MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) — U.S. Congressman Alex Mooney (R-WV) stopped by WVU on Monday to host a veterans roundtable.
The open discussion was attended by local veterans, organizations and the VA hospital. Attendees shared their concerns with Mooney including the issue of veterans not being able to enroll for VA Hospital benefits if their household income was slightly above a certain limit.
Some of the bills mentioned at the meeting included retirement benefits, which Mooney commented on during an interview with 12 News.
“So one of the bills that was brought up would give full retirement and disability pay without paying any hospital fees for people who are partially disabled. So that’s a bill I’m working on that’s a federal bill working on now that would just expand that to everybody. And it really seems like what they’re dealing with is too many I don’t know, checks, too much paperwork ‘cause like do you fit this exact category,” Mooney said. “My take away from a line it’s just simplifying the process here just allow all the veterans to apply and be accepted.”
Another concern was the seeming lack of work for veterans and people not wanting to hire veterans due to stigma.
“There’s a stigma, whether anybody wants to admit to it or not that, you know, with PTSD and mental health and all that, veterans have issues. That ‘I’m not really sure about hiring a veteran, because I’m not sure if that will be a problem in my workplace.’ That’s not the case, I’ve made partnerships with companies all across the state and I don’t burn those bridges because I send them quality veterans, veterans that want to work,” Terry Vance said.
Attendees also brought up the concern that no West Virginia state law allows for all veterans to get in-state tuition at their chosen school. Currently, it is up to individual schools if they choose to do so and WVU is not one of those schools.
Mooney said his office holds these veteran’s roundtables throughout the year, but the next roundtable is yet to be announced.