IG report shows 14,000 benefits claims shoved in a cabinet; vets can’t get pain meds; President Bush says 46,000 non-government groups work to help vets; more female vets face homelessness; 8 of 900 fired VA employees connected with wait lists; Institute for Vets and Military Families receives $7 million; anthology seeks vets’ submissions; national program offers writing seminars for vets
An inspector general report found a Veterans Affairs regional office in California placed 14,000 informal claims—some dating back to the 1990s—into a filing cabinet and simply ignored them, reports the San Francisco Chronicle’s Vivian Ho. The claims were considered “not a priority,” staff members said. This comes as VA hopes to change the informal claims process to make it easier for the bureaucracy and more difficult for the vets, which Bergmann & Moore is against, as are several veteran service organizations. H.R. 245 kills the new changes, which would begin in March. The bill was sent to committee last month.
Vets dealing with combat injuries are having a hard time filling opioid prescriptions after new laws were enacted to try to curb a national painkiller addiction problem last year, reports the Washington Post’s Emily Wax-Thibodeaux. Still, VA docs say they may have been overmedicating vets in the first place.
The Bush Institute released a report Wednesday about how nonprofits can better understand vets to serve them better, reports The Dallas Morning News’ Julie Fancher. Former President George W. Bush said the institute has made veterans’ well-being and reintegration a priority. Bush said there are 46,000 non-government groups helping vets since the government sent them to war.
More female veterans are facing homelessness—the number has more than doubled—but they’re harder to see, reports The Mohave Daily News’ DK McDonald. The women often deal with military sexual trauma, which makes them 6.5 times more likely to become homeless, and they aren’t as likely to talk about their military experiences because people tend not to believe them.
The Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University has received a $7 million grant from First Data for education, research and training for veterans entering the business community. The story behind the story? Veterans helped make this happen.
Hudson Whitman/Excelsior College is looking for stories from vets of all generations—as well as their family members and friends—that capture the experience of coming home from war. The deadline is May 1, and there’s a $200 prize plus publication in an anthology that’s being edited by a Iraq War veteran, former Marine Dario DiBattista. DiBattista is the non-fiction editor for O-Dark-Thirty, the literary journal for the Veterans Writing Project. The call is for non-fiction only, and submissions should be between 1,500 and 6,000 words in length.
Bergmann & Moore, LLC, is a national law firm dedicated to serving the needs of veterans in compensation claims before and against the Department of Veterans Affairs. The firm’s partners are former VA attorneys who are very familiar with the VA system. Bergmann & Moore handles all kinds of cases, but has a concentration in claims involving PTSD, military sexual trauma, Gulf War illness and complex medical issues, such as brain cancer or degenerative issues, veterans exposed to Agent Orange often face. For more information, to submit news or to sign up for an email version of this blog, contact Kelly Kennedy at email@example.com.