The official blog of American Veteran Magazine, the national quarterly publication of AMVETS.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

VBA/VHA Host Conference on Veterans' Mental Health

This morning, the VA's Veterans Benefits Administration and Veterans Health Administration convened for a forum on mental health at the Capitol Hilton in Washington. AMVETS National Service Director Denny Boller and National Deputy Legislative Director Christina Roof will be on hand throughout the two-day meeting.

The goal of the forum is to allow VA administrators, veterans' groups, and other stakeholders to discuss the current compensation and pension system within VA, idetify shortfalls in the disability rating process and evaluation criteria, and streamline interoperability between VA's health care system and its benefits system.

This afternoon, Boller will participate in a panel discussion with leaders from the nation's other top veterans' service organizations to discuss VA's compensation and pension process and its impact on veterans involved in the process.

Boller, who has served for decades as an AMVETS national service officer preparing veterans' compensation and pension claims, focused his remarks on providing clear standards national standards for disability evaluation, improving interoperability between VA and Department of Defense when dealing with service-connected conditions, and implementing VA's Uniform Mental Health Services Handbook (VHA 1160.01) in an effort to improve outreach and care.

To view the official Web site for the forum and to download an agenda, Click Here.

American Veteran
will follow developments out of the forum over the next two days. Check back regularly for updates.

(Image: VA's official logo for the VBA/VHA Mental Health Forum.)

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

AMVETS Responds to Tonight's State of the Union Address

In tonight’s State of the Union address, President Barack Obama discussed two issues critical to the veterans’ community—the controversial “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and the proposed federal budget freeze.

In his speech, the President reiterated his goal of working with the military to overturn “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” allowing gays and lesbians to openly serve in the U.S. military. The President also clarified that while he plans to freeze federal budgets, reducing the national deficit, the freeze will not apply to Defense and VA spending—a clarification which AMVETS applauded. AMVETS National Commander Duane J. Miskulin issued the following statement on tonight’s address.

“AMVETS is happy to see that the President remains dedicated to fully funding America’s defense interests around the world and fulfilling the obligation to fund the needs of today’s war-fighters once they return home. AMVETS will work to ensure that Congress upholds this duty as well.

“Late this afternoon, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi broke with the administration, calling for an additional freeze to defense funding—an action that AMVETS considers reckless and wholly irresponsible in a time of war. Politics aside, our men and women are in the fight in Iraq and Afghanistan. They need our continued support while overseas and long after they return home. Abandoning our military and our veterans to balance the budget is not an option.

“In regards to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” AMVETS membership passed a resolution at the August 2009 AMVETS National Convention in New Orleans calling for continued support of the stop-gap measure until policies critical to the rights of gays and lesbians have been addressed on a national scale—something AMVETS hopes the President will consider moving forward.

“In the interest of protecting the rights of gays and lesbians who wish to serve our country, Congress and the Pentagon must first consider issues within the current military structure to ensure equitable treatment of all who wish to serve before AMVETS can consider supporting a repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

“One critical issue is the recognition of legal relationships between homosexual partners in relation to military and veterans’ family member benefits and policies including, but not limited to, housing, dependency allowance, Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, Survivor Benefits Plan, transferability of benefits, joint duty station assignments, fraternization policies, and family care plans.

“Today, our nation lacks a clear definition of how such partnerships, which are only legally recognized in certain states, can be acknowledged across the board for members of the military. By allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly without considering these issues sets those affected by a new policy up for failure.

“Though the policy may seem antiquated to many and the social climate may be leaning toward change, AMVETS must support House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton in continuing to use “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” as a standard while the nation is at war, should the military and Congress fail to address the broader social questions first.

“To date, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has succeeded to an extent in affording gays and lesbians an opportunity to serve. A report issued this morning by a UCLA demographer estimates that upwards of 66,000 gay and lesbian men and women may currently serve.

“In the interim, AMVETS also supports Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ assertions that the Pentagon should explore options to enforce the policy in a more equitable fashion. With this in mind, AMVETS suggests that the military enforce its non-fraternization and harassment policies in full accordance with the Uniformed Code of Military Justice and improve enforcement of the oft-overlooked “Don’t Pursue” clause of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” prohibiting witch-hunts against suspected homosexual service members.

