VA Sued For Racial Discrimination
We often hear about discrimination in the workplace. Sometimes people claim it when they are buying a house. You wouldn’t expect the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to engage in such tactics, but a Black man is claiming that the agency has denied him various benefits for many years. He believes it is due to his race.
The lawsuit was recently filed by Yale Law School’s Veterans Legal Services Clinic. It was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut on behalf of a Vietnam War veteran. The man has been repeatedly denied education, home loans, and medical benefits.
Is this simply a one-off case, perhaps a misunderstanding? The lawsuit claims the man is not alone. According to VA records, the average denial rate for disability compensation was more than 5% higher for Black veterans when compared to veterans who are white. The racial disparity for average acceptance rates is 6.8%.
Multiple studies have shown that Black veterans have been denied the GI Bill and other benefits. Politicians and groups have been coming together to create reform. The Black Veterans Empowerment Council has been out together to eliminate racial inequalities suffered by Black veterans. The group allows Black veterans to discuss important issues.
Part of the coalition’s legislative agenda is to push the GI Bill Repair Act. This act extends GI Bill benefits to descendants of Black veterans of WWII who didn’t previously have access to the GI Bill.
There has also been a push to reevaluate military awards and honors to get a better idea of how Black soldiers are significantly underrepresented in these types of recognition. As early on as the Civil War, Black soldiers have missed out on benefits they were promised. It is believed that there was some manipulation in place so the veterans would not be able to receive them post-combat. This includes being denied pensions, health care benefits, housing benefits, and GI Bill education.
Black veterans are often returning home from the military, only to receive nothing for the time they spent serving their country. They want to leverage their military skills so they can impact their community. However, this is hard when they have no form of support behind them.
Hopefully the VA will take action and make some changes. The agency has acknowledged the disparities in VA benefits decisions and military discharge status due to racism. It is studying the role race has played in benefit decisions and hopes to right these wrongs.
Learn More About Veterans Benefits
Veterans who have served their country and were discharged honorably should not be denied their hard-earned benefits. The VA should not discriminate based on race or any other protected class.
Denied benefits for no apparent reason? Then seek legal help from a White Plains veterans disability benefits lawyer from The Law Office of Michael Lawrence Varon. We’ll work hard to prove your need for benefits. Schedule a free consultation by calling 914-294-2145 or filling out the online form.