Cortese Proposes Speeding Up Veterans’ Benefits Claims

As the federal government struggles to catch up to a massive backlog of pending benefits claims from ex-military men and women, Santa Clara County will consider a pilot program to expedite applications from local homeless veterans.

The proposal by Supervisor Dave Cortese comes before the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

Signing up veterans for services through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will free up the county from having to pay for medical costs and other public assistance.

“County assistance will also be reduced as homeless veterans are housed and their lives become more stable,” Cortese writes in his memo.

The county’s 2013 homeless census counted 718 veterans living in shelters or on the streets.

“As the federal government continues to enhance access to health services for veterans, local governments such as ours can work collaboratively with the veterans administration to identify veterans in dire need and ensure timely services,” the memo states.

Since Cortese’s original proposal in August, the county has put together a working group to address the issue.

The federal veterans administration has been mired in controversy over its years-long backlog of claims from veterans seeking money. The scandal led to the resignation of Secretary Eric Shinseki earlier this year.

That backlog catapulted to upward of 850,000 cases in 2013, largely because of a surge in new veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Many of the former soldiers suffered from post-traumatic stress disorders.

“Despite good intentions, shared interests and steadily improving coordination, a unified strategy and strong local leadership on the issue of veteran homelessness is needed,” Ky Le, of the county’s Office of Supportive Housing, tells supervisors.

More from the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors agenda for October 7, 2014:

  • A statewide sentencing reform measure that would reduce penalties for a slate of crimes is going on the ballot. A county public safety committee voted to support the initiative. Prop. 47, the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act, would ease up penalties for six crimes, called wobblers because they could be classified as either felonies or misdemeanors: grand theft, shoplifting, receiving stolen property, writing bad checks, check forgery and drug possession. The hope is that lessening penalties for some non-violent crimes will free up funds for treatment and rehabilitation.
  • The county plans to give $33,500 to San Jose State University’s Records Clearance Project, which helps people expunge their criminal history.
  • There has been an upward trend in the number of Latino children with open cases through the Department of Family and Children's Services, according to a new report about the disproportional representation of minorities referred to public welfare. “Latino children and youth remain over-represented at every stage of the child welfare continuum,” the report states. They account for 58 percent of emergency referrals from 2011 to this year.

WHAT: Board of Supervisors meets
WHEN: 9am Tuesday
WHERE: County Government Center, 70 W. Hedding St., San Jose
INFO: Clerk of the Board, 408.299.5001

Jennifer Wadsworth is the News Editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Newspaper. Email tips to [email protected] or follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.

33 Comments

  1. > “Latino children and youth remain over-represented at every stage of the child welfare continuum,”

    Well, then, don’t offer “public welfare’ to so many Latino children.

    Welfare doesn’t just fall out of the sky like Canada goose turds.

    This isn’t rocket surgery.

      • > Thanks, bigot.

        SJI Comments policy:

        •We will not post racist, sexist or sexually explicit comments, obvious commercial promotion, off-topic comments or comments that constitute a slur against a person or group.

        •We will not publish comments that deride a person or group of people for their physical characteristics, and we will not post comments from “cyberbullies.”

        “Bigot” is a slur against a person.

        It also makes you a “cyberbully”.

        By the way, which campaign are you working for? I want make a note to vote against the guy whose campaign is based insulting and demeaning voters.

        • You are wrong if you think bigot is only a slur against a person. From one of the reputable online dictionaries, ” One who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.” You previously stated, “Well, then, don’t offer public welfare to so many Latino children. Welfare doesn’t just fall out of the sky like Canada goose turds.” By your comment, you have an obvious bias towards Latino children. I would not think this if you had simply stated, “Don’t offer welfare to so many people,” that would show no prejudice towards any particular group. You, on the other hand, made the very clear distinction of denying benefits to children who are Latino. That is both bigoted and racist. It is especially egregious as you would withhold this from children. It is clear from your prior postings you tend to be a rather mean spirited individual, but you sunk to a new low by targeting the children of an immigrant community, children who never harmed you, and who had no decision in coming to the United States.

          • > You are wrong if you think bigot is only a slur against a person.

            A slur against a person is a violation of the SJI Comments policy.

            If you’re intent was to slur other things, or groups, or people as well, it’s even worse.

          • My suggestion is never ask for wellfare assistance. Parents are responsible to raise their kids on their own. If you can not afford to support your children then don’t have children . If you live a life with dignity , no one dare to look down on you .

    • Wow your true colors come through You could care less about those that have served this country and have given you the right to post your comments.

      Vote Dave

      • I normally don’t read Bubble’s predictably vitriolic douche bag rhetoric, as he never has anything of value to say. Sometimes though, I have a weak moment, and regrettably read his comment, and more regrettably I respond to the comment. I agree he is a weird and strange person, and I would guess it goes beyond just that.

