Veterans’ Benefit Act Stresses ‘Improvement’

The Veterans’ Benefits Act of 2010 may not have added any significant new veterans benefits, but, it will increase some allowances and grants for disabled veterans and improve various veterans’ insurance options. Here is a quick look at some of the improvements included in the new law:

Note: Most of these improvements will not go into effect until Oct. 1, 2011.

Read Tom Philpott’s recent article to learn more about improvements included in the Veterans’ Benefits Act of 2010.

Read the full text of the bill as passed by Congress.

About the Author

Terry Howell
Before becoming the Managing Editor for, Terry served 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard as an Aviation Electrician’s Mate and aircrewman. In his final role in the Coast Guard, Terry served as a Career Development Advisor, where he provided career, finance, education, and benefits counseling to servicemembers and their families. Since retiring from the Coast Guard, Terry has authored the book, The Military Advantage, managed the content for TurboTap, the DoD's online transition program and VAforVets, the VA's transition assistance website. Terry earned both his Bachelor's and MBA at Corban University using Military Tuition Assistance and his GI Bill benefits to help cover the cost.
  • nelly

    i think if im a veteran and i didnt serve during war time i should be able

    to get some pension cause thinking of it i did serve dont you thinkso

    • JD

      That would depend on the number of years you served. Those servicemembers who spent 20 years on active duty do of course, receive a pension. For some, a number of years agom they were afforded the opportunity to retire after 15 years.

    • Ib_art

      This is a joke right? A PENSION for doing a two or three year hitch? Even if you saw combat (Me Viet Nam), expecting a pension for life after nominal service is ridiculous…

      If you were wounded or injured, that’s another story…

  • Johngrady1225

    Does anyone know why congress gave itselk a cost of living raise and also the veterans administration employees and not the disabled veterans. Thanks

    • Anonymous

      HR 4667, not the fraud version of it that was going around the gossip chain, was supposed to give disabled vets increases BASED on whatever COLA Social Security got this year. Since they got none, we got none. Yet congress DID! This bill was signed into law on September 30th, by a president and Congress who were fully aware at that time there would be NO COLA and NO money for us.You can find info on this bill on or something like that.

  • Enorman

    When will the Senate and Congress address the Blue Water Sailors and their exposure to Agent Orange. The house has tabled HR2254 and the Senate S1939 regarding the reinstatement of benefits to those who served, were eligible for a period of time and have since had their benefits halted. I have attempted to involve my state senators and neither will even respond. A Blue Water Sailor dies every 8 minutes and at this rate we will all be gone by 2013. This should become a cause and a priority for all who are serving and have served. It is an example of what the VA can and will do to each and every one of you if they so desire. Promises are made, many by politicians, and promises are broken. This rule change by the VA should be an example of what the actual value your government places on the services you currently are or have rendered. This is also a good time to get a response from you legislators as to where they stand. Talk is cheap, but when it comes down to it the current regime is the same that spat on those of us who were luck enough to return from Vietnam.

  • Schimmelty

    That just Dandy!

    What about the over 600.000 back loged claim’s of Vet’s setting at Va regional offices tied up in a quagmire of Redtape and a legal system that is more corupt then the Ceo of Enron.

  • Miwi98

    Hoping the Repubs don’t take these bennies away like Bush Jr did during his administration.

    • Lgrish

      ARE YOU KIDDING ME? The day Bush JR took office he gave us a COLA raise that we had lost for the past 8 yrs and then gave us another COLA raise in Oct of that yr and futhermore a raise every year after that. But of course as soon as Obama took office we quit getting raises again. I’m sure your going to tell me the cost of living hasn’t gone up or the value of my house hasn’t gone down too right? Pull your head out and look in your bank account.

    • Anonymous

      Bush paid a bunch during his admin, I got pay raises while serving and then got em again on the other side once I was disabled. What planet were YOU on?

  • Parmerwv

    I find it a sad state of affairs, when people that have in most cases never served in a combat arena, can sit and vote on issues concerning any military personnel, We have came a long way in treating our veterans, however it is appalling the lack of attention and care people voting on the issues concerning veterans(soilders whom have put their lives in danger or served their country in any position) those people that gave them the freedom and liberty to sit in a elected position, and not remember the soilders that put it all on the line so they can. We need to support ALL our soilders BETTER !!!!

    • david

      I agree with you I think the veterans are treated wrong in kentucky.I needed help with paying my bills in 2000 due to having brain surgory called va for help they was going to help me until they found out I lived in Kentucky I ended up lossing everything but my wif and I’m 70% disablied I recieve 100% benefit pay but I can’t work anymore,I now have to live with a friend because I don’tget enoughto suport my family but I’m told I make to much to qualify for help to get help to get a perment home for us .because my credit score isn’t good enough.I was good enough when I was healthy to support our country It dosen’t make since why they would treat us veterans that way its a xhame.I think our goverment should have to live the way us disablied veterans that want to work but can’t has to live because they don’t help us enough GOD BLESS

  • Skewzie

    Why is there such a bureaucracy at the VA.
    My opinion. If you served honorably, you should be guaranteed full medical coverage for life. PERIOD! No questions asked.
    It’s shameful that the VA requires veterans to jump through hoops to seek help and then tell them that they don’t qualify for this or that program. Its CRAP. Treat Veterans as the nations number one priority. They did everything the country, commander in chief and their superiors asked of them, without QUESTIONS ! Get REAL America!!! It’s time for a VETERANS TEA PARTY!!!!!!!!

  • Arnie

    I served my Country from 1963 to 1969. I was in the Navy and injured in an accident aboard ship. Today I am in a wheelchair because of this accident. I have been trying for a service connect since 1979 and am still fighting for what I diserve, but to no avail.

    • David

      Do you have a State Veteran’s Service Officer assisting? Keyword: State.

      • Jerome Moody

        get a lawyer NO BS

  • If he is so damned worried about us, why cant he give us a cost of living allowance. This will be 2 years in a row, how many more years do we have sink deeper into poverty, before they do something, instad of jus blowing smoke up or asses.

    • Jwl0855

      maybe because congress votes for benefits. Everything that’s gone before him has been smashed by the GOP

  • Winchester165

    Maybe everybody should serve atleast four years active to learn what sacrafice is. A little pay to play.

    • United

      You know winchester 165, It’s guys like that make it so hard for the rest of us, what ,do you have a chip on your shoulder because your number was called? There are circumstances that might a service person from serving 4 years. Suppose a service member get”s their leg blown off after 1 year. Are you suggesting they should hobble around for another 3years. We have to present a united front.

    • Tim Wolfe

      I served 4 years and was told I do not qualify for medical benefits because I make over $29,000 a year and can pay for my own benefits! Honorable discharge as a Staff Sgt. New people can serve 2 years and get benefits.

  • and to boot, now after 16 years of 100% disability, they are trying to reevaluate my disablilities, and I am holding my breath. Sounds like 1987 all over again when they were downsizing and putting out all senior NCOs and Officer to save a buck, that they can send to some ass hole to put in his personal account instead of using it to help his country, does that ring a bell with anyone out there

  • Curt L Boettcher

    I’m dissapointed they didn’t follow the advice from the Bob Dole commission and raise the pay scale amounts for disabled vets. it hasn’t changed in 50 years–except for cost of living. Even a 100 percent vet doesn’t have enough to live on. come on VA.

  • Jamie_rcksn

    What happened to the benifits for all the vets before Sept 11? Feel like we are lost to the ages

    • United

      You got it brother, I just had my check reduced without notification or explaination.

