Working With The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
07-01. General. You will find early on that working with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is like dealing with any military or governmental organization; you will have to wait for almost everything, they never have enough money or staff, if they can lose your records they will. At some point in the application and treatment process you may become frustrated and angry over the apparent combative attitudes of individuals and the institution. You have two options; strike out verbally and/or physically thereby wasting time and energy or exercise what I call the "CoPP" option. "Co"py everything, be as "P"atient as you can, and be "P"ersistent.
I feel the personnel working for the VA, with rare exception, are trying, within the framework of government regulations, to help the veterans they serve. Because you will be struggling with PTSD it will not always be easy. Sometimes you will have to ask the same question several times to several different people. Just keep asking, in a civil manner, and eventually you will get results. With these tactics in mind, and by following the suggestions in this manual, much of the frustration will be minimized if not eliminated. This chapter has information on facilities, first contact, and the claims and appeals process.
Section II. FACILITIES AND SERVICES
07-02. General. Oddly enough most veterans know very little about the VA or what the VA offers. It would take a separate book to describe all of the benefits available. I am doing my best to restrict my material to PTSD issues. If you have a general question contact your local facility, VA Representative, Service Organization (VFW, VVA, etc.) or dial 1-800-827-1000. If you have access to the Internet stop by the "Department of Veterans Affairs" home page (http://www.va.gov/benefits.htm) where you will find a complete printing of the 1998 Federal Benefits Guide for Veterans and Dependents.
Page last updated on 06-01