Accepting donations of cars, trucks, or other items that can be given to veterans and their families or sold to raise funds is making a difference in the lives of the people we serve. Before trading in that old car or truck, please consider donating it to us to help a veteran and their family. Your donations are Tax deductible.
Each week we struggle to choose our Veteran of the week based on their military service during World War II and the Korean War. After careful consideration, Mr. Don G. Musgrove is honored this week as Veteran of the Week. We introduced him to our visitors who recognized him with a round of applause. We also presented a cap representing his military service. We appreciate all the patriotic men and women who served in the military. Thank You, Mr. Musgrove, for your service to this great country!
Our volunteers who assist surviving spouses of veterans are continuing to change the lives of many who are approved for the dollars each month. The DIC benefit is based on the veteran dying from a service-connected disability or one that was presumptive to their military service. Some information that could be of help to the surviving spouses of veterans is that if a service-connected disability or one that is presumptive to their military service is listed on their death certificate, the DIC benefit should be approved if they file a and Atomic testing sights, exposed to Agent Orange. Camp Lejeune, Gulf Wars, and other locations. Stop by with your questions or give us a call.The volunteers who make up our workforce have developed their skills to the point where more than 140 veterans and surviving spouses will be processed in under four hours each Tuesday and Thursday morning. Volunteers are making this happen due to our continual training, experience, and knowing they are making a difference in the lives of the men and women who have served in the military. I have been trying to reach a point where we have people who can continue the mission we started so long ago. I now feel confident when myself and our founders are gone the men and women who are volunteers today will be our leaders in the future. This Veterans Foundation is on schedule to serve more than twelve thousand veterans and spouses in 2018. The number of veterans approved for VA benefits is at an all-time high. By using the VA Disability Benefits Questionnaire (DBQ) filled out by the veteran’s medical care provider, most veterans’ claims will be approved the first time submitted. My philosophy has always been for the veteran to have a medical diagnosis, buddy statements, or other evidence before filing the VA form 21-526EZ application for benefits. We do file the Intent to file for benefits (VA form 21-0966) on the veterans first visit. This gives them a start date for benefits and allows one year to submit the 21-526EZ with their DBQ or other evidence in support of their claim for benefits.
Last week eight veterans received a VA disability rating of 100%. They will receive an annual combined amount of $308,475 per year. Fourteen veterans received disability ratings from 10% to 90% for their service-connected conditions. This group of male and female veterans will receive an annual combined amount of $198,796 per year. When a veteran is awarded compensation benefits that amount is tax-free. Also, a surviving spouse in receipt of DIC does not pay tax on that income. There are other benefits that veterans or surviving spouses may be eligible to receive. For those of you who receive either of those stop by for a quick check to see what you may qualify for our state or the VA.
Legal Aid is on-site twice each month to answer your questions. Legal Aid will be there again on May 3, 2018. If you need the services of Legal Aid, please stop by to chat with a lawyer. A representative from Social Security is also available, as well as someone who can help with your questions about Veterans Educational benefits. Please call our office with your questions about these other services.
For those veterans who have never filed for VA benefits or were turned down when they applied, please consider visiting with us at 1268 North Interstate Drive in Norman, Oklahoma. We start assisting veterans each Tuesday and Thursday morning at least by 5:30, we usually reach the maximum number we can help by 8 am. Our services are free, and we are a 501-3-C non-profit where your donations are tax deductible. Our operational expenses are approximately thirty thousand dollars each month. One of the biggest expenses we have is the cost for a DBQ to be filled out by the veteran’s medical provider. Since many of the men and women we help are homeless or on a fixed income, we help those who could not otherwise afford to pay for the evidence needed to support their claim for VA benefits. Another significant expense is the rent we pay for our facility along with the utilities cost of heat, air, electricity, and water. Our van drivers are logging over a thousand miles each week transporting veterans to their VA medical appointments. We have been looking for a sponsor to help us pay the operating expenses for our veterans’ transportation services. It seems as we are getting older, many of us have to ask someone to take us where we need to go.
Recently, we received the donation of a ten-passenger handicapped-accessible bus to be used to transport our veterans confined to a wheelchair. The decals with our logo will be applied next week, and it will be ready for use. For those who need handicapped accessible transportation, please call Lora at 405-550-8806 Extension 101 to schedule a ride. Currently, we only have one driver who is certified to operate this truck.
The number of veterans and surviving spouses who visit us Tuesday and Thursday morning is averaging 275 each week. We have veterans coming from all seventy-seven counties in Oklahoma. Most of the men and women we help are from our state. It looks like the state of Texas ranks number 1 with more veterans coming to see us from there than any other state. Over the years many veterans have asked why there is not a place like ours in their state. My answer is always the same it’s up to them to start making a difference in the lives of the men and women who have served in the military of this United States. We have veterans in North Dakota who have been to our place for training and are now sending their claims to us to be reviewed before submitting to VA. For those of you who are interested in helping your friends and neighbors, stop by for a visit to see how we operate our Foundation. Some of us in our organization are working fifty to eighty hours each week to be ready and able to help veterans and surviving spouses on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. As many of you know the preparation that goes into our operation before and after each work day is tremendous. Without the dedicated volunteers we have, it would be impossible to operate like we do.
Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation has food sacks available to those in need. An application for this type of assistance will be available on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. A DD-214 or military discharge will be necessary to apply. Please contact 405-550-8806 Extension 103 to request a food sack.
If you need a ride to and from a VA Medical Appointment, please contact 405-550-8806 to reach Clayton at Extension 105 or Louie at Ext. 106.
We are available every Tuesday and Thursday mornings at the 1268 North Interstate Drive Norman, OK 73072. We open the doors by 5:30 a.m. and we begin working as soon as volunteers have their computers ready. We stop taking clients as soon as we reach the quota for the day, and that time varies depending on the number of visitors and the number of available volunteers, which usually occurs around 8:00 a.m. Contact us with any questions by email firstname.lastname@example.org. For telephone assistance, please call 405-550-8806 to listen to our options. For help with Surviving Spouse Benefits, Shirley can also be reached at 405-361-9322, or stop by any Tuesday or Thursday morning. Visit our website at dalekgrahamveteransfoundation.org. Semper Fi!