Veteran’s Affairs

Veterans’ ID Cards get a new look and better security.
Veterans who are enrolled in the VA Health Care program should be on the lookout for a new ID card. The VA is replac-ing the current version of the card with a more secure version. The card will more closely re-semble a traditional ID card is-sued by major health providers. The card will include a small logo of the beneficiary’s branch of service along with other ser-vice-related information. The VA began sending the cards out on April 1 and estimates that all should have the new cards by late August. The current cards can be used until a new one is received. For more info go to bit.ly/vacards or call 877 222-8387

DOD PLANS TO OVERHAUL TRICARE
The proposed 2015 budget seeks to overhaul the current TRICARE system and create a new consolidated system which would eliminate the three current programs (Prime, Extra and Standard) replacing them with a single system. The simpler sys-tem would provide beneficiaries with “open access to providers and less complexity in their health plan.”

I received the following infor-mation from Brother Vic Vogel about a program being run by Division 7 in Suffolk County. It would be great if all of us in the State did something similar. If you are, let me know and I will be proud to publish it for you.

Brother Tony Scott was asked by Vick Vogel to help start up a program to assist veterans in Suffolk County. They developed a partnership with Suffolk County United Veterans to collect food for a pantry of Homeless Veterans in Suffolk. On a monthly basis, they contact the veteran’s organizations as to their specific needs. Tony passes this information on to the mem-bers. At the end of the month he collects the contributions of food and cash at the Division Hall and delivers it to the veteran’s office.
In addition, contributions from members go beyond food and money. A large freezer, a stove and a microwave oven were do-nated to assist homeless veterans. The members of the Division have responded to the slogan: “If it’s good for the Vet-Do it”

Note: Tony Scott is the father of a West Point Grad and he and his wife, Jane, were officers in the West Point parent’s Club.

If you would like information on starting a similar program; or contributing to this one; please contact Tony Scott at 631-255-6616 or Vic Vogel at 631-513-9721.

 

Veterans Affairs

From the late 1950s to the 1980s, Marines and their families serving at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina were exposed to contaminated drinking water. On August 6, 2012 President Obama signed into law the “honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families act of 2012. For veterans who served at Camp Lejeune between 1957 and 1987 the law provides VA health care for 15 medical conditions including: Bladder Cancer, Breast cancer, Esoph-ageal cancer, Female infertili-ty, Hepatic steatosis, kidney cancer, Leukemia, Lung can-cer, Miscarriage, multiple Myeloma, Myelodysplastic syndromes, Neurobehavorial effects, Non-Hodgkins Lym-phoma, Renal Toxisity and Scleroderma.

To be eligible for care under this law, the Veteran must have served on active duty at Camp Lejeune for not fewer than 30 days between January 1, 1957 and December 31, 1987. Veterans, who are eli-gible, regardless of current enrollment status at the VA, will not be charged a co-payment for health care.

Once regulations are in place, family members will need documentation that the Ser-vice member was stationed at Lejeune for at least 30 days and will have to provide a marriage license or birth cer-tificate and proof of residency at Camp Lejeune for no fewer than 30 days and must have copies of orders and housing base records.

VA will be the final payer for health care related to the ill-nesses listed after payment has been made by your health insurance plan, Medicare, Medicaid and TRICARE. It is strongly urged that a Veteran not change current health in-surance because this could put family members at risk. https://clnr.hgi.usmc.mil/clwater/index.aspx

Please keep all our veterans in your prayers. God Bless
America.

Veterans Affairs

By now you should have your Christmas packages on the way to the troops overseas. If you have not, a Christmas card containing a calling card would be an ideal Christmas present. Please keep them and all our veterans in your prayers.

 

Just 19 words

God our Father, walk through my house and take away all my worries; and please watch over and heal my family and please protect our freedoms and watch over our troops who are defending those freedoms.

Amen

Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year,

God Bless America.

Veterans Affairs

I would like to take this opportunity to thank President Jim Burke for appointing me to this Chair. I will try to keep our members up to date on Veterans Affairs.

Continuing from a previous report on Home Depot; as I reported, Home Depot has been very supportive of our GIs and their families. They provide transfers for a GI and his family members to another store near their new assignment. The company recently launched a new website highlighting its commitment to our GIs and their families www.homedepotmilitary.com and has offered a free Military skills Translator tool for some time now. The tool is designed to translate and match an applicant’s military skills to positions that might offer the best career fit.

