VA and Together We Served (TWS) will be hosting a free, virtual Veterans forum on June 23, 2022, from 1-2 p.m. ET on the following topics:

  • VA benefits and health care;
  • Mental health and PTSD;
  • Your military stories and VA experiences.

Why should I participate?

It takes a community and a network of professionals to address Veterans’ physical and mental (emotional) health concerns. If you have ever asked yourself the following questions, just know VA is here to help.

  • How do I sign-up for VA health care? How do I access my medical records?
  • What are my benefits? What am I eligible to receive?
  • Have you ever wondered if you may suffer from acute stress disorder and/or post-traumatic stress disorder?
  • Have you ever isolated yourself, lacked motivation, experienced feelings of loneliness or being misunderstood, or have lower physical and mental health?
  • Am I getting the most out of my VA benefits?

Our experts will answer your questions. We understand that finding people in the community to connect with can be challenging for anyone.

Mental health disorders are no longer considered a taboo issue and talking about your problems and seeking help is courageous. VA has a team of professionals that can help and guide you to applicable resources. Stress, anxiety and depression can make you feel overwhelmed, alone and detached from loved ones. Understand that you are not alone.

Come ask your questions, share your experiences, and learn about VA and community resources to improve your mental health and access the services you need.

Together We Served allows Veterans to come together in a public forum to enjoy, support and connect with one another. Connect with friends, find resources, assist other Veterans, locate community members and become a part of this local, statewide and national effort to build support systems for (and with) Veterans.

Where to register: https://togetherweserved.com/vaforum.

How to participate in the forum

Step 1: Go to https://togetherweserved.com/vaforum.

Step 2: If you are not already a TWS Member, simply click the “Not Yet Registered” button and join as a Veteran.

Step 3:  If you are already a TWS Member, click on “Enter the Forum” and select your service branch to login.

Step 4: Once you have registered, or logged in, you will automatically arrive at the Department of Veterans Affairs Special Forums page. Click on any VA Forum that interests you to view and respond to existing posts, or create a new post that you would like a response to. TWS Admins are always at hand to assist with any questions you may have via the TWS Help Desk live chat feature. Post your questions or stories now!

Step 5: VA experts will join on June 23, 2022, between 1-2 p.m. ET to view your posts and address your questions.

Resources

  • Click HERE to enroll in VA health care services.
  • Click HERE to file a disability claim.
  • National Center for PTSD website.
  • If you’re a Veteran looking for support, reach out to the Vet Center Call Center confidentially 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 877-927-8387.
  • Use the VA facility locator tool to find a Vet Center location near you.
  • If you or a Veteran you know is in crisis, contact the Veterans Crisis Line, available 24/7. Call 800-273-8255 and press 1, text to 838255 or chat online at veteranscrisisline.net/Chat.
  • To find resources for service members, Veterans, their family members and caregivers, explore the National Resource Directory.

The sharing of any non-VA information does not constitute an endorsement of products and services on the part of VA. Verify information with the organization offering.

By Mary Beard is a national employment coordinator for VA's Veteran Readiness and Employment program

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Published on Jun. 13, 2022

Estimated reading time is 3 min.

Views to date: 1,146

16 Comments

  1. Bryn Bell June 30, 2022 at 3:29 pm

    Over 4 months now and still waiting for a claim decision. All I hear is “The VA is backlogged.” 600,000 new cases are backlogghed. And they wonder why they need a Veterans Crisis Line. Absolutely no support. Claim or appeal is filed and it gets thrown onto a pile without a care in the world on whether that vet needs quick action to be taken. Sounds like they need to round up a lot of those high paid managers and Department heads and get them busy solving the problems they already have, not introducing new programs and assistance that will create an even bigger problem.

    Even with a legal representative you can’t get an answer from the VA. “We’re backlogged.” Enough of the excuses. Take action. I know I have. I’ve contacted both of my Senators and my Congressional Rep. and directed their attention to the massive ongoing problem and why veterans are not getting the help they deserve, and why they are turning to outside sources for help and meds. Too many bureaucrats and not enough caring people who need to syand up and take action for the lousy service and fix it,

  2. Abirra Nartel June 29, 2022 at 10:52 pm

    I am really disturbed to read the concerns regarding the VA medical system. My husband at the age of 57 was diagnosed having kidney problems and has gotten such amazing treatment at the VA. We merely determined after a time that he needed substantial care and took him to silvergaterr. You had fantastic employees that are very compassionate and inspiring. Phenomenal doctors engage and are always transparent. No troubles at all acquiring prescriptions via mail. Thank you to the VA staff for their dedication to our warriors!

  3. Cindy Mesnard June 24, 2022 at 10:24 pm

    I am so sorry to hear the complaints about the VA medical system. My husband had a hemorrhagic stroke at 55 & he has had such great care at the VA. Amazing therapists that are so caring & motivating. Exceptional primary care doctors that listen & follow up. No problems at all getting prescriptions by mail. Thank you to the VA team for serving our heros!

