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Ptsd Defense Contractor Service Connected On Army Terminal Leave?

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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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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.

Carlie passed away in November 2015 she is missed.

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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.


A Veteran is a person who served this country. Treat them with respect.

A Disabled Veteran is a person who served this country and bears the scars of that service regardless of when or where they served.

Treat them with the upmost respect. I do. Rejection is not a sign of failure. Failure is not an option, Medical opinions and evidence wins claims. Trust in others is a virtue but you take the T out of Trust and you are left with Rust so be wise about who you are dealing with.

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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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