THE ROSIE NETWORK
If you are a military spouse or veteran entrepreneur the Rosie Network wants to help you. It is a non-profit funded by military spouses and U.S. Veterans, active, retired or reserve. Starting this September, the Rosie Network at www.TheRosieNetwork.Org will launch a free web-based search tool which will enable the public to easily locate products and services provided by military spouses or Veteran-owned companies.
Please remember all our Veterans in your prayers. God Bless America

Veterans Affairs – June 2013

The following are articles that may be of interest to our vet-erans who are applying for benefits or are looking for employment.

What You Should Know When Applying For VA Pen-sion Benefits

Pension is a need-based bene-fit paid to a wartime veteran and his/her survivor(s). A veteran may generally be eli-gible if he/she: Was dis-charged from service other than dishonorable conditions AND served 90 days or more of active military duty with at least one day during a period of war, AND his/her count-able income is below the maximum annual pension rate, AND meets the net worth limitations, AND is age 65 or older, OR is shown by evi-dence to have permanent and total non-service-connected disability, OR is a patient in a nursing home, OR is receiving Social Security disability benefits.

Home Depot

The Home Depot is commit-ted to supporting our nation’s military and has plenty of re-sources available to help them find their fit. The company recently launched its “Military Skills Translator Tool”, which is designed to help translate and match an applicant’s military skills to positions that might offer the best career fit.

The Home Depot offers three main forms of military sup-port: job portability and transfer opportunities; continuation of benefits; supplemental pay.

The job portability benefit is really helpful for active duty service members and spouses who are reassigned or trans-ferred. You can apply at www.careers.homedepot.com.

SCAM ALERT
An organization called Veter-ans Affairs Services is providing benefit and general information on VA and gathering personal information on veterans. This organization is not affiliated with the VA in any way.

Please remember all our vet-erans in your prayers, espe-cially those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Try and visit a military cemetery and help decorate the graves of our heroes.

Veterans Affairs – 12-12

Veterans Aid and Attendance Improved Pension is being offered by the VA. This pension allows for Veterans and surviving spouses who require regular attendance of another person to assist with eating, bathing, dressing and toileting to receive additional monetary benefits. It also includes individuals who are blind or a patient in a nursing home because of mental incapacity. This is a pension benefit and is not dependent upon service related injuries for compensation. A&A can help pay for care in the home, nursing home or assisted living facilities.

Eligibility: Any veteran who served 90 days or more on active duty, with at least one day in war time, and who has an Honorable Discharge. Widows and widowers of veterans are also eligible.

Please remember our troops who are overseas this Christmas and keep all our Veterans in your prayers.

Veterans Affairs

This is a follow up to articles that I submitted to the Empire State Hibernian. Several ques-tions have arisen about these topics. I hope this will be helpful to those who need the information. As I have stated in the past, knowledge of Veter-an’s Affairs is a good recruiting tool for County and Division Organizers. If they have current information on the topic, they will be able to recruit some of our returning troops.

E-ZPASS DISABLED VET-ERAN’S PROGRAM
The New York State Thruway Authority offers free, unlimited travel anywhere on the Thruway to certain, qualifying disabled veterans. A disabled veteran who obtains a free-exempt vehicle registration from New York State Department of Motor Vehicles may enroll in the Authority’s disabled veteran non-revenue e-zpass program.
If you have any questions about the program, please contact E-Z Pass operations at 518 471-5848 or visit on the web at www.thruway.ny.gov/ezpass/veterans.html.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced that veterans who submit to a short sale or a deed-in-lieu of foreclo-sure can receive $1,500 in relocation assistance. The agency has instructed mortgage servicers to provide the funds to help borrowers cover moving costs or other expenses incurred during the tumultuous process. Borrowers can use the money to cover moving expenses or to simply pay for lodging while they deal with the pending loss of their home.

New Legislation would allow Veterans to use G.I. Bill funds for Franchise Training Pro-grams. The bill is H.R. 3351. It would work in conjunction with S.1540/H.R.2888 and provide funds to help veterans get funding for ownership of a franchise. The bills still have to make their way through the Congress, but they will go a long way in helping returning veterans open up their own businesses. The tax credits would offset start-up costs equal to 25% of franchise fees, up to $100,000.
Veterans Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2011 increases the rates of VA disability compensation and dependency and indemnity compensation for surviving spouses and children by 3.6%. This matches the COLA increase military retirees and Social Security recipients will receive.

