Archive for October, 2011

Patient-Centered Medical Homes Developed for Disabled Veterans

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

The Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs are nwo joining forces to work on developing Patient-Centered Medical Homes (PCMHs), which will help veterans with disabilities with their health issues where ever they are, according to an article on Government Health IT.

PCMHs were developed to help streamline and coordinate medical data into a “single, cohesive approach for patient care.” In theory, this approach will give the patient a stronger active role in their own medical treatment in that they will be able to see real-time test results, view their own medical records, schedule visits, and question their own medical care team directly through the PCMH patient portal. No longer will veterans be “passive observers” in their own health care program.

The PCMH provides something else as well: either a physical or digital location. This will be a centralized location where the medical providers exist for direct interaction, which can include:

  • physician specialists;
  • pharmacists;
  • nurse practitioners;
  • social workers; and
  • nutritionists.

The focus of the care will put more emphasis on preventative care as opposed to just treating patients once they’ve become ill, which may ultimately result in fewer visits to emergency rooms as well as fewer hospital readmissions.

If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, a South Florida disability attorney from LaVan & Neidenberg is ready to help. To learn if you are entitled to certain programs and benefits contact our veterans disability rights firm today 1-888-234-5758.

Army Struggling to Medically Retire 20,000 Soldiers

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

The Army has planned on medically retiring about 20,000 soldiers it deemed “physically or mentally unfit for duty.” Once discharged, these veterans with disabilities will face other issues inside the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation system, according to an article in USA Today.

For some soldiers, with disabling conditions, they could face another 18 months of wait time before they’re separated from the service. Not only is this stressful on those waiting to get home, it impacts this country’s military readiness.

According to Gen. Peter Chiarelli, who’s the Army’s second highest ranking officer, the VA’s disability compensation system is “complex, disjointed, and confusing,”making it increasingly difficult to medically retire soldiers. The sheer bureaucracy that needs to be addressed in this situation is a direct result of this country being in war for the last 10 years.

 

The entire disability process averages 400 days. Soldiers are required to participate in 30 of them, at the very most. This isn’t a process exclusive to the Army, this is a service-wide issue. Just like when they’re in the military, soldiers are put on a “hurry up and wait” schedule throughout the disability process.

In 2010, there were 15,000 soldiers unfit for duty. This year there are 20,000, which is a 33% increase in 12 months. The Army may be forced to retain some of those troops in non-combat roles because there aren’t enough clinicians and psychiatrists to handle the growing number of soldiers returning from deployment with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, a South Florida disability attorney from LaVan & Neidenberg is ready to help. To learn if you are entitled to certain programs and benefits contact our veterans disability rights firm today 1-888-234-5758.

No More Backlog For Veterans Using GI Bill Benefits

Friday, October 7th, 2011

The Post-9/11 GI Bill–which covers veterans’ tuition, fees, stipends for housing and books–has been dispensing educational benefits to veteran-students for about 2 years, during which there has been a backlog of claims. While it seemed that backlog would grow to mirror the veterans disability backlog if corrective action was not taken, according to an article in The Houston Chronicle, there is no more backlog for GI Bill benefits.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) initially developed a backlog so severe when it first launched the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the VA had to issue thousands of “emergency checks” to veteran-students just so those students could remain enrolled. The VA has paid out $12.98 billion in payments to almost 600,000 veterans attending college under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and there is no sign of slowing.

At its highest point, the VA faced 65,000 backlogged claims, and each claim took about 60 days to process. The VA has brought that number down to 23,000 pending claims, which is different than a backlogged claim. Each claim now takes about 10 days to process.

The VA took on the backlog by not only hiring more people to process claims, but by automating the claim processing. When the Post-9/11 GI Bill first started issuing benefits, the claims had to be processed by hand.

If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, a South Florida disability attorney from LaVan & Neidenberg is ready to help. To learn if you are entitled to certain programs and benefits contact our veterans disability rights firm today 1-888-234-5758.

Veterans Split Over Value Of Wars In The Middle East

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

A recent poll, which may be the first of its kind, looked at how veterans viewed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as compared to the opinions civilians hold. Approximately one-third of the veterans surveyed do not believe the wars were worth the effort, and approximately one-third do, according to an MSNBC News report. Those same veterans, however, place much more belief in the value of fighting in Afghanistan (about 50%) as opposed to Iraq (about 44%). The poll included responses from veterans with disabilities.

Around 60% of the veterans responding to the poll believe it is time for the U.S. to focus on the problems this country is facing at home, and spend less time on foreign affairs. Not only is the U.S. is facing a huge budget crisis with the wars draining billions of dollars, but there are veterans returning from combat facing potential lifelong, incapacitating mental conditions, which affect not only veterans, but their families and dependents as well.

Aside from the tens of thousands of veterans who have been wounded in these wars, more than 6,000 American soldiers have died. Although the poll results reflect many soldiers as being “proud of their work,” they also show 84% of veterans do not believe the civilian world has any understanding of what they face every day in combat and on the home front, e.g. re-adjusting to civilian life. Just more than 70% of the civilians who took part in the poll agree with that statement.

If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, a South Florida disability attorney from LaVan & Neidenberg is ready to help. To learn if you are entitled to certain programs and benefits contact our veterans disability rights firm today 1-888-234-5758.

Pakistan Supplying Large Amount Of IED Ingredients

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

According to a recent article in USA Today, a large majority of the ingredients needed to create improvised explosive devices (IEDs) originate in Pakistan and are then moved into Afghanistan for final assembly.

IEDs are largely homemade bombs and more than 80% of all IEDs are built from one specific chemical, which is produced in Pakistan. IEDs are terribly effective as well, as they were responsible for the death of 63 soldiers, and the wounding of 1,234, American soldiers between June and August of this year.

In those 3 months, U.S. troops encountered more than 5,000 IEDs specifically set to detonate toward American soldiers. That is the most IEDs detected in any 3-month period since the war began 10  years ago.

The problem is there is no way to secure the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Checkpoints have become completely ineffective in preventing “supplies” from being brought into Afghanistan, despite combined efforts from the military, various U.S. agencies such as the State Department, and Pakistan’s government.

New military legislation has been introduced focused on training “border guards and customs officials” stationed in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Although the Pakistani government has been urged by U.S. officials to help “stop the flow of bomb-making materials into Afghanistan,” it is not believed this is atop the Pakistani government’s list of priorities.

If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, a South Florida disability attorney from LaVan & Neidenberg is ready to help. To learn if you are entitled to certain programs and benefits contact our veterans disability rights firm today 1-888-234-5758.

Help Change Florida’s Medical Record Statute For The Better

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Florida’s Medical Record Statute (395.3025) is a burden for thousands of Floridians who apply for veterans disability compensation and Social Security benefits.

As it stands, the statute requires people pay up to $1 per page to receive a copy of his or her own medical records. Those medical records are required to be used to prove a claimed disability. Without the underlying medical support, proving a disability claim could prove to be impossible. Claimants are put in a tough position as many cannot afford the expense it would cost to print out their extensive medical records.

By signing the petition on the homepage of LaVan and Neidenberg, you support reform of the statute to include a narrow exception tailored specifically toward those seeking to support their claim(s) for federal disability benefits.

By telling your friends and family members about this petition – you can share it on social media or post it on your own blog! – you increase the odds that the petition will be a success.

If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, a South Florida disability attorney from LaVan & Neidenberg is ready to help. To learn if you are entitled to certain programs and benefits contact our veterans disability rights firm today – 1-888-234-5758.