Are Veterans Selfish?

That is the golden question amidst proposed budget cuts from Congress and even the Pentagon. Last year Congress proposed trimming the annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) for working-age veterans by 1 percent. This year, the Pentagon is considering cutting subsidies it pays to military commissaries. American Legion National Commander Daniel Dellinger said, “Like the trimming of expenses to be made by reducing military retirees’ pensions, this is an inexcusable way of attempting to fix a fault by penalizing the blameless.”

Throughout the course of my practice, I often come across veterans who feel ashamed to apply for disability benefits, even though they are suffering extensively. They are ashamed to ask for help. But in this new era of improvised bombs, improved battlefield care and multiple deployments, our troops need help from their government more than ever. Often times our veterans come home with traumatic brain injuries, disfigurements, and invisible wounds like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They need our help. What they do not need is to feel like they are selfish for capitalizing on the system.

Veterans are anything BUT selfish. They have given their lives to serve and protect our country. We should do everything in our power to take care of them when they return home. Veterans’ benefits are based on their service. They receive a disability rating based on the injuries they incurred during service or injuries that are more likely than not exacerbated by their service. This rating can be from 0 up to 100 percent. The purpose of the rating is to compensate the veteran based upon the extent of their disability. No veteran should be ashamed of their government compensating them for their disability.

If you are a veteran or know a veteran who is struggling due to their service, I encourage you to reach out for help. Applying for benefits is complicated, confusing, and extensive. Find a trusted disability attorney to help you navigate through the system so you can get the benefits YOU DESERVE.

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