soldier meeting with doctor about veterans benefits denial

Veterans in the United States have worked hard to keep this country safe and secure. They have headed off to fight numerous causes, typically leaving their families behind, in order to ensure the safety of their country. Unfortunately, the government has oftentimes failed to provide adequate medical care to these military veterans who have dedicated several years of their lives to service.

Excuses about the shortcomings of veterans’ benefits plans have been plentiful. The government may claim that staffing shortages are the cause of inadequate medical services, or that high volumes of patients and excessive paperwork have contributed to the lack of treatment provided.

Disability benefits are available to veterans if they sustain an injury or disease that occurred while on active duty. Often, veterans suffer from a variety of physical and mental health problems. A few of the conditions that veterans may suffer include traumatic brain injuries, severe burns, back pain, and exposure to toxic chemicals. Other heath problems which veterans may face include spinal cord injuries/back problems, cancer, diabetes, depression, post traumatic stress disorder, and various other injuries and illnesses.

soldiers running during a drillA disabled veteran may be denied benefits for several reasons. One of the most common grounds for a benefit denial is controversy over whether the health impairment arose as a result of service, or arose from a secondary, non-service related incident. This is a typical obstacle for many veterans, particularly when they experience mental health problems relating to their service, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The men and women who have fought for this country have earned the right to certain benefits and should not be burdened with the impossible task of trying to prove that they lived through trauma in order to get the treatment they are entitled to. Some veterans have claimed that the VA medical staff, as Veterans of Foreign Wars spokesman Joe Davis has said, “are understaffed and over-tasked.”

The inadequate medical service provided to veterans has actually prevented some veterans from seeking out treatment. A 2008 Rand Corp. study found that nearly 20 percent of service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, about 300,000 people, reported symptoms of PTSD or major depression, but only about half sought treatment.

Veterans Benefits Denial InfographicVeterans should not have to jump through hoops in order to obtain the medical services and treatment that they are owed. It should be far easier for veterans to document their disorders and get the treatment they are entitled to and the disability benefits that they need. Disabled veterans, their spouses, and their families should have numerous benefits available to them. Veterans have dedicated their lives to service, protecting others and defending this country’s freedoms, and have incurred wounds while doing so. The government should give them the benefits they are owed.

Author Photo

Paul d’Oliveira

Attorney Paul d’Oliveira has been practicing personal injury and disability law for over 30 years. He started his personal injury law practice in 1989 with two offices in Fall River, MA and East Providence, RI. Today his firm has 15 offices in RI and Southeastern, MA.

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