Veterans Report - Week of October 15, 2012

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Veterans Report - Week of October 15, 2012

#1 Postby boardman » Sun Oct 21, 2012 11:11 am

Veterans Report - Week of October 15, 2012

Education Conference in November
The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) is sponsoring the 2012 CAEL International Conference November 7-9, 2012, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC. For 35 years, the annual conference has brought together participants to learn, network, and work together to make lifelong learning accessible to adults around the world. A pre-conference event called 'Serving Veterans' will take place November 6, 2012 from 8:30 a.m. To 4:30 p.m. Participants will learn how to serve student veterans and gain new ideas and strategies to improve services to their veteran and active military student populations. For cost information for Pre-Conference Workshops, download the ( PDF of the registration form. For more information, visit the ( ... Conference) Conference webpage.
For more on military education benefits and programs, visit the ( Education Center.

Ending Veteran Homelessness
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is trying to end veteran homelessness. If you or someone you know is homeless or about to become homeless, you can utilize VA resources and call 1-877-4AID-VET. Learn more about homeless Veteran resources at VA's Homeless Veterans website at ( .
For complete guides to all veterans benefits, visit the ( Benefits Center.

Reviewing the DVA's Claims Process
( Dr. Tommy Sowers, the new Assistant Secretary of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs at the Department of Veterans Affairs, recently walked the halls of the ( Chicago Regional Office to see for himself how VA claims are received, processed, and delivered. Along the way, he tweeted photos and facts from his visit--you can follow him on Twitter at ( @sowers. His insight comes at a time when the disability claims backlog is making national news. If you want to file a claim, read the ( ... ity-claim/) VA VAntage Point Blog that gives some helpful tips on how to be successful the first time. By the end of 2013, all 56 regional VA offices will roll out paperless processing technology to speed up the process and improve accuracy.
For more on VA claims, visit the ( Benefits Center.

American Legion Addresses Congress
During a joint hearing, the members of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs and the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs recently heard testimony from The American Legion on its 2013 legislative priorities. The American Legion leadership is focused on the growing disability claims backlog. Since January, 2009 the backlog has more than doubled and the number is not decreasing. The American Legion placed much of the onus for correcting the current system on VA. Leaders called for a plan that focuses on creating an updated system that holds VA more accountable for accurately processing claims. Statements from and webcast of the hearing are available on the ( ... ntation-of) House Committee on Veterans' Affairs website.
For complete guides to all veterans benefits, visit the ( Benefits Center.

Veterans Crisis Line
The ( Veterans Crisis Line offers free, confidential support to veterans in crisis, as well as their family and friends. Call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1 for veterans. You can also ( ... t=Veterans Chat) chat online or text 838255 to access the crisis line.
For more support resources for veterans and military families, visit the ( Family Center.

Deal of the Week: Exclusive Discounts!
Up to 50% off on Lifestyle products, Watches, Knives, Sunglasses, Apparel and more on! Free Sign Up for Veteran/Retired Military and Government. ( ... rtsepoct12) Start saving today!

Stop Loss Pay Deadline Approaching
The final deadline for Soldiers, veterans and beneficiaries to file for retroactive Stop Loss special pay has been set at Oct. 21, after which they will no longer be able to apply for the benefit which averages $3,600 per claim. Military personnel whose service was involuntarily extended under Stop Loss between Sept. 11, 2001 and Sept. 30, 2009 may be eligible for the payments. The best method for any Soldier, regardless of component, whether active duty, veteran or beneficiary to get the ball rolling is to an instant claim number through the ( Retroactive Stop Loss website. Claimants can also call 1-877-736-5554.
For more on stop loss special pay, visit the ( ... l-pay.html) Benefits Center.