  • Imwizardz

    Obama doesn’t give a *%&# about us vets that are disabled & can’t work! By the time I pay my rent,utilites, I just barely have enough left to buy groceries the rest of the month, let alone be able to get things I need for personal care. I can’t even afford to get a vehicle to get around with. I have to depend on others & some of them are starting to get perturbed with having to help me. I lost 2 friends because of that already! When are we going to impeached him & hopefully get someone that gives a damn?

    Merlin sharp


    • Exalt thyself and thy shall be humbled… humble thyself and thy shall be exalted. This country that we fought for now we pray for as veterans and the Lord Almighty will restore all of us in Jesus name Amen! Let’s be positive and be the prayer warriors that all humanity needs. We will all see our lives transform on this path to FOREVER! The Lord will take care of all of us. Imwizardz I will pray for your transportation situation and finances, prayer works… let’s use the weapons the Lord has given us: Prayer, Faith, Hope, and most of all Unconditional Love. HOOOOAAAH to all servicemembers. I’m a 377 APFT score veteran who is 0% disabled and have been homeless and hopeless, Jesus can change all of that: God is greater than all of our problems. Stay positive.
      Agostino Miraglia
      US Army
      Chemical Corps

    • Jwl0855

      yeah like maybe we should have bush in there again. lol. Get a job

      • Housekraken

        Notice: he said, “Disabled and can’t work”. So, getting a job is not an option. I work with Vets, and this is a serious issue for many. They are trapped in a situation of disability payments so low that they are insufficient for survival -let alone decent living- and being physically &/or emotionally unable to work. Most of the time both of the latter concurrently.
        Unfortunately, many of them are also not well educated nor well versed in the intricacies of Government bureaucratic red-tape and inane form-filling. So, they vent their frustrations here, hoping for understanding from their mates and peers. A little bit of understanding, compassion and good will would be nice. Or perhaps, they expect their peers to be able to actually read and comprehend what is written.

        • Debbie

          The statement that you are making about Obama is not true. It all depends on the VA workers in your area. I have been disabled since 1984, denied for everything I tried to get, from increase in benefits, to vocational rehablitation training. In 2009, I was contacted by my VA Regional Office, and told that President Obama had set aside monies for disabled veterans, and I qualified for a vocational rehabilitation training. I am now in a College getting a Bachelor of Science Degree. You can contact me, and I will give you some insite on what you need to ask for when you go there.

      • Anonymous

        Jwl, what an ignorant thing to say. He said he’s disabled and CAN’T work. And I seem to remember getting pay raises under Bush, both when I was in the Army and raises in my SC disability comp pay when I got out. Maybe we SHOULD have someone like Bush in there again, he might not have been the smartest thing ever, but at least he cared about his warriors.

        • J J

          boy, are you stupid!!!!! Bush sent us to a war that should have never been fought and can’t be paid for, but, you expect the President who has no help in Congress to fix this mess? Get real and support the right people. Vets are getting more help now than they did during Bush 2 years. Check out the congressional records.

    • Corkyratt1026

      I know what you mean–I’m in the same boat-And boy”is she sinking” I’m 100% disabled also. I’m a woman with no one to help me. I agree—Lets “IMPEACH” !!!!!!! Before he completely breaks this country.. He”s trying hard. Now he’s sending our money to Afganistan…. CORKY

      • J J

        Read my comments just posted today.

  • gulfwarvet

    %$@# Obama! I am outraged by the man, by his party, by his defenders, and by the selfish voters who put him in office. It is nothing less than personal selfishness to promote or vote for this idiotic liberal agenda – the desire to “feel” compassionate instead of actually BEING compassionate. By passing a national health care bill which will actually make health care worse – and without taking care of our national responsibility to veterans – it is simply maddening. On top of this, he insults us with this do nothing bill – made to once again sound like he cares while he ignores taking actually responsibility and looking out for those who have given their all for this nation. Shame on the president and shame on the selfish voters who put him there. Wake up America.

    • Jwl0855

      You watch too much Fox news. Get your facts straight.

      • Octotron

        Way to tell someone they are wrong, and then provide absolutely nothing to base your argument on.

    • SickandTiredofIt

      Let me guess, Tea Party supporter, and avid Glen Beck viewer? Sit on it..

    • JmAKizer

      Look into past history of this nation. How well has this country treated any veteran, especially disabled ones, since the Revolutionary War. Most actions for veterans are not address until most of those affected were past their normal lifespans when only a few were left living. Look at the Nuclear Test vets of the ’40s, the Agent Orange vets from Viet Nam. What about the interned Japanese folks from WW II.

    • SueM

      Veterans’ Benefit Act Stresses ‘Improvement’
      October 25, 2010 • Terry Howell

      Read more:

    • joyce

      President Obama may have not done all the things that he promise, mainly because his hands is tried because people do not want to face the fact that no matter what he try to do to help this county, the republic party is going to fight it. Not because they think he is not doing his job but because he is BLACK. Get over it he is the President and nothing can change that, when he leave office he will get the same benefits that the presidents before him are getting. The next president is not gonna be in there long enough to make a big difference either. People need to get over the fact that we have a BlACK president and be honest about how this county got to this point. It did not get here in the last 2 years.

  • thanks to bush HE did not pay his bills before he left office, WHAT you don’t think it cost money for a war..8 years of not paying bills is a long time,,and to take money from CHINA sound like a pay-day loan to me……you really don’t know how close we came to bush flushing us down the crapper..18 years in // 100% disable

  • Bush also sent us to two war zones–the system is overloaded at this point and now the GOP is whining about spending when the bills come due to a war they pushed for.

    Obama isnt the one who creates COLA increases, Congress is and even when it passes the House, the GOP has stonewalled the Senate–which the President has no control over.

    Pay attention to how your government actually works.

    • nick

      Hello Cal,

      You might want to take your own advice! The President does have control….did you ever hear of veto? I am a 30 year disabled retiree and Obama offers no hope and his change sucks. How is his hope and change working out for you so far??

  • Stop whining about “liberals” and “conservatives” and look to find out how well your Congressional Reps and senators did in ACTUAL voting for vets issues:

    • Sierrawren

      Looks like more conservatives than progressives in both parties, are on the “D Lists” on that nonpartisan, independent website that evaluates congressional support of military veterans. It suggests that more conservatives “talk the talk” about supporting the military, but if it costs any money to help veterans, they won’t “walk the walk.” It goes in line with what I hear people like Sharron Angle repeatedly say to the press: “It’s not the job of the federal government to help. The states should decide to do that.”

  • Jarhead

    It doesn’t matter who’s in office. You are just cannon fodder to your political friends. If you think anyone in or going to Washington gives a rat behind about you, then you really are a sucker.

  • Dragonwyk711

    As has become the NORM, the DAMNED U.S.governemnt has trashed 800,000+ Navy Vietnam vets who served on the coast of VietNam,got exposed to Agent Orange( probably and POSSIBLY sprayed to thin us OUT as well as the brush)with this incomplete law.

    • Charlie_1968

      research silver for navy personel for more benefits

  • QAK

    It would have been nice to have some part of the Act hold the VA more accoutable in the area of processing and reveiwing claims and appeals. Why have programs aimed at getting decisions faster, but not require the VA to measure their performance in these programs? The VA does not have to report to anyone how long they are actually taking to make decisions on claims and appeals.

  • Anonymous

    HR 4667, not the fraud version of it that was going around the gossip chain, was supposed to give disabled vets increases BASED on whatever COLA Social Security got this year. Since they got none, we got none. Yet congress DID…keep that in mind when you go to vote!!!!! This bill was signed into law on September 30th, by a president and Congress who were fully aware at that time there would be NO COLA and NO money for us.You can find info on this bill on or something like that.

