If you were injured, or a family member was killed in Iraq between 2004 and 2011 by "Shi'a Special Groups" or Iranian-supplied devices, you may be eligible to join the legal battle to hold Iran and its agents responsible for their actions.
Lawsuits are currently being brought under the Anti-Terrorism Act and the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, and you may be able to join.
More than 1,000 U.S. servicemen and women were killed or injured by Iranian designed and manufactured improvised explosive devices (IED's), and there have been hundreds of attacks found to be caused by Iranian-designed explosively formed penetrators (EFP's) and improvised rocket-assisted munitions (IRAMs). There is evidence available concerning Iran's role in targeting Americans in the Middle East and its secret supply chains and money laundering activities.
A major lawsuit has been brought on behalf of families of fallen service members, wounded veterans, and American military contractors and their families, against many banks that helped Iran secretly launder hundreds of billions of dollars through the U.S. Some lawsuits even target Iranian state instrumentalities that helped to fund Iran in its many terrorist operations against our troops.
In 1992, the U.S. passed the Anti-Terrorism Act which allows victims to file lawsuits against financiers of terrorist groups. The Anti-Terrorism Act states that any U.S. citizen (or other "national") may sue for injuries that were “by reason of an act of international terrorism.”
Anti-Terrorism Act veterans lawsuits are civil lawsuits, not criminal. Anti-Terrorism Act veterans lawsuits are based on this statement within the Act: “Any national of the United States injured in his or her person, property, or business by reason of an act of international terrorism, or his or her estate, survivors, or heirs, may sue therefor in any appropriate district court of the United States and shall recover threefold the damages he or she sustains and the cost of the suit, including attorney’s fees.”
While "Shi'a Special Groups" are certainly targeted by the most recent lawsuits, other organizations such as Hezbollah, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Iran's Qods, and Sunni Terrorist Groups may also be tied to the Iran funded terrorist acts.
While there are many different injuries that have resulted from IED/EFP/IRAM's, the following are most common:
It appears that Congress did at least get something done before their regular recess. On Friday they passed 3 measures related to the Veterans Administration.
In the First bill passed, the Congress has sent to the President a Bill which they say is intended to shorten the Appeals process for veterans. Unfortunately, it looks like this Bill is really nothing to be overly thrilled about. In return for waiving the right to a hearing AND the right to present new evidence, the veteran would receive what they are calling an "express" appeal process. What this really means, no-one knows. It could mean that instead of taking anywhere from 2-5 years to get a decision on your appeal, it might only take 1-3....but again, we just don't know. What we do know is that the veteran is expected to give up some very important rights just to maybe get a quicker decision.
Most appeals are won due to the ability to present more evidence AND to appear in front of a hearing Judge so that a face is put with a number. I would not advise any veteran to elect this "express" appeal process until we learn more.
The Second Bill has to do with reducing some of the existing restrictions on the GI Bill.
The Third Bill addresses the current Budget shortfall in the so-called "Choice" program that in theory allows veterans to seek private health care paid for by the VA when the normal VA Medical Center wait times are too long. This Bill supplies 3.9 Billion dollars to keep the program funded.
More info to come as it becomes available......
It seems like the VA just keeps saying that they must make 'hard decisions" when figuring their budget and how to assist all Veterans. Time and time again they fall back on the possibility of limiting the amount of benefits some veterans can receive as a way of meeting their own budgeting problems instead of looking at the waste within the VA itself as a way to meet budget demands.
VA Secretary Shulkin has told a House panel that continuing to provide IU/TDIU benefits to veterans above the age of 80 "isn't what makes sense to the average American". Instead, he once again proposed cutting the IU benefit once the veteran becomes eligible for Social Security Retirement benefits. This is a bit of a change in Secretary Shulkin's attitude from his earlier proposal to totally end IU benefits, BUT this new proposal should have all veterans concerned.
Shulkin went on to state that the proposed changes to the IU program would save the agency around 3.2 million in 2018 alone. The proposed changes WOULD NOT affect those veterans who were unable to otherwise collect Social Security.
One of the many problems with cutting the IU benefits based upon the ability to receive Social Security benefits is the fact that many, if not most of the veterans receiving IU have been out of the workforce for many, many years. These vets have not been paying much, if anything, into the Social Security system and would therefore receive very little monthly income from Social Security. This would result in many more vets being pushed into poverty and homelessness. Further, spouses of veterans that receive IU are entitled to health care benefits and that alone could devastate the family if the IU is lost.
The fact is that these veterans have earned the right to collect BOTH benefits. They earn the right to collect the IU benefits due to the fact that they did serve their Country and suffered as a result, plus they worked and paid into the Social Security system.
There has been heated discussions within the veterans community over the proposed assault on the IU program. Some veterans even voicing concerns that the already high suicide rate among vets could skyrocket with any such changes.
Luckily, all previous efforts to trim the IU benefits program have run into very strong opposition from veterans, veteran service organizations, veteran advocates and even some in Congress.