        • > I normally don’t read Bubble’s predictably vitriolic douche bag rhetoric, as he never has anything of value to say.

          BWAAAHAAAAHAAAA!

          You can’t live without me! The internet doesn’t lie.

          I’m the first thing you check on SJI!

          You fibber!

          • When you took the Minnesota Multiphasic Test, it must have revealed that amongst other psychological disorders, you suffer from Delusions of Grandeur.

    • Based on SJI’s track record of reporting all things from a “Cortese=bad” stance my first reaction to the title had me prepared to accept that this article was going to somehow take issue with helping Vets …

      Note to SJI: I know I’m not the only person to have that initial reaction to the headline and that says quite a bit about the quality of your collective work product… you should do better, you wont, but you should.

      • And your thoughts about the Daily Fetch, Meyer….the articles on that site focus on insults of non-labor aligned candidates.

        • If you don’t like it, why do you read it? While they are satiric, with barbs pointed at mostly politicians, their humor is rooted in truth. They have aimed humor at all politicians, not just one side, including your best friend, Xavier Campos. They have been pretty brutal with Sam Liccardo, but he is just such low hanging fruit with his campaign stunts and grandstanding.

        • SJI claims it publishes news . Fetch posts links to news articles and includes editorial comments by whomever runs that site. Two totally different type of sights. It may come as a surprise but I hit this site and the Merc many many more times a week in I check The fetch

  2. Wait… The County pays to prosecute crimes via the DA, pays to defend the same crime via the Public Defender and now pays to expunge the record. Would it be easier to not enforce laws or simply flush cash down a County toilet?

  3. > Thanks, bigot.
    > You could care less about those that have served this country and have given you the right to post your comments.
    > What a weird, strange person.
    > I normally don’t read Bubble’s predictably vitriolic douche bag rhetoric, as he never has anything of value to say.

    You didn’t like my posting, did you.

    My mother’s feelings are hurt.

  4. The child welfare report repeatedly mentions “Differential Response”, but doesn’t define it. What is “Differential Response”?

  5. Fact: The recent wars and long occupations, OEF and OIF, have yet to be paid for and the continued blowback from the extremely failed policies, nor, DeJa-Vu all over again the people served responsibility the Veterans Administration, long under funded with issues ignored or denied and under deficits the under funded budgets mostly borrowed!!

    Facts: Matthew Hoh {former Marine and foreign service officer in Afghanistan}: “We spend a trillion dollars a year on national security in this country.”
    “And when you add up to the Department of Defense, Department of State, CIA, Veterans Affairs, interest on debt, the number that strikes me the most about how much we’re committed financially to these wars and to our current policies is we have spent $250 billion already just on interest payments on the debt we’ve incurred for the Iraq and Afghan wars.” 26 September 2014
    Matthew Hoh: “We’re– that cost for these wars are already totaled at $6 trillion at our lifetime.”
    “We have suffered casualties much greater than I think the American people understand. There is the 7,000 dead, the 50,000 wounded, but of the two and a half million veterans who served, including myself, a third of us suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, or some other type of mental health injury. We also have 250,000 veterans and service members who suffer from traumatic brain injuries.” 26 September 2014

    Fact: Congress, especially the extremist conservatives, led by House with Rep Miller lead in the media hype talking points to be parroted by all in attacks on the VA, the peoples responsibility, blocks everything requested they should address. Name funded legislation any conservative has brought out as to the many hearings held to actually help the VA!

    Fact: This Executive administration, Obama and Cabinet, have been the only government branch consistently doing for not only Veterans but the Military personal and their Families!! Those 99%plus served through their reps haven’t, wars still not paid for and VA budgets still, grossly under funded, are mostly borrowed, that’s what deficits are and were handed to the Executive branch after the bushco left town and obstructed since by the rubber stamping conservative congresses of the bushco!!

    Fact: “Why in 2009 were we still using paper?” VA Assistant Secretary Tommy Sowers “When we came in, there was no plan to change that; we’ve been operating on a six month wait for over a decade.” 27 March 2013

    Fact: Two tax cuts, especially for the wealthy! Growth in corporate subsidies as their profits soared, think cheney/secret meetings/energy corporations!

    Fact: The Poser Patriots continue waving their flags while ignoring or outright denying many Veterans issues, especially from these wars, even exist while ignoring they have yet to Sacrifice!! And find it real easy to use us Veterans in their political games!!

