PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A 76-year-old veteran of the Korean War and Hurricane Katrina has been granted a $1.7 million claim by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) — thanks to the can-do and caring advocacy of the Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans).
“This is great news for the veteran concerned and, perhaps, for thousands of other veterans like him,” said Randy L. Pleva, Sr., national president of Paralyzed Veterans. “This win is also a great example of strong partnership in action: Paralyzed Veterans helping service members and veterans make their cases to the powers-that-be — and the good folks at the Department of Veterans Affairs listening and doing something about it,” Pleva said.
The veteran, who has requested to be unnamed, is a resident of Mississippi. The road to his successful claim began 55 years ago when he returned home from the Korean War and began to develop the symptoms of polio. At the time, his claim to VA for benefits was declined. Then in late 2005, while he was a patient at Memphis VA Medical Center’s Spinal Cord Injury Center, he met a Paralyzed Veterans’ national service officer (NSO), Clif Dupree, who was visiting with patients. In a conversation with the veteran about his health, the NSO realized that the veteran might, in fact, have a claim to benefits after all — even after five decades — if it could be determined that he had developed polio during his service or in the year immediately after leaving the service. Paralyzed Veterans’ local and national offices reviewed the case and agreed — preparing, filing and pushing the veteran’s claim to VA. This week the wait comes to an end. The veteran received 55 years of back-benefits.
“They say that all good things come to those who wait; well, the wait is over, thanks to Paralyzed Veterans of America’s hard work on my behalf and the action of the Department of Veterans Affairs,” the veteran said.
Commenting on the case, VA Secretary Jim Nicholson said, “PVA remains a solid partner of VA’s and a friend of veterans. We are very happy for this veteran and his family in receiving this favorable decision on his claim. While it is unfortunate he did not receive it much sooner, justice was done for him and his family, and for that we are grateful.”
Founded in 1946, Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) is the only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated solely for the benefit and representation of individuals with spinal cord injury or disease. Paralyzed Veterans is a dynamic, broad-based organization with more than 19,000 members in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. To learn more about Paralyzed Veterans, visit its website at http://www.pva.org/site/c.ajIRK9NJLcJ2E/b.6305401/k.BCBB/Home.htm.
Source: Paralyzed Veterans of America