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Troy Spurlock

Question About S/c Disability Requiring Surgery, But Veteran Incarcerated...!?!

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I've read the basic brochures, fliers, and other related information that makes it pretty clear that once a veteran has become a ward of the state...the VA wants to pass the buck onto the state to care for the veteran and their service-connected injuries that may or may not require immediate attention.

Is anyone aware of any loop holes or case law that would essentially put the burden of care back onto the VA for a war time clear cut-n-dry physically debilitating condition that has been granted s/c and rated s/c?

A new VA attorney and friend of mine inquired if I knew anything since I work in a criminal justice field and close to the county jail (which clearly isn't state prison).

As of right now the convicted veteran who returned from war and didn't adjust well got into the wrong crowd and got caught burblarizing a home. He's now at the state hospital where he likely won't leave due to his debilitating back condition, and there is no hint of the state giving him the surgery he needs to correct it.

So, any insight into this would be most appreciated.


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This Vet needs a good advocate on the outside. Maybe even you? I dont know. Of course, I dont know any of the details other than what you posted. Those details should be looked over by the Vets advocate/attorney and determine a course of action. I dont think there is "general" advice that will help, other than persistence, and getting help. If you published details, then we can give you a more specific answer, but often Vets post "general" information and want a "specific" answer to their problem. A specific answer requires specific details, and a "general" question can only yield "general" answers.

Remember, the VA just wants Vets to "go away" so they can move on to the next case. They usually try denial first. They are hoping you go away, and 85 % do go away, and dont appeal.

If they can get the Vet to "go away" by burdening the state instead, that is a win for them! The VA pays way, way, less benefits to incarcerated Vets, if any, and they look for things like this. The VA thinks we are all jail birds, alcoholics, liars and cheats, and treats us accordingly.

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Apologies...I thought I gave enough info for a general if not specific answer on point. I'll try again...

Iraq/Afghan. Vet returns from combat tour of duty having combat injuries, PTSD, TBI, and severe back injury that has for the past couple years required surgery but the VA dragge it out (took me two years fighting VA to get them to do my back surgery).

Vet doesn't adjust we'll, self-medicates with alcohol and gets involved with wrong people and comits crime that lands him in a state prison; however, due to his combat injuries he is committed to the state hospital instead of prison.

Vet has an attorney, but he is new to representing veterans an asked me if I knew anything in this area.

My first response was that now that the vet, his client, is a ward of the state the VA passes the buck (responsibility) for the vetetan's health care onto the state.

This attorney, being an OIF/OEF veteran and officer himself is ticked because he firmly believes incarcerated or not, vet injured in line of duty and service connected for those injuries, thus it should be the VA providing him the back surgery he needs.

Bottom line, I was curious I anyone hear of any similar situation and if there was case law giving a veteran a loop hole to force the VA to provide the health care the veteran deserves if the state isn't providing it?

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Was the vet convicted of a felony? Was he found to be insane? I am pretty sure if the vet is involuntarily committed to a state institution it is up to the institution to provide health care. The thing about being sent to a state hospital is that the sentence may be up to hospital staff as to if and when they feel he is competent to be released. The Vet does not get compensation while in prison, but I am not sure about a state mental institution. The vet needs an experienced lawyer.

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Again, he was convicted of charges related to burglary and he is at the state hospital because the prison wasn't equipped to treat his physical combat wounds, specifically his back.

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