VA Discriminates Against MST Survivors

From a November 7 joint press release by ACLU national, SWAN, and ACLU of CT: The Department of Veterans Affairs grants disability claims for military sexual trauma-related PTSD at significantly lower rates than other PTSD claims, according to a new report released today. Women veterans are disproportionately denied compensation based on PTSD, as they are more likely to file military sexual trauma-related PTSD claims, but male survivors who file military sexual trauma-related PTSD claims face particularly low grant rates, compared to female veterans who file MST-related PTSD claims. The report by the American Civil Liberties Union, Service Women’s Action Network, the ACLU of Connecticut, and the Veterans Legal Service Clinic at Yale Law School details new findings resulting from two recently settled Freedom of Information Act lawsuits against the VA. “The VA must treat a veteran’s disability claim fairly when it is based on sexual violence,” said Sandra Park, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Women’s Rights Project. “It’s inexcusable that the VA discriminates against survivors who have sacrificed so much for our country, but we’re hopeful this report will lead to reform by shining a light on the terrible hurdles these veterans face.”

Three key findings include:

  1. the VA granted disability benefit claims for PTSD related to military sexual trauma at a significantly lower rate than claims for PTSD unrelated to military sexual trauma every year from 2008 to 2012. The grant rate for military sexual trauma-related PTSD claims has lagged behind the grant rate for other PTSD claims by between 17 and 30 percentage points every year;
  2. because female veterans’ PTSD claims are more often based on military sexual trauma-related PTSD than male veterans’ PTSD claims, female veterans overall are disparately impacted by the lower grant rates for military sexual trauma-related PTSD. For every year between 2008 and 2011, a gap of nearly 10 percentage points separated the overall grant rate for PTSD claims brought by women and those brought by men;
  3. among those who file military sexual trauma-related PTSD claims, male veterans face particularly low grant rates when compared to female veterans who file military sexual trauma-related PTSD claims.

The report is available at: aclu.org/womens-rights/battle-benefits-va-discrimination-against-survivors-military-sexual-trauma

[ACLU/SWAN Press Release]

Nevada Office of Veterans Services (NOVS) Veterans Outreach Visits Planned for Silver Springs & Dayton

The Nevada Office of Veterans Services (NOVS) Veterans Outreach “ROVER” Program will visit Silver Springs, April 9, and Dayton, April 10, so veterans and family members will be able to meet with a Veterans Service Officer (VSO) learn about benefits and services they may be eligible for but unaware of.

“We’re asking local businesses, city officials and anyone willing to help us spread the word, to post a flyer at their location or download and email the flyer to their personal network,” says Executive Deputy Director, Kat Miller. To download; go to the NOVS ROVER page at http://www.veterans.nv.gov/rover.html to find the ROVER schedule and scroll down to the date of the event.

Location: Tuesday, April 9 Silver Springs Senior Center – 2945 Fort Churchill – 10 am – 2 pm

Location: Wednesday, April 10, Dayton Senior Center – 320 Old Dayton Valley Road  – 10 am – 2 pm
Veterans and family members can make an appointment to meet with a Veterans Service Officer to discuss their benefits and PRE- SCHEDULED APPOINTMENTS ARE SUGGESTED.  Walk-in appointments are welcome, but can only be seen as time permits. To schedule an advanced appointment, contact Pamela (775) 688-1653 ext 6 or Barbara at (775) 321-4880. Veterans are advised to bring a copy of their DD-214 discharge document and/or current VA paperwork. If the claim involves their dependents, veterans should bring marriage and/or birth certificates as well as social security numbers of their dependents.

The ROVER Program is funded by donations to the Veterans Gift Account that is supported by the Nevada Veterans License Plate Program. With mission-focused employees, NOVS is responsible for the administration of two State Veterans Memorial Cemeteries, a State Veterans Home, and a State-wide Veterans Service Officer program. NOVS is instrumental in connecting Nevada’s veterans and their families with benefits and assistance from both the State and Federal government. For more information, call (866) 630-VETS or visit www.veterans.nv.gov.


Charles Pullen, Public Information Officer Nevada Office of Veterans Services
775.848.1665
marketingpro@veterans.nv.gov
Serving America’s Heroes.
http://www.veterans.nv.gov

40 REPUBLIBAN Senators Voted to Kill the Vets Jobs Bill

A motion before the Senate this morning that would waive budgetary discipline (because the bill was fully funded) failed to pass and killed S. 3457: Veterans Jobs Corps Act of 2012, sponsored by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA).  The final tally was 58 to 40, and all 40 opponents of the proposal were Republicans.

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) led the opposition to the Veterans Jobs Corps Act by arguing that  the bill violated a cap on spending agreed to by Congress last year.  Little did it matter to him that the bill was fully-funded or offset by new revenues.

What had been, up until Sen. Session’s objection, a bi-partisan bill, quickly became a partisan exploitation of a technicality to deny thousands of veterans a shot at getting hired as police officers, firefighters and parks workers, among other things.

40 Republicans joined together in locked-step to disrespect our Veterans and defeat the motion that would have allowed the bill to proceed.  Is your Senator one of the 40 who seriously disrespected our Veterans on the Senate floor today? Check the link. If so, I sincerely hope you’ll show him or her the same disrespect this November when you head to the polls.