Disabled, retired pay concurrent

By Tom Philpott: CNJ columnist New groups of disabled retirees will be able this year to draw Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) or higher amounts of Concurrent Retired Disability Payments (CRDP) under legislation passed in January. Defense Finance and Accounting Service officials explained in an interview how they are implementing the changes. Again it will involve […]

Vet refurbishes medical equipment

1196911336-freemanweb.jpg

Freedom New Mexico: Thomas Garcia James Freeman is a veteran who collects medical equipment, repairs it and distributes it to the disabled. By Thomas Garcia: Freedom New Mexico James Freeman calls it his “Aid to the Disabled Program.” “James originally started the program to collect medical equipment for disabled veterans,” said Keith Barker acting exalted […]

Number of elderly, disabled facilities growing in Clovis

1183093750-629wheatfieldad.jpg

CNJ staff photo: Andy DeLisle Construction continues Thursday on the Wheatfields Senior Living Community on North Prince Street. By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer Clovis looks like prime real estate for developers hoping to build living facilities for senior citizens and the disabled. Six housing development projects for the elderly and the disabled have either […]

Bed bandit strikes

CNJ Staff A disabled customer walked out of a Clovis medical supply store with a mattress without paying for it, a police report said. Tuesday afternoon, Cinda Barringer of Clovis Brace called police to report a disabled customer suffering from “morbid obesity and other ailments” had stolen a mattress from the store, according to the […]

Lump sum payment may be welcome change

By Tom Philpott: Military Update The Veterans’ Disability Benefits Commission has examined and rejected a proposal that the VA begin offering veterans with lower-rated disabilities a lump-sum payment instead of lifetime monthly compensation. The 13-member commission reached its decision unanimously last week at a public meeting in Washington, D.C. It did so after being briefed […]

Air Force vet helps others with disabilities

1159336048-9-27-john-prater-web.jpg

John Prater, left, spent 26 years in the Air Force. (Freedom Newspapers: Claude Vigil) By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer Instead of settling into retirement and putting up his feet after 26 years in the Air Force, John Prater headed to the college classroom. However, somewhere along the way he began to suffer the effects […]

Disabled veterans program mismanaged

By Tom Philpott: Military Update The Department of Veterans Affairs mismanages its program for rating disabled veterans as “unemployable,” according to a new report by congressional auditors. Because of weak oversight of Individual Unemployability (IU) benefits, some veterans get more compensation than warranted, and the VA is ineffective in moving seriously disabled veterans toward productive […]

Labor department employees use real-life experience to help others

1139383240-web-barela-flores-2_1_06.jpg

New Mexico Department of Labor employees Matthew Barela, left, and Luis Flores work with veterans at the New Mexico Department of Labor. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth) By Andy Jackson: CNJ staff writer Matthew Barela came back home to Clovis in 1993 changed forever after his spinal cord was injured in a land mine explosion in […]

Flaws discovered in disability benefits

By Tom Philpott: Military Update A commission conducting the first major review of veterans’ disability benefits in 50 years was warned at its inaugural meeting that perhaps too many veterans have been deemed “unemployable,” which raises their compensation to the level of 100-percent disabled veterans. Renee L. Szybala, director for operations of VA’s Compensation and […]

Federal agency helps disabled purchase homes

Ralph Gallagher’s lifetime dream was to own a home, said Tammy Lewis, executive director of Alliance Behavioral Health Services, a private, for-profit agency that helps the developmentally disabled. A long-time client of mental health service providers, Gallagher never earned enough money to pay a mortgage, she noted. This is where Clovis Secton 8 Homeownership Program […]