One of our U.S. Army Vietnam Veterans was recently awarded a 100% rating for his service-connected disabilities. He was severely injured when the tank he was in was destroyed, killing everyone except him. During the past 50 years, he had never been approved for any VA benefits. After he came to see us, he became a staunch supporter of what we do for veterans; and he started bringing veterans to our facility one carload at a time for over three years. Thank You, Walter Whitfield, for your military service along with your service to other veterans and their families.
As many of you have become aware of our transformation into using a digital format to assist veterans, I want you to know that we are doing this to help keep you safe along with our volunteers. We cannot serve the hundreds of veterans the old way where everyone lined up outside until it was their turn to come into the building. This COVID19 has changed many things in all of our lives. Who would have thought that everything we took for granted, like buying groceries or visiting our doctors, would put us at risk of being exposed to a virus? Our volunteers will continue to help veterans and surviving spouses with their claims for VA benefits. A quick overview of how to start the process:
- Visit www.dkgvf.org to start your claim
- Look for an email from us asking you to sign a 21-22a to give me power of attorney.
- Once we have access to your VA claims folder in VBMS, we will contact you to find out what service-connected disabilities should be re-evaluated and which new ones to request service-connection.
As we move forward, we are aware that not everyone will have computer access to file their claims online. To this end, we will work diligently to establish a way to provide our services to everyone who needs it. One of the problems we have continually is answering all the e-mails and phone calls that we receive every day. We are currently adding new volunteers and training current staff on how to submit claims for VA benefits electronically. Once we have more trained volunteers, they will have the option of working from home to assist veterans and surviving spouses with their VA claims.
Dale K. Graham, VA Accredited Claims Agent
Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation