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Virginia Beach Estate Planning Lawyer / Blog / Veteran's Benefits / Benefits for Veterans Ought to be Automatic

Benefits for Veterans Ought to be Automatic

It practically amounts to denying veterans of the benefits they deserve.

“More than half of America’s veterans say they have little or no understanding of the benefits due them, despite efforts over recent years to match returning soldiers with the help and services they need,” according to a recent story by Chris Adams of McClatchy Newspapers.

While this failure to connect veterans with what this country owes them is somewhat less when it comes to younger soldiers, sailors and Marines, it is a sad commentary that the system has become too arcane for most to figure out.

“In 2011, the Government Accountability Office pointed to the complexity of the VA’s education programs as a possible factor that kept more veterans from participating,” the story states. “The GAO said that although outreach efforts were widespread, ‘little is known about the effectiveness’ of those efforts, since the VA didn’t have a way to measure its outreach performance. Some veterans told the GAO they were forced to wait too long or had to call several times to get information from the VA’s hotlines; a high percentage of the attempted calls met a busy signal. Further, some veterans and their advocates told the GAO that briefings for separating service members were not effective and often provided too much information to readily digest.”

One simple step could help provide all veterans with one simple basic necessity, the health care insurance the law says they would have. That step would be automatic enrollment upon discharge, but it’s not one that has so far been taken.

“Veterans advocates and some lawmakers have pushed to automatically enroll veterans in the VA health care system, which could fill in the gap for some of the veterans not now covered by the VA or the private market,” according to a separate story by Adams.

There are times when veterans need the assistance of an attorney to maneuver through the tangled skein of benefits, but this should only come after they are provided, free of charge and without having to make an application, the ones they most definitely deserve.

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