“AMVETS prides itself on being the nation’s most-inclusive of the major veterans’ service organizations, representing the best interests of a broad constituency of veterans, which is why AMVETS leaders will work closely with the Administration, military leaders, and Congress to ensure that these critical concerns are addressed before any sweeping policy decision is made.”

To read AMVETS’ resolution on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the AMVETS Legislative Agenda for 2010, Click Here.

Below is full video of last night's address:

(Media: Top Photo: President Obama delivers his State of the Union address. White House photo by Pete Souza. Bottom Video: Full White House video of the State of the Union address. White House images and video are in the public domain.)

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AMVETS Joins Health Care Leaders and Other Veterans' Advocates to Discuss Rural/Remote Vets' Care

This morning, AMVETS joined the House Veterans Affairs Committee roundtable to discuss rural and remote veterans' issues. National Deputy Legislative Director Christina Roof spoke on behalf of AMVETS, explaining how the organization viewed the issue, why it was important to AMVETS members, and what AMVETS leadership believed would be the best courses of action to improve the situation.

Roof cited alarming mental health care shortages in rural and remote areas and alarming death rates among rural and remote veterans, including a 2006 study by the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire, which demonstrated that death rates among rural and remote veterans were 60 percent higher than their urban and suburban counterparts.

The informal discussion, led by Committee Chairman Bob Filner (D-Calif.) and VA Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member Dr. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), focused on utilization of current VA assets and identification of new areas on which the federal government should focus.

Participants concluded that Congress should focus on three areas when addressing the issue through legislation: Immediate, local access to care; quality of care; and comprehensive outreach.

Roof also explained that any solution must also focus on continuity of care for the long term, rather than stop-gap measures ensuring that rural and remote veterans would have access to occasional care.

Roof said that today's veterans, many of whom are still in their 20s, do not need care for just the next couple of years, but for the next half century.

The House Committee plans to hold additional hearings on the issue and begin work on legislation to improve the situation. AMVETS leaders will be watching closely and providing input where necessary. Check back with American Veteran Online regularly for updates.

(Photo: Roof discusses AMVETS' position on rural and remote veterans' care issues during this morning's roundtable. Photo by Ryan Gallucci.)

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Live from Capitol Hill: AMVETS Joins House Roundtable on Rural Veterans' Issues

This morning, AMVETS Deputy National Legislative Director Christina Roof will be on hand at the House Veterans Affairs Committee roundtable on rural and remote veterans' issues, one of AMVETS' top legislative priorities for 2010.

Though the hearing will focus primarily on Congressional representatives from rural and remote areas, VA officials, and health care providers concerned about the topic, AMVETS was invited by the committee to speak briefly on the topic. To view a list of panelists and written statements for the hearing, Click Here.

Currently, 44 percent of all military recruits hale from areas classified as rural or remote, meaning nearly half of today's veterans do not have easy access to comprehensive care offered through traditional VA services. AMVETS is advocating for VA to step up its acquisition and exchange of care options in communities not currently served by traditional VA assets. AMVETS also advocates for increased use of telemental health counseling, using the internet to connect patients with mental health care providers separated geographically. AMVETS' full position on the topic or rural and remote care can be found in the 2010 Legislative Agenda.

Photos and details from the morning's hearing will be available later today on American Veteran. Check back for updates.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Keeping Posted Online: Wisconsin AMVETS Host Bingo at VA Hospital

On Saturday, Jan. 16, North Fond du Lac, Wisc. AMVETS Post No. 41 hosted a bingo night along with the post Ladies Auxiliary at the nearby Tomah VA Medical Center. The post also provided refreshments for the event and made a donation to the hospital's library fund.

(Photo: AMVETS Post No. 41 members prepare snacks for the post's bingo event at the Tomah VA Medical Center. Photo courtesy of the AMVETS Department of Wisconsin.)

