Episode 2: The Forgotten Veterans
Hostess Amanda Mineer starts the discussion about the incarceration of veterans with paralegal and Gulf War veteran Violet Roman. One of the reasons why veterans get incarcerated is due to emotional breakdown from their physical or mental disabilities. Most of these vets are found in prisons to prevent them from self-harm or avoid harm around others.
The two women share their stories on how these veterans behave and how incarceration affects VA benefits for their families. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, these veterans were often transferred to other prisons, making it harder to pinpoint their case for the VA. Unfortunately, it’s impossible for family members and attorneys to visit them due to the virus outbreak.
As a retired veteran herself, Violet shares her experience about the issues of the VA requirements and their slow process to provide compensation for veterans. Then discussed with Amanda about the clients they have met and known that have gone through a long process until those cases are proven for them to receive the VA benefits. And finally, they explain reasons why most veterans didn’t know about the compensation and why incarcerated veterans don’t take the C&P exam while in prison.
With the last guest of the evening, Amanda interviews one of her clients, Tim. Tim is a US Army veteran who was deployed multiple times in Iraq throughout his life. It induced numerous stress in his life with the addition of his PTSD, in and out of his servitude. With PTSD heavily weighing on his life, Tim had trouble holding down a job and managing relationships as it caused him to lose most of his concentration.
Amanda explains how the VA rates PTSD differently from other mental disabilities. The doctors use an overall percentage scale to calculate its severity based on a list of symptoms, including service in combat and disturbance in mood. The VA only accepts 100 percent unless the veteran can prove they have difficulty working with PTSD to provide max benefits as long as you aren’t working.
In Tim’s case, he stayed on the 50 percent until Amanda proved he was struggling through suicidal issues, bumping his percentage up to 100 percent. Today, Tim is still on the VA disability program with the max benefits while taking care of his five children. And he is thankful to Amanda and the Veteran Law Group for what they have done for him.