Looking forward to 2013 and 2014 for those who are on Medicare: The per person Medicare Insurance Premium will increase from the current monthly fee of $96.40 to $104.20 in 2013 and to $247.00 in 2014. This is designed to encourage Veterans who have Tri-Care for Life to leave the program. The plan calls for increases from 30% to 78% in Tri-care annual premiums. After that, the plan will impose five year increases ranging from 94% to 345%, more than 3 times the current levels. (2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act aka Obama Care)
There is a new bill before con-gress HR4646. If passed (probably not until after the November elections) it would require direct deposit of all SS checks and impose a 1% tax on all bank transactions in and out of accounts including transac-tions between existing accounts. This would apply to any banking institution-banks, credit unions, savings and loan and the like.

HOME OWNERS: as part of the Obama Health Care legislation, anyone who sells their house in 2012 and onward will be subject to a 3.8% sales tax on the transaction. This is the bill they said “pass it and read it later.” Please try to read up on this issue, especially HR4646.

Please keep all our Veterans in your prayers.
God bless America.

Veterans Affairs

The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced that veterans who submit to a short sale or a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure can receive $1,500 in relocation assistance.  The agency has instructed mortgage servicers to provide the funds to help borrowers cover moving costs or other expenses incurred during the tumultuous process.  Borrowers can use the money to cover moving expenses or to simply pay for lodging while they deal with the pending loss of their home.

New Legislation would allow Veterans to use G.I. Bill funds for Franchise Training Programs.  The bill is H.R. 3351.  It would work in conjunction with S.1540/H.R.2888 and provide funds to help veterans get funding for ownership of a franchise.  The bills still have to make their way through the Congress, but they will go a long way in helping returning veterans open up their own businesses.  The tax credits would offset start-up costs equal to 25% of franchise fees, up to $100,000.

Veterans Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2011 increases the rates of VA disability compensation and dependency and indemnity compensation for surviving spouses and children by 3.6%.  This matches the COLA increase military retirees and Social Security recipients will receive.

FYI:  For those on active duty and either wounded or injured in the line of duty and because of your condition, are no longer able to perform your assigned duties and now have other duties not prescribed by your MOS, you are entitled to receive Social Security Disability in addition to your pay.  Social Security Disability is retroactive to your date of injury.  You will need all your military health records that reflect the wound or injury along with a letter of documentation from your doctor.   The application is on line at: www.socialsecurity.gov/ to apply for disability or call 1-800-772-1213.

If you know anyone transitioning from the military to civilian life there is a useful website at Adecco.  It is managed by former military and can assist with career services, employer services, and associated needs. They are at www.adeccousa.com.  In addition, the Small Business Administration provides services to Veterans who are looking to open their own businesses.  They provide counseling and training services. You can reach the New York State Program Coordinator, John Narciso, at www.nyvetbiz.com

Have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day and an enjoyable parade season. God Bless our troops and God Bless America.

Veterans Affairs – December 2011

Hopefully those of you who have planned to send packages and cards to our GIs overseas already have them in the mail. There is nothing like receiving a package from home. If you do not know anyone overseas I suggest that you make a Christmas contribution to the Wounded Warrior Project. You can mail a check to Wounded Warrior Project, National Processing Center, P.O. Box 758516, Topeka, Ks 66675-8516. You can also make a do-nation to Fisher House at Strat-ton VA Medical Center, 113 Holland Ave., Albany, N.Y. 12208.

Within the next few weeks many of our G.I.’s will be re-turning home from overseas. This will surely be a Merry Christmas for them and their families.

FYI: For those on active duty and either wounded or injured in the line of duty and because of your condition, are no longer able to perform your assigned duties and now have other du-ties not prescribed by your MOS, you are entitled to re-ceive Social Security Disability in addition your pay. Social Security Disability is retroactive to your date of injury. You will need all your military health records that reflect the wound or injury along with a letter of documentation from your doc-tor. The application is on line at:www.socialsecurity.gov/applyfor disability or call 1-800-772-1213.

If you know anyone transition-ing from the military to civilian life there is a useful website at Adecco. It is managed by for-mer military and can assist with career services, employer ser-vices, and associated needs. They are at www.adeccousa.com. In addi-tion, the Small Business Ad-ministration provides services to Veterans who are looking to open their own businesses. They provide counseling and training services. You can reach the New York State Program Coordinator, John Narciso, at www.NYVETBIZ.COM. They are located at Farmingdale State College, 2350 Broadhollow Rd., Farmingdale, N.Y. 11735 or at 631 370-8891.

Have a very happy and Holy Christmas and a healthy New Year.

God Bless our troops and God Bless America.