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McHugh & Macri
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Veterans' Benefits Archives

NAELA National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. MEMBER

Veterans benefits still face problems

Veterans in New Jersey who depend on services from the VA may have breathed a sigh of relief at the end of the government shutdown, but federal budget woes could continue to affect them. Veterans benefits and pensions will be paid for November, but civilian hiring and military training money is still frozen under the first-year sequestration cuts.

Vietnam era veterans denied disability for Agent Orange exposure

New Jersey veterans of the Vietnam War were hurt terribly by casual exposure to the deadly herbicide Agent Orange, manufactured by the Monsanto Corporation and dispersed by aircraft over forested areas that were believed to contain enemy combatants. Although the system was never particularly effective and was always troubled by ethical quandaries, it seems that Agent Orange was also used in other locations outside of Vietnam.

NJ malpractice payouts to veterans, other states reach new high

Veterans in New Jersey may be interested to hear that VA malpractice payouts have reached a 12-year high in the country, ranging from dentistry malpractice to surgical malpractice. According to reports, in 2012 alone over $94.1 million was paid out to veterans over VA malpractice suits, the highest amount paid in the last twelve years. Over 400 cases of malpractice cases from veterans and their families went to court in 2012.

Vets may be entitled to retroactive disability benefits

New Jersey residents might want to know that, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans with disabilities connected to service may be entitled to receive retroactive disability benefits of up to one year if they file a Fully Developed Claim. The benefits became effective on Aug. 6, and will continue until Aug. 5, 2015. They're a result of a comprehensive veteran's benefits package that President Obama signed into law in 2012.

VA awards Agent Orange disability to veteran

New Jersey residents might be interested to hear that a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who has rib, pelvis and prostate cancer was awarded Agent Orange disability benefits from the Department of Veterans. As some veterans have found out, gaining benefits for conditions such as Agent Orange exposure from the VA can sometimes prove difficult. Even this retired veteran did not receive it at first. The VA initially denied him the award, but then later decided to reverse its decision.

New veterans' benefits outlined in Senate bill

July's Veterans Health and Benefits Improvement Act of 2013 is set to heighten many of the benefits that military veterans and their families in New Jersey and across the country enjoy. The bill, which was approved by the U.S. Senate and awaits public release pending further review by the Congressional Budget Office and legal teams, encompasses a broad range of provisions. These were taken from over 30 individual laws that were proposed in the Senate earlier this year.

Many veterans pass away before they receive benefit approval

Over the last several years, it has become very apparent that the benefit administrators for the Department of Veterans Affairs are swamped. As the number of pending benefit claims approaches 1 million, the time that veterans and their spouses are waiting on appeals is growing tremendously. This was the case for one New Jersey woman who actually passed away before the VA handled the claim filed on behalf of her husband.

Disabled New Jersey vet sees inconsistency in benefits

Over 40 years ago, a New Jersey man was serving in Vietnam. During a combat operation, the man lost one of his legs when his company was unexpectedly attacked. Since that time, he has been receiving various disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Recently, however, he was denied a clothing allowance he has received for decades on grounds that his injury was not documented as "combat-related."

Veterans facing PTSD 'moral injury' symptoms

With an increase over the years of those entering combat zones in service of their country, more and more service men and women are suffering from both physical and mental injuries upon returning home. For some veteran's these injuries are not easily labeled to fit within the parameters of veterans' benefits since they fall within what some label "moral injuries." A moral injury is where someone violates their moral code in some manner and is now struggling to deal with the consequences.

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