October 15, 2017
A VA official on Wednesday confirmed the cards are on track to be available nationwide starting in November.
Source: VA Photo ID Cards for All Veterans Coming in November | Military.com
Editor’s Note: This a result of the Veterans Identification Card Act of 2015. The card cannot be used as proof of eligibility to any federal benefits, entitlements and services; and it does not grant access to military installations. It only establishes an honorably discharged veteran served in the armed forces (although we cannot find where the law specifies one must be honorably discharged). Therefore, essentially their primary value lies in obtaining business discounts — that is, “goods, services and promotional activities” offered by the private and public sector. Although the law specifies the VA shall charge for this service (one could consider it an off-mission burden), the Department of Veterans Affairs has said it will not. Note that military exchanges will offer their online services to any veteran with an honorable discharge as of 11 November 2017. Serendipity?
For more information on the law, see https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr91/text
As of 4 October 2017
July 18, 2017
On 27 June 2017, the VA released its final plans laying the framework for providing emergency mental health coverage to former service members with Other-Than-Honorable (OTH) administrative discharges. For the older generations of veterans, the characterization of service was termed Undesirable.
Effective July 5, all Veterans Health Administration (VHA) medical centers are to offer emergency stabilization care for former service members who present at the facility with an emergent mental health need. Under this initiative, former service members with an OTH administrative discharge may receive care for their mental health emergency for an initial period of up to 90 days, which can include inpatient, residential or outpatient care. Read the rest of this entry »
July 14, 2017
Recently the VA announced that it is conducting a clinical trial for veterans suffering from Gulf War Illness. Since some our local veterans may benefit but do not need to travel to San Francisco to participate (all study procedures can be done by phone and mail), we have decided to spread the word. See the brochure below for more details.
You may also find this page from the VA Office of Research and Development of interest on what has been occurring, and click here for the Gulf War Registry and other information on the Southwest Asia Theater of Operations.
Click on image to enlarge.
As of 14 July 2017
May 25, 2017
The Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center is returning on 14 June 2017 to conduct its third Community Town Hall in the area since the establishment of the quarterly requirement a couple of years back. It is part of an attempt by the VA to regain the trust among the veterans it serves. Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center services 19 counties, to include one in New York. The service area requires distributing the quarterly meetings over a wide area or we would have more of these useful events. For details, see: Read the rest of this entry »
May 2, 2017
Veterans At Risk Of Suicide Negotiate A Thorny Relationship With Guns, NPR Reports
Two key points are raised in the article which follows that affect the results, and work against what would seem to be common sense:
1) There is a question as to if the VA is really following a due or, at least, a fair process. We know of a veteran who was not properly informed of the proceedings against him. In addition, the VA, according to this article, is probably violating his/her Second Amendment rights, while trying to do the right thing.
2) Fear of being branded as mentally incompetent, may cause affected veterans not to access the benefits they’ve earned, including access to health care for conditions related to their military service. When a veteran is most fragile, he/she may be effectively driven away. Why is the term “mental incompetence” used in all instances in the first place? Read the rest of this entry »
May 2, 2017
The Veterans Choice Program has been beset with problems. While the program is actually improving, a phone scam has now occurred to add to the VA’s and clients’ frustrations with the program. Someone is after your credit card number. Why would the VA be asking that?
See below. One key thing to remember is that while many VA numbers start with 1-800, not all do, and the Veterans Choice Program is one of them — it uses a 1-866 prefix.
Read the rest of this entry »
April 21, 2017
Click on image for Morning Call article and video.
What was not mentioned is Alexander Alex, the co-chair of our Healthcare in Our Community initiative, pressed for a health delivery system similar to TRICARE, the Department of Defense healthcare system. See also yesterday’s blog article on the extension of the Veterans Choice program.
As of 14 April 2017