Chatline widow cemera

Participants can ask for a seat on camera or respond to the video chat via text.

It also includes a provision for the first time requiring the VA to pay for private care for eligible veterans who have waited more than 14 days for an appointment. “It’s the next step toward the privatization of the VA,” he says.

“It’s another step in the erosion of veterans’ health care.” Vouchering out VA health care has been a goal of conservatives for several years, over opposition from veterans groups who say the VA provides superior health care; the issue is capacity and access.

Parry said CVO had no response to its April complaint — and no followup from Senators Richard Durbin or Mark Kirk, who received copies — until this month, when the VA Office of Inspector General informed them an investigation had been opened.

Meanwhile, in light of the VA’s larger problems, the group is continuing an ongoing campaign for full funding for veterans services.

“They find the money to fight the wars; that’s no problem,” Parry says of Congress.

For the past few weeks Association Chat has been quietly testing a new platform for the weekly Tuesday chats.

Crump then sent a message to the hotline’s online chat line.

“A message came back saying we will contact you within 24 to 48 hours,” she said.

“She was saying things like, ‘I might as well not be alive, I might as well be dead.’” A Vietnam-era Army veteran who worked for more than two decades as a benefits counselor at the VA and for the Illinois Department of Veteran Affairs, Crump says, “I’m not a social worker, and I’ve dealt with this kind of thing enough to know when it’s time to get help.” She initiated a three-way call to the hotline, and the person answering offered no assistance, “never asked what’s the issue,” and simply told the callers to contact their local VA facility, Crump says.

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