We celebrate Armed Forces Week May 14-21, so what better time to take a quick look at the history of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability system?
Nearly as far back as recorded history allows us to look, nations have provided their war veterans compensation for their service. According to Wikipedia, Roman Emperor Augustus fixed the amount at 3,000 denarii in A.D. 5. We’re not sure what a denarii was worth in today’s dollars, but Emperor Caracalla was generous enough to later increase the stipend to 5,000. Soldiers injured while serving the Emperor pocketed even more denarii.
Centuries later, the tradition continued in North America. In 1636, the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony provided pensions to veterans injured while fighting the Pequot Indians. In 1776, the Continental Congress granted half pay for life for veterans who lost a limb in combat.
Throughout the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, both World Wars, Vietnam, Korea and through today’s conflicts, the VA has carried on the tradition of compensating veterans for impairments suffered while serving their country. By law, the VA compensates disabled veterans “who suffer from a medical disorder or injury that was incurred in, or aggravated by, their military service, and which causes social and occupational impairment.”
According to the VA, it is dedicated to fulfill Abraham Lincoln’s call to “care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan.”
Unfortunately, there are an awful lot of veterans to care for. About 4 million veterans are receiving VA disability benefits today. Despite years of bureaucratic problems and enormous decision backlogs, today’s VA appears to be doing its best to serve disabled American veterans.
Mistakes are still made, however, and that’s why we offer the Allsup Veterans Disability Appeal Service®. If you believe the VA unjustly denied your disability claim or offered an improper rating, give one of our VA-Accredited Claims Agents a call at (888) 372-1190.
In the meantime, have a happy and safe Armed Forces Week and thank you for your service.