HAWAII'S ONLY WEEKLY FILIPINO-AMERICAN NEWSPAPER
SERVING THE FILIPINO COMMUNITY SINCE 1993
DEC. 8, 2018

MAINLAND NEWS

Sen. Schatz Call for Inspector General to Investigate VA’s Failure to Pay Veterans Full Benefits

U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), lead Democrat on the Senate Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee, and John Boozman (R-Ark.), Chairman of the Senate Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee, led a group of lawmakers in calling for a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Inspector General investigation into allegations that the VA would not reimburse veterans for missed or underpaid benefits.

“Secretary Wilkie may be saying the right things, but until the VA invests money to address the ongoing staffing and IT challenges facing the claims backlog, our veterans will remain robbed of the benefits they were promised,” said Senator Schatz. “I expect the Secretary to come up with a plan so that the VA can audit and process retroactive payments for underpaid or missed claims. And I look forward to the Inspector General helping us hold him accountable to that plan.”

In their bipartisan letter to the VA’s Inspector General, the lawmakers ask about how the technical errors occurred, how quickly any reimbursements will be made, and how the VA plans to make sure all benefits will continue to be paid out without interruption.

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Meligrito Chosen as Winner of AARP 2018 Asian American & Pacific Islander Hero Award

Jon Melegrito of the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project (FilVetRep) in Kensington, Maryland was one among two winners of AARP 2018 Asian American & Pacific Islander Hero Award. The other recipient is Denny Chen of Justice in Aging in Los Angeles.

AARP’s AAPI Hero Award is a nationwide contest that celebrates unsung heroes — volunteer and staff members who work diligently behind the scenes in nonprofit organizations serving AAPI age 50 and older.

“We celebrate the dedication of our AAPI Hero Award winners, who tirelessly advocate every day to help improve the lives of older adults,” said Daphne Kwok, AARP VP of Multicultural Leadership, AAPI Audience Strategy. “As we approach 2019, let’s all pledge to serve our elders in our own communities.”

Meligrito is the son of a Filipino World War II Veteran. From civil rights to the anti-apartheid movement, he has spent a lifetime building movements for equity and justice. Now, he advocates for Filipino World War II Veterans as a volunteer for a non-profit organization, the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project (FilVetRep). He is working with fellow advocates to feature the stories of Filipino World War II Veterans and their Congressional Gold Medal at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

Chan is a staff attorney at Justice in Aging, a non-profit organization that uses law to fight senior poverty. Denny advocates for the needs of older adults, especially those with limited English proficiency. His legal work focuses on securing access to affordable health care, economic security, and the courts for older adults with limited resources.

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age.

 

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