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Post-9/11 G.I. Bill Update: VA to Recoup $3,000 Emergency Payments

Today, VA announced it will seek to recoup the fall $3,000 emergency check payments for student-veterans caught in the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill processing delays. Though any student taking advantage of a G.I. Bill benefit was eligible to take advantage of the advance payment, the intention was to help veterans taking advantage of the new Chapter 33 benefits, which were taking longer to process than VA had anticipated.

When news of Chapter 33 delays began to surface, AMVETS suggested that VA deliver a good faith payment to eligible student-veterans, similar to the emergency check program implemented in October.

On Stripes Central, the official blog of Stars & Stripes, Leo Shane explained that VA will send letters to student-veterans who took advantage of the emergency check program, outlining repayment options.

In the meantime, AMVETS leaders urge veterans not to panic. The VA has competent systems in place to audit its accounts, with appellate systems and safeguards in place to ensure accuracy.

American Veteran will work to secure an example of the letter and keep you posted in the coming days on how VA plans to balance its books on the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill.

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This Week at American Veteran

This week at American Veteran, we will continue to follow implementation of the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, which VA says is on track to deliver in a timely manner to all enrolled veterans for spring 2010. As of last Friday, VA reported that more than 70,000 of its 100,000 claims received for the spring have been processed. Veterans whose paperwork was sent to VA prior to Jan. 19 should receive payment no later than Feb. 1.

Reports continue to trickle into AMVETS from veterans who have not received payments for the fall semester, which we will continue to track. However, the reports are not flowing to the same extent as we saw late last year, which is encouraging news for the progress of VA. Unfortunately, the news that veterans continue to slip through the cracks has prompted American Veteran to ask whether the blame for this significant shortcoming falls more to the schools than to the VA.

In the fall semester, the Buffalo VA Regional Office issued a memo to all participating colleges and universities, asking the schools to monitor their paperwork closely for accuracy and to submit all necessary paperwork in a timely manner, which we discussed on this blog. In the coming weeks, American Veteran will be reaching out to student-veterans and institutions of higher learning in an effort to discover why this problem persists. If you know any veterans that continue to face difficulties with the G.I. Bill process, please let us know.

On Wednesday, AMVETS will be on Capitol Hill for the House Committee on Veterans Affairs hearing on rural and remote veterans' issues. AMVETS has made rural and remote veterans' access to VA care and benefits one of its top legislative priorities for 2010. As we draw closer to the hearing, check back for updates on panelists and multimedia links.

On Thursday and Friday, AMVETS Deputy National Legislative Director Christina Roof will also participate in the VA's Mental Health Forum, taking place at the Capitol Hilton in Washington. American Veteran will keep you posted with updates from the forum.

Finally, be on the look-out for the winter issue of American Veteran magazine, which should be appearing in your mailbox in the next couple of weeks, featuring the inspiring story of Dana Bowman, the new AMVETS national spokesmen introduced at this summer's national convention.

As always, we're eager to tell the AMVETS story from posts and departments around the country, so please share any photos or comments with the communications staff. We're happy to post them on this blog and in the Keeping Posted section of American Veteran magazine.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

OPM Launches Veterans' Federal Employment Web Site

Yesterday, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management launched its new Web site designed exclusively to assist in recruitment and employment of veterans for federal jobs. The Web site,, is part of the broad federal initiative to connect federal agencies to the growing pool of talented veterans seeking employment following their time in the military.

The initiative was launched the night before Veterans Day when President Barack Obama signed an executive order creating an interagency council on veterans' employment, setting new ambitious standards for hiring veterans in the federal workforce. AMVETS was on hand two days later for the roll-out of the Veterans' Employment Initiative at the Department of Labor.

The Web site is a partnership among the departments of Labor, Veterans Affairs, Defense, and Homeland Security, among others interested in matching veterans' skills to federal positions worthy of their expertise.

The site allows veterans and transitioning service members to search for positions around the country and also provides agencies with the ability to seek out veterans who meet their criteria. The Web site also offers tools to guide veterans in the federal job-hunting process.

AMVETS legislative department, which has made veterans' reintegration a top priority for 2010, looks to play an integral role in the implementation of the Veterans Employment Initiative in the coming months. Check back regularly for updates.

