Saturday, June 24, 2017

DAV fight for post-9/11 caregiver benefits

Disabled American veterans fight for post-9/11 caregiver benefits 
CBS Radio Connecting Vets 
Jake Hughes 
June 22, 2017 

“It’s bringing to light that a lot of pre-9/11 families, caregivers and veterans like our family, are under served by the VA,” says Jason Courneen, adding that he and their daughters are the only way his wife is able to get through her day.

In 1998, a horrible accident befell Alexis Courneen. While serving in the U.S. Coast Guard, Courneen was struck by a crane carrying a buoy that caused traumatic brain injury and other injuries, leaving her entirely reliant on her husband and caregiver, Jason Courneen.
Now, she’s fighting to ensure she can get the same benefits as a service member injured after 9/11.
“We spent a good 10 years very frustrated, very isolated, while I was learning that it was okay to speak up to the doctors,” Jason Courneen says.
Currently, the Department of Veteran Affairs has the Post-9/11 Comprehensive Caregiver Program, which offers enhanced support for caregivers of eligible veterans seriously injured in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001.
To qualify, service members must have sustained or aggravated a serious injury — including traumatic brain injury, psychological trauma or other mental disorder — in the line of duty, on or after September 11, 2001; and be in need of personal care services to perform one or more activities of daily living and/or need supervision or protection based on symptoms or residuals of neurological impairment or injury.
However, the program leaves out service members injured before 9/11, going as far back as Vietnam Veterans. A study released by Disabled American Veterans, a non-profit charity that provides a lifetime of support for veterans of all generations and their families, highlights the disparity of care and attention given by the VA between pre- and post-9/11 veterans.
“It’s bringing to light that a lot of pre-9/11 families, caregivers and veterans like our family, are under served by the VA,” says Jason Courneen, adding that he and their daughters are the only way his wife is able to get through her day.
Glad someone is thinking about the Forgotten Warrior Generation and families like mine!
Glad my husband and I are life members of the DAV and the Auxiliary!