  • Billbamaua

    Don’t blame Obama my butt! Obama is the one that proposed a 1.9% pay raise for active duty military, the lowest raise in 43 years!

    yet he has no problem giving 1 trillion dollars to his rich friends and relatives.

    • Debbie

      something is better than nothing

  • Billbamaua

    COLA and the ridiculous formula for computing how much if any we get is a joke! Inflation is at a 43 year low? Yeah right, buy groceries, pay utility bills or college tuition and tell me inflation is low. These dirty politicians, republicans and democrats alike can make up anything they choose to make themselves look good on paper.

  • Billbamaua

    TThis pretty much sums it up. How many times over the past 40 years have you heard one politician after another tell the same lies and make the same promises?

    Has anything changed for the better? Politicians democrat and republican are in it for themselves, and the only thing they are concerned with is how much can I make and how fast. No government should have the power to give away 1 trillion dollars of tax payer money without a vote of the entire country.

    Every time a politician opens his or her mouth a lie comes out. 40 years ago we were going to become independent of foreign oil, are we? No, we are more dependent than never. Why? Money!

    It makes me sick every time I hear a politician say we can’t afford this or that. We can afford it if politicians would stop raping the citizens, and giving away money to every country in the world. What has any country in the world ever done for the USA? Nothing!

    Have you ever taken a close look at congress and senate’s retirement package? Have you ever heard a congressman, senator, or president say we need to take a cut in benefits or pay? No and you never will. Yet they never hesitate to cut military, retired military benefits.

    Our government is accountable to no one!

  • FairMinded

    I am an independent moderate who tried to warn people against Obama socialism. Having said that, I must also say that virtually al conservatives and most liberals express a desire and need to get federal spending under control–in theory. Now, in practice, most everyone is willing and eager for “the other fellow” to take a hit. Reduce funding for education, real health car (not Obama-care), and for infrastructure–unless you are an educator, health care provider, or civil engineer. Then it’s “no, not us–them.” I am a medically retired war veteran and I say keep my COLA, apply it to the national deficit, BUT also cut other programs and apply that as well. I say not, “not me–them,” but “yes, me AND them.”

  • ijahl5

    Veteran’s: Please read & tell me if you may have any advice. My Father

    was a Veteran of the Korean War, he drove a tank, was shot and then went to Japan for months before being sent back to the states. Dad was latter Honorably discharged in May 1953 & my parents married on June 28, 1953. It was only a few years before he had cancer & and battled with it untill December 15, 1999. This is my BIG ??? Jan. 1, 1994 my Father started getting help from the US VA. (less than $900) After that in Jan. 1996 Social Security stepped in & started paying him (less than %600) and the VA stoped paying him at all. Now My Mother with Altizimers and no money (very small SS check). PLEASE SOME ONE TELL ME IF THERE IS ANY THING I CAN DO. MY FATHER GAVE HIS LIFE FOR THIS GREAT COUNTRY, I’M VERY PROUD OF HIM. My son has been serving for going on his 8th year now.

    Veteran’s I’m very greatful for your service, GOD BLESS YOU ALL.

    • Dan

      You need to find a veteran’s service officer that is local to your area. My time in the service was much more recent, 2003-2009, but with multiple service connected injuries a lot of trouble. With the injuries to your father I’m not sure of the year they began paying for the injuries, but some have even been back paid to the injury dates. The money is usually there, but unfortunately for us veterans, there are many hoops we are forced to jump through to retrieve it. Check with your local VA about a VSO as they are referred to. If they don’t seem to be much help, check around for other veteran’s support groups online they might be able to assist you.

    • JmAKizer

      Make sure you document everything you do, no matter how insignificant it may be. And if after getting assistance from at least one of the VSO’s you and you are not satisfied contact your U.S. Senator or Representative and let them know your situation and ask for their assistance. Keep in mind that the VA is a part of the government and they are out for the best interests of such. And guess where your senators and representatives work!

      Rep4Vets might be a good way to start also. Keep in mind that your folks didn’t get married till after your father’s discharge. He might have accepted a lump-sum disability payment at the time of his discharge, I know of a number of vets that did that. The VA was trying its best to save money that far back, even before then really. God be with you and yours. Good Luck!

  • Billbamaua

    So how many Veterans Bills does this make? These Bills may look good on paper but they are worthless because no one monitors or enforces them. Just like veterans preference for hiring within the government, it is worthless! Nepotism over rules veterans’ preference everytime and it does no good to report it or complain, because no one cares.

    Show me the money, that’s a benefit! No cost of living allowance for retired military and disabled veterans for 2 years, what a benefit! You can bet you sweet behind congress and senate get their cost of living allowance, as well as the president!

    Then you have our idiot Secretary of Defense proposing increases in TRICARE premiums, deductibles and co pays? Oh yeah we are taken care of alright!

    For every benefit veterans are given 3 are reduced or taken away!

  • Billbamaua

    So how many Veterans Bills does this make? These Bills may look good on paper but they are worthless because no one monitors or enforces them. Just like veterans preference for hiring within the government, it is worthless! Nepotism over rules veterans’ preference everytime and it does no good to report it or complain, because no one cares.

    Show me the money, that’s a benefit! No cost of living allowance for retired military and disabled veterans for 2 years, what a benefit! You can bet you sweet behind congress and senate get their cost of living allowance, as well as the president!

    Then you have our idiot Secretary of Defense proposing increases in TRICARE premiums, deductibles and co pays? Oh yeah we are taken care of alright!

    For every benefit veterans are given 3 are reduced or taken away!

  • Afcmsvo07

    Veterans Benefit Act Stresses Improvement-

    Yes, all of the above is needed, however we are forgetting the pool of veterans whom are apart of the backlog. Veterans with identifiable disability, those that are fatal and terminal. Benefits, claims are simply not being processed. This is due to one, inability to handle a case that is consider unusal and/ or complex, not the norm. Directly, resulting in homelessness amongst the veterans, and the recycling of veterans that were recently released from prison, jails and hospitals. The state is not taking care of the veteran, and the city can not afford to take care of the veterans. Understanding the need for the Department of Veterans Affairs and Armed Forces Case Management Services and Veterans Outreach.

    Needs Assessment:

    Extended Care- Outreach

    1. Homeless Programs

    a) Medical Condition

    b) Mental Health Issues

    c) Physical Disability

    d) Dual Diagnosis

    2. Structured Instruction Incarcerated Veterans Program

    a) Disadvantage Business Owners (Economic Assistance)

    b) Former Federal Employee Programs (Re-instatement)

    c) Veterans Program (Benefits)

    DOJ- study/ experiment


    Medical Care

    3. Veterans Family Member Program

    a) Child of a Disable Veteran

    b) Parents caring for a Disable Veteran

    c) Child caring for a Disable Veteran

    d) Grandparent caring for Disable Veteran

    e) Grandparent caring for Diable Veterans Child

    f) Child of a Incarcerated Veteran

    Bridgette L. Davidson

    President of AFCMSVO/NAPSP

    • A former employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”), Bridgette L. Davidson, was sentenced in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia for her participation in a scheme to defraud the United States of her honest services and for engaging in a conflict of interest with regard to her duties to find suitable housing and daily care for mentally ill and disabled military veterans. A former employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”), Bridgette L. Davidson, was sentenced in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia for her participation in a scheme to defraud the United States of her honest services and for engaging in a conflict of interest with regard to her duties to find suitable housing and daily care for mentally ill and disabled military veterans. A six-count indictment issued on November 14, 2006, charged Davidson with four counts of honest services mail fraud, 18 U.S.C. §1346, one count of violating the conflict of interest statute, 18 U.S.C. §208(a), and one count of making a false statement in violation of 18 U.S.C. §1001. A jury found Davidson guilty of all of the charges on March 13, 2009. On June 29, 2009, the judge sentenced Davidson to three years in prison, followed by three years of probation. In addition, the judge ordered Davidson to pay a $5,000 fine. United States v. Davidson, et al, Cr. No. 06-468 (N.D. Ga. 2009). (CCH Federal Ethics Report, October 2009, Vol. 16, Iss. 10)

  • retired09

    Lts of bone but where is the BEEF

  • Gunny

    Nothing new here for the Korean and Viet vets that have been treated like third stepchildren for over 40years. the hospitals are finally doing more for us but ony because the advent of major injuries for the Iraq nd Afghan vets have embarrased the govt.

