Saturday, March 4, 2017

Connecticut PTSD Bill to Study What They Already Know?

Committee changes bill that would expand benefits to vets with PTSD, brain injuries
The Day
By Julia Bergman Day staff writer
March 03. 2017
"We have enough knowledge to know that there is a problem here and generally I don't think a study is going to be helpful. A study is going to simply flesh out what we already know." Rep. Stephen Harding
Hartford — Supporters of a proposal, which would enable certain veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder or a traumatic brain injury to receive state benefits, are discouraged by changes made to the proposed bill that, they say, effectively kill the bill's chances of being passed this session.

House Bill 5580, introduced by state Rep. Stephen Harding, R-Brookfield, in its originally proposed form, would've allowed vets, who received an "other than honorable discharge" as a result of being diagnosed with PTSD or TBI, to qualify for state veterans' benefits.

The Veterans Affairs' Committee, to which the bill was assigned, changed the language so that it now calls for a study of how many of these vets exist, how much it would cost to provide benefits to them and how that process would be executed. Rep. Jack Hennessy, D-Bridgeport, co-chair of the veterans committee, said members were concerned that the original proposal would've put the state in a position of making a connection between a vets' diagnosis of PTSD or TBI and his or her so-called "bad paper" discharge.
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