Veterans Disability Lawyer Urges Changes in VA Mental Health Care Delivery
Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) May 21, 2012 - Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki faced a Congressional panel in early May and admitted that the agency is understaffed to achieve the level of care that American veterans deserve.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA ) announced in April that the agency needs about 1,900 new positions, but Shinseki told the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee that the VA needs additional workers in mental health care beyond the 1,900 already requested.
“If more employees is what the Department of Veterans Affairs needs in order to get mental health care to the veterans who need it immediately, then I hope the VA gets the new workers it is requesting,” said Jim Fausone, veteran’s disability lawyer, with Legal Help for Vets. “The most important thing is for veterans suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder or other service-related mental health needs to be seen quickly by professionals upon applying for help.”
The House panel grilling Shinseki about his staffing issues at the VA were unconvinced that his requests were not in response to a report from the Inspector General that showed the VA had been overstating its response rates to veterans with mental health care needs.
The VA had claimed that 95 percent of the veterans seeking mental health care with the VA for the first time had an evaluation within the targeted 14 days. The Inspector General report found that about half of the veterans had to wait at least 50 days for their initial evaluation.
Shinseki assured the House panel that even though the veteran requests for mental health care have gone up 35 percent since 2007, the VA’s staff has increased 41 percent during that same period.
“If it is doctors we need, then let’s hire more doctors. If it is buildings we need, then let’s build more buildings. If it is agents answering the phone and making appointments that we need then lets hire them,” Fausone said. “Their service to this country has put many veterans in a dark place. Science has shown that counseling can help people who suffer from PTSD and other service-related mental health illnesses.”
James G. Fausone is a Veterans disability attorney and Veterans attorney with Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC. To learn more or to contact a Veterans disability attorney or Veterans attorney call 1.800.693.4800 or visit http://www.legalhelpforveterans.com.
Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC
41700 West Six Mile Road, Suite 101
Northville, MI 48168
Toll Free Phone: 800.693.4800
- Veteran’s suicide in VA parking lot highlights shortcomings of disability benefits process
Veterans are promised care in return for their service to our nation. However, many former service members struggle for years to get the financial support and benefits they deserve. The recent suicide of a 63-year-old Navy veteran is yet another tragic reminder that a lot more needs to be done. Police from the Durham VA […]
- Veteran Caregivers are Being Dropped from Roles by VA
Kristina Derro, Esq. The Department of Veteran’s Affairs Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers is a program used to provide stipends for family caregivers who are forced to stay at home to take care of their veteran family member. Since these veterans have suffered serious injuries, the program is a great way to give […]
- VA transitioning to commercial software to better serve veterans
The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) efforts to serve the nation’s veterans as efficiently as possible have long been hampered by its outdated information technology system. Now, the agency is looking to replace its current system with a commercial electronic health record (EHR) system. During a House Committee on Veterans Affairs hearing, VA Secretary David […]
See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: attorney for veterans, lawyer for veterans, veteran attorney, veteran attorneys, veteran benefits attorney, veteran disability lawyer, veterans attorney, Veterans disability attorney