    As to the homeless vet situation, the head of the Va over 18 months ago decleared that someting needed to be done yet nothing has happened yet except for those who have the fortune of being quartered inplaces like Salvation Army homes to supply the required address for the VA. YET, the govt is still closing bases with all the neccesities needed for those homeless vets and giving the bases to corrupt municipalities to sell to their monied developers so more graft and corruption is added to the already totally corrupt political scene. Like “The Donald” and his like need more public property to gain more billions from use of the infrastructure in place. The head of the Va is just another lying politico and has only his self serving interest at heart.

  • Cherylkleemann

    What happen to the bill for the veterans spouse forf the DIC/SBP being off set?

  • If we all would bow down and pray as much as we all point fingers, I am sure that things would be difference, we can not just sit around and let them take God and his 10 commands away from what we all fought for.

  • Rjohnson546

    Help Me Please
    I need a web site that will tell me when the new law on Agent Orange disease is signed ( ischemic )

    • Terry Howell

      It is not a new law. Simply a new set of rules and policy. Here is what the VA says:

      On October 13, 2009, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that three new conditions would be added to the list of diseases presumptively associated with exposure to certain herbicide agents: hairy cell and other B-cell leukemias, Parkinson’s disease, and ischemic heart disease. This web site was created to provide general information about filing claims for service connection for these conditions.

      VA will begin adjudicating these claims on October 30, 2010.

      • Rjohnson546

        Thank you Harry Howell

    • Cskeete1

      VA Defends New Agent Orange Presumptive Conditions in Senate Hearing
      9/23/10 – The Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee held a long-anticipated hearing on the three newly designated Agent Orange service connected presumptive conditions of Parkinson’s Disease, Ischemic Heart Disease and B-cell Leukemias. Responding to concerns about the costs of a rapidly expanding program, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, a Vietnam veteran wounded in combat, told the Committee that the law requires his agency to grant automatic benefits for diseases that are scientifically associated with Agent Orange. It leaves him no discretion to weigh costs or other considerations, he said, such as the fact that heart disease occurs commonly in men in their 60s and is strongly linked to smoking, poor diet and other factors. He said that existing research “more than satisfies the law’s requirements.” Most senators said they supported the plan. Several stated concerns over the process and said that changes may be necessary in the future.
      Barring any unforseen circumstances, NAUS estimates that the VA will begin making payments for the three newly designated conditions on October 31.

  • Cpowjr1

    instead of worrying about Obama and what he is doing, you better be going to your Congressman’s office and get him to fire up VA about what you need. wasting time worrying about the White House only puts misplaced time and energy where it doesn’t belong. No President has ever done anything for veterans. I have been fighting VA for my benefits since four or five Presidents ago and I am just now getting near the end. Focus on your own claim and stop worrying about the !%@^ White House!

  • SergTyron

    What about mental health ? Anything new that covers what was not last year? Any better understanding of PTSD, substance abuse? I know HEROES who have been dishonorably discharged because they were using prescription pills.

    • Billbamaua

      PTSD is any incident that causes unusual amounts of stress, it does not have to be combat. I received 30% for having to deal with a corrupt female LTC that I later had relieved, investigated for more fraud and theft that you could imagine, made the mistake of sticking her nose in my divorce, of which was setteled on adultry on my ex wife’s behalf, and may yet go to prison!

  • Hillbillywil

    Didn’t raise my disability pay one red cent! Ain’t I worth any incentive spending, guess not, use me up and put me out to pasture, waaay out of sight and sound!!

  • Suppo176

    My annual VGLI premium went up 38% on my policy anniversary date. Presume it will do this again in 5 years. Significantly more than my SSI or USNR COLA

  • Dadtwo7

    can some one tell me how to get 400.000 life ins for 100% disabled vets. i have 200.000, i do not mind paying for it but i would like to give to my fam the same combat vets are getting now i cant up it out here because of my 100% disibilty i gave 24 years i belive i should recieve the same life ins amount as all vets i was in combat also.

  • devildog

    Right om dasquid, iI am also a 100% DAV, and feel the same way you do. how does this get suckered in to this administration, that hates us vets and present day warriors? they better wise up and see that this phony in chief in the white house would like nothing better than to get rid of us? Tell me one promise that he kept!! What a joke,lol.

  • Eric

    Does anyone know how a VA advisor can tell me that my VOCREHAB benefits are going to run out but dont worry I can transfer over to the New GI bill to finish my education and then tell me oops sorry if you use VOCREHAB your GI bill bennies are all used up and youre screwed. I got half the education they told me I could achieve. Now im stuff with a useless 2 year degree that nobody will recognize. Is there a way out of this mess? HELP!!

  • JmAKizer

    Doesn’t seem like too much there for older vets from previous episodes of this nation’s history. Haven’t really found anything for the homeless vets that need help NOW! Some of them I have worked with admit to doing illegal issues to get arrested to go to jail for three meals and a cot to sleep in. Then they get let out early because of over-crowding.

    I will probably be there with them this winter. I am sure the VA administrative folks will really be concerned though sipping on their Latte’s and drawing their GS paychecks waiting for their pensions to kick-in. I remember listening to my father’s stories (from WW II) as to how vets were treated, not all GI’s were afforded the opportunity to get a college degree and buy a house in the suburbs back then. It took years to get the GI Bill passed and the kinks worked out. Even then most had to work to support their families and give up on the dream of going to college or buying a house.

    I at least hope that when I die there will still be a place for me at Arlington Cemetery. That is if they allow the ashes of homeless vets of 22 years of honorable active duty service in for internment.

  • Df

    SubVetFish: I know how long it takes to get a claim through the system — 0ne year! And, it was turned down. It is apparent, when all the criteria is met, they refuse it anyway, for lack of new or good evidence. They know the only way you are going to get it through is to Appeal, Appeal, Appeal, and then go to the local congressman. Most of the people I talk to say that’s what they had to do. I have been doing this since Nam and still handicapped.

    • colozu

      I’m a nam vet and finally filed for a service connected disability in 2006. I was granted the disabilty claim and received first check all within 6 months. I had the local dav office file the claim.

  • James Holt

    This past February I filed a claim for disablity and fully expected it would be declined for some reason as I was told this is the normally the way things work. Imagine my surprise when I was notified my claim for disablity had been approved and that I would be receiving monthly checks for disabilities that I have had for years but had been too proud to claim. My first time around my claim is approved what happened to the run around I was expecting?

    • Cskeete1

      I’m sure you had the proper LOD’s (Line of Duty forms signed by the Commander saying you got hurt) and Medical Profiles in you records. There are soldiers from the battle fields and walks of life that can’t provide that documentation and have to appeal their claims.

    • Casinodan1001

      you got very lucky. It took me almost 2 years to get approved!!!!!

    • Shuckyducky51

      James, you are one of the lucky ones to have filed in February and approved before the year was over. What state are you in? I filed in 2007 and still waiting after many denials. All of my claims are a matter of service treatment records and I’m still being denied.