    Fact: “If military action is worth our troops’ blood, it should be worth our treasure, too” “not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American.” -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

    Fact, while under both bushes: ProPublica and The Seattle Times Nov. 9, 2012 – **Lost to History: Missing War Records Complicate Benefit Claims by Iraq, Afghanistan Veterans**
    “DeLara’s case is part of a much larger problem that has plagued the U.S. military since the 1990 Gulf War: a failure to create and maintain the types of field records that have documented American conflicts since the Revolutionary War.”
    **Army Says War Records Gap Is Real, Launches Recovery Effort**

    Under Gen. Shinseki, with a target on him after speaking Military Truth and the bushco firing him with the political ideology/greed within the agency helping those in power targeting him, finally with help from this Executive Branch and it’s Cabinet, like the Department of Labor – Veterans, The Department of Housing and Urban Development – Veterans and the Department of Justice – Veterans Courts and Related to name but only a few Veterans issues were finally addressing decades long ignored issues with some even denied they exist. Long Ignored by those served, other VA Secretaries and Executive Administrations, especially Conservative, and Especially Congresses who Represent the People Served, or are supposed to, and control the Nations purse strings. Across the VA and all issues of the us Veterans and especially from our Wars and long Occupations of others, not just Care Issues!
    Already started but an agency can do only so much and at the pace the people served allow with what the agency is budgeted, still grossly under funded with two more long wars and the budget mostly borrowed with interest payments to cause problems thus feeding the conservative want to privatize for corporate profit off the peoples treasury, and country served willing to pay for:

    What the VA Needs is Those Served Actually Sacrifice, Not Poser Patriotism from Congress and those, 99%, People Served!! Build the Veterans Administration Promised from the beginning with Real Patriotism not the decades of, cheap, empty rhetoric and Unfunded Congressional Legislation!

    Fact: Sen. Bernie Sanders told Conservatives: “If you can’t afford to take care of your veterans, than don’t go war. These people are bearing the brunt of what war is about, We have a moral obligation to support them.” February, 26th, 2014
    Neither of these recent wars have yet been paid for, let alone the results from, including the long ignored or outright denied existence of, till this Administrations Cabinet and Gen Shinseki, only Government branch consistent for the past six years! As well as under deficits most of the, grossly under funded, VA budget is still borrowed thus added, problem creating, costs that shouldn’t exist!

    Fact: The five Republicans in the House of obstruction, especially in paying for the wars and the long term results of, DeJa-Vu, who voted no on the still obstructed and grossly under funded needs, decades and wars from now, watered down once again, bill: Rick Crawford (Ark.), Walter Jones (N.C.), Jack Kingston (Ga.), Mark Sanford (S.C.) and Steve Stockman (Texas). Joining these Senators: Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) , who had voted ‘Nay’ weeks back while the House delayed after!! None having any problems, Poser Patriots, in rubber stamping All the war costs, no mention of offsets, including the no bid private contracts, off the books till administrations changed and all borrowed, yet to be paid back!!

    Fact: “We are dealing with veterans, not procedures—with their problems, not ours.” —General Omar Bradley, First Administrator of the Veterans Administration

    Fact: Lets hope what Gen Shinseki, with the help of the entire Obama Admin and Cabinet, extremely little from congress as those represented still not sacrificing, had finally started addressing continues. But it only can when those served, through their representatives, decide they actually owe in paying for these cheered on ‘patriotic’ wars and the long term results of is their responsibility to fully address!!

    USN All Shore ’67-’71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country ’70-’71 – Independent**

    • Thanks for your service to our country. Veterans and their families deserve the best care out there.To spend a trillion a year and spill our blood in Afghanistan is wrong.

  6. Bubba,
    You are nothing more than a flaming idiot, who when called on his idiocy, gives a mealy mouthed and nonsensical non-answer. Your attempt at a response could not have made the point of my previous comment regarding your bigoted answer, tinged with racist overtones, any better than I could have.

    • > You are nothing more than a flaming idiot …

      > Your attempt at a response …. tinged with racist overtones …

      > SJI Comments policy:

      •We will not post racist, sexist or sexually explicit comments, obvious commercial promotion, off-topic comments or comments that constitute a slur against a person or group.

      •We will not publish comments that deride a person or group of people for their physical characteristics, and we will not post comments from “cyberbullies.”

      A.) Slur.
      B.) Bullying.

      Dig deeper.

      By the way, which candidate are you urging people to vote for?

      • Cortese, and that has nothing to do with your racist rant. I have no doubt you will give some warped response to all this, though. We all anxiously await the ramblings of a fool.

        • > We all anxiously await the ramblings of a fool.

          OK. Hold on, it’s coming.

          I’m trying to locate someone from the Cortese campaign to make a posting.

  7. This is the problem with Cortese. He is an opportunist. Why does he propose this now? Because of the election? In an attempt to make him look like he is leading? Well, he has not done a thing to improve the community while he has been on the board. What a joke, schemer and fraud. I challenge anyone to look at his track record. He is a total and complete failure.

  8. and sam, chuck, pete madison and most of the others on the council are not complete failures as well. Time for a change. Vote Cortese!