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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 34552
Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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My son is in the navy. He has been diagnosed with PTSD (post

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My son is in the navy. He has been diagnosed with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). It was caused by his job and service. He has lost his job title due to this diagnosis. He was a Machinist Mate/Nuke. He re-enlisted a little over a year ago and received a bonus for re-enlisting. Then this, the PTSD diagnosis, happened. The Navy is taking back the bonus and has put him in financial straights. Is this allowed? My understanding was that because his disability was caused by his job and service, he would not be required to payback what he had already received. Is this the case? He is still in the navy.
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years military law experience.

Can you clarify what you mean by

The Navy is taking back the bonus and has put him in financial straights. I

Are they telling him he gets no more payments (in the future), or that he has to pay back the unearned portion of the bonus he has already received?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

They are taking back the portion he has already received. He WAS NOT notified that this would be done. His LES was his notice of their intent.


They already took some, leaving him $220.00 for this pay cycle. He can't even pay his mortgage with that! Sorry, I'm a little upset.

Thank you

That sounds is not consistant with Navy policy. The Navy policy can be found in OPNAVINST 1160.8A. Take a look at paragraph 18

You can see it here

What you see is the circumstances when the Navy can recoup, pro rata (the unearned portion of the bonus). What you describe is NOT covered. It is covered under 18b

b. If a member becomes ineligible for an SRB for any of
the reasons below, payments will stop, but recoupment of
payments already received will not be required:
(1) Disability, injury, or illness not the result of
misconduct or willful neglect, or not incurred during a period
of unauthorized absence.

SO something is amiss.

I would recommend he contact his commanding officer and request they help straighten this out. If he was released from the nuclear power program due to a service connected condition, he is NOT required to repay any of his bonus already paid to him. His commander can help him solve this...if the commander will not? A letter to his congressman will. What you describe? They Navy is violating their own policy.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'm sorry, but his Command is a joke! He went through some seriously nasty 'hazing', for lack of a better word, onboard one boat. Spoke up about it, got threatened and fought to be transferred to another boat. Now, most of the personnel on the first boat are on his new boat. He has PTSD because of what was done to him on boat one and all those people are now on boat two. He finally went to a civilian hospital, after going through all the naval personnel who should have seen this problem. I am so discouraged by the treatment he has received. He has tried, repeatedly, to speak to the appropriate personnel, but no one will listen or they just won't see him or those that are helping are mysteriously given a change of command. I know, it sounds like a conspiracy... That is what it feels like.

Thank you

What you describe is a violation of Navy policy. The policy could not be any more clear. So it surprises me that they are doing this. If he points this out to his chain of command, I would expect the chain of command to fix it. If they will not? Then he can either contact his congressman (they can investigate this) or contact the IG (inspector general) and they can investigate.

Again, what you describe is a clear violation of policy. They will fix this once it is identified. If his commander will not help then it may be he needs to raise this to a higher level.

P. Simmons and 2 other Military Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Okay, I see the rating came though. Thanks for your assistance.

You bet. Best of luck in this fight

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks. I think it may be a fight!

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