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How To Acquire VA Income

Did you know far too many veterans believe they have to be accepted in the Veterans Affairs (VA) medical system to acquire an income (compensation) for a service connected disability?  Simply put, this is not true for any veteran who served Honorably in the Armed Forces. All veterans may submit appropriate VA form(s) that will result in a medical evaluation that could possibly determine a service-connected disability and the amount of disability compensation. The evaluations conducted by the VA or QTC will determine if there is a service-connected disability.  Assuming a service connected disability has been establishment by the VA, service-connection disability compensation will begin, and the veteran will be automatically set up in the VA medical system and will receive free treatment for the service connected disability.











A surprisingly large number of veterans are unaware they are currently walking around with service-connected disabilities, and as such, should be receiving disability compensation.  For instance, a recent Vietnam veteran had been dealing with issues of irritability, emotional distance from others, anger, marital schism that resulted in the inability to communicate effectively with his spouse, and nagging physical ailments.  At the encouragement of family and friends the veteran reluctantly visited his local Vet Center for a psychological evaluation.  It was determined that the veteran had been suffering from PTSD for decades, and four months later he was service-connected at 70% disability rating.


Death Confirmation Policy

Did you know the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has implemented a new policy change that affects all veterans.  The VA is currently in the process of updating its procedure to request further confirmation of a veteran’s death before it terminates any and all payments to the veteran.  Basically, the process will now involve more exhaustive confirmation of a veteran’s death before payments are stopped.  For instance, when VA officials believe that a veteran has died, the VA will send a letter to his or her address on file and request confirmation of the death from a surviving family member.  If the VA doesn't receive a response from the family — or from a veteran erroneously believed to be dead — only then will the VA terminate payments permanently.











Government Vacation Rewards

Did you know Government Vacation Rewards is offering veterans vacation and travel opportunities at special military discounts with a best price match guarantee?  Government Vacation Rewards was created specifically to serve all members of the Armed Forces.  Government Vacation Rewards is the fastest growing government and military employees discount travel program in existence.  Call 855-545-5488 for more information.


CBO Considers Compensation Cuts

Did you know  the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) completed a "think tank" report on veterans' disability compensation?  The ranking member on the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs asked for this study, which looks in detail at trends and policy options in regard to future veterans' compensation. Though the study looked at many areas, the report was primarily focused on potential ways to save future budget dollars (2018 through 2024) in regard to compensation by modifying current compensation to all veterans.  Listed below are the areas they reviewed:


Limit the time in which a veteran can file an initial claim for service-connection after leaving the military. The CBO looked at five-, 10- and 20-year time frames. As expected, the less time afforded to file a claim resulted in the greatest budgetary savings.

  • Increase VA reexaminations on veterans already service-connected.
  • Relook the standards for declaring something a presumptive condition.
  • Change the rules about individual unemployability in that only those veterans younger than the full social security retirement age will be able to receive this benefit.
  • Relook the rules as to how compensation paymentsare determined for veterans with service-connectedmental disorders.
  • Change cost-of-living adjustments.
  • Eliminate concurrent eeceipt for military retirees. This results in the greatest savings in regard to future VA budget dollars.
  • Tax VA disability payments.


Remember, all of these are ideas have been bantered about for some time. Just because the CBO released this special report does not mean it will become a reality; at the same time, this study was requested by an influential individual who is looking at ways to save future VA budget dollars, regardless of the detriment to veterans and their family members.


COVID-19 Hotline

Did you know Vets4Warriors, has a 24/7 hotline available. The peer support network serves veterans, active duty service members, family members or caregivers?  They provide immediate, free and long-term peer support through confidential telephone, chat, text and email conversations.  Vets4Warriors remains available to address the concerns regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and will connect you to needed resources. No matter the issue, the peer network is prepared to stay connected with you until the issue is resolved.  You can reach them by calling 1-855-838-8255.

Did You Know?

Board On Pace To Break Record

Did you know when a veteran requests a hearing for an appeal of a compensation claim decision, the Board of Veterans Appeals must hold the hearing before deciding the appeal?  Once the hearing is held, the veteran’s appeal is placed on the Board’s docket for a decision. So far this year [2021], with 20,000 hearings completed by August 2021, the Board is on pace to best its previous record, smashing its historical average of 16,000 annually.


Many Veterans Still Unaware of Benefits

Did you know most veterans have no idea they may be eligible for a non-service-connected pension from the VA?  While most veterans are aware of service-connected disability compensation programs from the VA,  many veterans are not aware of VA monthly pension benefits that are payable to wartime veterans who are permanently and totally disabled due to non-service-connected disability, or who are age 65 years-old or older and who meet certain income and net worth limits. Also, a veteran receiving a VA pension benefit who needs assistance for such things as eating, bathing and dressing or has very limited eyesight or requires nursing home care may be eligible for aid and assistance benefits to help cover those assistance costs.












Contracts Set Aside for Veterans

Did you know there are special government contracts that are set aside just for small businesses that are owned by veterans? Supported by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Veterans First Contracting Program supports veterans by providing this special access. You have to be verified as part of the Vets First Verification program, but that’s a simple task. Once you’re verified, you’ll be able to find contacts that only veteran-owned businesses can bid on, giving you a better chance at getting good contracts than if you were competing with the masses.


Women Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program

Did you know the Women Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program offers entrepreneurial training for women service members, spouses of service members, and veterans who want to grow or start a small business?  The Small Business Administration (SBA) is responsible for funding the training program, which is available exclusively for women veterans only.


Deadline Extended

Did you know the VA was scheduled to stop awarding benefits to new Gulf War veterans with a related disability diagnosis that was given after December 31, 2021? However, the VA has extended that cutoff date to December 31, 2026. 











COLA Increase

Did you know the Veterans Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act passed unanimously in the House last week and without objection in the Senate earlier in the summer?  It now heads to the White House, where President Joe Biden is expected to sign it into law in coming days.  How much that boost will be next year is still not certain.  The Social Security Administration (SSA) is expected to announce the COLA rate for 2022 next month, based on economic trends over the last few months.  That increase will go into effect for benefits checks sent out starting this December 2021.  Last month, officials from the Senior Citizens League predicted that next year’s rise could top 6.2 percent, based on recent inflation and wage data released by federal economists. If so, it would be the largest increase since 1983 for Social Security and VA benefits recipients.