Priority for Purple Heart Veterans
Posted in Uncategorized on July 23, 2019
A policy that went into effect on April 1, 2019, gives veterans who have earned a Purple Heart during their military service priority to have their disability claims prioritized.
Learn more about the new Purple Heart veterans policy and why some veteran advocates have raised concerns about its implementation.
Disability Claims Prioritized for Purple Heart Veterans
The Purple Heart is reserved for military members and veterans who have been wounded or killed while serving after April 5, 1917. Today, an estimated 35,000 Iraq War veterans and more than 22,000 Afghanistan War veterans have received the honor. Now, wounded Purple Heart veterans will have their veteran disability claims moved ahead of the requests of other veterans.
Veterans Affairs Secretary, Robert Wilkie, says of the new policy:
“Those who hold the Purple Heart, the recognition of wounds taken in battle, will now receive priority consideration when it comes to claims.”
Purple Heart veterans already receive priority for medical appointments at VA hospitals and excuse them from all co-payments for medical care.
While a step in the right direction, some advocates are concerned about its implementation, noting that many serious wounds from war, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI), are often not recognized with a Purple Heart. Those veterans who have those conditions but have not received a Purple Heart would not receive priority for their disability claims like Purple Heart veterans would.