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    Five questions, Five answers: Indiana's Transition Assistance Advisers

    Five questions, Five answers: Indiana's Transition Assistance Advisers

    Photo By Capt. Tyler Mitchell | Transition assistance advisors placed their motto "Direction, Benefits, Compassion,"...... read more read more



    Story by 1st Lt. Tyler Mitchell 

    120th Public Affairs Detachment

    INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Since Sept. 11, the Indiana National Guard has deployed more than 18,000 service members. More programs have been created for veterans than ever before in an effort to help veterans transition back to civilian life. The Transition Assistance Adviser Team of Indiana has been created to work on a personal level with all veterans in need from every branch and their family members. I met with Transition Assistance Adviser, Roger Peterman to learn more.

    Q: What is a Transition Assistance Adviser's mission?

    A: The purpose of the Transition Assistance Adviser Program is to provide a professional to serve as the state point of contact to assist service members, veterans and their families in accessing the Department of Veterans Affairs services and benefits. The TAA also assists with obtaining entitlements through the military health system and shares details about community resources.

    Q: What are examples of success stories from your office?

    A: We provided support to an Indiana National Guard Soldier who returned home from a deployment in Iraq with severe post traumatic stress disorder. He had no source of income and was about to lose his home. We intervened with Soldier and the VA to get his VA disability pay of 100 percent in five weeks.

    He received $27,800 of back pay from the VA because his claim was filed within the year after returning from deployment. We also worked with Social Security for 100 percent disability. He went from no income to almost $6,000 a month in disability benefits.

    We also helped an Indiana National Guard Soldier who suffered a severe traumatic brain injury while serving in Iraq. The Soldier spent two years at Walter Reed Medical Center and was not properly out processed by the military when he left Walter Reed. The Soldier's DD-214 did not reflect "Combat Zone" so he did not qualify for any VA benefits and he did not receive travel pay and allowance from Walter Reed to home.

    Our team spent 11 months working to ensure his DD-214 reflected that he should be compensated for travel allowances. The DD-214 was corrected and he is now receiving full VA benefits to include disability pay and health care. He also received a check for $2,500 for travel allowances for the trip home.

    Q: Who can get assistance from your office?

    A: Any service member, veteran or member of their family can contact either Mr. Roger Peterman or Capt. Sarah Cline for assistance. As long as you have served in the Armed Forces of the United States someone from the TAA can provide assistance.

    Q: How many people have received assistance?

    A: In fiscal year 2014, the Indiana TAA program conducted 198 briefings for 7,500 service members, veterans and families. The TAAs personally worked with more than 23,000 individuals with health and benefits issues. That total represents an increase of 38 percent over the number served the year prior.

    In 2014, there was a huge decline in benefits and services which had been available over the previous twelve years. This caused an increase in TAA agency visits from 15 in 2013 to 96 in 2014. To continue to support the needs of our service members, veterans and families, there has been an increased focus in engaging community partners to assist with services that are no longer available elsewhere.

    As a result of programs to reduce the hesitation to seek services, many service members and veterans requested assistance, resulting in a 58 percent increase in the number of referrals to VA benefits, VA healthcare and Veteran center resources.

    Q: Is calling your office private and confidential?

    A: Information shared with the TAAs is confidential unless there is a duty to worn. That is defined as an individual who is a threat to himself or others.

    Transition Assistance Advisers are located at 711 N. Pennsylvania St. Indianapolis, IN 46204.

    Their office number is 317-247-3300 ext 85472 or ext 85444.

    Cell phone: 317-752-7145 or 317-697-4740



    Date Taken: 11.19.2014
    Date Posted: 11.19.2014 10:18
    Story ID: 148242
    Location: INDIANAPOLIS, IN, US 

    Web Views: 270
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