Archive for the ‘Military Veteran’ Category

Filing a VA Claim

As we all know, the VA claims process can take a long time from the submission of an application to the payment of a benefit.  Historically, the process has ranged from a few months to well over a year.  If the claimant is found to be incompetent, one could tack on another six to eight months to the process. Oftentimes, the claimant dies before ever seeing an award and with no hope of payment of benefits to the family.  This begs us to ask, "Is there a way to speed the claim up?" The answer is "Yes" in most cases. …

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Department of VA Pledges to Hire 1,600 Additional Mental Health Care Professionals

The Department of VA has stated it will hire 1,600 additional mental health care professionals by the end of June to address the increased psychological needs of veterans. From 2005 to 2012, the number of veterans receiving specialized treatment for depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, or other behavioral conditions has increased from 927,052 to 1.3 million. However, some worry that this initiative will do little to address the country’s shortage of mental health providers. Read the story.

Clarifying Guidance for Awarding the Purple Heart

Concussion injuries include mild traumatic brain injuries and concussive injuries that did not result in a loss of consciousness.  The Army’s recent guidance includes medically approved signs, symptoms and treatment and is designed to help veterans understand the specific requirements for consideration and reconsideration of qualifying concussion injuries.  The Army encourages veterans who were previously denied the Purple Heart for concussion injuries to resubmit documentation for reconsideration.  Veteran inquiries should be routed to Commander, U.S. Army Human Resources Command, Attention: Awards and Decorations Branch, 1600 Spearhead Division Avenue, Fort Knox, KY 40122-5400.  This policy is retroactive to September 11, 2001.

Department of Treasury Mandatory Use of Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) System or Direct Express® Debit MasterCard® Program

U.S. Treasury regulation (31 CFR Part 208) requires that on or after May 1, 2011, all recipients applying for or receiving benefits from a Federal agency by paper check, must be informed by the agency that they are required to receive their payments electronically.  Their choices are either via electronic funds transfer or Direct Express ® Debit MasterCard® issued by Comerica Bank. If the claimant does not provide VA with their banking information to allow their federal benefits to be sent directly to their bank, they will receive their initial VA benefit in the form of a paper check, for…

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Updated Ships List for Blue Water Navy Claims Development

Compensation Service expanded and updated the Intranet ships list website: located at the Vietnam Era Navy Ship Agent Orange Exposure Development Site under “Rating Job Aids”.  (Remember, you have to be inside VA’s firewall to access this website.)  The website now includes additional ships based on evidence documenting inland waterway travel, shore/pier docking, or close coastal offshore operations with small boats and/or crew members going ashore.  This website serves as a development tool for claims from veterans who served aboard ships operating on the offshore “blue water” of Vietnam.  Development procedures are explained in Training Letter (TL) 10-06, Adjudicating…

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Veterans Should Be Treated With Honor, Respect And The Best Care Available.

In a recent New York Times article highlighted the failure of our government to adequately attend to the medical problems of our soldiers who suffered war injuries, physical and mental. This has resulted in thousands of suicides among the returning soldiers. The Times reported that the Department of Veterans Affairs informed the parents of William Hamilton, an Iraq war veteran, that it was not responsible for his death. Mr. Hamilton had been admitted nine times to a V.A. psychiatric ward in Palo Alto. He saw demon women and talked to a man he had killed in Iraq. His parents allege…

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What home care and assisted living advantages can be found for veterans and their surviving spouses?

For veterans and the veteran’s surviving spouses who want in-home care or are in an assisted residing facility, help is available. The Veterans Administration has an underused pension called Aid and Attendance. This benefit gives money to those that require help performing regular basis tasks, bathing, feeding, dressing, or going to the bathroom, bedridden, blind, or residing in an assisted living facility or nursing home.  However, you have to further qualify for this benefit. Aid and Attendance is available to veterans who served not less than 90 days, with at least one day during World War II, Korea, Vietnam or…

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How To File A Service Connected VA Benefit

Veterans of the U.S. armed forces who have sustained service-related injuries in the line of duty are eligible to receive disability benefits, which can range from $120 to $3,100 each month. Filing your application for disability benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs quickly is very important, as the process can take months to complete. If your benefits application is denied and you still need help, be aware that you can file an appeal. Contact your local Veterans Affairs office and ask them to send you VA Form 21-526, entitled "Veterans' Application for Compensation and/or Pension." You can locate a…

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Veterans are missing out on benefits they’ve earned

By Rita Files … Too often, veterans go without services they need simply because they are unaware of benefits they earned through their service. Consider the Aid and Attendance benefit, which is meant to help aging veterans and their surviving spouses pay for care at home, in a nursing home, or in an assisted-living facility. Millions of veterans and their families are failing to take advantage of it. According to a recent report, about 105,000 veterans were using the benefit last year. Yet the pool of potential recipients could be much bigger. There are 2.3 million World War II vets…

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How does the widow of a veteran apply to receive the medical benefits?

CHAMPVA health benefits are for spouses and dependent children of living veterans who are rated 100% and for surviving spouses and dependent children of veterans who were 100% rated at the time of death or who died service connected.  They are not available for pension surviving spouses. The forms are 10-10d and 10-7959c