NY Daily News' Veterans Day guest column by VOLS' Peter Kempner

November 11, 2019

On Veterans Day 2019, the New York Daily News published a guest column by VOLS' Peter Kempner, Legal Director and Director of our Elderly Project. In his capacity as co-chair of the New York City Veterans Law Working Group, Pete calls our attention to an alarming statistic published earlier this year by the New York City Bar Association.

 

Did you know that New York State has the fifth largest veteran population, but lags far behind other states in benefits received from the VA?

 

From Pete's New York Daily News guest column:

 

“Many Americans assume that when service members return home with injuries, they are automatically connected with their Veterans Affairs disability benefits. They do not realize that these veterans must first navigate a complex and inconsistent administrative process.

"An estimated 24% of veterans nationally are receiving disability benefits from the [U.S.] Department of Veterans Affairs. In New York, that number is less than 17%. These statistics suggest that tens of thousands of veterans across the state aren’t getting the VA benefits to which they are entitled."

"Today, New York taxpayers bear the cost of the VA’s failures when veterans and their families must turn to hospitals, shelters and public benefits. Until the state makes a commitment to provide our veterans with the legal assistance they require, New York communities will pay the price and veterans will continue to be deprived of the life-changing benefits they are owed."

"How do we ensure our veterans are able to access their rightful benefits? By establishing and meaningfully funding a Veterans Disability Advocacy Program, New York can make great strides towards that goal."

 

Click here to read the full guest column in the New York Daily News.

 

VOLS is proud to advocate on behalf of veterans in the public arena, and we thank our partners in the New York Veterans Law Working Group, including: City Bar Justice Center, Feerick Center for Social Justice at Fordham Law School, Legal Services NYC, New York Legal Assistance Group - NYLAG, and Veteran Advocacy Project.