      • Dpeters

        I think a big part of being approved has to do with the state you live in. Here in south dakota we have vet reps that are hired by the state to help you file your claims. I got approved the first go round at 60% I appealed the dission and was given 90% with 10% unemployibility for a total of 100% only problem is that I can not work even if i wanted to or I would lose the 10%. And everyone is right that the va math does not add up if you add up allof my dissablities it comes to 160% but with the va math it only comes to 90% go figure. It also chaps my but that those of us that was medicaly retired with less than 20 years service (in my case 18 years) cannot draw concurrent receipt It got shot down 2 or 3 times this year alone.

  • James Holt

    I used my GI bill a long time ago to earn my degree. I am a disabled Veteran and heard that there might be funding for vocational rehab that would permit me get a masters degree as a Physician’s Assistant. Is there such a beast if so how do I file for it?

  • Cskeete1

    You’ll get 30%. Hear loss is nothing to then. You’ll get 10% for the ringing in your ear. Better mention that…

  • Bklyndee

    Do any of these improvements effect the montgomery GI bill

  • alan

    when will they pass a biil that does not allow the ex-wife to receive half of your retirement or are they even trying to stop this.

    • Wannabeqb803

      how long where u married? how long were u married and in the military? if you were married less than 5 yrs she has no claim to it. period. if you got full 20 and were married to her the last 15, then well, u screwed but other than that u shouldnt be payin squat

    • Daisyhappy2003

      My boyfriend’s ex wife doesn’t get any of his retirement and they were married 17.5 years. In his case they talked about it, and after he showed her how much he would be making monthly, which was about 50% less, then they looked at her pay and her retirement plan, they decided it was only fair for him to keep his and her to keep hers. He was one of the lucky ones.

      Another friend of mine who’s ex wife cheated on him, he got proof, and she didn’t get ZIP of his retirement. Judge ruled she wasn’t deserving, no matter what the rules were for divorce in military. Again, sometimes you get lucky.

  • JustJohn

    All of this is great for the guys who are receiving VA benefits, but several years ago when I went to the VA to sign up and they asked me how much money I made, they told me that I did not qualify for VA benefits because I made more than the $27,400 limit. I didn’t know that they passed a “means test” in 2003 that effectively eliminated me and everyone else that makes more than the $27,400 limit. I don’t recall a means test when I held up my right hand and volunteered for the Navy in 1967. I do recall however that they promised me that I would get VA assistance when needed. Has anyone else out there run across this and successfully been enrolled regardless of income? I have no disabilities and wanted nothing more than an occasional physical and checkup and now I can’t even get that. Welcome to Amerika!
    Reply to if you have any good news for me. Thanks!

    • Carlos

      I maybe misakenm but I believe in order to recieve the occasional check-up, the Vet has to at least a zero percent disabilty rating. Lastly, I am a disbled vet. Beliee you are better with what you currently have – even if it is nothing! More importantly, I for one have serveral medical issues, and if you add them as they graded them, I would be at 90%, however VA math (perhaps Obama Math) has me at 60%. Tell me what the heck is the difference between 90 and 100%… but I dont qualify!

    • Carlos

      I maybe misakenm but I believe in order to recieve the occasional check-up, the Vet has to at least a zero percent disabilty rating. Lastly, I am a disbled vet. Beliee you are better with what you currently have – even if it is nothing! More importantly, I for one have serveral medical issues, and if you add them as they graded them, I would be at 90%, however VA math (perhaps Obama Math) has me at 60%. Tell me what the heck is the difference between 90 and 100%… but I dont qualify!

      • Serendipity922

        The VA’s method of adding ratings is oddball. They take the highest rating i.e. 40%___You get the full amount. The next rating is 20% however, you do not actually get the full 20% you only get 20% of the 60% remaining after the full 40% is deducted. i.e. 20% of 60% = 12% for a total of 52%. Not 40+20=60. If you have additional disibilities keep going using the same formula. By the way, if you are 60% or more and are unable to be gainfully employed you are entitled to up to 40% “unemployability” which would bring you to the 100% threshhold.

    • Patty73hd

      I agree when they did this a formal letter should have been sent out to all veterans. Back in 2003 had I know this was going to happen i would have made it a point to have My husband sign up & go for at least the physicals check ups etc… now we get nothing I believe it was president Bush that changed this and I believe that President Obama should Revisit This giving Veterans that did not know a chance to signup again I also know people who work for the VA That did not even relize they had to sign up or loose all of their benefits I do believe the inciome limit has been raised but again was anyone formally or officially notified ….I don’t think so . Well I suppose I could start by writing the president . Any offers of help would much be appreciated. Patty S

    • Serendipity922

      It sounds like you were a catagory 8 veteran. I believe you are still eligable for the prescription drug program as a co-payee. Very little, just a few bucks per prescription. I am also of the mind that they are once again taking catagory 8 veterans. Keep trying


  • Vet

    Honoring Fallen Servicemembers and Families? To give the best honors is to kick all the protestors/activists butts!!! Maybe put live rounds in the salute and aim at those scumbags. That’d be a salute!

  • Sailorboy79

    All this is good for those who were unlucky enough to get hurt, either active duty or reserves called to active duty. A reservist that has to put in more time than their active duty counterparts, retires and has to wait til they are 60 to get paid for it and other benefits. Those that are lucky enough to reach their “20 Good Years” in the reserve point system, without getting hurt, have to wait til age 60 to get paid for it. Tricare for those Retired Reserves in the “Grey Area” (not getting paid) cannot afford the premiums and they are going up already. Try paying those on a minimum wage paycheck. VA or any other vetrans groups are not fighting to get the age reduced so the reservist can start drawing their retirement at an earlier age, when reaching the “20 Good Years.”

    • Jlz502nd

      That’s because AD is 24/7 365, aren’t Reserves or NG part time? If you’re not doing the job Full Time, why should you recieve the same as those who do? …NG/Reservists called to AD excluded.

  • tiger 56

    So big deal, they have added this and that but they have

    not really asked the veterans what is it that they would

    like to see improved. Funny how ex soliders put their

    lives on the front lines everyday to protect America and

    are promised all of this and that and when retiring with

    honors then all of a sudden this and that becomes

    oh we do not have the funds available to help you.

    So much for serving us vets.

    • Hunkydoryspook

      yes it is a shame. Those jerks in the government wouldnt have the freedom to screw up everything if they didnt have the ones to put their asses on the line. A vetern needs to run for president that has seen real bad combat to understand not jerks like bush who hid during the veitnma war. McCain forgets what it was like to to go with the flow of the admin.

  • Billbamaua

    No money, so what! Inflation is at a 43 year low, what a joke, a frigging bag of potato chips is almost $4.00!

    Congress, senate, and the president should be forced to live on the money given to a 100% disabled veteran, or on the money people are paid from social security.

    You can bet congress, senate, and the president never miss getting a big fat raise every year!

    next you will hear our idiot Secretary of Defense say we need to raise the cost of TRICARE worthless insurance again!

  • Tmoorex1

    I too am a disabled vet. I don’t understand Government math. On paperwork I am at 60%, but pay wise I get 50%. I have fought with VA since I got out in 1992 just to get what I’m getting today. Now I’ve ran in to another snag. After serving 1 year as a Field Artillary Surveyor I was reclassified because of a hearing profile. I get 0% disability for my profile. VA tell me I entered the service with this profile. I have never known anyone entering the service with a P-3 profile. I have requested a copy of my medical record only to find out the original records are on loan to my regional VA office. I have requested the records from them 3 times with no response. How can I get these records if I can’t get VA to respond? How can I get re-evaluated on the percentages I am currently getting. I take all of their medication, I force myself to work every day, I seek better medication from my family doctor to help me through the day. I thought with all the scandals, VA was suppose to improve.

