The veteran's DD-214 shows that he was in the Air Force until
June 1, 1999. While the veteran asserts that he started
terminal leave from the Air Force on March 8, 1999, he was
still on active duty until June 1, 1999, regardless of
whether he was on leave or not.

So a individual is on active duty while on terminal leave.

Then I found this on nolo.com

Type of Accidents Covered by Service-Connected Disability

When you are active duty, you are considered to be on active duty for 24 hours a day, whether you are technically on duty or off duty at the time, so you can be service-connected for disabilities resulting from almost any type of accident that occurs while you are on active duty. This includes accidents that occur:

  • while travelling to or from leave
  • while on leave, and
  • while on base during off hours.
Accidents Occurring on Leave

If you are at home on leave and hurt yourself while lifting weights, have a car accident, or slip and fall on the ice, you are eligible for disability compensation if your injuries cause a disability. In short, you are on active duty between the time you enlist and the time you are discharged or separated, regardless of whether you are on leave, on base, in combat, or in a bar.

That said, if you are absent without leave (AWOL), you are not considered to be on active duty and will not be compensated for any injuries or illness you incur.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Terminal leave is active status.

This one is going to be interesting.

Basser

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Here's another angle to consider.
As others have already stated: while on terminal leave, you're still a soldier on active duty.
If the Army does a Line of Duty investigation, they may determine that, since you were injured in service to a contractor and not to the Army, putting yourself in harms way without authorization from the Army was "intentional misconduct" or "willful negligence" and any trauma you suffered as a result is "not in LD" and, therefore, not service connectable.
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I was a contractor for Intelligence Command (Army) and they required my TC/SCI clearance with Poly. I was in service to the Army as a contractor. So your arguement is that the Army did not know they were hiring a soldier despite having my Social and clearance? All military intellignece jokes aside, the Army has to auithorize you to go in country. The only way your logic would hold up is I lied to the Army about being in the Army.

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Thinking about this, a couple of questions/possibilities occurred to me...

The question of whether you were "still in service" or "on active duty", yes, until the official date of separation that shows on your DD-214, you were active US Military... Government Issue. What ever happened between your entry date and separation date occurred while on active duty, except for anything that could be considered "Bad Time" - AWOL etc. This could be the case if there is some reg about venturing into a hazard zone while on Military leave. While I was in Germany in the Army in the early 80's a friend was ETS'ing in country to stay with his German wife. They were making plans to go to East Berlin before his terminal leave was over, but Army intelligence stopped them. Said if the East Germans caught him he would be considered a spy and probably be tried, convicted, and executed. Things may have changed since the 80's and your situation is different, but something to think about...

While you were a contractor, did you receive Hazard Pay or Hazardous duty Pay? If you did, the powers that be may consider that Hazard Pay as having "covered" any possible issues or injury that could be suffered. An alternate path in that case would be to apply for Workman's Compensation. Although it may be to late to file for that now, I don't know the rules for that type of claim.

And... If the mental health personnel that diagnosed your PTSD believe it to be "sufficiently incapacitating" SSI/SSDI...?

Just rambling thoughts, I didn't attempt to think all that through so if I missed something or misunderstood something, please forgive.

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According to fed smith.com, you can be n terminal leave pending separation/discharge from the military and accept a civilian position with the government anywhere in the USA or in its territories or possessions and you would still be considered active duty until your actual discharge date. However, nothing is mentioned on the website about working as a contractor or working in an area outside of the USA or its territories or possessions. Perhaps a US military base in a foreign country would be considered a US possession.

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