Vets seeking disability benefits should live in small towns

Report shows disparity in claim awards.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune analyzed disability payments to veterans in Minnesota and concluded that a veteran living in a rural area “is more likely to be receiving disability benefits than a veteran living in Minneapolis or St. Paul, even if they fought in the same war and have the same injury.”

The paper reported Saturday that an Iraq War era veteran in Little Falls -- population 8,000 -- with the hearing ailment tinnitus, for instance, is nine times more likely to be getting benefits than an Iraq War era veteran in the Lynhurst neighborhood of south Minneapolis, which has a population of 387,000.

Some vets have figured out this disparity, the paper said, and now file their claims in small towns rather than big cities. It raises the question of why there is this disparity for disability payments based upon where a veteran lives.