    • Fhoward39

      You need to get a Rep to help you. Find the State office, Office of Veterns Service for your State. They represent you against the VA at no cost to you. Or the DAV, VFW, American Legion. Any of these can help you. If they say they cannot go to the next one . I use the state office in NV , it works.


      • Whatif1968

        I joined the Disabled Veterans Association, and they provided me with a rep on my appeal. Went from 50% to 100% SC permanent and total.

    • Hunkydoryspook

      go to your congressman or senator. I have over issues with the VA and got action. You may in the future be persona no grata but to me it was worth it.

  • Robhgaston

    The V.A. here in White City Oregon is a joke. A lot of two faced people telling you what you want to hear, but not following through.I can’t believe our government keeps paying these people to sit around on there asses.

    • Hunkydoryspook

      that is not the only place of run around. I have been to several VA throughout the U.S. and they all sit around and do nothing. But it is very hard to get fired from the government. Keep your chin up.

  • colozu

    The dav rep should have this info or it should be posted on the va web site. You will have to dig through the site to find out more. I have been helping a fellow vets wife with some of this he passed away this summer. While digging through the site I found several benefits that she was able to receive while he was alive and some she is still entitled to.
    the VA reps most times only can answer what is asked.

  • Shotgunn1971

    I have work for the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology for 9 years as a contractor and 2yrs and 9 month

    As a government Supervisor, I’m a 30% veteran; I was not offered a job when the AFIP transfer to the (JPC) Joint Pathology Center. I have been constantly in touch with my human resource department about how (AFIP) did the hiring for the JPC, I was told by Chief of the human resource dept at AFIP, that they didn’t use Veteran Preference. They used their own system of hiring. As a 30 % veteran I feel like I have been decimated against the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and Joint Pathology Center. As of June 1, of 2011 I will no longer have a job, when Afip did their hiring none of my paper work was submitted to Rock island, so I wouldn’t have a fare chance to go to the JPC. On Oct 1 this information was told to me by a Rock island Counselor a Charley Fogg

    My DD214, my 30% Veteran Preference and 1yr and 9month prier government working as a 6912

    All missing

    • Casinodan1001

      Why does that not suprise me??????

  • Chatfield

    I believe that the due payments of retired pay and va comp should include any servicemen that was forced to retire due to disability should also benefit the due payment



  • JB

    Harry, as the law now stands, you must carry Medicare A and B to have TriCare for Life coverage. Medicare A is no cost for most people, Medicare B is deducted from your Social Security payment. Pretty inexpensive health care.

    A fellow veteran.

  • Try going to or call 503-373-2385 in Salem Or. this is the Oregon Dept. of Veterans Affairs


    The VA has fallen short of meetring it’s mandate for Veterans health care. The budget has not been approved as submitted by the secretary for 11 years in a row. Pres Bush cut it by 3 BILLION in his last term. MY question is where are the HERO VETERANS in our legislature…JOHN KERRY ?? JOHN MC CANE ?? and the rest ?? That do nothing for us. Gen Hal Moore wrote “We Were Soldiers Once…… and Young” I served under his command in Viet Nam and my book will be ” We Were Soldiers Once….. and Stupid” because we believed the LIES about the VA and our health care. Nuff Said !!

    7th Cavalry…Delta RECON(lrp)

    • Hunkydoryspook

      u go attitude. Hopefully the Nov 2 elections will change all of the problems. We need more vets to run for office that truly understand what the real issues are. My experiences with the VA make me so angry that we get the shaft and then they want u to bend over and take some more.

  • Cwhite261

    What good does the benefit do if you are takeing care of a vet and the va will not let you spend the money that is given to you for aid and attenance. They want to put in in a account that they control which would not help the vet family at all.

  • Roger

    I;am 100%Disable,from the Marines.My wife has Champs V A.Can she still go to her civilian doctors,even if she plans on going to the V A Hospital?.I know the V A ,wants her medical records from her doctor

    • Terry Howell

      I suggest that you speak to a VA representative. Call 1800-827-1000. That number will dial your closest VA regional office where you can find help. You can also ask to speak to their Veteran Service Officer (VSO) who can guide you through any processes.

  • Antidrugman1997

    why is it that veterans coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan today can claim a military related disability and the burden of proof is less that a veteran who returned from Iraq in 1991. Believed I returned with issues relating to PTSD’s and the only psychiatric evaluation done, was over the phone.

    Know of a person who has just retired and one of his disability conditions is sleep apnia and he is getting 50% disability I have a sleep disorder and all I am getting is 10%. The treatment of todays new veterans is much different than 15 years ago.

    • Hunkydoryspook

      go back and have another eval. also try to contact Vet Rep who helps vets fight the VA fro disability.

    • sgt.armstrongs.mrs

      1) Warrior Transition Units are a new thing (my husband was catastrophically wounded in 2003 and they didn’t exist then.). The Soldier being Med Boarded is assigned to the WTU while the Med Board process is completed.

      2) Also new is the IDES system. During the Med Board process the wounded Soldier is rated for DoD and VA at the same time. This differs from the DES system which gave you only your DoD rating. Once officially retired you would then apply for VA compensation and got through the process all over again to get your VA rating.

      3) Each illness/injury/condition is rated in a specific way. Here is the ratings schedule for you to check out –

  • Dozlores

    I’m 100% Permanently Disabled, service connected. When I die will my husband get any payments?

    • JLNY

      Depends on how long you have been married and if the death is a result of your SC disability.

    • Hunkydoryspook

      Yes but I think he has to apply. Go to your county or state Veteran service officer and get the booklet. My husband is 100% disabled from the army and they gave me a book to read for benefits for spouses.

    • Claudiabarrett

      Youj can also get the info on line. Check with a DAV rep or American Legion Rep at local VA Office.

  • Shuckyducky51

    Part of the new Benefits package signed into law states that it will allow the VA to keep using private physicians to quickly and accurately process evaluations. I also understood it to be said that contracts have been in place with outside physicians to complete evaluations, however, the regional offices choose to send a veteran to the VAMC doctors for evaluations in as much as these evaluators know exactly what the decision review officers want them to put in their reports to deny our claims. As a democrat, seeking assistance from a republican congressman is like pissing in the wind. It’s a proven fact that all politicians are the same when it comes to veterans. During election time they place us on the front burner and immediately afterwards, we’re placed back on the back burner and the fire is turned off. Strange, but oh so true….

    • Hunkydoryspook

      Amen that is the sad truth especially with the current admin.

  • Taz911

    I think I read somewhere there was a provision for those us who enlisted in 1954 and before and the retired after 20 or more years of active duty three years of were on combst tours were to be given full medical care to include long term care. Health care for life?????? Tony S.

  • Serendipity922

    I am also a vietnam veteran 41 months in country. I came down with lung cancer almost 3 years ago. Was awarded 100 % immediately (Agent Orange). Because of an error by the VA in reporting same to the CRSC board I lost over $2,000.00 a month (Has sinse been corrected after several months) After surgery to remove my right lung the VA cut me down from 100% to 0%…said I was cured. Subsequently gave me 30% for the loss of my lung. The VA is a travisty!

  • Laurence E. Puckhabe

    Will any of this help anyone with PTSD????