(Image: Screen grab of, accessed on Jan. 21, 2009.)

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Live from Capitol Hill: House VA Subcommittees to Discuss Vets' Transition and Post-9/11 G.I. Bill.

This morning, the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will host a hearing on transition issues for today's veterans. Panelists will include representatives from the Pentagon, VA, and OIF/OEF-era veterans. To view a list of panelists and to read their prepared remarks, Click Here.

The hearing will commence at 10 a.m. in the committee's chambers, room 334, of the Cannon House Office Building. To view live video from the hearing, Click Here.

This afternoon, the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Development will host a hearing on long term solutions for the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill (Chapter 33). Witnesses for the afternoon's hearing will include representatives from VA who have handled Chapter 33 implementation and representatives from Navy SPAWAR responsible for implementing the digital enrollment solution slated for completion in Dec. 2010. To view a list of panelists and to read their prepared remarks, Click Here.

The hearing will commence at 1 p.m. A video link should be available early this afternoon. Check back around 12:30 for more details.

AMVETS leaders, who have been focusing on both issues, will be watching each hearing closely. Check back with American Veteran Online this afternoon for reaction.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

AMVETS Outlines Legislative Agenda for House Veterans Affairs Committee

This morning, AMVETS National Legislative Directory Ray Kelley laid out AMVETS legislative agenda for 2010 during the House Veterans Affairs Committee roundtable with 40 of the nation's top veterans' organizations.

During his brief testimony, Kelley explained that AMVETS will work with leaders in Congress and other top VSOs to overhaul the VA claims process, bring equity to the current chapters of the G.I. Bill, implement comprehensive reintegration programs for today's returning veterans, improve services to rural and remote-located veterans, and provide improved health care services to meet the unique needs of female veterans.

To download a copy of the AMVETS 2010 legislative agenda, Click Here.

Thirty-three of the 40 assembled organizations outlined remedying the VA claims backlog as their top priority, citing long wait times, antiquated processes and inequities in reviews as primary causes.

During the question and answer portion of the roundtable, Kelley explained that 22 percent of claims caught up in the backlog of nearly one million claims and appeals are the result of inaccurate or incomplete paperwork, pointing to a need for improved accuracy in claims-filing, rather than focusing simply on speed.

Other central topics of discussion included updating the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill to include members of the National Guard activated under Title 32 orders, inequities in survivor's benefits, VA procurement issues, and veterans' unemployment.

Committee Ranking Member Steve Buyer (R-Ind.) asked each VSO to consider ways to improve mechanics of implementation once Congress passes legislation.

Congressman Tim Walz (D-Minn.) also took the opportunity to discuss his legislation that would extend veterans' status to National Guard and Reserve retirees who did not serve the requisite time overseas during their military careers.

(Photos: Top: Forty of the nation's top veterans' organizations joined the House Committee on Veterans Affairs round table on veterans' issues this morning in the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill. Bottom: AMVETS National Legislative Director Ray Kelley outlines AMVETS' legislative agenda at this morning's roundtable. Photos by Ryan Gallucci.)

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Live from Capitol Hill: AMVETS Joins House Roundtable on Veterans' Issues

This morning, AMVETS National Legislative Director Ray Kelley will be on Capitol Hill to participate in a House Veterans Affairs Committee roundtable discussion with many of the nation's other top veterans' organizations. To view a list of the organizations participating in the discussion, Click Here.

Kelley will discuss AMVETS' legislative priorities for 2010, which were first published on Veterans Day in November. To download a copy of the 2010 AMVETS legislative priorities, Click Here.

American Veteran will be on hand to cover the roundtable. Check back later today for photos and details on the morning's discussion.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

This Week at American Veteran

This week at American Veteran, we will follow the AMVETS legislative team to Capitol Hill for a series of hearings in the House Committee on Veterans Affairs on VSO priorities for the coming year, transition issues for today's veterans, and Post-9/11 G.I. Bill (Chapter 33) solutions.

