The Norman Transcript

Features

February 19, 2014

House bill could give more veterans state benefits

(Continued)

NORMAN —

We hosted the first of three training classes Feb. 11, which was a success. Forty-six volunteers participated in training to become more knowledgeable in the VA claims process.

The instructors were Shirley Clark-Cowdin, Betty Van Noy, Harold Reed, Travis Wright and myself. The next training class will be 5 p.m. March 4 at the Goldsby Community Center. The dinner was provided by Jerry Baxter, Sid Smith and Jimmy Flowers.

The sunshine and warm weather helped bring 141 veterans and surviving spouses to Veterans Corner last Thursday. Of that number, 11 veterans received a VA rating of 100 percent for their service-connected disabilities.

Seventeen veterans filed their first claims for VA benefits last week. We continue to use the new VA claims forms, called the Fully Developed Claims, along with the Disability Benefits Questionnaires. With this system, many of the veterans’ claims can be approved within 120 days or so.

Shirley, along with her lady helpers, assisted 14 surviving spouses with their applications for VA benefits. These claims are processed by the VA Pension Benefits Center in Minnesota.

Lately, we have seen some of the surviving spouse claims finished in 60 to 90 days. That short of time frame is the exception, as most of them will take longer for a decision. If you are a surviving spouse of a veteran and need assistance, contact Shirley at 361-9322 or me at 550-8806. 

We also provide food and other household items when possible. If you need certain handicap items, such as walkers or wheelchairs, we sometimes have these types of items. The items we have are given to us to pass to the next person in need. If you have any of these items, we could certainly use them.

Plans to build a Veterans Corner facility continue to be on schedule. We are hoping to start the dirt work on this project in the next few months. John Carter continues to work on the building plans and on the funding for this project. John can be reached at 202-1999.

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