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Monday, March 4, 2024
HomeLifestyleHealthVA DISABILITY- WHY?

VA DISABILITY- WHY?

I am continuing the theme and providing an­other archived article. I continue to encounter misinformed or overly humble Veterans… “I did not go to war” or “someone needs the benefit more than I do”. Why apply for VA disability compensation?

You earned it by honorably serving and de­fending your country. If that is not reason enough to apply for a benefit in which you meet the el­igibility criteria, then consider the additional VA benefits which may be available. You may also be eligible for an automobile allowance, clothing allowance, adapted housing grants, life insurance, mortgage life insurance, education­al and training services/assistance, dependent stipend, and additional health care coverage to name a few. There are numerous other potential benefits available for service-connected disabled veterans. Please read the fine print as restrictions may apply and not everyone is eligible.

Each year the VA submits a request to Con­gress to fund their budget. If Veterans stop ap­plying for benefits or using services, then the VA budget will likely decrease. I admit this may be selfish, but my concern is there might be fewer benefits available 20 years from now. What about our recent Veterans and the benefits they earned and might need 40 or more years from now? If all the previous reasons have not convinced you, then please consider your fellow and future Vet­erans.

I have one more reason for the overly skeptical. Too often I receive a call from a health care pro­vider or family member, on behalf of a Veteran, requesting urgent or immediate assistance. After a few questions, it is determined the Veteran is not in receipt of any VA benefits. These calls are challenging and heartbreaking because the ben­efits claim process takes time which the Veteran often does not have.

Every eligible Veteran should apply for disabili­ty compensation regardless of when or where you served or the disability. The VA has processes and procedures in place to determine eligibility, the severity of the disability, and the level of com­pensation. Let them provide you with the benefits you earned and rightly deserve. Do not wait un­til dire circumstances necessitate these benefits, please speak to your CVSO about submitting a claim.

Brad Anderson is the Lake County Veterans Service Officer and can be reached at 218.834.8326, or cvso@co.lake.mn.u  

Karen Christianson is the Cook County Veterans Service Officer and can be reached at 218.387.3639, or karen. christianson@co.cook.mn.us

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