Archive for the 'veteransaffairs' Tag

Posts: 37 items(s) found

Army Changes PTSD Evaluations

Forensic Methods Led To Loss Of Pensions; Soldiers retested after problems at Madigan

The Army Surgeon General's Office has issued new guidelines for diagnosing PTSD that criticize an approach once routinely used at Madigan Army Medical Center.

The policy, obtained by The Seattle Times, specifically discounts tests used to determine whether soldiers are faking symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. It says that poor test results do not constitute malingering.

The written tests often were part of the Madigan screening process that overturned the PTSD diagnoses of more than 300 patients during the past five years.

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Posted in Veterans News

Army Joins Veterans Affairs and Other Military Services in Standardizing PTSD Diagnosis and Treatment

USNavySeals.com

The Army, along with the Department of Veterans Affairs and other military services, is standardizing the diagnosis and treatment of PTSD, otherwise known as post-traumatic stress disorder, in an attempt to increase the soldiers’ level of trust and fairness in the system.

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Posted in Veterans News

Backlog Of VA Disability Claims Growing

WASHINGTON – Although the Obama administration has stepped up efforts to process medical disability claims by U.S. veterans, a top Department of Veterans Affairs official is set to tell lawmakers Wednesday that the agency's backlog continues to grow.

Allison Hickey, undersecretary for benefits at the VA, said in written testimony submitted in advance of a hearing before a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee that the flow of VA claims has increased 48% over the past three years.

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Posted in Veterans News

Biden Vows To Honor Medical Care Commitment To Veterans

Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday blamed Republicans for blocking a budget deal and risking automatic Pentagon cuts. But he promised a veterans group that America's fighting men and women won't suffer and will be guaranteed the best medical care for life.

"We're going to keep our commitment to American veterans no matter what happens," Biden said, winning applause from an audience of 3,000 people attending the Disabled American Veterans convention at Bally's hotel-casino in Las Vegas.

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Posted in Veterans News

Bill Would Expand Fertility Coverage For Veterans

WASHINGTON -- The roadside bomb that exploded outside Andrew Robinson's Humvee in Iraq six years ago broke the Marine staff sergeant's neck and left him without use of his legs. It also cast doubt on his ability to father a child, a gnawing emotional wound for a then-23-year-old who had planned to start a family with his wife of less than two years.

The catastrophic spinal cord injury meant the couple's best hope for children was in vitro fertilization, an expensive and time-consuming medical procedure whose cost isn't covered by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Robinson and his wife were forced to pay out of pocket, with help from a doctor's discount and drugs donated by other patients.

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Posted in Veterans News

Defense And VA Can’t Track PTSD Treatments, Report Finds

Neither the Defense nor the Veterans Affairs department -- which operate the world’s largest electronic health records systems -- tracks treatments used for post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a report the Institute of Medicine issued last week. What’s more, Defense does not even know how many PTSD treatment programs it or the services provide.

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Posted in Veterans News

Disability Claims Effort Is Improving, VA Says

The Department of Veterans Affairs' efforts to transform its broken disability claims process is yielding concrete results, despite a growing number of cases, a senior VA official told a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee Wednesday.

Allison A. Hickey, undersecretary for benefits for the VA, said training initiatives and a new paperless system being introduced are yielding faster and more accurate decisions on pending claims.

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Posted in Veterans News

Good News For Veteran Discharged Without Benefits

More than 20,000 men and women have left the Army and Marines in the last four years with other-than-honorable discharges, jeopardizing their benefits and leaving some of them struggling to find treatment for health problems.

Jarrid Starks, a troubled Army veteran who received the Bronze Star for Valor but was dismissed from service with an other-than-honorable discharge, has been granted health-care benefits by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Starks was featured in an Aug. 12 Seattle Times story that examined the plight of veterans whose other-than-honorable discharges have put their veteran's benefits at risk.

Starks had been told that it might take a year or more for the VA to undertake a review to see if he is eligible for benefits.

Posted in Veterans News

Grant to help veterans

Agencies to expand services within state

Veterans homeless shelter receives VA funding: Veterans homeless shelter receives VA funding

Officials with state-based nonprofit groups that provide shelter and other emergency services to at-risk military veterans say the $847,000 grant awarded them Tuesday by the Department of Veterans Affairs is a windfall that will provide tangible benefits soon.

 

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Posted in Veterans News

Improve Care for Veterans With PTSD: Report

FRIDAY, July 13 (HealthDay News) -- Access to care for U.S. military service members and veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) must improve, says an Institute of Medicine report released Friday that also calls for better tracking of treatments and results.

The congressionally mandated report also said that the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs should launch research programs to evaluate the effectiveness of their PTSD programs and make the findings widely available.

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Posted in Veterans News

Lawmaker Sees 'Leadership Void' At VA

House Veterans' Affairs chairman decries waste, lavish conference costs

By Steve Vogel
Washington Post
October 4, 2012
Pg. B4

The chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee said Wednesday that an inspector general’s report on Department of Veterans Affairs spending on conferences raises questions about its leadership’s ability to cope with problems faced by the people it serves.

