Why are there millions of veterans, widows and dependents nationwide who are not getting VA benefits?
The main reason is because most vets don’t know they're qualified! Nobody, least of all the Veterans Administration, has bothered to tell them.
Another reason is because they think their benefits are so meager that its not worth jumping through the many hoops and hurdles to get them. However, the second reason is often related to the first, in that if the VA told qualified vets just how much they were actually entitled to, many WOULD find it worth the trouble jumping through said hoops and hurtles.
Unfortunately, the VA is still not required to tell veterans, widows or dependents that they qualify for benefits. As wrong as this may seem, the VA is under no obligation to inform anyone of any benefits.
This is also true for veterans who are already enrolled in the VA system. Millions of veterans in the VA system are only receiving some of their benefits. Most veterans don't know that if they have at least a 10 per cent service-connected disability they can get free glasses, hearing aids and mobility aids such as scooters, canes and walkers. There are many more little-known benefits such as clothing allowance of over $600 a year if they wear a prosthetic device that damages clothing.
Why doesn’t the VA inform veterans of their benefits? The VA’s answer is simply because it is not a requirement. Veterans’ associations claim it’s all about money. I'm sure there is plenty of evidence to support this if we but looked.
For a while the VA had outreach programs designed to seek out and inform veterans of their benefits. VA Secretary Anthony J. Principi, Republican, cancelled these programs. Why? Because the programs were “too successful” and the VA claimed their budget couldn’t handle any more veterans in the system. Many veterans’ organizations held “veterans’ benefits fairs” at VA facilities. However, the VA no longer allows these events and the veterans groups had to move them to their own properties where the chances of meeting veterans far slimmer.
Another problem with the VA’s “non-information” policy is that poor veterans suffer the most. Poor and particularly homeless vets are far less likely to have the resources, family and friends to help them to find out the information on their own.
There has been talk for years, that laws were in the making to require to VA to inform all veterans of any and all available benefits. Yet the problem remains the same.
Many states, such as California, seeing that they are almost bankrupt, have been informing veterans of their federal benefits. This is not out of the kindness of their hearts, but so that they don't have to spend any money on our vets.
Currently, I recomend veterans who are curious as to their eligibilty contact their local chapter of the DAV, rather than listen to the lies of the VA. Disabled American Veterans National Service Officers (NSOs) can assist veterans in filing claims with the VA, free of charge. To find the NSO closest to you, please use their NSO Locator.
The permanent answer to the problem lies in legislation to require the VA to inform all veterans of all their benefits. It is up to us to force their hand, by raising our voices and letting America know. If not us, who else is going to step up to the plate?
If you’re ready to start helping to bring about some changes, I suggest you download, How to Coordinate a Campaign for Change, one of the many free ebooks available as a PDF download from AssEtEbooks.com. No email required, no sign-up, no opt-in and no obligations!
If you have any ideas, comments or concerns about this issue, please let Veterans Watchdog readers know via a comment, bellow.