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VA Secretary discusses veterans' issues during Georgia visit

It was another fun and memorable Fourth of July holiday for many Georgia residents. Whether individuals spent the holiday with family or friends, or doing something else, many were reminded of the true meaning of the holiday and the call to celebrate the freedom and liberty enjoyed by Americans. Many also spent time during the holiday paying tribute to those who protect and uphold these freedoms, our nation's veterans.

Unfortunately, veterans have a number of issues they have to deal with as a result of their service to their country. Many veterans deal with homelessness and a lack of medical care to treat the veterans' injuries suffered during their service. Indeed, 10 of the 100 worst Veterans Administration facilities are located in Georgia and Southern Alabama, according to new government research.

Many veteran addressed some of these concerns with VA Secretary Robert McDonald during a recent visit. Veterans were outspoken on the need for easily accessible health care and cutting down on the wait times to receive that care.

While there are improvements that need to be made in the VA system to deal with medical treatment, there are veterans benefits available through the Social Security Administration that can help veterans with financial issues. Many veterans struggle with financial issues in the wake of their service and in light of their disabilities suffered in connection with their service, and the veterans benefits are aimed at providing this financial assistance.

A number of requirements are necessary for the benefits to be awarded, and therefore veterans should understand what they need to do to make a proper claim for benefits. For instance, certain medical evidence may be necessary to demonstrate the disability suffered by the veteran. Accordingly, veterans should be proactive to meet these requirements on the front end, and understand their rights of appeal when their claims are improperly denied.

Source: WTVM, "Veterans voice concerns to VA Secretary Robert McDonald," Emilie Arroyo, July 2, 2015

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