Weatherford Democrat

Veterans' Corner

September 15, 2013

VETERANS’ CORNER: VA clarifies, expands terms related to chemical agents

On Sept. 6 the Department of Veterans Affairs adopted as a final rule its proposal to amend its adjudication regulations by clarifying and expanding the terminology regarding presumptive service connections for acute and subacute peripheral neuropathy, associated with exposure to certain herbicide agents.

This amendment implements a decision by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, based on findings from the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine’s report, “Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2010.”

The ruling also amends the VA’s regulation governing retroactive awards for certain diseases associated with herbicide exposure as required by court orders in the class action litigation of Nehmer v. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

This final ruling shall apply to claims received by VA on or after Sept. 6, 2013, and to claims pending before VA on that date. Additionally, VA will apply this ruling in re-adjudicating certain previously denied claims as required by court orders in Nehmer v. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Read the entire final rule at www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/fr-2013-09-06/html/2013-21674.htm. Link to Federal Register, Volume 78 Issue 173.

Pension scams

The ugly head of scams against veterans and senior citizens continues, with the latest scam defined as “pension advances,” abuses those who are one of 20 million Americans with military, government or corporate pensions, according to the latest September issue of AARP.

The pitch goes like this: “Why not convert some of your retirement nest egg into immediate cash?” There are a growing number of ventures that offer lump-sum payments to retirees who need extra money and agree to sign over all or part of their pension checks. But beware – pension advances are nothing more than payday loans cloaked in “sheep’s clothing.”

Recently, the New York Times reviewed more than two dozen contracts for advances and found effective interest rates of 27 percent to 106 percent, information not disclosed in advertising or found in the fine print of the contracts themselves.

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Veterans' Corner
  • VETERANS' CORNER: Vets get opportunity to work with lawyers

    The American Bar Association, in close coordination with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, has started the Veterans’ Claims Assistance Network (ABA VCAN) to provide unrepresented veterans with pending disability claims the opportunity to work with lawyers. The lawyers will help the veterans complete their claims packages for expedited review by Veterans Affairs at no cost to the veterans. 

    July 27, 2014

  • VETERANS' CORNER: VA grants will expand transportation

    WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the White House Rural Council recently announced the award of eight grants, totaling $815,051.50, which will improve access to health care for veterans living in highly rural areas. The grants will assist over 11,000 veterans in seven states and 56 counties by providing up to $50,000 per highly rural area to fund transportation services for veterans to and from VA medical centers and other facilities that provide VA care. The grants are part of a program authorized by Congress to help state Veterans Service Agencies (VSAs) and Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) operate or contract for transportation services to transport veterans to VA medical centers and other facilities that provide VA care.

    July 20, 2014

  • VETERANS' CORNER: Preserving war memories through VHP

    The United States Congress created the Veterans History Project (VHP) in 2000 as part of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. VHP’s mission is to collect, preserve and make accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war.

    July 13, 2014

  • VETERANS' CORNER: VA now processing same-sex marriage claims

    After close consultation with the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is providing guidance to same-sex married couples on the benefits and services to which they are entitled under current laws and regulations.

    June 28, 2014

  • VETERANS' CORNER: Vets at risk from parasites in war zones

    Parasites are unpleasant, hard to face and sometimes hard to find. Sometimes the cure is easy and complete, sometimes not. The worst outcome usually comes from misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis or no diagnosis. 

    June 21, 2014

  • Cell Phones for Soldiers, Inc.

    Cell Phones For Soldiers Inc. is a national non-profit dedicated to providing cost-free communication services to active-duty military members and veterans. Founded in 2004 by Robbie and Brittany Bergquist, then 12 and 13 years old, Cell Phones For Soldiers has provided more than 204 million “Minutes That Matter” to deployed troops.

    June 8, 2014

  • VETERANS' CORNER: Many retreat, camp opportunities for vets

    Over the past 10 years, different organizations have begun offering “retreats” or “camps” to veterans and/or their families. Often, the retreats/camps are offered at little or no cost and are intended to provide the veteran and/or family member an opportunity to experience a place and time specifically designated to them. Many of the venues have “themes” and many of those themes relate to experiencing connection with the natural world and with others who have gone through the same experiences.

    May 31, 2014

  • Veterans Corner sig NEW.jpg VETERANS' CORNER: Stricter requirements for military recruits

    Recruiters must reach potential recruits early to set them straight on enlistment today. Recruits think anybody can enlist. Many see the military as a last resort in a tough job market, always being an option. Truth is, the class of 2014 now leaving high school will face more difficulty qualifying for the armed services than ever in the 40-year history of the all-volunteer force.  

    May 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • VETERANS CORNER: AACD offers vets oral health benefits

    The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) is promoting a unique opportunity for our military members and veterans to improve their smile and achieve good oral health. This venture is being done through ‘The Smile Story Contest,’ offering the chance to win a smile makeover from an AACD member dentist.

    May 18, 2014

  • VETERAN'S CORNER: SGLI to increase premium rates

    The Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) program will adjust its monthly premium rate from 6.5 cents per $1,000 back to the 2006 rate of 7 cents per $1,000 of insurance, a modest increase to ensure the SGLI program remains in a strong financial position. For a servicemember with the maximum $400,000 of life insurance, this change will mean an increase of two dollars a month.

    May 11, 2014

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