The Norman Transcript

Features

January 8, 2014

Veterans assist 90 with medical claims

NORMAN — This week, we are recognizing a husband and wife team who spend many of their Thursday mornings volunteering at the Goldsby Community Center. Marilyn and Steve Higgins have been with us for several years helping veterans and surviving spouses receive VA benefits they are entitled to receive.

Marilyn has worn many hats since she joined the organization, serving as the person who researches prior decisions made by the Board of Veterans Appeals. She also assists surviving spouses with their claims for DIC or pension benefits. Steve takes care of the donations that are made by the men and women we assist each week.

Last week, 90 men and women braved the cold to make the trip to Goldsby for assistance from volunteers. Of that number, 15 were veterans, both male and female, who filed their first claims for VA benefits.

Many of the veterans and surviving spouses are filing what is called an “informal claim for benefits.” This is used to give the person filing the claim a start date while they are obtaining evidence and documentation, such as a DBQ, in support of their informal claim.

They will have up to a year to complete their claim forms. By doing this when their claim is approved, their compensation will be paid back one month after the filing date. The VA compensation is just like many employers; they always keep you a month behind on your wages. With the new VA forms that are now available, the time it takes for the VA to make a decision should be shortened to 180 days or less.

For those veterans who have Internet access, I urge you to log in to the VA website to set up a premium account on e-Benefits. This will enable you to upload evidence and check on the status of claims.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
  • Here is how reverse mortgages operate nowadays

    Dear Savvy Senior, What can you tell me about reverse mortgages? I was considering one last year, but now I hear they are more difficult to get....

    April 15, 2014

  • Annual Norman Iris Show set at library

    A tradition of the Norman Area Iris Society and Norman Public Library returns this spring with the annual Norman Iris Show from 1 to 4 p.m. April 27 in the Lowry Room of the library, 225 N. Webster Ave....

    April 15, 2014

  • Allan Oehlschlager, family celebrating 100-year milestone

    From Kansas City to Norman with stops in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Yale, Oklahoma City and Edmond — looking back as he prepared to mark his 100th birthday today, Allan Oehlschlager termed it a “glorious ride.” Born April 13, 1914, in ...

    April 13, 2014

  • Single parents to be honored

    Five Oklahoma single parents and two adult children of single parents will be honored with awards at the Single Parent Support Network black tie fundraiser, “An Enchanted Evening,” on April 29 at the Jim Thorpe Museum and Oklahoma Sports ...

    April 13, 2014

  • Dreams for the next 14 years

    On Monday I’ll be the proud aunt of a 14-year-old niece. For 14 years, I’ve had the chance to get used to her being 14 someday, and I’m still not there. Maybe in another 14 years, I’ll realize that she’s not a baby anymore....

    April 13, 2014

  • Midwest City reunions set

    Midwest City High School class reunions for 1970 to 1979 will be hosted in June at the Midwest City Community Center....

    April 13, 2014

  • Not typical boy behavior

    Q: My 18-year-old son and a slightly younger friend recently found some mice and decided to dispose of them. They drowned one and set the other one on fire. When I confronted my son for torturing animals, his response was “They’re just ...

    April 11, 2014

  • Readers respond to co-teaching issue

    We’ll say it again, we love our readers. Thanks to all of you who had comments about our column from the mom regarding her daughter in co-taught classes. We would like to remind you that our column is based solely on our experiences as ...

    April 11, 2014

  • Callery Pear is a beautiful invader

    You have probably noticed that trees are beginning to break bud and bloom with beautiful flowers. One of the earliest, and certainly one of the showiest, is the Callery Pear. One cultivated form of this tree is commonly called “Bradford ...

    April 11, 2014

  • How About News Cliff Notes?

    Long before the ubiquitous “For Dummies” books arrived on the scene, there were those handy dandy Cliff Notes. They were study guides written by teachers on everything from literature to math to those critical alphabet tests like SAT, ACT, ...

    April 11, 2014