Thursday, April 24, 2014

VA Administration Admits Deported Veteran Eligible For Earned Pension, But Has To Be In U.S. For Appointment

Barajas, a deported U.S. Veteran won't get a VA Administration appointment to apply for his eligible earned military pension unless he appears in person at a U.S. VA location.

By H. Nelson Goodson
April 24, 2014

Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico - On Thursday, Hector Barajas, a U.S. deported Veteran living in Tijuana says, that he received a call from the Veteran's Administration confirming that he is eligible to apply for his earned military pension, but the VA won't schedule an appointment to apply because he has to be present in the U.S. Barajas says, that the VA's Foreign Medical Program can't do anything for him, since he doesn't have a rating. He is now considering filing a federal lawsuit to challenge the current policy of the VA Administration to require all deported U.S. Veteran's to apply in person when applying or being scheduled for an appointment to initiate a pension or medical benefits process.
Barajas in one of hundreds of U.S. deported Veterans facing the same dilemma,  which many deported Veterans are cheated out of their earned benefits by the VA and U.S. government under the Obama administration. 
Yesterday, a funeral was held for former U.S. Army Sergeant Hector Barrios, 70, who passed away from a heart stroke in Tijuana. Barrios, a Vietnam deported Veteran had attempted to apply for his disability medical benefits for years and was denied because he couldn't be physically present in the U.S. to apply. Barrios was a decorated hero who received head injuries when an explosive device exploded in Vietnam, just several months before ending his service. 
Barrios suffered for years from post traumatic stress and from his head injuries and never received medical benefits from the VA after he was deported to Mexico.
Barajas operates the Deported Veterans Support House in the Tijuana area.
The Obama administration should open VA Administration clinics along major U.S. border crossings or U.S. Embassies to allow deported U.S. Veterans the opportunity to apply for their earned benefits afforded by the U.S. Congress.
Barajas and Barrios are just several cases of the many deported U.S. Veterans that have been left without pension or medical benefits from the U.S. government. The VA offers certain benefits to U.S. Veterans that live abroad, but no information or statistics have been released to indicate that deported Veterans do receive such benefits, possibly because to date most don't receive them, even when applying.
According to an article in January 2013, the Military dot com quoted VA's spokeswoman Jo Schuda that deported U.S. Veterans who already had VA medical benefits can apply for their continued benefits through the VA's Foreign Medical Program. Even deported Veterans eligible for educational benefits can apply as long the foreign educational institution is credible and accepted by the government. The earned service pension can still be sought by the deported Veteran, as to how many deported U.S. Veterans have taken advantage of these VA services is unknown, because most of those deported are not informed of their rights to continue to get VA earned pensions, medical benefits abroad and continued education.
Barajas claims, that his research has turned up between 3,000 to 30,000 of U.S. Veterans that have been deported since 1996. 
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released the following estimates. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) removal services have deported 57 in 2009 and the deportations doubled every year. In 2010, 114 were removed, 228 in 2011 and so on, according to Barajas. He has personally identified about 200 U.S. Veterans heroes who were deported by ICE to 19 different countries.

Hector Barajas can be contacted at 626-569-5491 U.S. or 664-504-7592 Mex.

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