    • JLNY

      if you have PTSD, go see your VA Mental Health clinic, they will assess you and then you can file a claim, if you have enough evidence of the event. Meanwhile, if you do have PTSD, your doctor will supply you with enough drugs to put you in a zombie like trance, so find someone who can drive for you, and go see a civilian mental health proffessional that specializes in PTSD. You might have to pay if the VA won’t cover it but trust me, it is worth the good care compared to the VA’s Juarez Cartel style approach to PTSD treatment.

      • Claudiabarrett

        Proving PTSD to the VA is a lot of work. MY husband was a POW and didn’t get the PTSD status on his disibility until 30 plus years later when a DAV Advocate went to bat for him. Lot’s of paperwork and forms, etc.

      • Winddncr9

        I have PTSD and fought the VA for years even went to the VA mental health doctors that said I didn’t have it. At one time the VA doctors were even instructed not to diagnose vets with PTSD because of what it would cost the VA in paid benifits. I ended up going to an outside health care doctor that specialized and treated Vets for PTSD. The doctor then wrote a report saying that I infact did have PTSD and was unimployable due to the illness. Even in some cases the VA will pay for outside treatment, you can cordinate this through your vetrans service officer

    • Sgtgeorgie

      Probably not. It is very hard to prove PTSD outside of combat. I worked with a few filing papers and they had a hard time with the VA. There is a VET-REP that comes up on television that helps vets. The number is 1-800-Veteran Rep Hope that helps u out.

  • Karenjoyce

    So what about the widow’s of soldiers who died from taking illegal drugs. All the Army would do is reduce the soldiers’ pay. Where was the counseling! Oh, now, the Army realizes they have a problem. Where can the widow go to get death benefits & education to raise the kids? Is there a class action suit somewhere?


    • Sgtgeorgie

      maybe it would be wise to go talk to your area Veteran’s service officer to see what can be done.

  • JLNY

    Part of the reason the VA claims are so behind is because so many people are applying for “disabilities” like stubbed toe, headache, my platoon sgt was mean to me, etc etc, and at the same time you have people coming home from numerous combat tours applying for actual disabilities related to their deployments.

  • Junkyarddawg

    This is all just dandy….however disabled veterans from past and present continue to fight current VA attempts to reduce previous awarded disability compensation by forcing disabled Veterans to outside clinics for new “evaluations” reports (NOT PHYSICAL EXAMINATIONS) from General practioners in attempts to offset reports from the VA Medical Specialists. Thus justifying reduction in percentages of disabilities awards.

    EXAMPLE: Viet Nam Vets infected with AGENT ORANGE CANCERS are now forced to re-submit their claims to once again be challenged to prove that their cancers are in fact caused or due to “Agent Orange”. So how does the Veterans Act of 2010 help these Vets? The Veterans Act of 2010 was something we should have had anyway! The real problem is the VA’s adopted “attrition” process to accept and provide medical care for past, present and future Vets.How many times do Veterans have to prove there illnesses and disabilities. Why does the VA need “prostitute physicians” to produce fabricated and mostly ficticious,medical opinion to offset a medical specialist diagnosis and prognosis in order to justify a”reduction in disability compensation” of a Veteran?

    Recently the VA announced that they would be experiencing approximately 188,000 claims for disability compensation, however they forgot to mention that Vets must RE-SUBMIT there claims for the same disabilities or cancers that have previously been denied simply because those veterans did not submit proof that they in fact received their disabilities or cancer related illness from combat or a chemical agent related deployment situations.The only thing 188,000 newly submitted claims will do is provide the “attrition” tactic for the VA which also provides PLENTY of time to develop new ways to justify “DENIALS”.

    BTW: the VA is sending letters to notify and started with VETS receiving 100% and will be working their way down!

    “I guess if your a politician trying to get re-elected you would do anything to get that vote…even if it means compromising our nations greatest military men and women”

  • Mickinspokane

    Disabled vet, Fed Civil Service retirement reduced 30% because I’m retired military, Social Security reduced 60% because I’m retired Fed. Civil Service. Thankyou for your service sgt.

  • Army_chic7

    You know its sad that so many people are quick to disrespect the VA even after all the progress it has made in just the last 20 years. We get paid to go to our appointments with travel pay, and yes we have to fight for our benefits but when they are in place they take very good care of us. No system is perfect, but what we have is a lot better than civilians.

  • Rblorenz59

    Junkyarddawg’s comments are “right on.” The VA believes in plausible denial. Send the troop to a QTC doctor (contracer appointedt) for eval and let the doc who is not trained in specific details of a disability, and does not check what should be checked, just waltz all over the stage like they know what is right. Theory: The QTC doc is not there to support you he/she is hired to support the VA. The VA doc is also on the same payroll… guess who he/she supports.

    Please don’t take the support rationale totally to heart. There are some good ones out there and then there are some slugs!

  • Needing answers

    Will the new benefits for homeless veterans help out people who choose to graciously let veterans live under their roof and take the veterans to their doctor appointments that cause them to travel hours away?

  • Mustangslover1970

    I started at the VA about 10 years ago. I have a shoulder condition and a scar on my chin which are service connected. On my first application they gave me 10% for the scar on my chin and 0% for my shoulder. After my appeal they gave me 10% for my shoulder. I had surgery on my shoulder about a year later.

    I was back at work on light duty (no lifting over 10 lbs.) for about a week when I started having severe pains. It was a Friday. I called the VA and they told me to come in on Tuesday to see the Dr. that did my surgery. When I reported on Tuesday, they told me that they had made a mistake and the Dr. was on vacation until the following month.

    They rescheduled me and told me that I could not go back to work until the doctor had seen me and released me. A week before my appointment the VA called and informed me that the doctor was not going to be back from vacation on time and that they would have to reschedule me again.

    By the time that I was able to get in and see the doctor, I had been off of work for four months! She looked me over and told me that she didn’t know what had caused the pain but, I could go back to work.

    One thing that I forgot to mention is that I had received the temporary 100% disability for the 10 weeks that I was off right after the surgery. However, when I was put out of work again waiting to see the doctor for the severe pain, the red tape kept me from receiving any VA pay until 2 weeks after I was back at work!

    I still have pain, stiffness and limited range of motion and I have been fighting for an increase in my disability rating ever since.

    I guess that this is why we are taught to “Adapt and Overcome”. So that we can try to survive while dealing with the VA.

  • Byte

    Please note that VA hq. is not listed in any phone book anywhere in this country. IT IS TOP SECRET INFO! You cannot write a letter to then Secretary, and the IG refused to accept any complaint from any veteran or his/her representative, referring you back to your abusers. The VA is a joke. they talk the talk so the public will think we are being taken care of, when we are not.

  • JH

    This is all well and good … it definitely “sounds” better. Maybe some will actually occur, IF you are accepted. I myself am a veteran of the Vietnam era w/10% … disability from head trauma suffered while in service, but my applications for VA health assistance to try and stop my constant headaches keeps meeting with opposition because they want to know how much my 401k, house, bank account & everything else I have worked 54 years to get are worth. My question is just what the xx does any of that have to do with my service connected injury and subsequent problems? There is no assistance, as far as I can tell. Just form letters and some commercials I’ve seen on TV.

  • Dchapman

    i would like someone out there explain to me how is it that i served

    in the U.S. Army from June 1978 to December 1988.

    and i am not eligable for any benefits !?!?!?!


  • Crmtde02

    What about those ofus thatare “Chapter 61” (Med Ret) ????????????/

    When is someone going to help us? We were forced to retire and cannot get our Military ret and VA, until you have20 years or turn 60,


    • sgt.armstrongs.mrs

      Have you applied for CRSC (if you served under 20) or CRDP (if you served 20 or more.) ??????

