Previous versions of the DAV Claims program CSO’s are now obsolete. Oklahoma CSO’s should contact the Department Commander or State Adjutant to make arrangements for distribution of the updated program.
The US Environmental Protection Agency is offering a Free three week job training program in water and wast water operator fiel, as well as basic OSHA certifications. Below are a few of the requirements for this free training:
18 years or older – High School Grad or GED – US Citizen – Pass Drug Test – Pass Federal Background check – Read, Speak and Write English
For more info please contact William Clark or Mark Boydstun at 405-733-7488
The SEC will be held on March 15th from 0900-1500 at the:
BEST WESTERN PLUS Saddleback Inn & Conference Center
4300 SW 3rd Street, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73108-1024, USA
Phone: 405-947-7000 Fax: 405-948-7636 Toll-Free: 800-228-3903
New Online GI Bill® ComparisonTool Available
Will Help Users of Post-9/11 GI Bill Become More Informed Consumers
WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs launched today an online GI Bill® Comparison Tool to make it easier for Veterans, Service members and dependents to calculate their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits and learn more about VA’s approved colleges, universities and other education and training programs across the country.
“We are pleased that Post-9/11 Veterans are taking advantage of this significant benefit program,” said Under Secretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey. “The new GI Bill Comparison Tool will help future beneficiaries as they make decisions about what education or training program best fits their needs.”
The GI Bill Comparison Tool provides key information about college affordability and brings together information from more than 17 different online sources and three federal agencies, including the number of students receiving VA education benefits at each school.
The GI Bill Comparison Tool is one item in a series of resources VA is launching in response to President Obama’s Executive Order 13607, which directs agencies to implement and promote “Principles of Excellence” for education institutions that interact with Veterans, Service members and their families; and to ensure beneficiaries have the information they need to make educated choices about VA education benefits and approved programs. Recently, VA also instituted a GI Bill online complaint system, designed to collect feedback from Veterans, Service members and their families who are experiencing problems with educational institutions receiving funding from Federal military and Veterans educational benefits programs, including benefits programs provided by the Post-9/11 GI Bill and the DoD Military Tuition Assistance Program.
The executive order, signed April 27, 2012, directs federal agencies to provide meaningful cost and quality information on schools, prevent deceptive recruiting practices and provide high-quality academic and student support services. VA works closely with partner institutions to ensure the needs of GI Bill beneficiaries are met. More than 5,000 education institutions have agreed to the Principles of Excellence.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill is a comprehensive education benefit created by Congress in 2008. In general, Veterans and Service members who have served on active duty for 90 or more days since Sept. 10, 2001 are eligible. Since 2009, VA has distributed over $30 billion in the form of tuition and other education-related payments to more than one million Veterans, Service members and their families, and to the universities, colleges and trade schools they attend.
The GI Bill Comparison Tool can be found at: http://benefits.va.gov/gibill/comparison
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 29, 2014
Automation Speeds Benefits Processing for Post-9/11 GI Bill Students
Students see improvement in turn-around time for education claims
WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) decreased the time it takes to process requests for GI Bill and other education benefits for returning students by nearly 50 percent compared to fiscal year 2012. VA attributes the faster process in large part to improved claims automation that uses rules-based, industry-standard technologies to deliver Veterans’ benefits.
“We are happy to report that our students are seeing a reduction in the amount of time it takes to process their education claims thanks to an automated, digital process making it easier for Veterans, Servicemembers and their families to attend post-secondary education and enroll for continuing semesters,” said Under Secretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey. “This automation has not only improved education benefits processing, it has allowed us to shift resources to other priorities, like improving timeliness of disability compensation decisions. It’s a great example of how technology is helping us to transform the way we do business and better serve Veterans.”
The Post-9/11 GI Bill builds on the great legacy of the original GI Bill, giving Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans and their families the opportunity to reach their educational goals, find a good job and improve their lives. The automation technology, part of VA’s Post-9/11GI Bill processing system called “Long Term Solution” (LTS), was implemented in September 2012. This technology has more than 1,700 calculations and rules that support benefits delivery for eligible Veterans, Servicemembers, and dependents. Up to six distinct payments per beneficiary can be calculated automatically per term, including: housing, books and supplies stipend, tuition and fees and Yellow Ribbon payments.
In addition, a variety of different types of education and training programs are supported by the automated technology, including: graduate, undergraduate, non-college degree, correspondence, licensing and certification, apprenticeship and on-the-job training.
