Many of our brave military men and women come back from serving our country with injuries or illnesses incurred or aggravated during their time in service. These medical conditions are often considered "service-connected." Veterans with service-connected conditions are generally eligible for non-taxable disability compensation through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs unless the veteran was dishonorably discharged.
Disabled veterans in Georgia and across the United States often come back home after serving our country to find that their injury or illness keeps them from working. Fortunately, the Veterans Administration and Social Security Administration both offer veterans' benefits for military men and women who suffered a disability while serving our country.
When one thinks of a veteran, the word "hero" comes to mind. Veterans have made great efforts to protect our country and some suffered devastating injuries in the process. Veterans may receive benefits for their service, but in many cases, these benefits are not nearly enough . Fortunately, Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits may be available to those who have suffered war-related injuries. The Social Security program is separate from the VA disability compensation program, so any VA compensation does not affect SSD benefits.
Veterans in Georgia and throughout the United States saw a lot of changes occur at the Department of Veterans Affairs and in Congress over the past couple of weeks. While their ultimate effect on veterans benefits and services remains to be seen, the changes represent movement in a bureaucracy often known for its glacial swiftness. The hope is that more veterans will ultimately receive the services and benefits they need more quickly and efficiently.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is one of the largest agencies in the United States government and is charged with overseeing the myriad benefits, including health care and financial assistance, that those who have served in the U.S. military services have earned. Unfortunately, as the number of vets has grown in recent years - due largely to actions in Afghanistan and Iraq - the agency has struggled with delivering VA benefits to the vets that are entitled to receive them. At the same time, VA has undergone a crisis of leadership with no current secretary yet confirmed after the previous VA secretary was fired in March.
The White House announced that its new nominee for Secretary of Veterans Affairs would be Robert Wilkie. Wilkie has been the acting VA Secretary since the firing of David Shulkin several weeks ago and the failed nomination of the president's personal physician Ronny Jackson, who dropped out of the running amid allegations of misconduct. Sen. Johnny Isakson, chair of Senate Veterans Affairs Committee - and a Republican from Georgia - praised the nomination.
It has been a long time coming, but "Blue Water" veterans may soon be able to receive benefits for illness or disability that they incurred due to Agent Orange exposure during the Vietnam era. Although it took months of negotiations with their counterparts in the Senate, members of the House Veterans Affairs Committee voted unanimously on May 8 to forward a bill to the full House that will make as many as 90,000 sea veterans who are suffering Agent Orange-related ailments eligible for benefits. The Department of Veterans Affairs benefits could include both disability pay and health care for service-connected disability claims.
United States service personnel stand between the nation and chaos. These brave men and women face danger, hardship and, in many cases, poverty. One thing that goes some way in making up for a challenging military existence are the benefits offered by the Veterans' Administration.
The Department of Veterans' Affairs is the second largest agency in the United States government. The VA administers the programs that deliver veterans' benefits, like health care, companion benefits and financial assistance to those who offered their service to the nation. Unfortunately, the VA has experienced a considerable amount of controversy as of late, some of which was attributable to now-former VA Secretary David Shulkin.
Veterans in Georgia and across the country are becoming increasingly concerned about benefits fraud, which has the dual effect of depleting the limited pool of benefits that all vets have to share and besmirching the reputation that service personnel have earned in service of the United States. Such fraud not only takes veterans' benefits away from those legitimately in need, it also puts pressure on other resources, like service organizations, that help to pick up the slack for an already overburdened Department of Veterans Affairs. A quarter century of war and a younger generation of vets have contributed to the problems.