Partnership to Help Influence Veteran Issues in Congress

Every day, lawmakers in Washington, D.C. make decisions on important issues impacting the health and welfare of veterans, yet only 18.7 percent of Congress and 1 percent of their staff members have served in the military.  HillVets and Disabled American Veterans (DAV) have partnered in a program that will bring more vets to Capitol Hill through a fellowship program.  Having staff members who served in the military and understand how policy and legislation will affect veterans can provide valuable insight for lawmakers.

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Veterans Affairs Is Allowed Exemptions From Federal Hiring Freeze

House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairmen sent a joint letter to President Trump regarding the Federal hiring freeze, saying that one of our government’s highest priorities is to provide timely, high-quality care to the men and women who have bravely served our nation in uniform, and that a robust clinical workforce is vital to achieving that goal. Subsequently, the Acting Veterans Affairs Secretary announced that the VA has exemptions to the hiring freeze that enable VA to fill essential positions and ensure that veterans …

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Congressional Bills to Boost Veterans

Members of the 115th Congress began introducing a deluge of legislation regarding veterans, including bills aimed at extending benefits to Blue Water Navy veterans, revoking bonuses paid to VA employees, and expanding the rules of concurrent receipt of retired and VA disability pay.

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Long List of Agent Orange Decisions Awaits VA in 2017

In 2017, the Department of Veterans Affairs faces an array of decisions related to the herbicide Agent Orange, which contained the toxic chemical dioxin and was used to kill vegetation during the Vietnam War.  The VA must decide whether to add new diseases to its list of conditions presumed to be linked to Agent Orange. It also faces calls to compensate naval veterans and veterans who served along the Korean demilitarized  zone .  Additionally, Congress passed a bill requiring VA to pay for analysis of …

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Coming TRICARE Changes That May Affect You

Some changes are coming over the next few years that will affect roughly 1.5 million retired military and survivor beneficiaries who get their health care under TRICARE Standard.  

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Congress Approves Full Year Funding for VA

Congress has approved full-year funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs, a significant achievement in support of veterans.  As the Veterans of Foreign Wars national commander said, “we are glad that Congress agreed and acted on full-year appropriations for the VA, which will allow it to properly plan and execute its numerous programs to better serve wounded, ill and injured veterans, as well as their families and survivors.”

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President Sends Response to Congress on the Commission on Care Report

The Commission on Care was established to help improve the access of veterans to medical services from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  The President’s formal response to the Commission on Care Report has been sent to Congress.  Secretary of the VA Robert McDonald has released a formal statement on the report and on the President’s final assessment.

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VA Urges Congress to Tackle Top Legislative Priorities Affecting Veterans

Veterans Affairs (VA) officials are urging Capitol Hill leaders to pass their department’s fiscal 2017 budget, reform the veteran benefit appeals process and tackle a host of other top legislative priorities affecting vets before time runs out on the current Congressional session at the end of the year.

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Veterans’ Appeals Legislation Moves Forward in Congress

The “VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act of 2016” could significantly improve the ability of veterans to receive more timely and accurate decisions on their claims and appeals for earned benefits.  H.R. 5620, which contains the new appeals framework, would make fundamental changes to the appeals process by creating multiple options to appeal or reconsider claims’ decisions.

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How VA is Working to Redesign the Appeals Process

The VA is proposing to overhaul the process by which veterans can appeal decisions on their benefits claims, to enhance its ability to meet the needs of the nearly 440,000 veterans with currently pending appeals.  Veterans agree that the time has come to fix VA’s appeals process.  VA is working with Congress to modernize the appeals process.

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