Saturday, April 4, 2020

Why is the VA still forcing veterans for in person comp exams during pandemic?

KARE 11 Investigates: VA continues high-risk exams during COVID-19 crisis

KARE 11 News
A.J. Lagoe, Steve Eckert
April 3, 2020
But veterans across the country, some of them high-risk for coronavirus infection, say they’re still being ordered to attend in-person benefits exams with VA contractors.
ST PAUL, Minn — “I was told I needed to go into New York City next week to get an in-person benefits exam,” said a 30-year-old Stamford, Connecticut Army Veteran. “I said, ‘I can’t do that for obvious reasons.’”

That veteran spoke on-camera and on-the-record but asked not to be named over fears it would negatively impact his benefits claim. He’s part of a new lawsuit that states the Department of Veterans Affairs is risking veterans’ lives during the COVID-19 crisis by forcing veterans to attend pension exams or risk losing their benefits.

“It’s an unnecessary risk,” said attorney Harold Hoffman who filed the lawsuit against the VA. “It’s not just risky, there is no reason for the risk!” he added.

In order to limit coronavirus exposure for vulnerable veterans, the Veterans Benefits Administration closed its 56 regional offices, including the St. Paul office on March 19th.
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