Operation: Priority Purple HeartThursday, March 14, 2019
A recent change in legislation may be just what is needed for Purple Heart veterans who have been patiently waiting for care through the Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert Wilkie recently announced that Purple Heart Veterans will be moved to the “front of the line” for VA care and services. Secretary Wilkie has spoken on his philosophy for caring for our veterans and leading the VA, as his father was an Army artillery officer who was severely injured in the Vietnam war and how this shaped him into the person he is today.
As of April 1, 2019, Purple Heart veterans will receive priority consideration for their claims. It is currently unclear how many veterans this change will impact, as there may be thousands currently waiting for care. However, this change will not impact veterans who have previous or current appeals, and/or supplemental claims. Both of which can take up to a year to be processed.
While the VA strives to provide the same experience for all veterans, there are a few groups that currently receive priority care. These include veterans who have received the medal of honor, homeless or indigent vets, former prisoners of war or those who are suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Purple Heart recipient’s will now be added to the list of those who receive expedited care.
The change in status for Purple Heart veterans has however raised concerns from many veteran advocates. They argue that many of the wounded veterans have post-traumatic stress disorder or a traumatic brain injury and are not recognized with a Purple Heart. A move which is deemed as unfair by some advocates, as this change in legislation would not include these veterans that also require expedited care. Currently, there are 35,000 Purple Heart veterans from the Iraq War and 22,000 from the Afghanistan war, many of which have been awaiting care for quite some time.
VA officials hope this recent change in legislation will improve the overall experience for Purple Heart veterans, which in the past have battled to receive the care they need.
If you or a loved one are a Purple Heart veteran and need assistance with receiving care through the VA, please contact the experienced lawyers at Turley, Redmond, Rosasco, and Rosasco at 855-280-7586 for a free no-obligation consultation.