  4. Ron Sherman June 24, 2022 at 12:55 am

    The VA has a very frustrating and broken process in trying to apply for A&A (Aide & Attendance), that no Veteran deserves to go through. “Aide and Attendance” in which supposedly supplemental Pension Income is available to help with the cost of long-term senior care, for qualified Veterans and/or their surviving spouses. Qualification requirements include that the Veteran served during a time period of war, was honorably discharged, fits minimal income requirements, and have special health care needs.

    First of all, the required forms to fill out are very confusing, and was told that most Veterans don’t get the forms filled out correctly the first time, and get rejected. I even saw businesses, advertising on the web, who will help the Veterans fill out the forms properly the first time, but charge up to $1000 for the assistance! After making several referral calls, my Father was finally able to get a local VA representative to assist him. When the forms are submitted, (even before the Covid outbreak), the normal turn-around time was 6 months before you would hear back, if your request was accepted or rejected. When people have to pay for special health care needs, waiting 6 months can eat up a lot of money! For my Father, it ate up a lot of his valuable remaining lifetime, considering he was 88 years old when he first applied, which was just after my Mother passed away.

    If you are rejected, you can submit an appeal, which takes another 3 to 4 months before hearing anything back. On the initial application request, my Father received a rejection, stating that the reviewer could not actually prove that my Father served both in the Army and Air Force, which he did during the Korean War Years. In 1973, a devastating fire destroyed 17 million military service records, at a military record storage facility in St. Louis. Instead of asking the Veterans to provide proof of papers, the reviewer just automatically rejects the request, which is nothing but an absolute insult to the Veteran, who put their lives on the line in the protection of our country! The worst (and biggest) problem is that the VA does not allow the Veteran to speak to a reviewer, which can easily and quickly resolve the issue.

    Until my Father passed away at 90 years old, from Covid, he had issued 4 appeals, each one rejected for a different reason, which any of them could have been easily and quickly been resolved by a simple phone call with the reviewer! For the last appeal response, they said that his income was too high, but did not include any numbers with the denial. He had to issue another appeal, just to obtain the numbers that should have been included with the denial letter. The mail with the numbers finally arrived 3 months later, 2 days after my Father passed-away!! Looking through the numbers, based on his monthly home health-care costs adding up, he would have qualified at least two months prior!

    While it is now too late for my Father, I strongly feel the need to do what I can so than other Veterans do not have to go through all this pain for VA support. It seems like the VA purposely makes this process difficult so people will stop trying, or pass away before they get approved (as in the case of my Father). The solution to this broken process is quite simple – while it would be nice if the application paperwork is made easier, at least allow the Veteran to speak to a reviewer! This would save a lot of extra unnecessary paperwork not only for just the Veteran, but also for the VA as well.

    After my Father’s passing, the local VA representative suggested that I should apply for VA funeral benefits, which I did. Two months later, I received word back that my request was denied, since my Father was not approved for A&A or currently had an active appeal in process. Considering I did not receive the numeric details from the last A&A appeal until 2 days after my Father passed away, they would not take this into consideration. It made no sense issuing another appeal, until he had the numbers to see how far his income was off from the financial requirements. Another big slap in the face for honoring/memorializing our Veterans! The VA told me that I could request going through a Review Board to appeal, which I did, but it has been almost 2 years since submitting this request was made and no communications has been received back from the VA about when this review will be held! No matter the eventual results of this appeal (if it even happens) the root of the overall problem needs to be addressed!

    • Ron Sherman June 27, 2022 at 6:52 pm

      I would love to hear comments back from others with their experiences with A&A. Also, this issue need to be passed to those who have the power to resolve this issue.

  5. Katherine Stephens June 22, 2022 at 9:41 am

    It helped my spouse tremendously when he did the PTSD 10 weeks, in house, program at the Captain James A. Lovell VA at Great Lakes Naval Station. They approach all your medical issues, breakout sessions with psychologists, psychiatrist, social worker, and any special medical issues the veteran has. They got him on track for his health & mental issues. He receives one on one sessions with psychiatrist every few months, psychology every month, primary, dental, audiology, gastroenterologist, endocrinologist, vision specialist,! He received well over 100% disability rating from the VA! My advice is to not give up! Keep your appointments, insist on seeing a Veterans Service Officer who will get your VA ratings! You have to stay determined!

  6. Mary June 21, 2022 at 10:33 am

    Please register for the VA-TWS forum to have your question(s) answered by a subject-matter expert (SME). Unfortunately, there will not be any SME’s monitoring this post

    Where to register: https://togetherweserved.com/vaforum.

  7. Bryn Bell June 17, 2022 at 11:08 pm

    Almost 4 months and still waiting for a decision on a supplemental claim . The website states “We don’t know your status”.
    Details show a response that says “We don’t know your status. VA.gov will be updated soon to show your status.
    It has said this on the webpage since DECEMBER. It went to the decision phase in late February. The claim originated back in August of 2021.

