My Friend is a Veteran and He Needed Help

I have been Bob’s friend for 27 years. When he became ill, he asked me to stay with him to help out. I didn’t hesitate. I’ve been helping Bob for the last four years. I’m not sure how much longer it will be.

Bob’s health problems began two years before I moved in. Bob had cancer of the larynx. He overcame it. He also beat prostate cancer. But then, his health got worse. He was diagnosed with colon cancer. He had a colostomy followed by a cycle of nursing home rehab; emergency room visits; and rehab.

I’m not a trained medical person. Nor am I an accountant. Everything got thrown onto my lap at once. I was keeping his house clean; paying his bills; and visiting him every day at rehab. Ex-military are the worst patients. They don’t like being told what to do.  I had to keep him calm – and the doctors, too.

The time came for me to handle the legal paperwork stuff. I became Bob’s Power of Attorney.  I handled his living will.  I had many meetings with his doctors, and I had to move Bob in and out of rehab five times.

The demands of his care were driving me crazy. I knew he needed some kind of financial help, but, Bob had pride. He didn’t want any “handouts.” My friends told me, though, that he might qualify for benefits from the VA because he’s a Vietnam Vet. He had never applied for help before.

Finding Help For Veterans Online

So I searched for veterans disability help online. I found the Freedom Disability Web site. They help people with disabilities get benefits from the Social Security Administration. That wasn’t what I wanted, but there was a banner on the site that said “Now Helping Veterans.” I clicked and found Alpha, their sister organization that helps veterans get compensation benefits from the VA.  It sounded like the right place to start. I called and talked to Stephen, an advocate on the Alpha team.

At that point I was panic-stricken. Stephen understood how I felt.  He was great to talk to, and I totally believed that he could help us – he’s a veteran too.  I trusted him.

The Advocates at Alpha Got Us Maximum Disability Benefits

Stephen prepared Bob’s first-ever claim and submitted it to the VA in June. Two months later, the VA found Bob to be 100 percent disabled. The VA said that all his cancers were caused from service in Vietnam. I wish we had known a long time ago that Bob could get compensation for being so sick.

I know that Alpha’s not getting a dime for their help because they don’t take payment for initial claims. Stephen said he didn’t care about that. He said Alpha will never turn down a veteran to make a profit.  He said that he would have fought all the way to the Court of Veteran’s Appeals if Bob hadn’t gotten all the compensation Stephen felt he was entitled to. I doubt that I’d have gotten such quick help from a lawyer – or on my own with the VA. It’s all too confusing.

If any veteran needs help filing a disability claim with the VA, go to Alpha. They are very professional. And they are so nice and personable. The Alpha team really knows what they’re doing.  – Diana F.

Note: All representation coordinated by Alpha is provided by our employees, the Advocates, who are accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). No private organization that trains and employs accredited agents has been legally recognized by the VA for the purposes of preparation, presentation, and prosecution of claims. This work must be done by the Advocates themselves and not organizations.