LOCAL ISSUES & SPECIAL PROJECTS
In FY13, the Jackson Regional Office continues to provide on-site claims application processing for Army Reserve and Army National Guard Troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Camp Shelby is one of the largest training sites in CONUS for Reserve Component (RC) Forces, and is located 100 miles south of Jackson near the city of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Since the advent of Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraq Freedom, Camp Shelby has served as a major mobilization and demobilization site for both Active Component (AC) and RC units.
The services rendered to the soldiers returning through Camp Shelby consist of “TAP level” briefings on the full range of VA Benefits and Services; “face to face” benefit counseling with a VA Benefits Counselor; and filing of disability claims. During the intake of claims, copies of relevant military records including Service Treatment Records (STR), DD 214s, and other military personnel-related documents, are made by the VA support staff during the demobilization events. This enables the Jackson RO staff to forward a complete claim package with supporting STR’s, DD214’s, and military personnel records to the VARO of jurisdiction.
To date during fiscal year 2013, 6922 troops from various states were provided benefit briefings, 6899 received one on one interviews, and 356 claims were filed. Benefits claims filed by service members demobilizing thorugh Camp Shelby are now being processed using the expedited "Quick Start" claims process.
Radiation-related claims were consolidated to the Jackson Regional Office in 2007, excluding appeals cases. The goal of the consolidation was to improve quality and timeliness in the development and decision process of radiation claims.
These claims include diseases presumed to be service connected under 38 CFR § 3.309(d) and claims for disabilities under § 3.311 where radiation exposure was the result of participation, (a) as part of the American occupation forces in Hiroshima or Nagasaki following World War II from 1945 to 1946, or (b) as a participant in atmospheric nuclear weapons testing conducted from 1945 to 1962.
As of the end of the 3nd Quarter of Fiscal Year 2013, the Jackson Regional Office has received and reviewed 14,003 radiation related claims of which 9,830 were retained for processing. Of that number, 8862 have been completed.
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U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs - 810 Vermont Avenue, NW - Washington, DC 20420
Reviewed/Updated Date: September 20, 2013