New Data: Black Veterans Denied VA Health Benefits More than White Ones

New Data: Black Veterans Denied VA Health Benefits More than White Ones

New data released by Veteran Affairs shows when Black veterans ask for physical and mental health benefits, they are accepted at a rate significantly lower than white ones.

A five percent decline in assistance was found in 2023 for Black veterans seeking their benefits as opposed to white veterans, the numbers being 84.8% and 89.4% respectively.

According to NBC News, these statistics are of even greater concern as the proportions should be higher for Black veterans, who apply for benefits at a greater rate.

In light of this recent discovery, an Agency Equity Team was formed to strategize on how to combat this gap, that also extends to other marginalized veterans, and why it occurred.

VA Secretary Denis McDonough relayed the I*DEA (inclusion, diversity, equity and access) Council’s mission to uncover the causes that led to this disparity,

“At VA, it’s our mission to serve all veterans, their families, caregivers, and survivors as well as they’ve served our countryThis new Agency Equity Team will help us deliver on that promise. The team’s first order of business will be identifying any disparities in VA health care and benefits and eliminating them.”

Working to address how the VA can do better to ensure fair treatment across all racial, gender, and other identity groups, the I*DEA Council is developing a plan of action to evaluate the data found and pinpoint exactly what issues impede these veterans from reaping their full benefits.

This new team hopes to resolve systemic issues within the VA through new awarenesses put in place during the application process while reinstalling faith for veterans from underserved populations to rely on the VA for their rightfully earned benefits.

The press secretary for the VA, Terrence Hayes, emphasized the overall purpose of the VA and its Agency Equity Team is to uplift and provide true support to its most vulnerable groups,

“The whole goal is to ensure that any veteran who comes to the department and is filing their claim receives equal treatment across the board,” Hayes siad.

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