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Benefits Eligibility Extended

By James Dao The New York Times

At least 4,300 veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan who left the military because of post-traumatic stress disorder are eligible to have their cases reviewed to see if they were improperly denied benefits, a nonprofit veterans group said. The group, National Veterans Legal Services Program, said the law required service members who had been separated from the military at least in part because of post-traumatic stress must receive disability ratings of at least 50 percent to receive benefits. At least 4,300 such veterans received ratings of less than 50 percent, according to a review by the Pentagon. In response to a lawsuit by the legal services program, a federal court last month ordered that those veterans be informed that they can ask to have their cases reviewed. Those with ratings of 30 percent or higher will become eligible for benefits, said Bart Stichman, co-executive director of the veterans group. Applications are at PTSD Lawsuit.com

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Posted by on January 26, 2010, With 221 Reads Filed under Health, PTSD. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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2 Responses to "Benefits Eligibility Extended"

  1. Robert Opal  February 18, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    Kel,
    As I read your artical my life flashed before my eyes. I to got back from Nam in 71 after my second tour.As I read your artical I realized just how much our lives were the same. Through the years I also had many jobs, and experienced all the same things you did, or are. And like you I waited until 2002 to see a Vet Rep, and found out I was suffering from PTSD and hearing loss in my left ear. The good old V A put me through a battery of tests and now I’m 10% service connected for my hearing problems( buzzing and ringing)and only 30% for PTSD. I have been appealing the PTSD rating for 7 years now, I see the head of the mental dept, at Loma Linda VMC here in southern California, and even with his help the V A still won’t increase my rating. It took this long to finally have my cardio rated as service connected,but the 10% they assigned to me doesn’t increase my overall rating, hence I have another appeal for that too pending. I asked them how serious my cardio problems have to be to get a rating increase, I’ve had 3 heart attacks, 5 byepasses, two defibulators and 2 grafts on my heart.AND I’m only 60 also.It seems that if they finally desided that my cardio problems are service connected that they’s atleast give me a worthy rating for it.
    I also read lately that they added 3 new medical problems to AGENT ORANGE last November, and cardio is one of them, but they still haven’t figured out yet how they will screw us veterans out of any compansation do us. Only time will tell.
    As far as getting any help dealing with the VA goes, here in California, you can’t find a lawyer or group that will deal with the VA, and forget the A M or VFW, Even the Veit Nam Veterans of America are useless, except at HAPPY HOUR, but I can’t drink.
    So your not alone here, what we need to do is what one person on here suggested was to vote all the present self centered ass holes out of office and stat bringing in new blood, and if they don’t do a better job, than vote them out also. Maybe than Washington will get the hint that their days of feeding off the tax payers and veterans are short lived.. WHAT WE NEED IS CHANGE WE CAN BELEAVE IN……
    If there is anyone with any better ways to deal with the V A , than I like to hear from them.
    Good luck and welcome home

  2. Kel  January 27, 2010 at 11:59 am

    I got back from ‘Nam in 71 and thought I was okay… I knew not to go to the VA for anything except to get screwed… going from job to job (often more jobs than months in a year) I decided to make something of myself and became a doctor of chiropractic…busted my butt, working 40 hours/week taking 21 to 28 semester hours at a time plus two little guys and a step daughter… I averaged 2-3 hours of sleep a night… I did it…
    Now, divorced, I have no clients, no patients… It wasn’t until my step father(WWII veteran). while dying from cancer made me promise to go to the Vet Center… I had no idea of what my step father realized until I had that interview by another ‘Nam vet at the Vet Center… That was 2001.
    I was rated at 30% disability… then in 2007 I appealed and was moved to 50%. I am back in appeal. I get little sleep, I wake up in sweat, I have migraines to freakin’ often, I have nightmares, panic attacks, angry (very) for no apparent reason, I react to seeing military personel, any uniforms, military equipment, helicopters (all), I still jump at unexpected loud noises, and I’m depressed most of the time. I also learned to not let anyone know that I may be thinking suicidal… the sherriff will come and you will either get into the ambulance or they will physically put you on a gurney and then take you to the hospital… where you will wait and wait and wait… because after all I am just an insane veteran… I haven’t worked or recieved a pay check since 96′ absolutely prefer to not be around people…
    Why am I writing this?… I writing this for all you veterans who believe that there is nothing that can be done on your behalf… Go to the nearest Vet Center… these people actually care and will get you hooked up with a veterans organization with clout… with some power and they will see to it that you get what you deserve…We have all been lied to, put in harms way for the congressional military industrial complex profits… If this were viewed from the Constitution, Bill of Rights and our Declaration of Independence… what we were told and the harm we experienced… it is treason. As a combat veterans you deserve 100% disability… If the people of this country can’t see what is going on then they should at least pay for it. Don’t quit on yourself… that is what the VA wants you to do… they want you drugged and docile, drugged and pathetic… (can you smile?) Keep up the good fight, the fight for your rights. If you were in harms way… get back in the saddle and fight for what is yours. The VA does not like fighters… so give them hell and get yourself a monthly paycheck that is yours. This is non-negotiable.. they owe you a life the least they can do is get you money to make what is left of your life a little easier. Isn’t the crap we put up with 24/7 enough that we have to worry about where to sleep, what to eat and how to stay warm? We deserve at least respect and to dress and look decent…
    Thanks, I trust this helps at least one other brother/sister.

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