VA and the American Legion Express Concern About VA Staff Shortages

During a recent hearing by the House of Representatives Veterans Affairs (VA) Sub-Committee on Health, an American Legion Director spoke about the dangers of staff shortages among physician and medical specialists within the Veterans Health Administration. Similarly, the Department of Veterans Affairs is warning of a rapidly growing backlog for veterans who seek to appeal decisions involving disability benefits.

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VA Finalizes Disability Benefits Plans for Camp Lejeune Contaminant Exposure

Former service members exposed to contaminated water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune over a 35-year period can now apply for veterans disability benefits under new Veterans Affairs’ (VA) regulations.   Diseases covered include multiple myeloma.  VA officials will accept applications from any service member who spent at least 30 cumulative days at the base, whether that service was on active-duty, reserve or National Guard status.  Veterans have a year to file the benefits claims, and if approved will receive payouts from their date of filing.

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Veteran Advocate Organizations Recommend a 10 Percent Boost in the VA Budget

Veterans Affairs (VA) needs a 10 percent boost in funding next year to meet the medical and program needs of the department, according to a coalition of outside advocates.  Budget recommendations for the VA compiled by researchers from the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans and Paralyzed Veterans of America call for an $8 billion boost in the department’s budget next year to match the demand for veterans’ benefits and services.

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Veterans Beating a Silent Killer – Hepatitis C

Studies have shown that Veterans, and in particular those between the age of 45 and 65, are at the highest risk of having the hepatitis C virus.  Veterans Affairs (VA) research has found that several antiviral drug regimens produce dramatically higher cure rates than the older treatment.  The new drug regimens also do not contain interferon, which has troublesome side effects such as fever, fatigue, and low blood counts.  The high cure rate is important since hepatitis C can be a silent killer.  Many people …

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American Legion Commander on Governmental Policies Affecting the VA

In what could be a preview of his upcoming congressional testimony, during a recent press conference the American Legion National Commander fiercely defended the need for a strong Veterans Affairs (VA) system.  Millions of veterans need VA health care, he emphasized, and timely VA health care should be available to all veterans who wish to use it.  He also renewed the Legion’s push for modernization of the disability claims process.

Read more:  http://bit.ly/2lBokst

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VA Statement on the Inspector General’s Review of the Veterans Choice Program

Veterans Affairs (VA) has made significant improvements since the inception of the Veterans Choice Program.  In response to the Office of Inspector General’s review of the program, VA states that they are moving in the right direction, towards an integrated healthcare network that improves Veterans’ healthcare experience.  VA recognizes that even with improvements, more work needs to be done.

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Vietnam Veteran Herbicide Exposure: High Blood Pressure Risk

Veterans Affairs (VA) researchers found a link between service-related occupational exposure to herbicides and high blood pressure (hypertension) risk among a group of Army Chemical Corps veterans assigned to do chemical operations during the Vietnam War. The article includes a link to a free downloadable National Academy of Science report on Veterans and Agent Orange.

Read more: http://bit.ly/2fRpgVh.

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VA and Social Security Partner to Speed Up Disability Decisions for Veterans

Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) launched a new Health IT initiative that enables VA to share medical records electronically with Social Security disability processors. This secure process will save time and money resulting in better service for Veterans and dependents who apply for Social Security disability benefits.

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