A disconcerting report is surfacing out of the Midwest that should concern all Texans and the veterans who reside here. According to the report done there, the Department of Veteran Affairs is addressing veterans and their disabilities differently depending on which county they live in.
According to the report, veterans who apply for disability benefits in more rural counties are more likely to receive benefits and receive them more quickly than those in big cities. This appears to be the case even if the veterans have suffered the same disabling injury in the same war.
Different veteran groups have different theories as to why this may be occurring. Availability of resources appears to be the main concern. While there may be better accommodations for those suffering from disabilities in bigger cities, the resources may be stretched a bit more thinly and more veterans are going through the application process, thus slowing down the process for those seeking benefits.
That time delay can be a big deterrent to some veterans in dire need of the funds that should be available to them through time served and injuries incurred. Some groups also suggest that the VA is applying inconsistent standards when reviewing and accepting applications. This inconsistency appears to be leaving many veterans without benefits earned. Veterans can apply and file for benefits anywhere and be paid no matter where they live which leads many veterans to apply in more rural counties in an effort to more quickly receive those benefits.
Many of these veterans are deprived of working in a substantial capacity for more than a year due to the injuries sustained in service. This may also qualify them as disabled under current Social Security Disability laws. If you need help exploring these alternative options, please seek legal advice.
If you are either a veteran or civilian having trouble receiving your disability benefits and need help in completing the process, please contact an attorney that practices Social Security Disability law. They will be able to further assist in evaluating the legal options available to you.
Source: StarTribune, "Benefits for veterans are all over the map," Mark Brunswick, Jan. 12, 2013