Happy Colorado Day!

The holiday commemorates the admittance of

Colorado as a state to the Union on August 1, 1876.

For more historical information, click here.

The First Step in Filing a Disability Claim

The following is printed with permission from the Larimer County Veteran Service Office 970-498-7390

Veterans who have never filed a disability claim with the VA are frequently intimidated by the process. This is a common refrain from veterans who contact our office. There is a misconception that all the evidence must be collected, testimonials documented, medical records tracked down and curated before the process can begin. Nothing can be further from the truth.

The first step is to file a VA Form 21-0966. This is a simple form that notifies the VA of your intent to file for compensation, pension, survivors' pension and/or dependency indemnity compensation (DIC). This form locks in an effective start date for your benefits if your claim is ultimately approved and gives you a full calendar year to collect evidence in support of your claim, and to actually file the claim. If your claim is approved, you may be paid retroactively to the date when you submitted the original intent to file to the VA.

If, however, you file a disability claim associated with the PACT Act before August 10, 2023, and it is approved by the VA, you can receive compensation retroactive to August 10, 2022, regardless of if or when an intent to file was submitted. In some cases, this may result in substantial payments. Any PACT Act disability claim filed after August 9, 2023, will only be eligible for payments back to the date of the intent to file, or the date of the claim's filing.

Our office can assist you with filing the form electronically. It is important, however, to follow up and put the legwork into developing a solid claim. It is the veteran's responsibility to take the proper steps to make that happen. That includes attending scheduled medical exams. Our staff is there to assist and advise. We can help you conduct records requests, uploading documents to your claim file, and provide guidance. Ultimately, however, the disability claim is the veteran's; not ours.

Please call or visit our office if you've been thinking about filing a disability claim but have been pushing it to the back burner because the process seemed daunting or confusing. You may be cheating yourself and your family from compensation that you may be entitled to as a result of your service to our country.

VA Compensation to Increase Again Due to Inflation

On June 14, the Veterans Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) Act of 2023 was signed into effect. Veterans and dependents can expect to see an increase in disability benefits, clothing allowances, and dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC) payments adjusted for inflation. The amount of the increase will be based on inflation calculations published by the Social Security Administration at the beginning of the fiscal year, which is October 1. Veterans can expect to see the increased amounts with their January 2024 payments. Last year, veterans saw a record 8.7% increase following a second year of high inflation.

This Is Why We Do What We Do

Security Deposits

A disabled Navy Veteran in Cheyenne needed help with a security deposit for a new apartment. Prior to this serious health issue, he had a process server job for an attorney. Compensation was dependent on the number of summonses served. He also receives a small monthly disability benefit from the VA. Even with the combination of funding, finances are still tight. In February 2022 he suffered a life-threatening infection in his right arm, to the point it was almost amputated. He's had seven surgeries on the arm losing over 40% of muscle and tissue resulting in limited use. He is not currently able to work a regular job. He was forced to find a less expensive place to live. Upon locating a new apartment, the security deposit was required. The Veteran said: “I was at my wit’s end trying to find someone to help with my security deposit. I called around to many local churches but no one could help me. Veterans Rock helped with $100 and told me to call Qualified Listeners for help. I called them and they paid the rest of what I needed. I was so relieved. They are great people to work with and got rid of my stress.”

We were contacted by the Cheyenne VA HUD VASH that a 64-year-old Army Veteran was soon going to be forced out of his apartment because his landlord is not going to renew any HUD VASH leases. There was a small window of time to locate a new apartment and process the necessary paperwork. His service-connected disability benefit from the VA and small amount from SSI barely covers monthly expenses which includes child support and a monthly payback to a VA over-payment. He had nothing left for the security deposit. Not only did Qualified Listeners pay the security deposits for both Veterans, we hand delivered the checks to the new property management offices in Cheyenne to ensure the funds were in place in time for them to move into their new apartments.

“Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.”

- Helen Keller

Volunteer Opportunities

We are so thankful for the sacrifices and services that Veterans have performed for our country. We’re in search of additional volunteers to help us better serve our Veterans. Volunteering not only has a huge impact on our Veterans, but it also provides benefits to the volunteer. Volunteering increases self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction. It combats depression and helps you stay physically healthy. We have a shortage of volunteers to give rides to Veterans to medical appointments and other necessary trips. The need continues to increase and sometimes we’re not able to accommodate all the requests Click here to learn more about our volunteer opportunities.

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in service to others.”

- Mahatma Gandhi

Storage Unit Fees

We’ve had a recent increase in the cost of our storage unit which houses donated furniture, bedding, and household items for Veterans and family members in need of basic essentials We offer this as a free service, but it takes money to store the items. If you would like to help out, or just learn more, please call us at 720-600-0860.

Free Produce for Veterans

Every Monday from 9 am-noon through the summer.

Northern Colorado VA Outpatient Clinic (NOCO)

4575 Bryd Drive in Loveland, CO.

Vet Connect Sponsors 2023

Top Brass


What exactly does Qualified Listeners do?

  • We listen
  • Provide transportation to medical appointments
  • Help with mobility equipment
  • Offer vetted resources for Veterans
  • Help Veterans & families find more peace in their lives

Monetary Donations:

We are always grateful for monetary donations, which allow us to continue serving Veterans and families. If you can contribute whatever amount you feel comfortable with, please click here. It’s not about donating; it’s about making a difference. We’re a 501(C)3 non-profit organization. All donations are tax-deductible under our EIN 81-5381427.

We are only a phone call away! 720-600-0860

Visit our Website
Facebook  LinkedIn