VETERAN BENEFITS | Michigan Radio
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VETERAN BENEFITS

james redford
Cheyna Roth / Michigan Radio

 

Michigan has consistently ranked in the bottom five states and territories when it comes to helping veterans and their families access federal VA benefits. In 2013, Governor Rick Snyder created the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency to address the state's low ranking. 

Yet five years after the governor created the MVAA to address the issue, Michigan still ranks near the bottom in connecting veterans with benefits. We conclude our week-long series on the issue with a conversation with James Redford, director of the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency.

flickr/DonkeyHotey

Today on Stateside, our education commentator explains why teachers shouldn’t shy away from talking about politics in the classroom. Plus, we hear about allegations against the Detroit Medical Center that claim the hospital fired several doctors after they raised concerns about dirty surgical instruments and other problems.

Listen to the full show or find individual segments below.

Detroit Medical Center under investigation after new allegations of dirty surgical instruments

Joe Linstroth / Michigan Radio

Michigan has consistently ranked in the bottom five states and territories when it comes to helping veterans and their families access federal VA benefits.

Why are so many Michigan vets not getting the benefits they've earned?

 

All week, Stateside has been digging into this question. We've talked to veterans from two different generations about their experiences returning home. A county-level veteran services administrator shared his concerns about the lack of staff available to help veterans connect to benefits. We also heard from a state representative about what progress the state has — and has not — made. 

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

 

Today on Stateside, will the 44,000 people who were wrongfully accused of unemployment fraud be able to sue the state? Plus, the legacy of the 1920’s African-American Doctor who purchased a home on Detroit's segregated East Side.

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below.

 

Michigan Supreme Court hears appeal for lawsuit against state for false fraud accusations

State Representative Jason Wentworth (R) testifying before the House Military and Veterans Affairs Committee in February.
Michigan House Republicans

Republican State Representative Jason Wentworth serves Michigan's 97th district and is the chair of the House Military and Veterans Affairs Committee. He served in the United States Army, and before he was elected to the state House, he was a regional coordinator for the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA).

Earlier this year, he worked to get a bill signed into law that will — for the first time — make state funds available for county governments to help veterans apply for federal VA benefits.

Unsplash

Today on Stateside, Democratic nominee Elissa Slotkin on why she's running in Michigan's 8th Congressional District, one of the most expensive races in the country. Plus, Washtenaw County Department of Veterans Affairs director Michael Smith talks about how a shortage of qualified staff makes it harder for Michigan veterans to determine their eligibility for federal VA benefits. 

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

Michael Smith, director of the Washtenaw County Department of Veterans Affairs
Michigan Radio

All this week on Stateside, we're looking at why more Michigan veterans aren't getting the help they may be entitled to from the VA. The state has consistently ranked in the bottom five states and territories when it comes to helping veterans and their families access federal VA benefits.

train
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Today on Stateside, pollster Richard Czuba on how news consumers should be looking at media coverage of polls in 2018. Plus, Stateside kicks off a week-long series about the challenges Michigan veterans face connecting with VA benefits after returning to civilian life. Two veterans, one who served in Vietnam and one who served in Iraq, discuss their experiences navigating life after returning home from war. 

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

Lawrence Dolph in 1969 (L) and now.
Courtesy of Lawrence Dolph

There are about six hundred thousand veterans in Michigan. That's the 11th highest in the nation, according to the U.S. Census. Yet Michigan has consistently ranked in the bottom five states and territories when it comes to helping veterans and their families access federal veteran benefits. These are benefits that could bring much needed assistance with finances, employment, and health care, to name a few.