Veterans with Service connected disability of 30% and incomes of less then $10k per year being denied travel pay compensation benefits!
In this time of economic unrest and with so many service connected disabled veterans living on a meager, small, and fixed income, it is just about criminal when they are abused by the system or the people in charge and in power. The old way was to just keep denying the veteran until they got tired and gave up, which many veterans did (reality not fantasy). This was a policy that financially benefitted the VA system and was apparently supported by the previous administration but now change is in the air, at least I hope so. It is in this context that I write this article in the hope it will serve to help out those of us who gave so much when serving, and now require our I help due to injuries and a very limited means to provide a fair income.
Every veteran knows that every year the VA requires all veterans to submit a ‘Means Test’ which is a disclosure on their income and other information that will determine whether or not the veteran has to make a co-pay for their prescriptions and also if they will get paid a full amount when traveling to a VA facility (deductible) and more, a huge difference in benefits and pay especially for those on limited income. The veteran must remember to do this every year at the same date or they will automatically start being charged for services. I guess it’s not enough that they would report to the IRS their real income, the VA must have their own means to confuse the already confused veteran and their families.
This procedure or policy (‘Means Test’) has been established for some time, and although some details on the ceiling of income allowed (qualifying for full protection) and other information has changed slightly, it has basically remain the same for years. The main VA financial section is aware of this established policy (Atlanta,GA) and you would think that the rest of the VA system as well, but a few places are not so educated on established acceptable policy. In fact some veterans (especially those service connected or injured while serving under honorable conditions) are being systematically denied these rights even after bringing this to the attention of the so called people in charge. There is no real issue for veterans who are lucky enough to get a service connected rating of 100% (if you can call that lucky), I am basically addressing those veterans of 30% or more and that fall under the guidelines of the VA especially income. Remember that when I say service connected disabled veterans, I am not talking about those who served and walked away from their service healthy and with a gold watch and a hefty pension plan, I am talking about those who were injured. These veterans served and were injured through no fault of their own, and in some crazy way, earned the right to these benefits that have been established. One such case exists in the VA facility in East Orange, New Jersey. and other institutions or clinics (Lyons to some extent).
When a case was brought to the attention (just rescently) to the head in charge of Travel Pay & Finances at in the East Orange facility, instead of getting the problem resolved this person in authority chose to punish the complaining veteran. She did so by having this benefit, that was already put into place properly with the aid of a state senators office on a previous ocasion in another institution, dropped improperly imposing her own policy and will. In fact she went out of her way to punish the veteran when the issue was brought to her attention and feared no reprisals from anyone.
Her actions were reported to the so called veterans rights official and yet no action has been taken. It is almost like the blue wall of silence that many believe exists in the police force protecting their own, showing its ugly face at the VA in East Orange, New Jersey. The actions of these people has been reported to elected officials and other government offices, I am hoping this is not allowed to continue. If it happens to 1 vet then there is no guarentee that is is not happening to others, many others. This office and the people involved should be investigated for their actions. Where there is smoke, I honestly believe there is fire. I will keep all posted on the outcome and will start nameing the people responsible. More to come so keep in touch. 4 years ago