    Any you wonder why vets give up on the VA and go elsewhere for help and medication, sometimes the illegals meds. Phone calls go to a phone bank with people who just don’t care. They won’t give you a straight answer. All they tell you is the VA is backed up and I’ll know the decision when I get the letter in the mail.

    Gee, I can’t wait. I make an appointment and get letters, texts and phone calls out the wazoo reminding me of the appt. like I’m a little kid or something. How about I call the VA repeatedly 24/7 and remind them of my claim and how long it’s been held up since they received it and sent it to the decision examiner.

    And now they’re going to launch a new Life Insurance Plan in 2023 that will cover all vets. Why not just change the requirements to the plans you already offer? But then again it would be a lot easier than rolling out a new plan and compounding the problem, but that’s not the way the VA operates.

  8. William Bailey June 17, 2022 at 9:39 am

    I was going to ask a question but from reading several posts I don’t feel like I am that important and I hope you get to the others first

  9. Michael Ransom June 15, 2022 at 10:33 pm

    If you go to the CV. A. they will act like you are there to please them. When they give you a prescription the refills should be like Express Script and be for 90- days and not have to call them up and practically beg for a refill .

  10. Bob McGowan June 15, 2022 at 9:38 pm

    I am a VN navy vet. I served in the Mekong delta with boots on ground in Saigon, Danang, camau also. I have Barrett’s esophagus from AO. I have been back & forth for 45+ years to have this listed as service related. What can I do?

    • Rick June 23, 2022 at 1:05 pm

      Hire a good lawyer

  11. Calvin L Young June 15, 2022 at 8:55 pm

    My comments and sentiments are closely associated with what Mr Bryn Bell stated so well in his comments. Everything he mentioned has validity as far as I’m concerned. I can personally identify with many of the same type experiences I’ve had dealing with VA. Unfortunately, a lot of us have come to the realization, that the word’s ‘Epluribus-Unium’ has a negative connotation if it’s applied to us as U.S. Veterans. VA is much too adversarial toward us as Veterans, especially in the area of adjudicating compensation claims and valid health issues.

  12. Bruce June 15, 2022 at 8:04 pm

    The great VA approved dental work over ten years ago, for reasons having NOTHING to do with Service Connection. Three Doctors signed off to pull all my teeth for three separate legally allowable reason that have nothing to do with Service Connection. I found these alternatives for dental work in the VAs own Policy and Procedure Manuals. NO VA REP EVER SAID ONCE IN ALL MY YEARS AT THE VA THERE WERE ANY OTHER OPTIONS AVAILABLE. I heard from here to Washington one excuse for never doing the work described in an actual VA Medical Record. I have tried to get them to do it for at least ten years now and the answer is still no, no matter it was lawfully agreed to under your own guidelines, not mine. How do you expect me to believe ANYTHING the VA states as factually the truth. I left mental health because of that departments awful Policies that allow the further mental abuse to be caused by your own Doctors. Fix the dental work I was promised and maybe a tiny bit of faith will be restored to me. Unless the VA does what they promise, and DELIVER on the VAs promises, then the VA is full of I do not care doctors who deserve to lose their jobs. But that will not happen either because you are the VA. Call me about this only if YOU REALLY CARE.
    Thanks for nothing still VA. I have been a VA patient since the end of 1975. I have lived in all the horrible choices the VA makes on purpose. You should be cursed, especially those in charge in Memphis Tn. VA Medical Center. No one there cares about ME. That is obvious, and I have bank boxes full of VA correspondence to prove every word of this. Someone prove I am wrong about any of this.

  13. Bryn Bell June 14, 2022 at 2:32 pm

    112 days and counting since an appeals claim went into the decision phase. What a joke. And you wonder why a lot of vets are fed up with the VA and need outside help. There wouldn’t be half the problems with Vets wanting to talk to crisis managers about suicide if the VA got off it’s lazy bureaucratic backside and handled problems in a timely fashion. Get some of those lazy upper echelon people who do nothing but cash big paychecks to help with the workload. There wouldn’t be so many delays.
    And you wonder why the VA hired a couple of fancy high paid Drs. to poll thousands of vets at home about what the problems are at the VA and why there are so many suicides.
    1: No support
    2: Not enough people to handle benefits and appeals.
    3: Too top heavy with Directors, Managers and Supervisors who think they don’t have to help out the process.
    4: Too restricted in medications and protocol.
    5: Too many people with no military experience that can relate directly to a vet and his problems.
    6: Excessive waiting time for appointments.
    And that’s just the start of it. Too many vets I know have given up on the VA and turned to outside sources for drugs and medications just to get by.

  14. Ted Simmerman June 13, 2022 at 4:53 pm

    Why doesn’t this VA website remember my name? Other sites which I regularly use don’t ask me to sign in every time I visit.

Comments are closed.

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