The Disabled American Veterans, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing services for veterans regardless of the degree and nature of their injuries, have developed a contingency plan to continue to assist veterans with administrative services during the recent government shutdown.
Because of the shutdown, several federal entities are closed for business, one in particular being the department of Veterans Affairs.
As of now, several regional VA offices are closed to the public and veterans are unable to receive help when it comes to filing claims and appeals. Veterans are still however, able to visit VA hospitals as medical care has not yet been affected.
“Thousands of veteran’s claims and appeals are being delayed even further than normal as a result of the government shutdown” said James Marszalek, National Service Director of the DAV. He went to explain that the lack of manpower, as a result of federally mandated furloughs, is to blame for the increased delay in veteran claims being processed.
If the government does not reach a deal in the coming days and weeks, more than 4 million vets will not receive their disability compensation in November, a bleak situation for many as government assistance may be their primary source of income.
Marszalek shared that the DAV has identified offices where veterans are allowed access and have added secondary locations manned with service officers. These secondary offices are being housed in tents, community centers, and mobile units depending upon what resources are available in each particular community.
The mobile units, which are usually reserved for rural areas without brick and mortar offices, are being deployed across the country to address the growing need for informed counsel.
At these secondary locations, veterans are able to speak one on one with service officers to receive benefits counseling, and claims assistance.
In Indianapolis, veterans and their families can receive assistance at no charge at the following location:
DAV Department Headquarters
2439 W. 16th street
Indianapolis, IN 46222
Call (317)632-9266 for more information