Options exist for veterans during shutdown

American Legion service officers – even those working in Department of Veterans Affairs facilities now closed to the public – still are providing claims assistance to veterans.

Service officers located in VA facilities now closed are moving to new locations where assistance can be provided; other DSOs who haven’t relocated are providing telephone assistance in claims processing.

Vet Centers and VA medical facilities open through the shutdown have been offering space to service officers to meet with veterans and family members; however, there is no VA computer access available.

American Legion posts are an excellent resource to find an accredited Legion service officer to request claims assistance locally. Claim forms also can be submitted through the mail to VA Regional Offices and should be date stamped by VA upon receipt to protect the date of claim.

While VA may be accepting mail, it is not responding to any mail received.

Veterans who may be eligible for VA compensation also are encouraged to use the Legion’s Claims Coach mobile app. The app, available through either the Apple Store or Google Play, provides step-by-step guidance to help you and your service officer through the process of filing for VA benefits.

In the month prior to the shutdown, The American Legion represented 713,255 veterans with claims in the Veterans Benefits Administration. Through Legion assistance, those veterans received VBA benefits totaling $758,692,429.


  1. Unfortunately, folks, our elected officials for the most part have not been concerned for the Vets, the poor, or the middle class for a good number of years now. They are more concerned with their own power and they kowtow to whatever politial or financial influence that can be brought to bear to keep them in office. They are financially secure themselves, so they have no idea what it means to be hungry, homeless, or to live paycheck to paycheck (if you are fortunate enough to have a paycheck). They represent the ideology of people that put them in office - not the American people. The country is like a plane in a free-fall toward earth, and I for one don't see any possibility of the pilot being able to pull out before we crash. Then what???
  2. I hear obama say that the Republicans won't budge but is he? He wants everyone else to give in, if he is a real American why can't he think of the American people other than him being right. That seems to be his only concern, "It's all about him and what he wants and thinks" Does he realize he isn't GOD and some people need what they get to live on. He will be remembered but not the way he wants. It's such a shame that the politicians forget how they got in the position they are in, THE PEOPLE ELECTED THEM TO SERVE AND DO WHAT IS BEST FOR ALL, NOT JUST WHAT THEY WANT! It seems power of the presidency has gone to someone's head. Wake up and THINK OF SOMEONE BESIDES YOURSELF AND GETTING YOUR WAY!!
  3. Please explain what I don't get about this situation: the ACA was passed by both houses of Congress, signed by the president, and upheld by the Supreme Court. According to any high school civics book this makes it the law of the land. Now what are we to say about people who refuse to accept this basic fact of the political process and attempt to get around the law by tying its funding to the totally unrelated measures to fund the operation of the government and ensure that America meets its financial obligations? I would call them (in polite company) people who just want to get their way, regardless of the law of the land and shamelessly employ any licit or illicit means to do so. These are precisely the folks who don't THINK OF SOMEONE BESIDES THEMSELVES AND GETTING THEIR OWN WAY.
  4. I disagree with you people that blame this shut down on j the republicans, Obama could give up any time also.Listen to the reports, Obama care is costing anywhere from $800.00 to over a $1000.00 dollars a month to partisapate. I certianly can`t afford that. Can you?
  5. right the va is only going to imnprove when the monie hoarders the civilans and the real military takes over the VA hey i;ve been throuhg court an won against the va and damen;d 10+ years later i still have not even gotten the basics of benifits or med care the damend va needs to be scrapped and rebuild;t also
  6. I find it funny that these Tea Party People that ran on and was elected based soley on saying that "If I am elected to Congress I will shut down the government!" Now, the same people that elected these people to government are shocked that they did exactly what they said what were going to do. "hey what are you complaining about, this is what you asked for?"
  7. The Healthcare Act is a poor excuse for the continued bi-partisan posturing that has been going on these last few months and is currently blocking progress on a budget that should already be in place. Our elected officials have lost sight of the point that their role is to act in the capacity "Of, By, and For" The People. My problem with the act itself is and has been, the language of funding. It is the same with the solution Congress produced to end their sequester, the burden of payment for everything will fall to all those who can ill afford to do so, fixed / low income, education, Social Security, Defense, and Veterans. It is much easier to legislate cuts to those who already have difficulty getting by and have no true voice to lobby against these decisions and put true pressure on Congress to think critically and work to the end that they were elected for and think not "Party First," but "People First." I realize this type of sentiment makes me seem a bit naïve, but it is right none the less. Just because we have always done things a certain way, doesn't mean it isn't wrong. We really must find a way to collaborate and make this work for everyone. As a Disabled Vet going to college, I rely on my housing allowance and my Disability payment to pay the bare necessities and avoid becoming homeless. I see from this string many others are in the same boat. In my opinion, Congress is consumed with self interest and is dealing in bad faith with their Veterans. Further, their program cuts to education all but ensure we are on a path to failure in the world market in the coming years as we lose our competitive edge in technology and production every day.