  • L53old

    i would like to know how in the hell this Pres. Obama is going to get away with taking OUR retiremet awy from us that served our time and give it back to us as GBA

  • Molo10

    This is a bunch of Bull! To begin with, a 26 Year Old is no longer a child!! We have 18 to 20 year old MEN AND WOMEN serving in the armed forces with some in leadership positions requiring ADULT life and death decisions every day. What is happening to us? What we should do is reinstitute the draft, cut the pay and benefits in half, fire all of the KP and Security contractors, and put the military back in those duties. You know, things like Guard Mount and KP duty. Empty the ivy league colleges of the 21-26 year old ADULTS and require them to serve THREE MANDATORY YEARS with at least one of those in a combat zone. Especially the priviliged JOCKS and DOLLS.

  • Jakwdoyle

    The VA Philippines / AKA U.S. Embassy has “lost” a section of my health record that conveinently was during months of my hospitalization and as much told me I am a liar about that period in time as there is a blank in my service record since. Being on SS I am required to pay from my SS $98.00 per month for Medicare “part B ” to qualify for Tricare ( an implied military benefit of career military service ) However living in the more affordable Philippines there is no Medicare part B and no one from the U.S. Embassy has any kind of reason; political or legal why we are being taxed for a benerit that is not available. WHO GETS THIS IN EXCESS OF $1000,00 PER YEAR FROM EACH OF THE U.S.. CITIZENS ON SS ?

  • Eagleone200

    Raped by the VA. Unless your a modern day Veteran, the VA makes your life miserable. Isnt it time all these organizations stand up for ALL the Veterans??? An I do mean all, an get real hearings before congress, to correct major problems within the VA??, to allow Veterans to testify before them, not just member od the VA staff?? Where is the power of all these organizations pull together to get things corrected??? do they even have the guts to??

    • titantiger

      I agree. I’m a retired vet and I work at the VA. The VA takes an active interest in the “NEW” troops., and puts up with those that didn’t take part in the “NEW POPULAR WARr”. I’m not saying anything against our troops, it’s the VA I’M talking about. EVERY VETERAN deserves to be treated with the same attention regardless of what time in our history they served.

  • RBINO2


  • Celly986

    I don’t like the word inprovement, when you have to wait 20or 25 years to your compensation cases solve in your favor or againt you. By the time they finish your case you are 9 feet under the dirt

  • bbpreacher

    To some of the above. We would not be commenting if we would clean house and senate. Keep the old guard in office and it will be the same old stuff as usual. talk about tableing something. The new Speaker of the house was the one who tabled the AO exposure for vets serving in Korea. Tell me things wont change again…..

  • washington irving

    I cant understand that after 40 years of suffering the ravages of the vietnam war……Viet vets compenastions for diseases born out of the poisons sprayed on us by the us government ,,in the form of Agent Orange a CODE
    name , made to keep it a secret……are tiny compensations spoken of
    in congress as big EARNED BENEFITS….old vetersns are dying of body
    disease and ilnesese one after the other …now they get very ashamed and disappointed by the lack of concern and compenation by american politics.
    Why must American politics be crooked….politicians getting caught doing
    and stealing illegal funds from the system….why must veterans funding get
    cut by Hawaiis senetor Danial OKAKA…..and why must the order of policy at
    te VA be to diminish ,short change , and disregrd the sacrifices of loyal and
    Honerable .law abiding Combat vets.

  • Army

    The department of veterans affairs in atlanta georgia has bad track recorded
    when it comes too disability benefit claims.

  • Curt J.

    I am so tired of hearing you Military Personnel complain about our current president when it was former presidents such as Bush that did everything in their power to decrease spending to our Vets but increase spending on the military bases. In other words bush said “F our retired and injured Vets they can fend for themselves but lets put more in harms way needlessly!” It sickens me how injured and handicapped vets are treated. Unfortunately, at a time when unemployment is at a 9.8% national average and we are lining up to china for money like they are a ryans steak house smorgasboard, we will never be able to do all the things that need to be done. Thank Bush for this mess. He started a war that we didnt have the money to pay for. Before long China will own our country and you all will be wearing China’s co;ors and waving their flag. We already sold several of our national stretches of toll highways to foreign countries. So stop bitching about what Obama supposedly has done. He was left with a total mess that was handed to him by the Republican team of disaster!

    • jamie

      Yes he was left with what the old admin had going on and managed to do nothing about the so called mess that Bush left. Actually it was Clinton’s mess that caused the housing disaster. Obama is way out of his league. He needs to goback to where he came from. Not Chicago.
      A very disatistied Viet Nam Vet

      • You my friend need to open a book and have someone read it for you. We had a budget surplus when Clinton left office. You can have your own opinion but you can’t have your own facts. It makes you sound stupid to fight against numbers, its math. Havfe a nice day my friend.

        The Gunny

  • roger davidson

    can a judge put me in jail if i got back pay from the army if i stop a check on my ex – wife i got my back pay from the army and i wrote my ex – wife a check for 2, 500 but i put a stop pay ment on can a judg put me in jail or make me pay that to her

  • brokensoldiermedic

    I have had an attorney working on my compensation, last I heard I was to be sent in for another nerve study for them to consider why I’m not compensated for bi-lateral lower extremities, that was 4 mo ago. I had a surgery that required 12 mo of recovery, VA Dr’s agreed that 3 mo was sufficient, 10 months into and still have considerable pain and lots of drugs to take, and still cannot work but 3 mo of pay at 100% was all I am worth getting for a service related injury. I think I’m fully realizing that I’m gonna be the next homeless vet. I really want to let everyone know how I can imagine what it is like for the vets with more severe injuries, I guess they just want us dead.

  • Brigitte

    my husband was a retired army officer and a 100% disabled veteran. We have been together for 17 years and were married in October of 2007. My husband died in April of 2008 and I have been told that I am not entitled to benefits with either the Va or Soc. Sec..
    We have a daughter together that is an adult. I feel like our marriage was nothing since we have been told that our marriage is not recognized because we were less than one year married. Nobody cares that we had been together all those years. Can anuone explain that to me?…

  • Brigitte

    My husband was diagnosed with lungcancer and needet surgery in order to survive. I was his constand nurse and caretaker 24/7.
    Why am I treated like our marriage ment nothing in the eyes of the law?..My husband lived and breathed for the military and his country.

  • Glory

    Can anyone tell me if there has been any changes to agent orange and brain cancer? The connection between Glio’s and Agent Orange exposure.

    Thank You,

    SFC Forte’

    • Jackie

      Very good question. My husband was exposed to agent orange at the DMZ in Korea and is a Glio brain cancer patient. How many more of us are out there waiting for brain cancer to be added to the presumptive disease list?? Let’s compare notes. Jackie

  • chester whittaker

    Iam 100% disable thay call unemployability ( iu ) . Iwod like to do some kin of work just seting around doing nothin that not going to work, what can i do

  • Gary 0

    I had two Mental Health Dr’s post false statements in my files. One Dr. exceeded his medical ethics and when I called him on it, he wrote a story untrue of what happened afterwords. The next DR. then wrote a damaging and false statement in my MH file. Two years later I found this out. The whole time the Dr., telling me one thing and yet saying something completley opposite. When I finally found this out, the Dr. refused to talk with me or meet me. He withdrew the statement. The statement caused me to be assaulted by Police, and Judge’s and still is. VA has YET to answer me on my complaint, nor answer me WHY my medical files were released, to whom, and what was said. Thank you; Cleveland VA

  • William

    Have not recieved Means Test for 2013. I now recieved Agent Orange Benifics and did this change my requirments to Copay. I think it would for I do copay now for my income before was below the Means test limits.

    I sure wish as my body falls apart I did not for I already know one guy I kept in contact die of it. Back to my question. Do I pay copay or not?