Aide comes through with VA benefits help | NevadaAppeal.com

Aide comes through with VA benefits help

E.J. NEWLIN, Carson City

I am a recently separated veteran whose career in the military ended abruptly due to an injury on the job. After being released from the military, I sought out my Veterans Affairs benefits to include Montgomery GI Bill and the VA work study program. I signed up for my classes at Western Nevada Community College and began working at one of the local state agency’s offices (through VA work-study funding).

Over a month had gone by, and I had not received any of the promised/self-paid benefit money due to me. I decided to call the Veterans Affairs regional office in Reno and spent in excess of two hours talking with a collage of people who would just refer me to another person. Finally, I was told to contact the VA Benefits Center in Oklahoma. The information I received was that my claim had not been received by them until Sept. 26 (mailed to them by WNCC on Aug. 27) and that due to slow processing time, I would be lucky to receive any monetary compensation until last November or early December. This would also include my paychecks, by which time I was owed for one pay period and ready to submit for my second.

A friend told me that Sen. Richard Bryan, and particularly his rural director Tom Baker, could help me with my problem. Mr. Baker over the next two days kept in contact with me letting me know what he could find out, and what progress he had made. In one instance, I was placed on a conference call between Mr. Baker and a veterans representative to sort out how the problem could be fixed. Later that afternoon, I was informed that I was now officially a veteran (in the VA’s education benefits computer) and I would soon receive the money due to me.

In closing, I’d just like to thank you. I’m not sure of Mr. Baker’s future aspirations for public office, but I for one would vote for him due to the fact that he actually cared enough to help me (one of the little people), and I’m not even registered to his party.