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For wounded veterans, the war goes on
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Financial support and assistance
Finances are a potentially difficult burden for injured service members and their families. The military does provide a traumatic injury protection insurance benefit, which provides lump sum payouts anywhere from $25,000 to $100,000.

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Service members who buy TSGLI, a low-cost group life insurance program for members of the military, are covered by this. When they buy TSGLI they automatically get the traumatic injury protection coverage. In addition, if they suffered a traumatic injury between when the war started in Afghanistan on Oct. 7, 2001, and Dec. 1, 2005, they are retroactively covered by the traumatic injury protection insurance.

The payout depends on the injury.

There is a schedule of payouts on the VA's Web site.

For example, if a soldier loses a foot above the ankle, he or she gets $50,000. A permanent loss of hearing in one ear pays $25,000. Various combinations of injuries pay the $100,000 benefit.

Most severely wounded service members' transition from either the reserves or active duty to military retirement through the Department of Defense's transition assistance program. The Department of Defense's Military Severely Injured Center, (888) 774-1361, provides counseling and referrals to financial support, education, VA benefits and employment assistance.

Nonprofit advocacy and support organizations, such as the National Military Family Association, the Disabled American Veterans, the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, provide valuable information for wounded soldiers and their relatives regarding their rights, benefits and other topics.

For legal assistance with issues such as power of attorney, both the American Bar Association's Legal Assistance for Military Personnel and the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corp. offer assistance.

Outside of immediate Department of Defense and VA services, each of the uniformed services offers support to their wounded in action and their families:

Disability and disability claims
Once the initial period of injury evaluation and treatment is over, wounded service members and their families begin to work through the disability determination process. The VA pays a monthly benefit to service members who are classified disabled as a result of their military service or who have a pre-existing disability aggravated by military service.

 
 
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