Streamline process for getting vets benefits

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Monday, June 4, 2012
This is among commentaries submitted to The Gazette from students at Janesville’s Craig and Parker high schools who did field studies in either Washington, D.C., or Madison in Advanced Placement U.S. government courses taught by Joe Van Rooy.

America’s veterans have made the ultimate sacrifice by risking their lives to defend our country and its citizens. Therefore, is it not essential that, upon returning to civilian life, they are given all our country has to offer to recognize those sacrifices?

Most Americans believe so, but much of this important care is either neglected or needs improvement. Currently there is a problem with the system that veterans must go through to file claims for benefits. Jon Clark, a staff member at the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, describes the system as a “disaster.” He explains that veterans face too much paperwork and too many procedures before they can receive care. This system needs to be streamlined.

To fix this problem, the claims system needs to be modernized and made paperless, says Sherman Gillums Jr., associate executive director of the Veterans Benefits Department of the Paralyzed Veterans of America. He added that medical examinations for disability benefits must be streamlined and made consistent for increased efficiency.

Although many solutions are offered for these problems by various organizations, the veterans organizations I interviewed all agreed on one position—veterans should be given all the help and benefits available in the most efficient and simplest manner.

As American citizens, it is our duty to help these heroes by insisting that our legislators work to improve this situation.

Last updated: 8:52 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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