All C&P Exam Locations Now Open
For those in the process of settling a claim submission, some good news. Not everything is resolvable via telecommunications, the use of which is reportedly up a thousand percent. The Veterans Benefits Administration’s operations must have been severely affected, therefore.
The VA has partnered with specialized contract examiners to resume in-person Compensation & Pension (C&P) exams related to disability benefits at their designated contract facilities and not at VA medical facilities. Your local VA Medical Center (VAMC) will still conduct VA medical appointments and testing related to your health care. Specific safety requirements are still in place for Veterans’ health. While specialty exams are only performed when it is safe, certain areas have allowed removal of personal protective equipment (PPE) in order to complete the appointment.
For more information regarding locations in your area, please visit: https://benefits.va.gov/compensation/claimexam.asp.
Source: VA News Email, 18 September 2020
As of 18 September 2020
The piece of information below found on a 4 June Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce “email’er” is probably worth more mention than most as our valley’s community begins the long journey of returning to normal. Considering the importance of employment to job hunters, furloughed employees and employers, it good to see when someone has thought of putting relevant, actionable information all in one place to a particular topic.
Veterans, do not forget that our CareerLink has veterans employment representatives. Insist on speaking to them, if you have not done so and are seeking a job — especially if things are not going well. They can take a more holistic approach towards helping. If they do not, let us know. They are expected to go the extra mile — if you are on the straight-up.
|CareerLink Lehigh Valley is Here to Help
· Online Jobs Portal updated daily with positions for Lehigh Valley job seekers and an easy way for employers in the area to add immediate job openings
· COVID-19 Resources Page (for job seekers and employers)
· Online Workshops & Resources (for job seekers)
As of 6 June 2020
Gov. Wolf, Treasurer Torsella Announce Property Tax/Rent Rebates Arriving Early to Help Seniors, Others During COVID-19 Pandemic
It is something worthwhile for veterans or their widows/widowers who are homeowners or renters to check off to help get them through these trying times when needed. It is not always chump change; and you may be more eligible than you might first suspect (don’t assume age is the only criteria). For details and how to apply, if you have not: click here.
As of 20 May 2020
Special alert for those who don’t file a tax return and have dependents under the age of 17 years.
On 24 April, the Internal Revenue Service issued a special alert for Supplemental Security Income and Department of Veterans Affairs beneficiaries to act by May 5 if they didn’t file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 and have dependents so they can quickly receive the full amount of their Economic Impact Payment.
For details, click here: VA, SSI recipients with eligible children need to act by May 5 to quickly add money to their automatic Economic Impact Payment; ‘Plus $500 Push’ continues | Internal Revenue Service
As of 26 April 2020
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 »
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 »
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 »
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
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 »