Analysisof a Social Welfare Issue
VeteransWho Are Denied Veterans Affairs (V.A.) Benefits
Americanveterans are entitled to veterans affairs (V.A.) benefits such asdisability pay, permanent healthcare, and job training. Theseservices help them to return to their normal civilian life (Taylor &Taylor, 2007). Despite this, there is an increase in the number ofveterans who are ineligible to the benefits as a result ofdishonorable discharges from their duties. Philipps’ articleexplores this social welfare issue. It examines the miserable life ofa former Marine Corps rifleman who fought in Afghanistan. Joshua Bunnis not a beneficiary of the V.A. services. He is ineligible to thebenefits as a result of not being discharged honorably.
Thenumber of veterans barred from V.A. benefits is growing at analarming rate. It has been established that about 125,000 Afghanistanand Iraq veterans do have bad paper discharges (Philipps, 2016). Thissituation prevents them from getting healthcare services and otherbenefits meant for them. All veterans who fought in the wars afterthe year 2001 are about two times as likely as Vietnam War veteransand four times as Second World War veterans to be excluded from V.A.benefits (Philipps, 2016). This is disheartening. More than 6.5% ofAfghanistan and Iraq veterans possess bad paper kind of discharges(Philipps, 2016). Majority of these comprise Marine Corps troops.Although veterans are allowed to upgrade their categories in order toacquire the honorable discharge status, it is only about 10% of themwho succeed after four years (Philipps, 2016). The process tends tobe too inconsistent, slow and confusing. As a result, many veteransend up being locked out of basic services that are important to them.
Denyingveterans V.A. services is a serious social welfare issue withsignificant implications on social welfare policy and services. Thispractice is discriminative by its nature (Taylor & Taylor, 2007).It prevents the veterans from receiving various services that areimportant for their health and general wellbeing. Veterans areimportant people in the history of the United States (Taylor &Taylor, 2007). They have contributed to some of the successes thatthe country is enjoying. These people risk their lives combatingenemy troops. They stay ways from their homes for long periods oftime. In the battle field, veterans sustain serious injuries. Some ofthem lose their lives. There is need for the government to change theV.A. affairs policy. It should stop using the other-than-honorabledischarge criterion in determining veterans who qualify for benefits(Philipps, 2016). It is important for it to come up with an importantstrategy which can help to ensure that all veterans receive theservices that they are entitled to.
Socialworkers play a crucial role in addressing various social welfareissues affecting the society. The issue described in Philipps’article requires a social work solution. In this issue, a socialworker can serve as an advocate (Rubin, Weiss & Coll, 2013). Heor she can use this position to ask the government to ensure that allveterans need the V.A. benefits meant for them. The social worker canalso play a role in promoting awareness about the problems that theveterans are facing (Rubin, Weiss & Coll, 2013). This will helpto ensure that these people’s needs are looked into. The socialworker can as well serve as an advisor (Rubin, Weiss & Coll,2013). He can provide advice to the government and the Department ofVeterans Affairs on the kind of policies which need to be adopted inorder to ensure that veterans get essential services.
Philipps,D. (2016, March 30). Report Finds Sharp Increase in Veterans DeniedV.A. Benefits. TheNew York Times.Retrieved on August 23, 2016 fromhttp://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/30/us/report-finds-sharp-increase-in-veterans-denied-va-benefits.html?_r=0
Rubin,A., Weiss, E. L., & Coll, J. E. (2013). Handbookof military social work.Hoboken, N.J: John Wiley & Sons.
Taylor,R., & Taylor, S. W. (2007). Homewardbound: American veterans return from war.Westport, Conn. [u.a.: Praeger Security Internat.