Thursday, January 30, 2014 / VA News

As part of its ongoing transformation from paper-based to electronic claims processing, the Department of Veterans Affairs has continued to improve the automated payment of benefits for Veterans participating in the Post-9/11 GI Bill education program. As a result, VA is now providing benefit payments to currently enrolled students in an average of six days – cutting by more than half the processing time experienced during the spring enrollment period last year.

TRICARE Over-the-Counter Demonstration Program Extended Until 2016

Wednesday, January 15, 2014 / VA News

TRICARE Over-the-Counter Demonstration Program Extended Until 2016...TRICARE beneficiaries may continue to receive select over-the-counter medications at no cost to them until Nov. 30, 2016. The Department of Defense has extended the Over-the-Counter Medication Demonstration Project (OTC Demo) to allow more time to determine its effectiveness. The OTC Demo began in 2009 and was scheduled to end November here for full article

FACT SHEET: Highlights of the Chairman’s Mark-Up NDAA 2014

Wednesday, January 15, 2014 / Legislative News

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2014 is the key mechanism to provide necessary authorities and funding for America’s military. This is the fifty-second consecutive NDAA. Chairman McKeon’s Mark meets our Committee’s goal of providing for a strong defense in an era of uncertain and declining resources. The total amount authorized reflects the will of the House to provide our troops the resources they need to meet a dangerous world. However, the Chairman also recognizes that twin impacts of rapid defense cuts and FY13 sequestration, will force our warfighters to be not only keen stewards of our national security, but also the taxpayer dollar. To that end, the proposal supports and protects our warfighters and their families; addresses ongoing and emerging conflicts with resolve and accountability; protects America today while preparing for future threats; and finally controls costs while making wise choices with restrained resources. The House Armed Services Committee will meet at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, June

New Rates for Compensation and Pension Benefits in 2014

Wednesday, January 1, 2014 / VA News

WASHINGTON – Veterans, their families and survivors receiving disability compensation and pension benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs will receive a 1.5 percent cost-of-living increase in their monthly payments beginning Jan. 1, 2014. “We’re pleased there will be another cost-of-living increase for Veterans, their families and their survivors,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “The increase expresses in a tangible way our Nation’s gratitude for the sacrifices made by our service-disabled and wartime Veterans.” FULL ARTICLE, CLICK HERE.

VA to Expand Benefits for Traumatic Brain Injury

Monday, December 16, 2013 / VA News

WASHINGTON – Some Veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI) who are diagnosed with any of five other ailments will have an easier path to receive additional disability pay under new regulations developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The new regulation, which takes effect 30 days from today, impacts some Veterans living with TBI who also have Parkinson’s disease, certain types of dementia, depression, unprovoked seizures or certain diseases of the hypothalamus and pituitary glands.

“We decide Veterans’ disability claims based on the best science available,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “As scientific knowledge advances, VA will expand its programs to ensure Veterans receive the care and benefits they’ve earned and deserve.”


Thursday, December 5, 2013 / Legislative News

WASHINGTON -- Senator Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Committee on Armed Services, and Ranking Member Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., announced today that the committee has completed its markup of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014. The committee voted 23-3 to report the bill, which authorizes funding for the Department of Defense (DOD) and the national security programs of the Department of Energy (DOE). “This bipartisan bill provides for our nation’s defense and upholds our obligations to our men and women in uniform and their families. The committee adopted important measures to address readiness problems caused by sequestration and to require the Department of Defense to cut costs and operate more efficiently” Levin said.

Hagel Details Defense 'Plan B' if Sequestration Continues

Friday, November 1, 2013 / Legislative News

If sequestration continues into fiscal year 2014, the Defense Department will be forced to consider involuntary reductions-in-force for the civilian workforce, draconian cuts to military personnel accounts and a virtual halt to military modernization, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a letter to Senate leaders July 10. The senators had requested detailed information on how continued sequestration could affect the military.

n the letter, Hagel detailed the "Plan B" the department must confront if Congress does not pass legislation that averts sequestration in fiscal 2014. If the process continues, DOD will be forced to cut $52 billion more from the budget that year. Hagel stressed in the letter that he fully supports President Barack Obama's fiscal 2014 budget request and noted that if sequestration remains in effect, "the size, readiness and technological superiority of our military will be reduced, placing at much greater risk the country's ability to meet our current national security commitments."