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MPTF Helped Industry Military Veterans Raise $ 1 Million In Unclaimed Benefits – Deadline

The Motion Picture & Television Fund’s VA Benefits Assistance program has helped Hollywood veterans raise more than $ 1 million in unclaimed Veterans Affairs benefits since it began tracking results in 2014. To date, 115 veterans have obtained the benefits to which they are entitled, and 82 more are currently being processed.

When Veterans decide to file a claim, Program Director Naomi Rodda, a licensed clinical social worker and federally accredited VA claims officer, helps them navigate the administrative process and resolve their claims in the complex and bureaucratic network. of the Veterans Benefits Administration. The retirement benefits MPTF helps its veterans secure may open the doors to other VA programs, including free health care, free education benefits for dependents, and additional allowances for dependents. caregivers for those caring for severely disabled veterans. The program also helps veterans and surviving spouses who are physically fragile and cognitively impaired to access a retirement pension that provides them with additional sums to use for care or assisted living costs.

MPTF says helpline calls for advice more than tripled in 2020

MPTF helped industry military veterans raise $ 500,000 in unclaimed VA benefits

MPTF’s VA Benefits Assistance program staff monitor federal policy and legislative changes regarding veteran benefits, such as last year’s Blue Water Navy decision to expand qualifications for exposure-related conditions to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. For example, the MPTF secured retirement benefits for a Vietnamese Navy veteran prior to this decision and contacted him to inform him of these recent changes. As a result, he received 15 years of retroactive funds totaling over $ 35,000 related to a previously denied diabetes claim in 2005.

“With knowledge comes experience and vice versa,” Rodda said. “I learn something new almost every day doing this job. I am extremely fortunate to have colleagues and mentors within the VA system who are my sounding boards when I have questions. I know the VA as a system has a notoriously ‘bad reputation’, but the people I’ve met there are compassionate, kind, thoughtful, and completely dedicated to helping veterans in any way they can. . Yes, this work is arduous, laborious, frustrating and at times exasperating. The bureaucracy and the barriers are real. But our country’s veterans have served this country with a sense of honor, courage and duty that those of us who have not served cannot truly comprehend. The least I can do is help them defend what is rightfully theirs. “

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