23 Mar IS-VA’s-Equity-Task-Force-Tackling-Racial-Disparity-Benefits-Decisions?
The Department of Veterans Affairs has established an equity task force to guarantee that veterans from underrepresented groups and those who are minorities have equitable access to VA health care and benefits. The VA has been “fighting with inequities based on race in VA benefits decisions and military discharge status,” Secretary Denis McDonough told reporters on Thursday. According to McDonough, the equity task group would investigate differences in how quickly the VA provides care and benefits to Black veterans and other minority and “historically underrepresented” veterans. The final line is that, according to McDonough, “We won’t stop until every veteran receives the top-notch care and benefits they have earned.”
The equity task force is tasked with making recommendations to VA regarding changes to its organizational structure, training, quality control and outreach, as well as other criteria.
The VA’s newest response to media stories and a court lawsuit alleging racial inequalities in VA benefits claim judgments over a number of decades is the establishment of the equity task group. According to a complaint initiated by Yale Law School’s Veterans Legal Service Clinic and filed in December with the U.S. District Court in Connecticut, the VA rejected Black veterans’ disability compensation claims more frequently than white veterans’ claims between 2001 and 2020. The information in the complaint was obtained from the VA through Freedom of Information Act requests.
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