Closing Claims cases that were in limbo, helping veterans receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in awards, assisting with health care issues and handling Military Sexual Trauma cases make Garry Murphy “A one-man monetary award winning and life improvement making person out in Medina County,” said Mike Jaeger, Texas Veterans Commission’s Claims Department Southwest District Manager and Army veteran.
Murphy, an Air Force veteran, pictured, is one of Medina County’s Veteran Service Officers.
“Garry is a quiet individual and very humble, he’s dedicated to his job,” said his supervisor, Ruben Gonzalez, Chief, Medina County Veteran Services, and also an Air Force veteran. “He had a huge year in 2022. Solving our largest one-time settlement of $408K on a Claim plus generating a huge increase on VA expenditures in our county.”
The Medina County Veteran Service Officers team has offices located in three cities so as to be closer to the veterans and families around the county. The three offices are in Castroville, Devine and Hondo. Murphy was a key player with all three offices. He handled over 1,620 calls and worked to get a $5.9 million annual increase in VA Expenditures in Compensation, Pension and Dependent Indemnity Compensation. “This is the largest increase in the county’s history,” said Gonzalez.
Not only does Murphy have success with Claims, he improved the process for assisting veterans in Medina County.
“Garry created a process to make it easier to track veterans needing special attention. We can easily identify personnel that require extra attention while the Claim or hearing is being taken care of,” said Gonzalez.
Murphy’s accomplishments over the past year included:
- Getting a $408,000 award on a case for a veteran that had been open for years at the VA Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA). Murphy identified multiple VA errors. He worked with the BVA Administrative Law Judge and his staff to get the award the veteran’s Claim, dating back to 2009.
- Handled multiple Military Sexual Trauma (MST) Claims cases with successes. Three veterans are now receiving full benefits due to his concentrated efforts to make sure the documentation and evidence was done correctly.
- After 11 denials, he was able to get service connection for a veteran with severe hearing loss, the veteran got his rating and more importantly his hearing aids from the VA.
- A Claim open for 400 days and in limbo was settled by Garry after working with the VA personnel. He established service connection for Vietnam service presumptive conditions and obtained the veteran his deserved rating.
- Assisting all three offices with county death notifications and ensured benefits were not missed by four Judges of the Peace when a veteran passed away.
- Assisted surviving spouses in receiving Dependent Indemnity Compensation including:
In one case, after the veteran passed away, Murphy established the Claim and “Created a great claim package linking the veteran’s death to alcohol to cope with PTSD,” said Jaeger.
Another case involved a former POW who was denied many issues while alive. “Garry was instrumental in getting the VA to see the error of their ways in previous denials and now the surviving spouse is receiving enhanced Dependent Indemnity Compensation benefits plus accrued payment benefits,” said Jaeger.
After a veteran committed suicide, Murphy guided the widow and family through the system. He was able to get the widow Dependent Indemnity Compensation awarded after the VA initially denied it plus, he got her Aid & Attendance for in-home assisted living care and a ramp installed due to the fact she was confined to a wheelchair.
Murphy is active in his community as well. He volunteers with the local fire department and assists them with fund raising to keep services available for the community. Even his recreation makes a contribution to the community. He is a member of a local car club which supports veterans programs. This includes the Horses and Heroes equine program. His car club also supports Fisher House which provides comfortable homes for veterans and families to stay in while a loved one is in the hospital.
“Garry shows commitment to excellence and veterans in all he does,” said Gonzalez.