Yesterday, the President signed Senate Bill 544 into law. It extended and amended the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014. Otherwise, the controversial Veterans Choice (Card) Program would have expired in August, although $1 billion of the original $10 billion remained in the account and the number of veterans enrolled in the VA healthcare system using private care, under VA direction, had risen from approximately 10 to 33 percent. Essentially, the bill was a no-brain’er, as no doubt the good senator from Montana, Jon Tester (D), would himself admit. It was not a remarkable feat on the part of the Congress or the President — or the VA. Read the rest of this entry »
Forward Observer — President Trump signs S. 544, The Veterans Choice Program Extension and Improvement ActApril 20, 2017
Forward Observer — VA finally establishes presumptive condition rules for exposure to contaminants in water supply at Camp Lejeune and other Marine Corps locationsMarch 17, 2017
VA to provide disability benefits for related diseases
On 14 March 2017, the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) proposed regulations to establish presumptions for the service connection for eight diseases associated with exposure to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina became effective. On September 9, 2016, VA had published in the Federal Register (81 FR 62419) a notice of a proposal to amend 38 CFR 3.307 and 3.309. The Congress did not intervene. Read the rest of this entry »
Recently we learned the Lehigh Valley Regional Homeless Advisory Board (LVRHAB) is conducting a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) homeless point-in-time survey the evening of 24 January extending through 25 January.
HUD is the government agency overseeing home mortgage lending practices and is centrally involved in solving the issue of homelessness by the nature of its purpose. Every year it conducts a Point in Time (PIT) Count of the un-housed on the predicted coldest day of the year. The count involves seeking out those who are unsheltered and those in emergency shelters or transitional shelters — that is, homeless households. The numbers obtained are important to HUD’s reporting of its accomplishments and to their funding practices. But as its name may imply, its tendency is to focus geographically on urban areas. Read the rest of this entry »
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Some smart connecting done by Nam Knights with a local Home Depot. Kudos to both on an honest effort coming from the heart.
But it would be even better if all the local Home Depots were to get together with Habitat for Humanity of the Lehigh Valley to see if a Repair Corps (aka Veterans Repair Corps) could be started locally, as has been occurring elsewhere. LVMAC thinks such a local collaborative partnership might lead to a more effective, local program for both organizations — to include a better system to reach those veterans in need of such services.
While we’re at it, we wonder if the veteran was under VA healthcare. He may not be, for not all veterans are entitled to VA healthcare, despite a common belief among non-veterans that all veterans are. If he were, the Home Adaptation Program, a not well-known program, may have been available to him.
As of 1 October 2016
Forward Observer — Regulation on Camp Lejeune’s Contaminated Drinking Water Presumptive Conditions Under Review.September 16, 2016
Finally on 9 September, after waiting nine months since the announcement it would do so and after announcing in August it was extending the period of consideration, the VA announced it has published proposed regulations to establish presumptions for the service connection of eight diseases affecting military members [and others] exposed to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Read the rest of this entry »
POW/MIA Day fast approaches and will likely be buried under a blitz of other days and month of this and that announcements, to include Suicide Prevention Month. Yet for some, this day is not forgotten and it is deeply felt, for the loss is still deeply felt.
While also it is to deny history to believe that we as a nation have always supported our troops or have been actively concerned about the missing, Governor Wolf nevertheless properly expresses the sentiment of the day in his proclamation below. It would be appropriate that we, as individuals, pause and reflect some time during that day on his words. Read the rest of this entry »
On 28 September, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center (VAMC) is holding a Community Homelessness Assessment, Local Education and Networking Groups (CHALENG) Meeting and Summit at the Charles Chrin Community Center of Palmer Township (Gym II).
While there has been a long history of annual CHALENG meetings, holding one in the Lehigh Valley has been a rarity. Considering the recent efforts of the Lehigh Valley Regional Homelessness Advisory Board (LVRHAB), the time has come to encourage such meetings locally if the VA is to be a true partner in this region’s homeless efforts – and not off to the side.
Because a summit implies the meeting of leaders, LVMAC is reaching out to various organizations (police departments, school districts, public housing authorities, special social work agencies, county and city governments, for example) to have a key officer or “mover and shaker” attend. Read the rest of this entry »