Posts Tagged ‘veterans’
In grateful recognition of their dedication and sacrifice, the United States, through the Veterans Administration has provided its former service women and men with compensation and pension programs designed to assist disabled veterans and their dependents.
Disability compensation is a monetary benefit paid to veterans who are disabled by injury or illness that was incurred or aggravated during active military service. These disabilities are considered to be service connected. Disability compensation varies with the degree of disability and the number of veterans dependents, and is paid monthly. Veterans with severe disabilities may be eligible for additional special monthly compensation. The benefits are not subject to federal or state income tax. For additional eligibility questions visit the Web site at http://www.vba.va.gov/bin/21/
The application process begins with locating and producing the veterans DD-214, known as the Discharge summary. It is advisable to then locate an accredited Service Officer with one of the Veterans fraternal organizations, eg, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Purple Heart Association, AMVETS, Vietnam Veterans of America. Most all States also have State and County Veterans Affairs offices that will assist in the claim process.
The next step is to request form SRF-180 to gather all of your medical and in-service records. Your service officer will have these or they can be found at http://www.va.gov/vaforms. You can also call 1-800-827-1000 and the VA will start your claim over the phone.
The veteran will then complete V A Form 21-22 granting power of attorney to the claimant’s representative, and V A Form 21-4142 giving consent to release all records to the Department of Veterans Affairs. It is not advisable to file a claim without assistance of an accredited veteran service officer. Many of the fraternal organizations have volunteer service officers who can guide the veterans through the forms process. While it may cause some anxiety, it is really a rather simple and straightforward process. The Veterans Administration has excelled at streamlining the process.
The next form contains the primary request of the veteran. It is VA Form 21-526. Application for Compensation and Pension. This is followed by V A Form 21-4138 which is the Statement in Support of Claim. It is advised to seek help from a skilled counselor as you fill this out in your own words. It means telling a story that may be hard to recall or to place in narrative form. It is often helpful to speak to a battle buddy who has completed this process.
Once the VA has awarded service connection for PTSD, it will then review the most current clinical evidence of record to determine how the severity of your symptoms impairs your social and industrial capacity, meaning your ability to find and retain gainful employment. The VA has a schedule of rating disabilities located in Title 38 C F R. Part 4.
The VA has adopted the criteria established in the DSM-lV as the basis for rating PTSD. There is also a diagnostic matrix called the Global Assessment of Functioning Scale that if used to determine your level of impairment. You can share this with your medical care provider who can prepare a report or opinion letter for submission to the VA describing your full spectrum of symptoms.
Rest assured that many good men and women have navigated this process to discover a great deal of contentment in their transition to civilian life.
Having a support system is of vital importance. The Vet Centers around the nation provide that support and validation of your experiences. They provide re-adjustment counseling to any veteran who served in the military in any theatre of combat operation during any period of war or any area where hostilities occurred. These small community-based facilities provide a holistic mix of counseling and community social services, such as referrals to programs like the ones offered at the Merritt Center.
The Merritt Center has a volunteer service officer who serves as a mentor to attendees in the workshops. Michael Patrick Brewer/USMC/ 520-360-6933 email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Hot line 520-540-7000
A reminder: On Sept. 23, 2008, Lou Gehrig’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, was made a presumptive condition for all veterans who served in our armed forces for at least 90 days.
This means that widows of those veterans who died of Lou Gehrig’s disease in years past are now eligible for the VA widows’ monthly benefit.
For more information, contact Fred Campbell, Chairman of VA Outreach for American Ex-Prisoners of War, 3312 Chatterton Dr., San Angelo, TX 76904, or at email@example.com.
This benefit affects widows of all veterans, not just former POWs).
It is vital information such as this that generally circulates by word of mouth or helpful sites like ours.
Army researchers have been examining an inexpensive and generic drug called prazosin that has been used for combat veterans in need of more restorative sleep.
The principal investigators for this study are based at the Puget Sound Veterans Administration Hospital, Col. Kris Petersen, Chief of Psychiatry at Madigan Army Medical Center, and Dr. Murray Raskind, the director of mental health services.
Prazosin came to market in 1973 as a adjunct treatment for high blood pressure and also to ameliorate the symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
In the late 1990′s Raskind was able to demonstrate that prazosin was effective in reducing nightmares, and their effects on sleep patterns in a population of Vietnam Veterans. Recurring nightmares and intrusive recollections of war are quite common in veterans of war.
It is theorized that surges in adrenaline in the brain are a causative factor in nightmares. These surges are part of the adaptive survival mechanism in combat. When leaving the combat arena, the arousal mechanism does not shut down, leaving the veteran in a hyper-vigilant state, even in sleep. Prazosin assists in suppressing that surge of bio-chemical reactions.
Many veterans have unfortunately turned to alcohol to slow down the brain in order to sleep, and abate the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress. This is, of course, a false tonic and leads to endless other health issues. With small doses of prazosin near bedtime and one during the day, it has been noted that alcohol usage has abated, suicidal ideation has disappeared and normal sleep patterns have returned.
I can testify to knowing a handful of veterans who have reported these positive results. However the question always remains, with a nursing drop-out like me, do we report all of the findings and the effects of long term usage? I am also somewhat suspect of an old drug that is “morphed” for a new usage. For the meantime, a pharmacological answer to searing of the soul is probably okay. But the soul has its own pilgrimage, and it is not with pills. What do you think?
Welcome to the new Citizen Fourth Estate. We are entering “Operation Information.” Our mission is to provide a space for advocacy and dialogue with all Arizona veterans. I am a trained Veterans Service Officer, and published writer in the arena of Veterans Affairs. I served in Marine Corps, with the 7th Marines and Marine Air Wing with two stints in Vietnam. I am currently a Mentor for returning combat veterans at the Merritt Retreat Center in Payson, Arizona. I have extensive training in the care and transition to civilian life for returning combat veterans. Please join us in an ongoing dialogue with a Band of Brothers and Sisters.