Vets tell Senator’s staff about benefits bottlenecks

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Vets tell Senator’s staff about benefits bottlenecks

Marietta Times – Though they’re entitled to receive compensation and benefits for their service to the country, many area veterans told representatives of U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown Monday that while they may get those benefits, they never know when.

About 15 area veterans met with Doug Babcock, senior legislative assistant for veterans affairs for Brown, D-Ohio, at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5108 in Marietta to discuss current issues facing veterans.

A recent initiative to help veterans with the job market, entitled Hire Heroes and co-sponsored by Brown, was passed in November 2011.

The legislation is designed to lower the rate of unemployment among veterans by expanding education with up to one year of additional Montgomery GI Bill benefits as well as improving the Transition Assistance Program (TAP).

To help with individual claims such as Casto’s and McHale’s, Babcock referred them to caseworkers on Brown’s staff who specifically handle helping veterans through the benefit process.

Babcock said Brown also plans to work on legislation to address the issue of delays in service for veterans. Brown is currently sponsoring a bill to amend Title 38 of the United States Code to require the Secretary of Veterans affairs to provide veterans notice of services that may be available to them if they file electronic claims.

Further legislation to address issues of veterans may result after gathering feedback. Each month, Brown plans to hold a conference call with veterans from around the state to hear input on policy as well, Babcock said.

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