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Majority Of Women Vets Aren't Signed Up For VA Benefits

Women veterans lag behind men when it comes to signing up for their benefits, according to a state official.

Kelly Fitzpatrick served in the Army for 16 years, and is now Director of the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs.  She says a 2016 study by her department showed a significant portion of women aren’t receiving services they’re entitled to.

“About 19 percent of Oregon women veterans have signed up for VA benefits," Fitzpatrick tells KLCC.

"That number’s really unacceptable so we want to get to that 80 percent of the women who have not signed up or haven’t explored their benefits.”   

Fitzpatrick says by comparison, about 50 percent of male veterans are signed up.  She says anyone who served should look up their county veterans service office.  

VA services include health care, PTSD counseling, and burials and memorials.

Copyright 2019, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.