Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

VA policy restricts 'meaningful access' to benefits for Native Americans


OHKAY OWINGEH, N.M. — Inside a small conference room in a hotel-casino on the Ohkay Owingeh reservation, attorney Carol Wild Scott sat across the table from veterans and their families, one group after another, who were there to find answers they couldn’t get anywhere else.

There was a Vietnam War veteran who filed a claim for disability benefits with the Department of Veterans Affairs in the late 1970s. When it was denied, he thought “that was that” and wasn’t aware he could file an appeal — potentially losing out on more than 40 years of income.


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