AMVETS discussed Chapter 33 in this week's print editions of Military Times publications, citing conflicting reports from within the veterans' community about the current state of the Chapter 33 backlog and from VA, which expects to be current on all claims by Feb. 1.

In a press release yesterday, the Army announced its suicide statistics for 2009, marking a significant increase over 2008 figures. In 2009, the Army had 160 reported suicides, compared to 140 in 2008. AMVETS leaders have been working on new ideas to help curb this disturbing trend, with AMVETS participating in recent discussions across DoD and VA on the issue of military mental health, including last week's joint suicide prevention conference and the upcoming VBA/VHA Mental Health Summit.

This week, the second annual AMVETS Leadership Conference will take place in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. AMVETS and AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary members from across the country will convene on Pigeon Forge to participate in the three-day conference designed to foster more effective leadership skills at all levels of the organization. To view details on the conference, including an agenda, Click Here. American Veteran Online will post photos and details from the conference next week.

As always, we're eager to hear what's happening at posts and departments around the country. If you have any photos or stories you would like to share, we're eager to post them on this blog and in the Keeping Posted section of the American Veteran print edition.

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Friday, January 15, 2010

AMVETS Responds to Washington Times Report

This week, Washington Times reported on a Navy memo from 2007 that warned about service members who could be wrongfully discharged for misconduct related to combat stress and PTSD.

AMVETS posted a response to the story on To read the response, Click Here.

To read the original Washington Times story, Click Here.

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Post-9/11 G.I. Bill Update: VA Says it's on Track for Timely Delivery in Spring Semester

On Wednesday, VA hosted a conference call to discuss progress on this semester's processing of pending Post-9/11 G.I. Bill (Chapter 33) claims. AMVETS National Legislative Director Ray Kelley participated in the call.

VA took the time to discuss the current volume of claims as well as the looming backlog from the fall semester when the new benefit rolled out with substantial delays.

VA assured veterans and veterans' advocates on the call that all claims received for the fall semester have started receiving payments and that nearly 70 percent of spring claims had already been processed.

To date, VA says it has received more than 100,000 claims from schools for the spring semester and that all paperwork received by Jan. 19 will be paid in full by Feb. 1.

Though the call presented encouraging trends, the figures left AMVETS confused. Earlier in the week, AMVETS received a critical call-to-action from a student-veteran at Lehman College in New York who was being barred from spring enrollment for an out-standing bill. At the time of VA's conference call, she had not received payment for her fall semester.

However, this does not necessarily mean VA is solely responsible for veterans slipping through the cracks. VA has continued to stress that schools must complete and send the necessary paperwork before any claims can be paid, which is why lines of communication among student-veterans, VA, and schools must remain open throughout the process.

In November, VA retained the services of ACS Federal to assist in claims-processing for the next two semesters while VA and Navy SPAWAR stand up the digital enrollment system. Today, VA has the equivalent of 1,200 claims-processors handling G.I. Bill claims.

As of the most recent VA Monday Morning Workload Report on Jan. 11, 42,220 pending Chapter 33 claims remain. To view the report, Click Here.

If you are still experiencing Chapter 33 payment delays, do not hesitate to let us know through this blog or via email. AMVETS remains committed to ensuring that all veterans seeking to take advantage of the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill receive the benefits they have earned.

(Image: VA's official logo for the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill)

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

VA Secretary Shinseki Delivers Keynote at Suicide Prevention Conference

Yesterday, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki delivered the keynote at the VA/DoD suicide-prevention conference at the Capitol Hill Hyatt Regency in Washington.

AMVETS is on hand at the conference today to participate in breakout sessions ranging from collaborative assessment and management of suicide, rural and remote veterans' mental health care, substance abuse and suicide, social media and suicide prevention, and ongoing research within VA and DoD.

American Veteran Online will continue to follow the conference, reporting on developments throughout the week.

(Video: Pentagon Channel video of Shinseki's address discussing military and veterans' suicide.)

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Monday, January 11, 2010

This Week at American Veteran

This week at American Veteran, we'll cover the 2010 VA/DoD Suicide Prevention Conference, taking place at the Capitol Hill Hyatt Regency in Washington. To view the conference agenda, Click Here.