VA Implements Diabetes Program
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced the implementation of a pilot version of the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), a major multi-center clinical research study aimed at discovering whether modest weight loss through dietary change and increased physical activity or treatment with the oral diabetes drug Metformin could prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes. Through VA's pilot DPP, some Veterans who are at risk for, but not diagnosed with, diabetes will attend a series of group sessions and will be given predetermined weight loss and physical activity goals. For more information on this program, contact Jay Shiffler ( ( at the ( VA National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.
For complete guides to all veterans benefits, visit the ( Benefits Center.

Veteran Benefits Explained
In addition to the pensions and benefits to which you may be entitled because of both public and private employment, you may also be eligible for certain benefits based on your military service. Visit the ( ... Veteran Benefit summary page to learn more about disability compensation, veteran's pension programs, low cost medical care through the VA, education programs, PTSD support and more.

Medical Care for Separating Members
The Combat Health Care benefits program allows separating servicemembers to receive free health care benefits. Members who separated from November 11, 1998 and on are eligible. The program enables eligible servicemembers receive five years of free medical care from their date of discharge. To be eligible, servicemembers must have received hazardous duty incentive pay during their time in service. Servicemembers or veterans signing up for this program are entered into the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) system and can receive continuous health care at any VA clinic for any issues that may arise. For more information, visit VA's Public Health webpage at ( -- click on the link in the Health Care box.
For more on military health benefits, visit the ( Benefits Center.

Preventive Care for Women Veterans
Stars and Stripes reports that Dr. Patricia Hayes, chief consultant for Women Health Services for Veterans Health Administration, and her staff have studies and data that show recent gains in the Department of Veterans' Affairs' (VA's) commitment to improve women health services. In 2008, only 33 percent of VA health care facilities offered comprehensive primary care to women. Today, women can get full primary care services at 90 percent of VA's larger hospitals and medical centers and at almost 75 percent of its community-based outpatient clinics. Over 337,000 women veterans use VA health services. For more information, visit VA's Women's Health Care website at ( .
For complete guides to all veterans benefits, visit the ( Benefits Center.

Feedback on New App for VA Claims
This past summer, the American Legion developed the new Claims Coach app, which helps veterans and their families connect with a service officer and navigate the VA claims process. In order to improve the app's functionality, the American Legion now is seeking input from those veterans using the app. By downloading the app and then participating in a short online questionnaire, you can help the American Legion improve the Claims Coach. Survey participants must ( download the Claims Coach for iOS or Android to their mobile device. Once the app is loaded onto the device, participants can go to the ( survey and follow the instructions while answering a series of questions based upon user experience. All opinions are valid and useful.
For more on VA claims, visit the ( Benefits Center.

$300k Coverage for $21.78 a Month
Does your family have enough life insurance protection, if something happens to you? Get $300k coverage for as low as 21.78 a month. ( Get Affordable Protection Today.

Military Pay Calculator
Calculate your military pay on to see how much you'll make at your next duty station, what your next promotion is worth, and find out how much your longevity increase will be. ( ... Calculate your gross monthly income by rank, location or duty.

Budget Planning During Transition
In an effort to help service members and their families who are preparing to deploy, PCS, or separate from the military, USAA Financial Centers near Fort Campbell, Fort Bragg, and Camp Lejeune will be hosting a Military Transition Open House. Participants will be able to get a free signed copy of The Military Advantage, (a $26.95 value) in addition to getting face-to-face personalized financial guidance from USAA Certified Financial Planners. The Military Transition Open House events will be held at the following locations:
? Fort Campbell USAA Financial Center located at 2965 Fort Campbell Boulevard, Suite 600 Clarksville, TN, on October 23.
? Fort Bragg USAA Financial Centers located on Skibo Road in Fayetteville, NC, on October 24 and 25.
? Camp Lejeune USAA Financial Center located at 1447 Western Boulevard, Suite 100 Jacksonville, NC, October 26.

