November 19, 2019
Momentum for PA VFW’s No Smoking Indoors Campaign Continues to March On
There has been loads of talk these days about improving the well-being of military veterans and their families. But without the well-being of chartered veterans organizations such as the VFW, The American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, AMVETS, Vietnam Veterans of America and others also being maintained, that prospect instantly becomes harder. The veterans benefits we have today were largely hard-earned through these organizations. Read the rest of this entry »
October 3, 2019
Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center to Host VA Enrollment Fair in Allentown
VA Enrollment Fair, Thursday, October 24th from 5:00-8:00 PM at the Allentown Community Based Outpatient Clinic, 3110 Hamilton Blvd. Allentown, PA 18103.
A Veteran’s eligibility for health care through the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center is based on a variety of criteria related to their service. Although not all Veterans are eligible for VA health care, most Veterans who served on active duty with an other than dishonorable discharge are eligible to receive some level of care through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Just as VA Healthcare eligibility criteria changes over time, so may a Veteran’s eligibility for care. A Veteran once deemed ineligible for VA health care may become eligible if they experience changes in income level, health, or suffer a catastrophic event. Read the rest of this entry »
August 2, 2019
On 22 July, the Military-Veterans Advocacy, a nonprofit legal organization which had a major role in overturning the VA’s decision not to process Blue Water Navy veterans’ Agent Orange claims through a remarkable legal action (Procopio vs. Wilkie), is now asking a federal judge to rescind a stay on Blue Water Navy claims processing imposed by Secretary Wilkie, aided and abetted by the U.S. Congress for good or ill. Read the rest of this entry »
July 20, 2019
As a result of Public Law 116-23, Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 signed into law on 25 June, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) — having finally acknowledged its responsibility to attend to Blue Water Navy as a result of a recent court decision — has been given a short reprieve on “Blue Water Navy” claims decisions.
The U.S. Congress, which previously lacked the courage to act on this longstanding issue until after that court decision, now gives the VA until 1 January 2020 to begin deciding Blue Water Navy related claims for those who served in the territorial waters of the Republic of Vietnam (defined in the Act) between 9 January 1962 and 7 May 1975. The VA has stated that veterans over age 85 or with life-threatening illnesses are to have priority in claims processing.
From another point of view, this action gives the VA the necessary time to ensure it has the proper resources to process an anticipated onslaught of veteran and survivor claims. During previous testimony, it was estimated that between 52,000 and 90,000 veterans were affected. For some reason, it is now estimated that between 420,000 and 560,000 Vietnam-era veterans may be considered Blue Water Navy veterans.
However, these affected veterans are encouraged to submit their disability compensation claims for conditions presumed to be related to Agent Orange exposure now. And, those veterans who previously were denied for an Agent Orange related presumptive conditions should file a new claim based upon this change in law. Eligible survivors of Blue Water Navy veterans may also benefit from the new law and should consider resubmitting their claims if previously denied. We still recommend you consult an accredited Veterans Service Officer — and not do this action on your own to ensure a thorough review of your situation.
Understand that under the new law, the veteran must have a disease associated with herbicide exposure, as listed in 38 Code of Federal Regulations section 3.309(e). The presumptive conditions which currently apply are:
- AL amyloidosis
- Chloracne or similar acneform disease
- Chronic B-cell leukemias
- Diabetes mellitus Type 2
- Hodgkin lymphoma, formerly known as Hodgkin’s disease
- Ischemic heart disease
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, formerly known as Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Parkinson’s disease
- Peripheral neuropathy, early-onset
- Porphyria cutanea tarda
- Prostate cancer
- Respiratory cancers (lung, bronchus, larynx or trachea)
- Soft-tissue sarcoma (other than osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma or mesothelioma).
For more information, visit www.va.gov/disability/eligibility/hazardous-materials-exposure/agent-orange/vietnam-waters/.
As of 5 July 2019
June 6, 2019
On 5 June 2019, the VA finally announced the new rules of the game for three vital services under the MISSION Act of 2018: Read the rest of this entry »
May 23, 2019
Veterans with a service-connected disability rating can enter federal parks for free with a Lifetime National Parks Access Pass, which is not not hard to get. Those with a disability rating of 10 per cent or higher are eligible. Good for entry into over 400 national parks and 2,000 recreation sites across the country, the Lifetime Access Pass is the National Park Service’s way of saying thank you to our veterans for their service and sacrifices. Read the rest of this entry »
March 26, 2019
Finally, some good news on this matter! The Secretary of the VA, Mr. Robert Wilkie, has just announced the VA will not appeal a January court ruling that ordered it to provide health care and disability benefits to our Vietnam War, “Blue Water Navy” veterans. Read the rest of this entry »