Congress Finalizes Overhaul of Veterans Affairs Appeals Reform

House lawmakers have finalized reforms regarding how veterans disability appeals claims are handled, potentially trimming years off the process once the changes are put in place. The appeals reform measure was previously passed by the Senate. A key veterans group called the initiative a chance to enhance veterans rights, modernize and expedite the veterans appeals process, and ultimately reduce costs through greater efficiency.

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Veterans Affairs (VA) Launches the Ask a Pharmacist Web Application

Do you have questions about your medications? Now, VA has a new web application (app) that can help. VA launched the Ask a Pharmacist app, which provides an easy way to find answers to questions VA pharmacists regularly hear from patients. You can access the app on your smartphone, tablet, desktop computer or any device with an Internet connection.

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Many Veterans Strongly Desire Continued Medicaid Benefits

There are about 22 million veterans in the U.S. But fewer than half gettheirhealth care through the Veterans Affairs system. Some dont qualify for various reasons or may live too far from a VA facility to easily get primary health care there.Many vets instead rely on Medicaid for their health insurance and strongly desire continued Obamacare Medicaid benefits.

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VA to use Defense Department’s Electronic Medical Records System

Veterans Affairs has announced plans to shift veterans electronic medical records to the same system used by the Defense Department, potentially ending historic problems in sharing information between the two bureaucracies. VA Secretary Shulkin announced the decision as a game-changing move that will create an easier to navigate system for veterans.

Read more at http://bit.ly/2r1pE9Z and view VA Secretary Shulkin’s announcement video at http://bit.ly/2qQzXNQ.

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Veterans Complaint Hotline Activated

The Presidents promised hotline for veteran complaints has officially launched. The phone line (855-948-2311) is designed to collect, process and respond to the complaints of individual veterans in a responsive, timely and accountable manner, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. VA Secretary Shulkin described the initial roll out of the line as a soft launch, with live-answer agents receiving and processing some of the calls. By Aug. 15, the hotline will have continuous coverage from a live operator 24 hours a day, every day …

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VA Extends Review of Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers

Veterans Affairs is extending its strategic review of the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers to make sure everyone — from Veterans and their caregivers to VA employees who work with them — has clear guidance on enrollment criteria for the program.  VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin said “Our Caregiver Support Program is making a difference in the lives of our Veterans and the caregivers who support them, and we want to make sure the program is operating in the best way for them, …

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Veterans Affairs Caregiver Support Program

Caregivers play an important role in the health and well-being of Veterans. Rehabilitation after a serious injury or during a chronic illness can be a lengthy and confusing process that may leave Veterans and their family caregivers feeling isolated and adrift in an uncertain sea. VA’s Caregiver Program can be a life raft during such periods. The program aims to support caregivers who in turn support Veterans in ways VA cannot.  Recently, VA Secretary Shulkin initiated a review of the National Caregiver Support Program “to …

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VA Disability Claims Backlog Rising. VA Secretary Optimistic About Recovery

The number of backlogged veterans benefits claims is rising again. Veterans Affairs says it’s only a temporary problem and that it will be brought back down in coming weeks.  It is because some resources and personnel were shifted to handle the significant number of veteran benefit appeals cases.  In a National Public Radio interview, VA Secretary Shulkin said that VA “is on a path toward recovery”.

Read more: http://bit.ly/2nQONFo  AND  http://n.pr/2ogM8FL

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VA to Provide Disability Benefits for Diseases Related to Camp Lejeune Exposures

Veterans Affairs (VA) has published regulations to establish presumptions for the service connection of eight diseases, including multiple myeloma, associated with exposure to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.  The presumption of service connection applies to active duty, reserve and National Guard members who served at Camp Lejeune for a minimum of 30 days (cumulative) between Aug. 1, 1953 and Dec. 31, 1987.

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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.

Read more:  http://bit.ly/2iHNd7u

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