“Disappointed is a polite word to describe my thoughts about this,” Rep. Jeff Miller, (F-Fla.) said at a joint hearing with the House and Senate veterans affairs committees to hear legislative requests from the American Legion.

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Posted in Veterans News

Mental-Health Experts Call For Military 'Parity'

The National Alliance on Mental Illness released a report Thursday calling on the Defense Department, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Health and Human Services to eliminate barriers to mental-health care and make better use of local care in the treatment of military service members, veterans and their families.

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Posted in Veterans News

New Steps Announced To Reduce VA Claims Backlog

The Department of Veterans Affairs is processing more than a million disability compensation claims a year, for veterans of every age and era, whether they served in wartime or during periods of relative calm.

But that has not been enough to keep the claims backlog from rising through current wars and the expansion of compensation eligibility to more medical conditions, particularly for veterans who served in Vietnam.

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Posted in Veterans News

Obama To VA: Expand Mental Health Services

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama signed an executive order Friday directing the Department of Veterans Affairs to expand mental health services and suicide prevention efforts.

The president made the announcement in a speech to troops at Fort Bliss, Texas, where he was scheduled to hold a roundtable with soldiers and their families.

Much of what’s outlined in the executive order are initiatives that were previously announced earlier this summer by the VA.

Posted in Veterans News

Panel Approves Veterans’ Infertility Treatment Bill

The Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs approved legislation on Wednesday that would expand access to infertility treatment for disabled veterans. The bill would authorize the Department of Veterans Affairs to cover the cost of in vitro fertilization treatment for veterans and spouses.

By Associated Press
New York Times

Posted in Veterans News

Shoddy Care For Veterans Becomes Campaign Issue

Rep. Howard Waxman says the Veterans Affairs bureaucracy is impenetrable. His opponent says Waxman hasn't tried hard enough.

By Steve Lopez
Los Angeles Times
September 26, 2012
Pg. 2

Bob Rosebrock and I sat under a tree on the West Los Angeles Department of Veterans Affairs property, discussing his pet peeve: How the country is failing its veterans. There was plenty to talk about.

Nearby was the gleaming $253-million California Veterans Home, opened with great fanfare more than two years ago, with local politicians lining up to take bows. But today, in a region with an estimated 8,000 homeless veterans, many of whom can't get access to care, roughly four-fifths of the 396 rooms are empty.

Yes, four-fifths.

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Posted in Veterans News

Spots dwindling for veteran education assistance program

Fewer than 9,000 spots remain open in a government program that pays for unemployed veterans to get retraining in high-demand jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Part of the federal VOW to Hire Heroes Act passed in 2011, the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program offers 12 months of assistance to 45,000 participants who sign up between July 1 and Sept. 30.

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Posted in Veterans News

Study Calls For Better Assessment Of Government PTSD Programs

In the first comprehensive review of the government's programs for treating post-traumatic stress disorder in service members and veterans, a panel of experts recommended on Friday that the Defense Department and the Department of Veterans Affairs expand access to services, particularly for people in rural areas, in the National Guard or Reserves, or in combat zones.

The report, by the Institute of Medicine, also concluded that the two departments need to improve their assessment of how well their many treatment programs work, as well as find better ways of coordinating care that can begin overseas and then continue on bases or in small towns across the country.

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Posted in Veterans News

U.S. Starts Campaign To Prevent Suicides

A new national strategy for reducing the number of suicides by better identifying and reaching out to those at risk was released Monday morning in Washington.

The 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention report includes community-based approaches to curbing the incidence of suicide, details new ways to identify people at risk for suicide, and outlines national priorities for reducing the number of suicides over the next decade.

In conjunction with the report, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced $55.6 million in new grants for suicide-prevention programs.

Posted in Veterans News

U.S. to train transitioning veterans

The U.S. Small Business Administration has launched a new program in partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Defense Department to train transitioning service members and veterans to help them become entrepreneurs and create jobs.

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Posted in Veterans News

VA Disability Problems

CBS Evening News, 6:30 PM

SCOTT PELLEY: Finally tonight, America of course owes a great debt to the men and women who have sacrificed so much in more than a decade of war. But it turns out many are forced to wait months, even years, to get disability benefits. David Martin has been investigating what’s behind the delay.

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Posted in Veterans News

Veterans find jobs at Chicago job fair

According to Greg Rivara, Communications Manager for Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), the 100,000 Jobs Mission job fair held Thursday was a big success.

The event was held at UIC Forum and was attended by over 1,300 veterans and more than 60 companies. The 100,000 Jobs Mission is a collaboration of the IDES, Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA), JP Morgan Chase, Joining Forces, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), American Legion, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), Student Veterans of America, U.S. Department of Labor – VETS, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and Veterans of Foreign Wars. Since the program’s launch in 2011, the group has collectively hired more than 12,000 veterans, and has a goal of 100,000 hired by 2020.

