By Marqeis Sparks
January 30, 2010 - Wounded warriors will be on the road to recovery more quickly and efficiently thanks to a growing list of programs offered by the Office of Wounded Warrior Care and Transition Policy (WWCTP).
“We want to provide every possible option of recovery to all the branches of service. Our goal is to empower and encourage service members to return to duty,” said Pam McClelland, director of coordination operations, WWCTP, at the 2010 MHS Conference.
The Office of WWCTP was formed in November 2008 and aims to ensure that wounded warriors and veterans have employment and benefit opportunities as well as a smooth transition back into duty or civilian life.
Disability Evaluation System
The DoD and VA are collaborating to administer the Disability Evaluation System (DES), which provides one exam, one rating, and one assessment for wounded service members to determine their level of disability. The system, which is still in the pilot stages, will give wounded warrior programs increased transparency and faster processing. Officials hope to expand the DES to six new sites by the end of February.
Recovery Care Plan
As part of a new Recovery Care Plan (RCP), Recovery Care Coordinators, or RCCs, will be hired and trained by the DoD and wounded warrior programs to assist in service member transition. The RCCs will work to meet the non-medical needs of service members, and also partner with commanders to make sure the RCP is completed and implemented. Policy regarding the RCCs and RCP was signed in December of last year and should make these services available to Guard and Reserve service members later in 2010.
Transition Assistance Program
The Transition Assistance Program (TAP) connects transitioning service members with counselors, provides benefit briefings, and employment workshops. The WWCTP and other warrior programs are currently working to modernize the TAP. The Web site for TAP resources is TurboTAP.org.
“Referring a warrior or a family member of a wounded warrior to a Web site may seem impersonal, but we offer a list of great resources that are only a click away. It really does help get the information out there,” said McClellan.
National Resource Directory
The National Resource Directory is an online resource for wounded warriors, their families, and those who support them. The DoD teamed with the Department of Labor, and the VA so that the National Resource Directory provides links to thousands of services and available resources at the national, state, and local levels to support recovery, rehabilitation, and community reintegration.