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Attorney Shawn Taylor

Important issues that matter most to veterans and their families

On Behalf of | Oct 18, 2018 | Veterans' Issues |

Veterans and military families in West Virginia have many important and serious issues they may be faced with on a regular basis. Homelessness, trauma, risk of suicide and problems with behavior-related health matters that sometimes involve the criminal justice system are among the critical veterans concerns that have been identified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA, which is an agency that provides access to essential resources for military members and immediate family members.

Veterans account for approximately 10 percent of the homeless population in the United States. Many former military personnel within this group also have mental health problems or substance use disorders. SAMHSA addresses these veterans’ issues with its Homelessness Programs and Resources and Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness programs. Post-traumatic stress disorder, physical combat injuries and sexual violence are among the several types of trauma that may affect military service members. SAMHSA has published a report offering advice on recovery-focused treatment planning strategies and patient assessments.

According to a Veterans Health Administration report, the suicide rate among veterans exceeds what’s normally seen among the general population. The majority of suicidal veterans also have underlying mental health conditions. SAMHSA operates a confidential hotline that directs veterans contemplating self-harm with VA responders. Some veterans are also charged with crimes that may be related to mental health issues. For situations like this, there are legal projects and specialty courts that work to help veterans receive proper representation and access to appropriate mental healthcare to diagnose and treat behavioral issues that may have contributed to a crime.

An attorney may also lend a hand with certain veterans-related issues, including ones related to access to care. In some instances, veterans may have difficulty obtaining Social Security disability benefits related to various physical or emotional issues. A lawyer may be able to secure SSD benefits by gathering new information and filing an appeal or request for reconsideration. Additional legal options include requesting an administrative law judge hearing, seeking a review by the Appeals Council and filing a lawsuit in U.S. district court.