Paralyzed Veterans of America
Paralyzed Veterans of America, a congressionally chartered veterans service organization founded in 1946, has developed a unique expertise on a wide variety of issues involving the special needs of our members – veterans of the armed forces who have experienced spinal cord injury or dysfunction.
Southeastern is one of 34 Chapters of Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA). Our local Chapter was chartered in the State of Georgia in 1962. We are governed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors, comprised of ten (10) veteran members of our organization. We pride ourselves on being responsible stewards of the funds we receive aiding veterans, their families and non-veteran disabled persons living in the states of Alabama, Georgia, North and South Carolina, and Tennessee. Also, our members volunteer regularly to supports, visits and encourage fellows veterans at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center, Spinal Cord Unit and other medical facilities. Funding members to attend events like the National Veterans Wheelchair Games and other Sports & Recreation activities.
PVA will use that expertise to be the leading advocate for:
- Quality health care for our members,
- Research and education addressing spinal cord injury and dysfunction,
- Benefits available as a result of our members’ military service,
- Civil rights and opportunities that maximize the independence of our members.
To enable Paralyzed Veterans to continue to honor this commitment, we must recruit and retain members who have the experience, energy, dedication, and passion necessary to manage the organization and ensure adequate resources to sustain the programs essential for Paralyzed Veterans of America to achieve its mission.
PVA makes statement on racism, exclusion, and marginalization
120 days, A New Restriction on Veteran’s Representation.
By Corey Hewitt, VSO Law Clerk, Paralyzed Veterans of America
The Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board) is adopting a “120-day rule” (Rule) that will provide VSOs, like Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), 120 days to review an appeal and prepare an Informal Hearing Presentation (IHP). An IHP is a legal brief PVA provides to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board) prior to a decision by a Judge. Starting on October 1, 2020, the Board will take appeals back from VSOs that have been held over 120 days and proceed with adjudication. This policy will target the oldest appeals first.
The VA has indicated that the Rule will be implemented to fulfill promises it made to Congress and the public in accordance with the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 (AMA). Its adoption follows a series of extensive discussions with co-located VSOs that began in October 2019. Although the 120-Day Rule’s initial implementation was slated to begin in February 2020, that was delayed due to the obstacles brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new Rule creates challenges for PVA, including shrinking the time permitted for the review process involved with many members’ complex medicals issues on appeal. It also diminishes our role thoroughly documenting to the VA why a PVA client or member is entitled to benefits. Traditionally, PVA has the highest grant percentage of all the Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) at around 80 percent. This means that PVA is able to prove that either the veteran should be awarded a benefit or that VA failed to properly develop a claim 80% of the time. Achieving those results requires detailed review and analysis of the evidence in the complex claims of our members. As a result of the 120-Day Rule, we may be forced to operate under different conditions. This may mean prioritizing moving cases forward, rather than striking the balance as VSOs to know when a veteran’s claim is ripe for the best outcome at the Board. While the Board promised under the AMA that appeals would be adjudicated within 365 days, the 120-Day Rule drastically reduces the time-frame for IHP’s to such a short period that would have been unheard of for most appeals a few years ago.
Although historically PVA and other VSOs have adjusted to the new AMA requirements, only time will tell the implications this rule has on the ability to serve our members. Whether it has been navigating two different claims and appeals processes, training staff, or advising veterans regarding their best options under the AMA, PVA has continued to excel at achieving the best appellate outcome for our clients at the Board-level. While the AMA has arguably reduced the appeals backlog, PVA continues to advocate that both efficiency andaccuracy are required to balance VA’s promises to veterans under the AMA and beyond. Again, while this new 120-Day Rule may speed up the process to lower the claims backlog, it may deal a harsh blow to veterans’ rights to have appeals argued in their entirety. Evaluation based on raw production numbers must not be substituted for quality review of Board decisions to adequately analyze VA’s responsibilities and duties to fairly adjudicate veterans’ claims. As an organization whose duty it is to help veterans, PVA will continue to hold the VA accountable and ensure our members and clients obtain the benefits that they are entitled to under the law.
Title: Social Security Disability Benefits and Work Incentives – What Veterans and Their Families Should Know
Description: Veterans with significant disabilities are eligible for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI). However, the Social Security disability program has important differences from the VA disability system. This webinar will provide an overview of the SSDI program, and feature subject matter experts who will explain the process to qualify for benefits and work incentives for beneficiaries seeking to return to work.
When: Aug 25, 2020 2:00-3:00 PM Eastern Time
Topic: Social Security Disability Benefits and Work Incentives – What Veterans and Their Families Should Know
Register in advance for this webinar: https://pva.zoom.us/
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Veterans stay up to date with the latest resources and news by visiting PVA.org or clicking on link below.
VA Podcast: Army Veteran Terrance Hayes: Focused on Communications
Ensuring No One Goes Hungry
Struggling with having enough food for your family is a difficult topic. VA is here to help. VA’s Nutrition and Food Services (NFS) and the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service are working together to address Veterans’ access to adequate and nutritious food options. Find out more about resources available to Veteran families for nutrition care and screening for delivery of food.
Ask questions now on benefits and services for Minority Veterans and Tribal Communities
Join us live on August 13th from 3-4PM ET for a live Q&A focused on Minority Veterans on RallyPoint. You can ask questions to the VA Center for Minority Veterans, Tribal Relations, and State VA (NASDVA). Ask a question now to ensure an answer.
C&P Exams Resume: What to Expect
VA Expands Veterans’ Caregivers Assistance
Most Unique or Newest Veterans State Benefits
Carbohydrate Questions: Find Out What’s Best
Free Online Yoga Classes Support Well-being
Free Books and Reading Mobile App for Veteran Families
Vets First Podcasts: VA’s Research into What Matters to YOU
Army Veteran Terrance Hayes: Director of VFW Communications and Public Affairs
VA News Releases
No Veteran Should Be Without a Place to Call Home
Free Help for Homeless Veterans Dial 1-877-4AID-VET (1-877-424-3838) for 24/7 access to VA services for homeless and at-risk Veterans
Homeless Veteran Chat Confidential, 24/7 online support for homeless Veterans and friends
Are You a Veteran in Crisis or Concerned About One?
Did you know that VA offers same day services in Primary Care and Mental Health at 172 VA Medical Centers across the country? Make the Connection Resource Locator
Contact the Veterans Crisis Line (1-800-273-8255 and press 1, Chat, or Text 838255.)
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State Department of Health