  8. What we learn from history is that we don't learn from history. As a society we have elected ultra liberals who can't manage government. It's pretty obvious that we can't live within our means, and sooner or later, what is happening now must happen sooner or later. The real twist on it is that we spend our time trying to figure out who the bad guys, and who the good guys are in government. So now we have the blame game. Both houses of congress need to be fired after Obama is impeached. Face it, we've been living in a fools paradise. I don't see quick or easy solutions to the mess we're in so I think we will be treated to phony solutions while we: Continue to find ways to work around the constitution. Increase the National debt so China continues to buy out the 'greatest democracy on earth'. Shrug off the responsibility government owes to its veterans. Pass off every function and responsibility of government to private companies whose only interest is how much they can milk from the public. As for me, I can't expect many more years to a long life, so I wish you guys the best. The only thing I'd like to see before I cash in my chips would be a real house cleaning of government.
  9. My husband served in Vietnam as many other veterans. He was there when they sprayed Agent Orange and as a result, he has prostate cancer with complications with his bladder. I believe that we the people, need to stand up to our government and make them realize that we aren't taking this shut down anymore. Mr. Obama needs to be removed from office period. The executive branches of the government still get their checks so they need to have their checks stopped
  10. Ms. Koshar, I, too, am a Vietnam Vet and I disagree. Obama is one of the best we have ever had. Don't blame him. It is Boehner, Cantor, Cruz and their compadres that are the problem.
  11. What do we tell our mortgage companies and the rest of our debit collectors? How are we to survive during the shut-down?
  12. Our federal government is being held hostage by a band of Republican extremists who want to radically re-shape our country. While Republicans have made high-profile attempts to defund President Obama’s signature health care law, that’s not their only target. 50 House Republicans, led by Rep. Reid Ribble of Wisconsin, just sent a letter to Speaker Boehner urging him to make cuts to Social Security benefits before the debt ceiling is raised and our government re-opened. And yesterday morning, Paul Ryan published an op-ed asking for the same thing: Cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in exchange for an increase to the debt ceiling.
  13. Your comments are unfair to say one party, by the way standing up for the ones who can vote for a bill that 70% do not want, when it's poor Leadership on the President. This individual has divided Our Country and those who have served, by the closing of monuments honoring Our Serve to make it hurt, and gave the last for Our Country. Stop worrying about Yourself and take stand for what's RIGHT.
  15. Why limit the pay cut to only republicans? It is all of congress and the president who are not doing their jobs. By the way, the republicans have put forth viable options to this hiatus but Harry Reid and company have refused to read or discuss these options. Therefore, how can it be the republicans who are to blame?
  16. For the people who put Obama in office, they should have known that putting someone in the highest office in American government with only having experience as a community organizer would lead to big problems... Then this same individual surrounded himself with some very questionable individuals (czars) that answer to no one but him, brought more up questions about him and what he was really trying to accomplish, which has been very little, in a positive sense. He has rammed through a health care law that will bankrupt this country and destroy the current health services that we currently had. He did this so that 16 to 18% of Americans that were currently uninsured would have insurance. Now, he and most all of the Democrats want to create an amnesty program that would allow over 11 million illegal aliens a gateway to citizen... thus making them eligible for free health care. I think that all of these illegal aliens need to be sent back to where they came from, come through our borders legally, just like my grandparents and other aliens in the past did and go the through the proper process. Obama and the other Democrats see their plan as an easy and quick way to become the controlling political party of the future. And what about the IRS, Benghazi, NSA, etc., etc., etc.,
  17. I too am a Vietnam vet.I agree with you Old Vet. After spending a couple of days helping Veterans and families find lost one's names on the Vietnam Memorial Moving Wall, it is a real shame the present admistration has no respect for the ones that were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for our way of life. Every single person I talked to laid the shut down at the Senate democrats door step.
  18. I am not going to lose my benefit check come Nov 1, I have been waiting 6 years for a hearing on my claim. I also have a claim that has been sitting some where for about 4 months. I sure would like to draw my earned benefits before I die. The lazy bums in Washington need to be in our shoes.
  19. I am a Vietnam veteran receive a check every-month I-also-been diagnose with type2 diabetes because I was there when they sprayed agent orange plus have numerous medical problems. I am disabled so I can't work. I believe now that this is not what the constitution stands for Its not " We The People " Its We The politicans control the people and stuff our pockets with the peoples money so we can stay elected and make stupid decision well when elections come guess who is not going vote any of these crooks. they all should be IMPEACHED. And America should start over again "WE THE PEOPLE" should make sure that the next politians are for the people and not for THEMSELVES>
  20. I am a Vietnam era and gulf war veteran, and 100% disabled I need my check!!!! Thank Gov.
  21. As usual, it's all clear as mud. Nothing is clear about the disabled veterns who are drawing disability payments now? Will they also stop on Nov.1St.
  22. Yes, they will stop unless the budget passes entirely, or they pass the other bill giving the VA funds. If one of those two things doesn't happen, VA disability checks will NOT go out.