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Posted in Veterans News

Veterans Job Corps Act dies in Senate

The Veterans Job Corps Act died in the Senate Wednesday on a procedural vote when 40 senators balked at the $1 billion price tag for a measure that would have provided employment for veterans in conservation work, in Veterans Affairs Department cemeteries, and helped in police and fire departments.

Supporters needed 60 votes and got only 58 to overcome an objection by Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., that the $1 billion in costs, although paid for through budgetary gimmicks, would have pushed VA over the spending limits set by last year’s Budget Control Act.

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Posted in Veterans News

Veterans Unemployment Rate Improves Again In July

The job outlook for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans continues to brighten as the unemployment rate for the group fell for the sixth month in a row.

The unemployment rate for veterans who entered service after Sept. 11, 2001, fell to 8.9 percent in July, down from 9.5 percent the previous month and from 12.4 percent in July 2011, according to the latest monthly employment report released Friday by the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Posted in Veterans News

Veterans' Homelessness High Priority For Agency

VA pursuing strategic, and some say lofty, goal of ending problem by 2015

WASHINGTON -- On a cold night in Monmouth County, N.J., a lone dishwasher stayed late, taking on extra work to buy time. The restaurant's owners, trying to close up, guessed the man had no place to go. And when they tried to find him one, they struck out.

The restaurant is owned by rock legend Jon Bon Jovi's foundation, and Bon Jovi and his wife, Dorothea Hurley, discovered that night that finding services for the homeless is no easy task. For the Department of Veterans Affairs, which is trying to tackle the problem of veterans' homelessness, figuring out how to make the task easier is a pivotal goal.

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Posted in Veterans News

War Might Be Making Young Bodies Old

BOSTON -- A litany of physical or emotional problems spill out as Iraq and Afghanistan veterans make their way, one by one, to the 11th floor of a VA hospital in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood.

The tragic signs of post-traumatic stress disorder or battlefield concussion are all too evident. Even more alarming for researchers is emerging evidence that these newest American combat veterans -- former GIs and Marines in their 20s and 30s -- appear to be growing old before their time. Scientists see early signs of heart disease and diabetes, slowed metabolisms and obesity -- maladies more common to middle age or later.

Posted in Veterans News

GI Bill

Official site of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Allows you to apply for benefits online, research schools, calculate your benefits and, if you get stuck, ask a question right then and there.

Posted in Education

GI BILL Benefits - Roadmap for Success

Department of Veterans Affairs' step by step “Roadmap for Success” to determine what GI BILL benefits or combination of benefits are the best fit for you.

Posted in Education

National Call Center for Homeless Veterans

Homeless Veteran in need of help? Call 1-877-4AID VET (1-877-424-3838)

The Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) has founded a National Call Center for Homeless Veterans hotline to ensure that homeless Veterans or Veterans at-risk for homelessness have free, 24/7 access to trained counselors.

Veterans Affairs Social Media Directory

At the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the mission is to get the right information to the right Veteran at the right time. Millions of Veterans and their family members use social media each day, so the VA is continuously expanding its online effort.

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State Tax Benefits for Veterans

Each state maintains its own Veteran Affairs office. It's in your best interest to connect with your state's VA office, as each state may offer unique tax benefits to veterans. Below, you'll find a links to each state's VA office, along with links to their benefits and contact pages. Keep in mind, however, even if you are a resident of the state, that does not mean you are automatically qualified to receive their VA benefits.

Posted in Money

US Department of Veterans Affairs

The US Department of Veterans Affairs provides patient care and federal benefits to veterans and their dependents.

The VA's mission is to fulfill President Lincoln's promise "To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan" by serving and honoring the men and women who are America's veterans.

VAntage Point

At VAntage Point, the official blog of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, that same old way of communicating (or not communicating) goes out the window. Here, VA employees will provide Veterans with a wealth of information.

Arlington National Cemetary Oversight

Witnesses testified on oversight and accountability at Arlington National Cemetery. Over 120 graves at military cemeteries had been misidentified according to a study done by the Department of Veterans Affairs, including eight cases of bodies buried in the wrong grave site. The review was prompted by problems at Arlington National Cemetery.

Posted in Veterans Videos

Get VA Benefits Information Through eBenefits

e-Benefits offers Veterans a "one-stop shopping" experience to quickly pull up all of their VA benefits information, which provides them with easy access to the many benefits and services they've earned.

eBenefits is a portal; a central location for Veterans, Service Members, and their families to research, find, access, and, in time, manage their benefits and personal information.

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Posted in Veterans Videos

VA News Week of August 6

VA News 509 airing the Week of July 30th.

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Posted in Veterans Videos

VA News Week of July 23

VA News episode 508
Airing the week of July 23rd

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Posted in Veterans Videos