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VA Raises Concerns for Vaccine Distribution

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Last week, top officials at the Department of Veterans Health Administration brought up concerns about the distribution of coronavirus vaccines. Dr. Richard Stone, head of the Veterans Health Administration, said that the nation’s largest health care system does not have enough of the vaccine to cover all of its patients and staff. Following the FDA’s approval, the VA planned to administer 73,000 initial doses of the Pfizer vaccine to its patients and staff. The department placed an order for an additional 122,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine. Even with the additional order, it appears the VA will not immediately be […]

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Army Agrees to Review Thousands of Bad Paper Discharges

Monday, December 7, 2020

Earlier this month, a settlement was reached in a lawsuit against the U.S. Army. The settlement would require the branch of the military to review and potentially upgrade thousands of bad paper discharges dating back to April 2011. Bad paper discharges refer to those veterans who received other-than-honorable discharges, which negatively impacts the benefits they are eligible to receive from the VA. The agreement, that is now pending approval by the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, orders the Army Discharge Review Board to reconsider thousands of cases. Many of which, show evidence that the veteran was struggling […]

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Court Rules in Favor of Retroactive Benefits to Blue Water Vietnam Veterans

Friday, December 4, 2020

On Thursday, Nov 12th, a federal judge ruled that the VA must honor the terms of a 1991 settlement and pay retroactive benefits to blue water veterans. The decision will affect thousands of veterans who have previously been denied support from the VA. Stephen Kinnaird, the attorney fighting for this decision, was very excited about the outcome of the case. “It makes a huge difference to veterans and their families,” he said in an interview after the case. Blue water veterans are those who served off the coast of Vietnam but never actually set foot on land. In the decades […]

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The Brian Tally VA Employment Transparency Act Gains Momentum

Friday, November 27, 2020

Marine veteran Brian Tally woke up one morning in 2016 will severe, debilitating back pain. Unable to stand or walk, he immediately sought help at the VA. Though Tally believed otherwise at the time, the specific practice he attended was not that of a VA doctor, but an independent contractor. The doctor made an incorrect diagnosis and denied Tally critical care for months. After Tally and his family were forced to pay out-of-pocket for private care to further investigate his medical problems, it was discovered that he had a life-threatening, bone-eating staph infection that was destroying his spine. “If I […]

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Biden Announces His Team for Veterans Issues

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Despite the Trump campaign’s unwillingness to provide a peaceful transition of power, the Biden team appears to be moving forward in preparation for January 20th. President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team for the Department of Veterans Affairs includes several alumni from the Obama administration. The Trump Administration has declined to offer any transition assistance which extends down to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie who said he will not begin transition work until receiving instruction from the White House. While this lack of support from the departing administration has caused concern among many regarding the functionality of the different departments, Biden has downplayed […]

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Recent Report Highlights Alarming Rates of Insomnia Among Veterans

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

A recent study out of the Department of Veterans Affairs in San Diego found “alarmingly high” rates of insomnia among veterans, especially among those experiencing PTSD and TBIs. First published in June, the Oxford University medical journal’s “Sleep” found in a seven-year study of over 5,500 post 9/11 veterans, 57% had insomnia disorder. These results of the “Sleep” study held true across the different demographics that make up the military such as age, sex, race, even which branch the veteran served in. By comparison, it was noted that the average rate of insomnia among the general adult population is only […]

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Veterans Fight for Agent Orange Benefits in Court

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Last Wednesday, attorney Stephen Kinnaird argued on behalf of veterans in California’s Northern District Court in San Francisco. Kinnaird’s arguments called for the VA to pay retroactive benefits to thousands of Navy veterans who served on ships off the coast of Vietnam, without making the veterans file new claims. These Blue Water Veterans have been previously excluded from the class of veterans that qualify for coverage from the VA for the myriad of health problems tied to Agent Orange. These illnesses include leukemia, lymphoma, throat cancer, and many other diseases. When the Agent Orange Act was passed in 1991, it […]

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Jon Stewart and John Feal Team Up in Support for Service Members Exposed to Toxins

Friday, November 6, 2020

Regardless of what comes out of this extremely close election race, Jon Stewart and John Feal have a plan to move forward with legislation passed in support of service members exposed to toxins. Jon Stewart, comedian and long-time advocate, recently teamed up with John Feal, activist and Army veteran, to voice their support and enact change for these veterans. Their focus: veterans exposed to burn pits. The fight for these veterans has been a long an arduous one. The case has been made on Capitol Hill time and time again by the same experts, all of which have supported benefits […]

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Two New Laws Approved By Trump Designed to Help Veterans with Mental Health Issues and Prevent Suicide

Friday, October 30, 2020

Two major pieces of legislation were signed by President Donald Trump last Saturday. Both address the problem of suicide among veterans. However, certain provisions of the new laws had been stripped before they reached the president’s desk, leaving advocates unsatisfied. The first law, dubbed the Cmdr. John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act, will require that the VA hire additional suicide prevention coordinators and award grants to organizations that focus on mental health issues among veterans. Frequently pressured for flexibility in awarding funds to such community organizations, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie praised the legislation. In a press release […]

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In an Abrupt Move, the VA is Eliminating its in-house Compensation and Pension Exam Program

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Compensation and pension exams, commonly referred to as C&P exams, play a pivotal role in the determination of a given veteran’s eligibility for VA benefits. The VA’s announcement to outsource the entirety of these exams comes amidst a pandemic and a rapidly growing backlog of requests, which causes growing concerns for advocates and support groups. Representative Elain Luria of Virginia voiced her concerns in a letter to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie on Tuesday, stating that the new plan was developed with no notice to Congress. “For many veterans, thorough and accurate C&P examinations are crucial to securing service-connected benefits,” she […]

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