Thursday, December 2, 2021


Michiganders mourn the loss of four students after this week's school shooting at Oxford High School, and SCOTUS Justices signal willingness to back a Mississippi abortion prohibition law.


The Supreme Court debates abortion rights; Stacey Abrams will again run to be Georgia's governor; and Congress scrambles to avoid a shutdown.


Seniors in non-urban areas struggle with hunger disproportionately; rural communities make a push for federal money; and Planned Parenthood takes a case to the Montana Supreme Court.

AARP Creates New Tool to Make Accessing Health Benefits Easier for Vets


Tuesday, October 19, 2021   

HARTFORD, Conn. -- There are more than 200,000 military veterans in Connecticut, and a new tool aims to make it easier for them to access health care through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

AARP's Veterans and Military Families Health Benefits Navigator launched this month. It is a user-friendly document explaining qualifications for certain health benefits, and how to start the application process.

Only 26% of Connecticut veterans have used their health-care benefits through the VA, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Nora Duncan, state director of AARP Connecticut, said the application process can often be confusing and frustrating, which can keep many veterans from accessing their benefits.

"We need to help get that information out there if they're not accessing care, because they don't know that it's available to them," Duncan urged. "The guide really talks about the navigation of the application process, which I hope helps people understand that they have more they can get to live healthier, happier lives here in Connecticut."

The navigator also provides information on how to get assistance applying for benefits with the help of a veterans service organization. According to a RAND study, nearly 60% of veterans are eligible for VA health care, but less than half of those eligible utilize their benefits.

Roberto Burgos, an AARP Connecticut volunteer based in Manchester, served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 25 years. He said the process of finding and applying for VA health benefits should be as simple as possible.

"Veterans have worked hard and have dedicated their service and sacrifice to this country," Burgos asserted. "Having access to the right people who can provide the right information will allow people like me to be able to maybe see if there are VA health-care benefits that would be beneficial to us, especially as we get older."

AARP Connecticut plans to highlight the navigator on social media for Veterans Day, along with Caregiver Awareness Month in November, as the tool can be helpful to veterans' family members who are supporting them.

Disclosure: AARP Connecticut contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Health Issues, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, and Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
Civil rights groups are pushing Baltimore County to create a second majority Black council district to better represent its diverse population. (Flickr)

Social Issues

BALTIMORE, Md. -- Maryland civil rights groups are proposing a lawsuit against Baltimore County if it adopts its current redistricting plan, claiming …

Social Issues

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nearly seven in ten Americans say billionaires are not paying their fair share in taxes, according to a new survey. Among likely …

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. -- Over the coming weeks, North Dakotans will be clicking the "purchase" button as they order holiday gifts online, and fraud experts …

Front-line pandemic workers in Minnesota feel the state is failing them in recognizing them for their work during the crisis, as they were not allowed to work remotely. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

MINNEAPOLIS -- Several regional labor groups rallied in Minneapolis on Wednesday, demanding state leaders take action to reflect the sacrifices made …


GREENE, Iowa -- The proposed Build Back Better bill is getting attention for a host of funding possibilities, including one area flying under the …

The Republican-created legislative and congressional maps, passed by the Wisconsin Legislature in November, were quickly vetoed by Gov. Tony Evers, teeing up a legal battle. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

MADISON, Wis. -- In a four-three decision this week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court backed a "least-change" approach to redistricting in the state…

Social Issues

OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- Michiganders are mourning the loss of four students after this week's school shooting at Oxford High School, and advocates …

Social Issues

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- Labor protests and strikes are on the upswing this fall, compared with 2020 when everyone hunkered as the pandemic closed …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021