Public awareness regarding our military men and women has been on the rise lately. Along with that awareness, it is not uncommon to hear of all the injuries and diseases our military members suffer from. In addition to this, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs often finds itself in the media, but rarely is it portrayed in a positive light.
Many of us have heard stories of how veterans have gone to the VA Medical Center for a specific surgery, only to have another body part worked on, or instruments left within them. This, of course, is inexcusable and unacceptable. Our nation’s veterans deserve better. To me, as a veteran, this is a given.
However, not everything the VA does is so blatantly wrong. For example, many veterans are under the impression that they have to pass away before the benefits side of the VA will finally make a decision on their disability claims. As a disabled veteran myself, and one who at one time worked for the VA, allow me to set the record straight for a change.
Keep in mind, first of all, that I am in no way an advocate for the VA. After all, they are a government agency…need I say more? But I digress. Most times, the VA doesn’t delay claims on purpose. The real reasons behind so many of the delays are due to two issues.
First, Congress enacts laws the VA must follow. Changes take place in these laws fairly often. This can cause a huge delay as the criteria for certain conditions might change, and thus the VA must acquire additional evidence from the veterans. Second, most veterans don’t understand what is required of them. An application for benefits is not enough. It is the veteran’s responsibility to prove a nexus, or link from their military service to their claimed conditions.
How does a veteran become knowledgeable regarding what is required of them? The information is out there, though it is not easy to find. So, the best way, in my humble opinion, is to buy the book my writing partner and I have created. It was written by veterans, for veterans. We took our knowledge and experience, as well as our many failures, and provided as easy to read guide filled with humor only those associated with the military can fully appreciate.
So, do yourself a favor…buy our book and empower yourselves against the cumbersome VA system. But rest assured, after reading our book, the system will no longer feel as cumbersome as it once did.