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300,000 veterans die waiting for their benefits, VA reports
Posted September 16, 2015
Too many veterans die while waiting for their VA benefits.

Too many veterans die while waiting for their VA benefits.

It’s not right.

That’s likely the first thought to come to mind for every American to read a recent report from the Department of Veterans Affairs’ inspector general. The report stated that more than 300,000 American military veterans likely died while waiting for their healthcare.

To add to the pain, the report continues that “nearly twice as many are still waiting” for their veterans benefits.

The inspector general’s report cites severe problems with veterans’ enrollment data, making it difficult to determine how many veterans were looking for healthcare for the VA and how many actively are now. The VA said there are “data limitations” to finding this information.

To make matters worse, the inspector general’s report said there were “thousands” of unprocessed healthcare applications marked as completed. An additional 10,000 electronic transactions, possibly more, were erroneously deleted.

The fact of the matter is this: our troops deserve better. They put their lives on the line on a daily basis while in battle and should be treated well physically, mentally and emotionally upon their return home to the U.S.

It’s no secret that the VA has trouble with proper treatment of our veterans, as it has also had a VA backlog of tens of thousands of cases for years. This can only be called a national shame.

In order to have their claim adjudicated, it is important for veterans with claims to appeal any adverse decisions themselves or through legal counsel. Our office stands ready to help veterans with their claims against the VA for benefits.

Blocking memory pathway may prevent PTSD
Posted September 03, 2015

A medical breakthrough may help those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the University of Colorado Boulder.

Blocking a memory pathway that encodes traumatic memories in those who are stressed could help prevent PTSD altogether, professors from this school have found.

About 8 million Americans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that PTSD affects about one-third of veterans who return home from war, including 11 percent of those returning from Afghanistan.

Michael Baratta, PhD, of the University of Colorado Boulder, researched the amygdala, a part of the brain that encodes painful memories. The research appeared in the journal Biological Psychiatry.

After testing mice, the doctors discovered serotonin promoted memory consolidation, which converted short-term memories into long-term memories stored in the brain. Blocking the amygdala cells interaction with the serotonin meant the mice in this study did not develop PTSD. They believe this could also work in humans suffering with PTSD.

Researchers believe the drug agomelatine, an antidepressant, may be able to help those with PTSD. While this may be an exciting discovery, it is imperative that veterans who believe they are suffering with PTSD get treatment as soon as possible.

While many receive veterans benefits, the mental anguish is not worth it. For many, a cure or treatment would be considered a miracle.

The law offices of Harold W. Conick & Associates, Ltd. are experts in presenting evidence of PTSD and stand ready and able to assist veterans in pursuit of their benefits.

Disabled veterans will receive cost-of-living increase
Posted August 31, 2015
Veterans will get a cost of living increase for 2016.

Veterans will get a cost of living increase for 2016.

Those who were wounded while serving our country truly deserve the best. It appears Congress may be making a move toward this, as the MilitaryTimes reported that there will likely be a cost-of-living increase for disabled veterans in 2016.

However, this veterans benefits increase will be tied to Social Security Administration disability benefits. The increase her will not be known until October, so veterans and their families will have to wait to hear about the increase in their benefits.

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives passed the cost of living adjustment for disabled veterans, calling it a “commonsense adjustment,” according to the MilitaryTimes. The Senate still has to approve this veterans benefits increase, but there is almost no chance that any politician will choose to vote against this increase in payment.

The increase may not be huge, as the adjustment was an increase of 1.7 percent for the SSA and veterans benefits last year.

MilitaryTimes reports that this new legislation also deems it necessary for VA to pay accrued benefits to a decreased veteran’s estate, even if the veteran passes away without family to receive the payout. This change was passed in an effort to make sure VA does not withhold or cancel payments before every eligible beneficiary is identified

In an era where veterans are often caught in a benefits backlog, it is good to see the U.S. government attempting to do the right thing for those who nobly served our country.

Depression, anxiety more heavily affects management, study shows
Posted August 24, 2015

Managers and supervisors at work have a greater chance of suffering from depression and anxiety, according to a recent report from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

Those who find themselves suffering from depression and anxiety to the point of not being able to work should get professional medical help and apply for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration.

According to the study, the results of which were printed in the journal Sociology of Health and Illness, approximately twice the number of supervisors and managers suffered from mental health issues than than workers. For example, 18 percent of supervisors and managers suffered from depression, whereas 12 percent of workers said they did.

The study said this may be due to the added stresses of being in a position of power. Katherine Keyes, PhD, assistant professor of Epidemiology, said they chose to focus on these two mental illnesses due to the fact that the age of onset is usually older.

Typically, the stress of having less money and power is thought of as something that causes depression and anxiety. This study shows that may not necessarily be the case; people across all walks of life should be sure they are being attentive to their mental healthcare needs.

Depression and anxiety symptoms are, far and away, the primary reason people are unable to perform in competitive employment. The combination of depression and anxiety symptoms disables them from seeking employment and from performing work activities. The Law Offices of Harold W. Conick and Associates are experts in securing and presenting evidence to win Social Security benefits for it’s clients.

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