Edited by Rae Tamblyn, in conjunction by CAHSD staff
Picture this! You’re a Vietnam #Veteran who served in the United States Army from 1963-1975 and completed two tours in Vietnam. You return home and are diagnosed with Leukemia and Type II diabetes. You apply for disability benefits and the Army deems your condition secondary to your exposure to Agent Orange. Your benefits are approved, but for a lower rate. Also, due to a previous overpayment, the Veterans Administration (VA) notifies you that your benefits have been reduced to $58.83 a month. For the past 12 years, you’ve repeatedly appealed your claim but nothing changed. Where do you go from here?
Veteran G. Rardin and his spouse turned to Miami-Dade’s Community Action and Human Services (CAHSD) Veterans Services Program for support, and met with Miami-Dade’s Veteran Services Specialist (VSS) regarding the denial of disability benefits and the reduction of Mr. Rardin’s pension due to an overpayment. Working with the Rardins, the VSS facilitated resubmission of required documents to the VA. AS a result, Mr. Rardin received an award letter for benefits he was previously denied with the award dating back to the original date on which his claim was filed. The VA awarded Mr. Rardin 100% compensation benefits retroactive to 2001, as well as monthly benefits moving forward.
This is just one of the hundreds of case handled by Miami-Dade’s #CommunityAction and Human Services Veterans Services Program. Their commitment to #beCommunityAction means that staff strive to help people help themselves and gain access to assets and services they need to have a stable, secure life! Mr. Rardin and his spouse are just two of the more than 70 thousand Floridians whose lives have been touched by Miami-Dade’s programs and their dedication to invest in programs and services meant to build thriving communities and enable low-income people to achieve meaningful and impactful changes in their lives as they move towards self-sufficiency.