Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Iraq Veteran Proved PTSD to VA But Not Maine Public Employee System?

Maine retirement system again denies war veteran with PTSD
Bangor Daily News
By Beth Brogan, BDN Staff
Posted April 26, 2016

A Veterans Administration determined Couture is 80 percent disabled and provides him benefits, but in December 2014, the Maine Public Employees Retirement System, or MePERS, which Couture paid into as a Marine Patrol employee instead of Social Security, denied Couture’s application for retirement because of disability, despite acknowledging he suffers from PTSD.
BRUNSWICK, Maine — The Maine Public Employees Retirement System for a second time denied disability retirement benefits to a military veteran from Brunswick whose two tours in Iraq left him with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Scott Couture, an Iraq combat veteran formerly with the Maine Army Reserves, reflects on his service, Feb. 11, 2016, at his home in Brunswick.
Scott Couture, a former Maine Marine Patrol warden, was denied when he first applied for retirement system disability benefits after being told he could no longer work as a marine warden because of his condition. Couture appealed that decision, but that appeal was denied in a letter dated April 14 and received by Couture’s family Monday.

Couture will appeal the latest decision to a hearing officer, his wife, Darcie, said Monday. The decision devastated Scott, who declined to speak about the denial. The couple was preparing Monday night to tell their two teenage sons that they can’t afford to keep their house.

Scott Couture served in the Army Reserves with the 94th Military Police Company in Al Anbar Province, Iraq, for what would become the second longest deployment of any U.S. military unit since World War II, including 15 months in combat zones such as the notoriously violent “Sunni Triangle.”
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