AMVETS Deputy Legislative Director Christina Roof and other AMVETS leaders will be on hand throughout the week to participate in the meetings. VA released disturbing statistics on veterans' suicide at the conference this morning. To read the Associated Press report on increased suicides, Click Here.

AMVETS National Commander Duane Miskulin has made military mental health and suicide-prevention a top priority for his term.

AMVETS Legislative Director Ray Kelley and SERV Director John Schupp have meetings scheduled throughout the week to discuss expanding the SERV program, in the wake of the recent passage of federal grants for student-veterans' centers of excellence on college campuses. American Veteran will continue to keep you posted on Kelly and Schupp's progress.

AMVETS Executive Director Jim King and Kelly are also working with Independent Budget partners on how to discuss advance appropriations in the upcoming Independent Budget for the VA in Fy2011.

This week, AMVETS leaders will also continue hammering out details for this summer's AMVETS Symposium for 21st Century Veterans taking place at this summer's national convention in Louisville. Check back regularly for updates on the symposium as we march closer to the spring meeting of the AMVETS National Executive Committee.

Over the weekend, King was in San Antonio to attend the Army East-West football game, the annual high school All-American game featuring the best young players from around the country. While in San Antonio, King took the time to tour Brooke Army Medical Center and to visit with wounded troops at the military's top burn facility.

Finally, the editorial staff will be sending the winter issue of American Veteran magazine down range at the end of the week, so any last minute Keeping Posted submissions should be sent to the communications department no later than close-of-business on Wednesday.

As always, we're eager to hear what you think.

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

VA claims backlog and the G.I. Bill

In the last couple of weeks, we've seen considerable scrutiny of the VA's disability claims backlog and a new semester's worth of bills exacerbating an already daunting G.I. Bill claims backlog.

In regards to the recent 60 Minutes piece on the VA claims backlog, AMVETS leaders were concerned about the picture it painted of the current VA. Though the piece called attention to a critical issue within the claims process, AMVETS leaders believed the coverage failed to demonstrate a critical cause of the backlog--incomplete paperwork.

Incomplete paperwork is one of the largest contributing factors to today's backlog, and one that can easily be alleviated by consulting with a knowledgeable VSO.

For the piece, CBS News failed to speak with any of the veterans' service organizations that routinely handle VA benefits claims (ie: AMVETS, DAV and VFW). Had 60 Minutes chosen to speak with these organizations, the picture may have been significantly different.

While problems persist within the VA claims process, significant improvements have been made over the last year. Plus, the VSOs who have handled these claims for decades have been able to demonstrate significant improvement in processing times and successful appeals.

Personally, when I first sought care within the VA system, I was advised by my counselor at the Providence VA Medical Center to file a claim for service-connected compensation and to consult with a VSO to fill out the paperwork. After all, VSOs such as AMVETS pride themselves in preparing only "ready-to-rate" claims, meaning all forms are thoroughly completed and all evidence is presented from day one.

For an example of these improvements, just look at AMVETS' results from 2009, where our service officers helped to process more than 65,000 claims and appeals resulting in more than $450 million in recovered benefits, with the average claim taking less than 60 days to process.

The other VSOs who handle disability claims also boast similar statistics. Sadly, one of the reasons AMVETS believes that the claims backlog has become so daunting is due to a lack of proper guidance for veterans wishing to file for disability compensation. Many times, veterans choose to go it alone, filling out their own paperwork and compiling their own evidence, leaving significant gaps in the information that VA claims processors need to properly adjudicate a claim.

Thankfully, VA has made a concerted effort in the last year to streamline the process, opening up further presumptions for service-connection to Agent Orange-related conditions and PTSD, reducing the requisite paperwork and evidentiary requirements for veterans.

While AMVETS is happy to see that mainstream media remain concerned about veterans' issues, we hope that 60 Minutes will follow up on the VA claims backlog and demonstrate the efforts the veterans' community has made to better serve its own.

In my next posting, I'll tackle the G.I. Bill. Check back shortly for another update.


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