The perfect fit.

Isabel Hicks, VFW Appeals Consultant

If it were possible to create the dream resume for a VFW advocate, Isabel Hicks might have it. A decade of experience as a registered nurse followed by nearly 20 years as a VA Rating Specialist made her a very attractive candidate for an appeals consultant position in the VFW Board of Veterans Appeals office.

“I was nearing retirement from the Decision Review Office at the VA Appeals Management Center, but I didn’t want to quit working,” Isabel said. “If you don’t use it, you lose it.

“My plan was to stay productive and busy so when the position as claims consultant with the VFW came up, I thought it would be a good fit.”

Good for the veterans with claims which were pored over by Isabel’s experienced and trained eye as well. When she reviews a claim, she brings years of experience to bear on each one.

Isabel served in the Navy from 1975 to 1976. Born in the Philippines just outside Manila, she met her husband when they were both stationed in Puerto Rico and moved with him back to the United States.

She had various administrative jobs on the military bases they called home, but decided to pursue a medical degree in the early 90s. After 10 years of nursing as an RN, she went to work in the VA Central Office as a rating specialist. She ascended into increasingly more responsible positions in her nearly 20 years there before retiring as a decision review officer in March of 2013.

Now she puts her invaluable employment history to work for the VFW and the veterans who turn to the organization for assistance filing and appealing claims.

“I feel like I bring a unique set of skills to the table when I review claims,” she shared. “I can tell if something might fit better under a different diagnostic code and look for things that are missing.”

Isabel said the commute to her new office is similar to when she worked for the VA, but today there’s one critical difference.

“It’s an hour both ways, but I realized it wasn’t the commute that was tiring me. It was the job. I’m thrilled to be with the VFW now.

“As a VFW Appeals Consultant, I have a sense of pride in knowing I’m really fighting for each veteran’s claim I review. There’s great honor in that,” Hicks concluded.

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