  23. I am one of those disabled veterans and the doctors just prescribed a service dog for me and I am afraid, if this shutdown keeps going, that will not happen. I depend on my check each and every month. How am I suppose to pay my bills and my rent. Will I, and the other vets, be homeless because of the idiots in Washington? They don't worry, they are still getting paid, which is totally wrong.
  24. The President will not negotiate? He views himself as a dictator! He is nothing more than our elected top official who is supposed to look out for our welfare. He will not negotiate because he cannot be reelected? Well, guess what buddy, you still have to have a job for the rest of your life and we will not forget that you refused to work for the benefit of Americans. You crammed your Obamacare program down our throats when we are struggling just to put food on the table. Get rid of that stupid program and let US decide how we spend our money. That attitude of YOU run everything is hogwash. Open our government; it is not yours, it is ours, and yes you will negotiate!
  25. The house and senate have to both pass a bill for it to go to the president! Don't blame Obama for things out of his control.
  26. Oh come now! The President is the Top Dog of the Democratic Party ... Where all the flack is coming from! If all persons are to be treated equally - the President and the entire political group under him should all have to do what is being pushed on all of us! No special benefits for any politician!
  27. So you favor negotiating with terrorist and extremists. It wasn't the President that wanted to shutdown the government. It was the vile teabagger extremists that brought this shutdown on. I can't figure out why I see all these posts supporting the extremists that have taken over the Republican Party - they have never supported any legislation for the Veterans and today want to take benefits away. I was promised free care at any Veteran's facility when I enlisted. Then the "means test" came along. If we means tested people on Social Security, it would be solvent forever. And how can anyone be against providing health care? The rest of the world's figured out how to do it, but the Republican Party has always opposed it in America. Jesus never turned anyone away that asked for healing and neither should we.
  28. "Mr." Obama you can still be impeached, even though you can not be reelected (thank goodness). We, also, need to get rid of the congressmen and the representatives. They, too are responsible for the mess we are in.
  29. Yes Mr. Obama reelection or not, you will negotiate. I really after almost two terms in office have not decided who or what you are but i do respect the office you hold! We are America's chosen few who have bled and died for people like you and your'e family (whether it be right or wrong) we followed orders and did what we thought was right. So just out of respect for this alone, can you not sit down with the right and the left and put a stop to all this madness? Sincerely, Mike Roberts ( an American patriot 110% through and through!)
  30. This is crazy... Yes we are being held hostage ---- just like those soldiers whose family have to grovel for death benefits. We were there when called on to defend our country and constitution. Is it too much to ask that we be paid for our service???? what do you think our founders would say????
  31. People you got what you wanted.He could have been sent packing but the America people VOTED the rag head bagk into office.That butt wipe should have been Fired an the rest of the lot sent along with him. So on VOTE day if the candate is up for another term donot vote for them there is not one in congres or senate that has done any part of there job so america do'nt be a DUMB A-- an vote them back in office
  32. I don't think he should have been allowed to be elected in the first place. Where was his birth certificate and where was he born???? Then when h did produce it h wasn't eligible to be President, but why wasn't anything done??? It just shows he and congress don't care about we the people, they are in there for the money and the easy life of doing nothing, which is what they do anyway.
  33. My husband and I both are veterans. He is a retired veteran. We depend on this money as does everyone who gets a VA check and from wherever. I despise this misleading article written very stupid author. From what journalism school did this person graduate and what editor let it fly as is! If congress went without their much depended upon monthly checks, this would be resolved right now. I say withhold our checks and hold veterans hostage. Then you reserve the same all the way up the chain to the President who has let this hostage situation to continue. Set your veterans FREE. Freedom not in the USA anymore!
  34. What are those options? Besides, who needs options? We simply need to get paid. Payments that we earned. Semper Fi.
  35. I have to agree with JeanC, where are the options??? I read the article and I don't remember seeing anything mentioned in it.
  36. According the to the article, your options are that you can have members of the legion assist you with your claim. Then it will wait in a queue until the VA gets permission to get back to work. The rest of us who have already filed our claims and getting benefits have no options. We need to wait for the "Gang on the Hill" to stop holding our benefits hostage and get a budget passed. Remember this when you vote next year. Your representative will be looking to get re-elected. Hopefully mine will be looking for another job, one not in public (dis)service.
  37. The author of this article should have put more thought into the title. It's very misleading, and speaks nothing of other resources for those who will be without a check on Nov. 1. While claims are certainly important, I daresay that the veterans who are currently receiving a check will click through to see this article, and based on its title, be thoroughly disappointed when they read it. As a writer who also happens to be a retired Marine, I take exception to the way this title was crafted. Shame on you.
  38. I agree. We expect a more open and honest report from you. This is as clear as mud, and does NOT address the problem noted in the title. As a matter of curiosity; did a government official [a.k.a. politician] write this?
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