Landmark Survey of America’s Veterans

The veteran nonprofit organization Disabled American Veterans (DAV) conducted a Veterans Pulse Survey to promote deeper understanding of veterans’ perceptions and experiences.  It is the largest, most comprehensive assessment ever taken to reveal how veterans of all generations view their military experience, their benefits (including healthcare and disability, among others) and their overall quality of life.

Read More: http://bit.ly/1QobEwm

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Vets Who Accept Separation Pay can’t Receive VA Compensation

Under federal law, until veterans pay back their involuntary separation pay, they can have their VA disability compensation withheld.  The reason for this is due to a federal law precluding duplication of benefits.  The VA is required to withhold some or all of a veteran’s monthly compensation until this recoupment is complete.

Read More: http://bit.ly/1OCC7Yk

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The Path Forward for Delivering Better Healthcare

Time and again, leadership in the Department of Defense asks the Military Health System (MHS): How can we get more value for our 9.5 million beneficiaries? How can we serve them better? How can we spread improvement across the military community?

Read more about measures identified for evaluating and improving the MHS:

http://1.usa.gov/1QUfKRm

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State Veteran’s Benefits

Most everyone is familiar with federal benefits for veterans.  However, many states also offer great benefits to their veterans.  This webpage provides a summary of the benefits of each state and a link to the specific State Department of Veterans Affairs.

Read more: http://mil-com.me/1mcQAjY

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Free Benefit Guidance Information Seminars for Veterans

With millions of veterans around the nation, every community could use more access to free, expert information on the benefits they’ve earned and need.  Disabled American Veterans (DAV) National Service Officers are increasing their outreach efforts in the New Year to provide more seminars to groups around the country.  These information seminars include a comprehensive rundown of what benefits are available through the Department of Veterans Affairs and other government agencies.

Read More: http://bit.ly/1J0iuVh

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Montana selected for VA benefit claims pilot program

Montana has been selected to conduct a pilot program with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that is intended to speed the processing of veterans’ claims for benefits.  The program will allow selected veterans service organizations to submit electronic claims directly to the VA.  The goal is to process claims quicker so that veterans receive their benefits quicker.

Read More: http://bit.ly/1NGntlj

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Retired Senior Leaders Say: Educate Troops on Retirement Planning

Regarding the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission’s proposals to reform pay and benefits, a panel of senior enlisted retirees speaks out, offering an additional perspective on the recommendations. If enacted fully, the proposals could have major impacts on military members, retirees and their families far into the future. Shifting the burden of the retirement system into a program that requires service members to make certain choices in order to achieve a positive outcome requires training, education and planning. The panel strongly advises that any …

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Compensation and Retirement Commission Testifies on Health Issues

Health care recommendations by the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission would improve health services for military families and actually save lives, commission members told lawmakers in separate hearings.  Members of the House Armed Services Committee grilled members who recommended abolishing Tricare, the healthcare system for service members.  Senators on the Armed Services Committee appear open to recommendations of the Commission, suggesting that the proposals could be adopted in next year’s defense budget.

Read more: http://bit.ly/1u3VsuB and http://bit.ly/1Ki1PhT and http://bit.ly/1DHaFBD

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Congress, vet advocates cautious about panel’s proposals

The major changes outlined in the new military compensation report released Thursday cannot become law without congressional action, and so far lawmakers are viewing the massive document as a conversation starter, not a blueprint.  That’s fine with outside advocates including veteran service organizations, who are warning not to rush the complex proposals for overhauling military retirement and health care.

Read more: http://bit.ly/1EZBC4M and http://bit.ly/1Dxa1qw

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VA Claims Backlog Significantly Reduced in 2014; 2015 Goal a Challenge

The Veterans Affairs Department boasted another dramatic drop in its backlog of benefits claims in 2014, but will need an extra boost in coming months to meet its goal of zeroing out the payout delays by the end of 2015.  In recent remarks, new VA Secretary Bob McDonald has reaffirmed the promise to not only zero out the backlog, but improve the process to prevent future delays in processing claims.

Read more: http://bit.ly/1AgGQK5

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