Voter Guide and Overseas Voter Info
The American Legion is offering its free ( ... ochure.pdf) "Get out the Vote 2012" brochure to help increase voter turnout at the polls on Nov. 6. The brochure offers examples such as registering eligible voters, offering free transportation to the polls and hosting a nonpartisan candidates' forum. Learn more about state voting, the presidential and vice presidential candidates' running for office and much more by visiting the ( Project Vote Smart website. And for military and overseas voting information, visit the ( Federal Voting Assistance Program website.
To keep up with major legislative issues and bills that influence the military, and contact your local representatives, visit the ( Legislative Center.

3 VA Loan Tips
Tip: Get Pre-Approved. Before you start the hunt for a house, the best thing you can do is to get pre-approved for your VA loan amount. Hint: Check Your Credit. Did you know that over 70 percent of all credit reports in the United States contain errors? Hint: Consider the Advantages of Having a VA Guaranteed Loan. A VA mortgage loan can be guaranteed with no money down, in some cases up to $417,000. There is also no private mortgage insurance requirement. ( ... Read the full story on
( ... Next Step: Search for lenders ready to help you buy or refinance with a VA Loan.

TRICARE Rates May Increase Again
This October retirees saw TRICARE Prime enrollment fees increased to $269.28 per year for individuals and $538.56 per year for retirees with families. However, retirees should be aware that TRICARE is warning that these enrollment fees may increase again when Congress passes the final FY 2013 budget. For this reason TRICARE is recommending that retirees pay either monthly (through automatic deduction/charge) or quarterly due to the chance that the non-refundable enrollment fees may increase again before the end of the fiscal year.
( ... ase-again/) Read the Military Advantage Blog to learn more.

Complacency Impacts Wounded Warriors recently featured an article by Vice Admiral Norb Ryan, the President of the Military Officers Association of America. In his article, titled Wounded Need a War on Leadership Complacency, Adm. Ryan shares his insights on what our nation?s wounded warriors and their families need -- assertive leaders that will make a real commitment to help wounded warriors and their families heal and reintegrate.
(,15202,250821,00.html) Read his full article on

VA Offers Smartphone App
The ( PTSD Coach smartphone app on iTunes and Android Marketplace can help veterans learn about and manage their symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The app provides direct links to support and help. For more information and to download, visit VA's National Center for PTSD website at (
For more family support resources for PTSD, visit the ( Family Center.

VA Adaptive Sports
Your courage, your determination and your drive all led you to serve America proudly. Those same characteristics will also lead to satisfaction and success in adaptive sports. For more information, read VA's ( ... redefined/) VAntage Point Blog and visit VA's ( Adaptive Sports and You webpage.
For military-level fitness tips and workout programs, visit the ( Daily PT blog.

Veteran Talent Wanted: PMA USA Hiring
At Performance Matters Associates (PMAUSA), we believe in helping people grow from a position of strength -- and that means both our customers and our agents. By delivering the services and products that help American families, our agents earn more than a living. They earn the trust and respect of those customers -- and they experience the ( ... personal rewards of making a difference in those customers' lives.

The Best (and Worst) Jobs of 2012
2012 is nearly over, and CareerCast has published a fresh evaluation of what it sees as the top 10 jobs in the country -- as well as the worst 10. Evaluating each job using five components (Physical Demands, Work Environment, Income, Stress and Hiring Outlook) they came up with these picks for the top 10 and worst 10 jobs of this moment. For the full list, including salary figures and profiles of each job, visit the ( ... jobs-2012/) Jobs for Veterans blog.

American Legion Issues Report
The American Legion delivered its ( ... rt2012.pdf) 2012 System Worth Saving (SWS) Task Force report today to all members of Congress, as well as to the White House and senior Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) officials. The SWS report's findings and recommendations are based on information collected over six months during site visits to 25 VA medical centers across the country and two dozen town hall meetings held across the country. The SWS report found many problems with patient scheduling. The report's findings and recommendations are available on the ( ... rt2012.pdf) American Legion website. The ( SWS program is the American Legion's primary health-care evaluation tool for gauging the timeliness and quality of care at VA medical facilities.
For complete guides to all veterans benefits, visit the ( Benefits Center.
Boardman 8)
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