UPDATE: VA, CN reaching out to Native vets for pension eligibility

06/06/2019 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH – The U.S. Veterans Affairs and Cherokee Nation are hosting a VA claims event from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Aug. 6 to identify and assist veterans who may have presumptive disabilities and who might be eligible for a VA pension.

The event will be held at the CN Office of Veterans Affairs located at 17675 S. Muskogee Ave.

According to a VA release, a presumptive disability is a condition the VA presumes is related to military service, although the condition may first appear after discharge from the military. These conditions may qualify for VA compensation payments.

“With the focus on veterans with presumptive disabilities and those who are pension eligible, VA is hopeful we can help Indian Country veterans access the full range of benefits they have courageously earned through their service,” Stephanie Birdwell, VA Office of Tribal Government Relations director, said.

According to the release, the VA launched a nationwide campaign to roll out VA claims events with tribal communities. It realizes that reaching these veterans could have a direct impact on the lives of thousands of previously unreached veterans and their spouses, the release states. It also states this will help the VA enhance and improve the experience for all veterans and their families.

If you are a veteran interested in attending, bring the following documents to expedite your claim:

• Medical records/medical evidence (doctor or hospital reports);

• Any documents that provide historical or military information needed for the disability you are claiming;

• Discharge or separation papers (DD214 or equivalent);

• Dependents’ records (marriage certificate, death certificate, child birth certificate);

• Spouses/widows may be eligible for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) when a veteran dies because of these presumptive disabilities.

Services offered for this one-day event include Social Security assistance, VA benefits claims and VA medical center enrollment.

For more information, call Mary Culley with the VA at 405-626-3426 or email Mary.Culley@va.gov or Barbara Foreman with the CN at 918-772-4166 or email barbara-foreman@cherokee.orgbarbara-foreman@cherokee.org.


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