This week on The Veteran Podcast… A congressman wants to strip benefits from veterans, massive claims and records backlogs, and the veteran agency that is one of the best places to work.
So, the podcast went out a little bit late this week. It was a rough week at work that spilled over into the weekend. AND my youngest daughter’s birthday coupled with an unusually sunny Saturday had me reprioritizing what needed to get done. Isn’t adulting fun? With that said, from here on out, the show (and this blog) will be going out on Monday’s.
No Benefits for Capitol Attackers?
A US Marine Corps veteran and congressman from Arizona, wants to strip benefits from veterans who participated in an attack on Congress saying they no longer deserve payouts.
In a letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the congressman said that education and vocational training, as well as disability compensation and VA healthcare access should be stripped from them. In the letter he also stated,
“The behavior of these individuals tarnishes the image of American veterans and service members who have given so much to this country. Yet, many of the veterans and service members who attacked their own government, actively and enthusiastically enjoy benefits not available to their fellow citizens.”
According NPR, about 20 Percent of those charged in the Capitol attack had prior military service.
HUGE backlog at VA has Congress concerned
The department of Veterans Affairs has been criticized for the huge backlog of work that’s been created since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. Everything from pension exams, compensation claims, and even records requests have been delayed. Currently, there are more than 300 thousand exam requests pending. In the National Personnel Records Center, the VA is operating at 10% of it’s normal capacity and now has a half-million pending record requests.
With that said, the VA is making a push to get more of its staff vaccinated, is hiring outside contractors, and operations are slowly getting back to normal. The agency has not developed a clear plan to address the issue.
Even with all the good things the VA does, I feel like I’m constantly bashing the agency. However, Forbes recently rated it as one of the best places to work… ...when compared to other large federal agencies.
With a greater than 60% job satisfaction rate, it was ranked 6th out of a list of 17. So, somewhere in the middle. Not bad, I guess. The top spot on the list by a long-shot went to NASA [80%] and the lowest ranking agency being the Department of Homeland Security [52%].
Want to listen to this?
Now for some tips & resources
Starting this fall, student veterans and colleges will begin to get immediate chat access with VA claims staffers. The new online platform will allow veterans to ask questions about records and troubleshoot issues with payments.
Normally, these things are handled through the mail, phone calls, and in-person meetings. The VA says it’s hoping the upgrade will speed up claims processing, but it won’t be fully operational until fall of next year. Accessing your veteran education benefits can be a daunting task sometimes, and requires coordination between the college, the VA, and the student veteran.
Goodbye for now
Thank you for checking out The Veteran Podcast, the video and audio podcast (and blog!) with veteran news, tips, and resources in under 10 minutes. Just a reminder, if you want to know more about the stories covered in this podcast, there are links below.
For more in-depth stories from other veterans, check out my new podcast Joe to Joe for my one on one interviews with other veterans. The next episode features a marine corps veteran who has put his money where his mouth is, and created ‘crayons-ready-to-eat’. Find more information about the podcast at TheVeteranPodcast.com.
We’ll see you next week!
Congressman wants veterans who participated in the Capitol attack to lose benefits. https://www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2021/03/19/lawmaker-wants-to-strip-benefits-from-veterans-involved-in-januarys-attack-on-congress/
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