Weatherford Democrat

Veterans' Corner

June 28, 2014

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

WEATHERFORD —

 

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.

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which governed the definitions of “marriage” and “spouse” for all federal agencies. However, there remain certain provisions of federal law governing veterans’ benefits and services that, like DOMA, define a spouse as a member of the opposite sex. In September 2013, the U.S. attorney general announced a directive to cease enforcement of those VA-specific definitional provisions.

Another provision of the law governing VA requires the department to look to the place of residency rather than the place of celebration to determine whether a veterans’ marriage is recognized for the purpose of VA benefits. This statutory requirement to look at the laws governing marriage in the place where the veteran or veteran’s spouse resided at the time of the marriage, or at the time they filed their claim or application, precludes the VA from recognizing certain same-sex marriages. Since the Windsor decision, the VA has worked with the DOJ to develop guidance to process claims and applications for same-sex married couples while still following the statutory requirement to look to the place of residency. 

The VA is committed to treating all veterans and their spouses as equally as possible under the law. Importantly, the administration within the VA will aim to apply the same level of scrutiny to all veterans’ marriages, regardless of whether it is a same-sex or opposite-sex marriage. VA will therefore process claims and applications involving same-sex marriage in the same manner that VA processes claims based on opposite-sex marriage without any additional scrutiny or development. 

Text Only
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

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction