Supporting our Veterans

The Veterans Administration has received lots of negative attention in the press over the past several months. First, the public became aware that VA hospitals were filing false paperwork regarding the scheduling of medical appointments that made it appear to officials in Washington that they were meeting specific deadlines and timely seeing patients when in fact there were significant delays. Some Veterans died while waiting to be seen at the VA Hospital.

These tragedies occurred because the VA does not have good systems in place to care for all of those who require and are entitled to its services. Without proper funding from Congress, there aren’t enough workers in the VA to care for the many Veterans who have bravely served our country. There are many wonderful people in the VA who work tirelessly for long hours. Unfortunately, Congress has failed to appropriate enough money to hire the medical staff that the VA needs. Consider that the VA serves our heroes and patriots who put their lives on the line when our country required it. They deserve better care than our government provides.

Many people have also recently been frustrated with the backlog of disability claims and pension claims. The VA has two different programs: its pension program and its disability program. The VA pension program acts as a long-term care reimbursement program for those war period Veterans over the age of 65 who served during wartime (such as World War II, Korea, or Vietnam). In contrast, the disability program is for Veterans who received any type of in service disability, not necessarily during an active wartime. Currently, the VA is having trouble processing both the number of disability claims and pension claims. However, in an effort to reduce the backlog of disability claims, the VA is taking workers from the pension program and transferring them to assist with processing its disability claims. This primarily hurts Veterans who are in their eighties and nineties who may not live to receive their long-term care reimbursement from the pension program if their claims are not processed timely.

If you have questions about the VA disability program, need help locating a VA nursing facility, or if you would like help seeking VA funeral claims, you should contact the North Carolina Division of Veterans Affairs. You can visit their website at http://www.doa.nc.gov/vets/ or call (919) 807-4250. However, if you are applying to the pension program, it’s important to seek professional help, as the Division of Veterans Affairs does not offer planning and veterans and their widows need planning prior to filing a Pension claim. The Veterans pension program has complex rules, and you may not qualify if you do not seek the assistance of a VA Accredited Attorney before you apply. Come to our seminars on the second Thursday of every month to learn more.

The rules for the Veterans Pension Program are not published and are difficult to understand, and most claims that are filed without prior planning and the help of a VA accredited attorney are denied. If you or your loved one needs assistance with qualifying for Veterans Benefits, or if you have questions about other government assistance programs such as Medicaid, consider W.G. Alexander & Associates – we are VA Accredited Advisors who offer a unique blend of asset protection, Elder Law and estate planning. You can also attend our free seminars, learn more through our website at www.wgalaw.com, or call us at (919) 256-7000.

Attorney Bill Alexander discusses these issues and more every Tuesday morning on W.G. Alexander & Associates’ radio program, “Asset Protection Today,” on TalkRadio 850 WPTK (AM). Be sure to listen from 9:00-10:00 AM.