Over the last week, I’ve received numerous correspondence from veterans concerned that their disability compensation benefits will be stopped due to the government shutdown. Sometimes this information is coming from internet-based news articles and other times through fellow veterans.
To date, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has not published any specific information about disability compensation or pension benefits being suspended. When, and more importantly if, that occurs the VA will publish that information and I promise to relay that information. From my perspective, the speculation alone is having a detrimental effect on many veterans and is not worth repeating in the absence of formal notification from the VA.
It also reminds me of a short anecdote that is worth recounting . . . Approximately six years ago, I was in the audience of an appellate hearing before one of the military appellate courts. During the hearing, government appellate counsel provided a definition of a computer-related word. One of the appellate judges immediately stopped counsel and queried where counsel obtained that definition. The counsel responded, “Wikipedia.” The appellate judge then asked, “You mean the site where anyone can publish or modify information?” Appellate counsel sheepishly responded, “Yes.” The appellate judge retorted, “Don’t do that again.”
The moral of the anecdote is that the Internet is a terrific resource, however, if can also be the source of misinformation (intentional or otherwise) if the reader is not careful to cross-reference to the primary source of that information.