Despite many laudable efforts to reduce them, the rates of veteran suicide, homelessness, and unemployment remain unacceptable. One couple, Ryan Loya and Katherine Kostreva, is hoping to solve the problem by improving the military's Transition Assistance Program (“TAP”).
The Loya-Sears Warrior Transition Assistance Reform Act
As reported by Military Times, Loya and Kostreva have created a new bill, the Loya-Sears Warrior Transition Assistance Reform Act (“the Act”), which is intended to strengthen TAP. The bill is named after Jeremy Sears, a former Marine who, after struggling to find work for two years, ended his life.
The Act Will Remedy Shortcomings in the Existing TAP
Currently, TAP “provides information, tools, and training to ensure service members and their spouses are prepared for the next step in civilian life.”
However, in the words of Kostreva, the program has a surprising “lack of resources, timeliness and connections outside the military bubble.” Further, while service members are meant to complete the program by the time they are 90 days from retiring or separating from the military, fewer than half actually do.
To remedy these issues, the Act would “standardize TAP curriculum, require service members to start TAP one year before separation, and establish reporting metrics that can be used to glean successes of the program for needed adjustments.”
General Disability Benefits and TDIU Benefits May Help Transitioning Veterans to Get Back on Their Feet
At the Law Offices of Attorney Sean Kendall, we believe that one of the keys to a successful transition is a veteran’s ability to access the disability benefits she or he is entitled to. Veterans with a service-connected disability, such as PTSD, depression, or anxiety, may be eligible for one of two types of benefits: general disability benefits or TDIU.
The amount a veteran can receive in general disability benefits is determined by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ rating system. The more a disability, such as depression, interferes with a veteran’s life, the higher the veteran’s rating will be and the more benefits the veteran will be entitled to. For example, if a veteran has a 50% rating, she or he is entitled to $855.41 a month in benefits. That number goes up if the veteran has dependents.
If a veteran’s service-connected disability prevents her or him from maintaining substantially-gainful employment, she or he may be entitled to Total Disability Individual Unemployability (“TDIU”) benefits. Veterans who qualify for TDIU benefits are entitled to $2,973.86 per month.
Apply for Benefits Right Away – If You Are Denied, We Are Here to Help
If you believe you may be eligible for general disability benefits or TDIU, we encourage you to apply right away. If you are denied or receive an unacceptable rating determination, don’t give up – we are here to help. Once you receive your decision, send us a note or give us a call at (877) 629-1712. With decades of experience working with veterans, we are confident we can win you the benefits you are entitled to.