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Veterans' Affairs asks for more tax money

Veterans' Administration officials are asking the government to funnel more tax dollars into the agency. Furthermore, Sen. Mark Kirk appeared to support the VA's request for more money during a budget hearing in Washington last Thursday.

During the budget hearing, the senator showed a picture of an army vet with his two young daughters. The veteran had committed suicide after he tried to get help from the Veterans' Administration. Tragically, the 30-year-old vet called the VA's suicide hotline, but he was sent to voicemail. He then took his own life.

According to Department of Veterans Affairs Undersecretary Dr. David J. Shulkin, the agency will continue to expand and develop its mental health system in order to reduce the number of veteran suicides. The fact is, though, the VA has a very difficult job ahead of it when it comes to veteran suicide rates. According to current statistics, 22 veterans take their lives each day.

Shulkin further referenced statistics that show veterans' benefits do not reach their highest until 40 years after the end of a particular conflict. Therefore, veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will only be increasing their need for veterans' benefits in the future and the Shulkin says that the administration needs to be ready for this spike, which by 2017 is expected to increase VA health benefits funding up to $65 billion.

Sometimes veterans' benefits can be hard to get qualified for. However, this difficulty is not always a reflection of a veterans' right to receive benefits that he or she was denied. This is where a veterans' benefits attorney can be very helpful at assisting Minneapolis veterans to navigate the complicated VA bureaucracy.

Source: abc7chicago.com, "An ABC7 I-Team Investigation," Chuck Goudie, March 04, 2016

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