The American Legion Department of Indiana
The American Legion, Department of Indiana is extremely disappointed and concerned about the quality of care and treatment administered by the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs, specifically in reference to the recently released 2017 Indiana Family and Social Services Administration audit of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF program.
This on the heels of the administration’s mishandling of the Indiana Military Family Relief Fund makes apparent the immediate need for reform to meet the standards and expectations of our Hoosier State in dealing with veterans and veterans issues.
“Our veterans deserve better,” said Indiana Legion Commander Rodney Strong of Crawfordsville, Ind. “To say our leadership is ‘disappointed’ with the findings and delay of action would be an understatement.”
“The American Legion, from the National organization all the way down to your community’s local post, believes that our Nation’s Veterans are entitled to the highest quality care and benefits,” continued Strong. “These are not hand-outs. These are benefits earned by the selfless service and sacrifice of our nation’s veterans.”
Strong added that any veterans that have been refused aid from TANF or IMFRF seek relief from the many Legion programs available to veterans and their families by reaching out to their local American Legion posts. A list of these programs are also available at www.indianalegion.org/services.
Among the laundry list of demerits found in this audit are findings that not only were eligible participants not provided services, but others who were ineligible received services.
The audit also identified that certain services within TANF operated outside of their specific purpose and parameters. This type of misuse is extremely alarming and diminishes beneficial opportunities from qualifying participants who need them.
Hoosier Legionnaires agree that changes will need to be made to correct the current course of IDVA to ensure these types of abuses end and never happen again.
Veterans are familiar with the term, “never leave a fallen comrade behind.” This statement rings true now for both denied eligible veterans, but also the IDVA itself. The American Legion believes the IDVA is a “system worth saving.”
Course correction at IDVA won't be easy, but we believe it is necessary and eminently possible. Not because it can, but because it needs to. Too many Hoosier veterans rely on these programs to keep themselves and their families safe.
We encourage Governor Eric Holcomb and the Commission to IDVA to take the necessary steps to ensure the proposed action plan laid out in the April 6, 2017 audit which called for increased oversight into IDVA, or one like it is laid out and enacted.
If you or someone you know were denied services at IDVA, please visit the services page of our website at https://www.indianalegion.org/services.html to see if you qualify for any of the American Legion benefit programs.
The Indiana Legion provides representation to 63,000 of the 87,500 service-connected disabled veterans in Indiana for entitled Veterans Affairs benefits, making up 71 percent of the claims work in the state, bringing back more than 385 million a year to the Hoosier economy, free of charge, regardless of membership.
The American Legion Department of Indiana, which represents over 77,000 military service veterans who have served honorably during times of conflict in defense of their nation. The Indiana Legion provides veterans’ benefits and representation to more than 63,000 of the 87,500 service-connected disabled veterans in the State of Indiana free of charge, regardless of membership. To learn more about The American Legion, Department of Indiana visit www.indianalegion.org.
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