“… The Joyners got excited in 2018 when Congress voted to expand the caregiver program to include Vietnam-era vets.”
“They passed it, the president signed it. I’m thinking wow, I’m ready to go file,” Dennis Joyner says. “Well, talk about taking the wind out of your sail — it’s been a couple years now.”
“Joyner is pretty sure he’ll qualify, but he still can’t apply – the VA estimates that the new IT system to run the caregiver program won’t be ready until later summer or early fall. The VA is not starting this process with a great foundation of trust — the current caregiver program was administered inconsistently, and the now the new one has kept older vets waiting — some have died since the law passed in 2018.”
“Delay, deny, until they die,” says Rick Weidman, with Vietnam Veterans of America. “It shouldn’t have been this complicated.”
“He says VA shouldn’t need a new IT system to see that a triple amputee like Joyner needs a caregiver. But the VA and many in congress have agreed that getting the system to work well is just as urgent as getting it done soon.” Read or listen to the full story here.
Source: Veterans See Caregivers as Even More Crucial in The COVID-19 Era – By Quil Lawrence, May 16, 2020. NPR.