More Lawsuits Filed Against VA Over New Claims System

In a lawsuit filed this week with the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Disabled American Veterans say that a new claims system the VA adopted in March “severely undercuts the non-adversarial, pro-veteran principles upon which the veterans’ benefits system was built. In particular, the VA alters decades-long pro-veterans practices under the guise…

Mental Health Care for Veterans

Veterans eligible for VA medical care may apply for general mental health treatment including specialty services such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and substance abuse treatment. Contact the nearest VA health care facility to apply. VA’s Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers Program entitles the designated Family Caregiver access to mental health. These services may be offered at the VA and/or…

Locked in a VA Clinic…Talk About Long Wait Times

“Never leave anyone behind” is a mantra members of the military know very well. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always get applied, as was evidenced when a veteran was left locked in a waiting room in a VA hospital on Monday. Jeff Duck, a Marine Corps veteran, went to the VA Outpatient Clinic in Volusia County, Florida, to see a doctor about…

Prosthetic and Sensory Aids for Veterans

Veterans receiving VA care for any condition may receive VA prosthetic appliances, equipment and services, such as home respiratory therapy, artificial limbs, orthopedic braces and therapeutic shoes, wheelchairs, powered mobility, crutches, canes, walkers, special aids, appliances, optical and electronic devices for visual impairment and other durable medical equipment and supplies. Veterans who are approved for a guide or service dog may also receive service…

Filing a Claim for Non-VA Care

The VA may authorize veterans to receive care at a non-VA health care facility when the needed services are not available at the VA health care facility, or when the veteran is unable to travel the distance to the VA health care facility, or in the case of an emergency. Non-VA care must be authorized by VA in advance. Veterans may also…

Agent Orange Registry Health Exam for Veterans

The VA’s Agent Orange Registry health exam alerts veterans to possible long-term health problems that may be related to Agent Orange exposure during their military service. The registry data helps VA understand and respond to these health problems more effectively. Contact your local VA Environmental Health Coordinator about getting an Agent Orange Registry health exam. About the Agent Orange Registry Health Exam…

VA Bereavement Counseling

VA Vet Centers provide bereavement counseling to all family members including spouses, children, parents, and siblings of Servicemembers who die while on active duty. This includes federally activated members of the National Guard and reserve components. Bereavement services may be accessed by calling (202) 461-6530. Bereavement Counseling related to Veterans: Bereavement counseling is available through any Veterans Health Administration medical center to immediate…

Financial Assessment to Receive VA Disability Benefits

Most veterans not receiving VA disability compensation or pension payments must provide information on their gross annual household income and net worth to determine whether they are below the annually adjusted financial thresholds. VA is currently not enrolling new applicants who decline to provide financial information unless they have a special eligibility factor exempting them from disclosure. VA’s income thresholds are located on…

Veterans Group Provides Free Legal Representation to Fight VA Denials

If you have had a benefits claim appeal wrongly rejected by the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA), the highest administrative review authority within the VA, the next step gets much trickier. That’s because in order to appeal a BVA decision, you have to exit the VA and take it to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. If you…

In Fight Against Backlog, VA Shows Signs of Progress

The Department of Veterans Affairs is finally starting to show signs of progress in reducing the stubborn backlog of claims pending for 125 days or more. At the beginning of July, the VA was reporting a backlog of 536,400 cases. That is still much higher than it was when Eric Shinseki took the Secretary of Veterans Affairs job in 2009.…