The improvement in timeliness was achieved despite a 27 percent increase in incoming education claims – 3.4 million in fiscal year 2013 compared to 2.7 million the prior year. Currently, VA is processing initial claims for new students in an average of less than 20 days, and supplemental claims for returning students in less than 8 days, down from 33 days and 16 days respectively since LTS was first fielded.
VA has provided more than $35.6 billion in Post-9/11 GI Bill benefit payments to over 1.1 million Veterans, Servicemembers, and their families, and to the universities, colleges, and trade schools they attend. In 2014, VA will continue to improve education benefits delivery, through additional automation, tracking of beneficiary graduation rates, and the release of new tools to help beneficiaries best utilize VA education benefits, including the Choosing a School Guide, and CareerScope.
For more information about VA education benefits, visit www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.
What: Recruit Military Veteran Career Fair – Oklahoma City
Where: Chevrolet Bricktown Events Center
425 East California
Oklahoma City, OK 73104
When: Thursday, January 30th, 2014 from 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Why: To change the lives of veterans and their families by connecting them with companies that value their talent and experience.
Click on the link below for more info………
The Department of Veterans Affairs has added five illnesses to service-connected traumatic brain injuries (TBI). What this means is veterans who have those illnesses as well as TBI will have an easier time getting additional disability benefits. The VA based its decision on a report by the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine that found “sufficient evidence” to link moderate to severe TBI with five secondary conditions: Parkinson’s disease; certain types of dementia; depression; unprovoked seizures; and certain diseases of the hypothalamus and pituitary glands. These secondary illnesses will be considered service-connected and won’t require medical opinions to establish whether there is correlation to TBI.
There’s a time period for three of the five illnesses, however.
Parkinson’s disease or unprovoked seizures don’t have a time frame:
Dementia, if it manifests within 15 years with moderate or severe TBI
Depression, if it manifests within three years with moderate or severe TBI, or within 12 months with mild TBI.
Diseases of hormone deficiency from hypothalamo-pituitary changes, if they manifest within 12 months of moderate or severe TBI.
Even if you don’t meet the guidelines for severity of TBI or length of time between TBI and the onset of the secondary illness, file your claim anyway.
o Congress Vows to Fix Military Pension Cuts, But Faces Dilemma:
From an article by Jeremy Herb in The Hill, posted January 2: House and Senate leaders face a dilemma, when they return in January amid a bipartisan backlash over cuts to military pensions. Lawmakers from both parties are demanding the quick repeal of military retirement cuts, included in last month’s two-year budget deal. A flurry of bills have been introduced in both chambers to remove the s$6 billion cut to the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for working-age military retirees, and service member and veterans organizations plan a major lobbying push when Congress return
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Kelly Ferguson
December 19, 2013 202-225-2132
Washington, DC—Representative James Lankford (R-OK) announced today that he has filed H.R. 3787 to repeal the recent change to cost-of-living-adjustments (COLA) for military retirement benefits in the Ryan-Murray Budget Agreement.
“Earlier today, I introduced a bill that repeals the change made to the cost-of-living adjustments for military retirees in the Ryan-Murray budget, while preserving the important deficit reductions,” said Lankford.
“It was clear in the final hours of 2013 that if we did not resolve the budget impasse, we would see major cuts in active duty military, large-scale furloughs and reductions in readiness and force strength starting in January 2014. However, the imperfect agreement also included a reduction in the military retiree COLA starting in 2016. The inclusion of this provision forced every Member of Congress to choose between current military readiness or supporting our military retirees; you could not have both. Now that the military readiness component has been resolved in the budged agreement, it is time to fix the military retiree benefit before it is scheduled to change in 2016.”
Lankford’s bill would instruct the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs to pursue joint purchasing contracts for prescription drugs. DOD and VA have tested joint purchasing in the past to get the best price for their patients and also save the VA $660 million in 2005, alone. This change in purchasing policy would more than offset the savings from the change in military retiree COLA changes.
The bill also ensures that Members of Congress, who retire before the age of 62, will not receive a COLA increase before they hit retirement age. Congress should never ask Americans to accept policies they are not willing to shoulder first.
“This bill reverses the changes made to retirement pay for veterans, cuts the retirement of Members of Congress and reduces obvious waste in federal contracting,” continued Lankford. “Pursuing these common-sense policies is in the best interest of our military families and taxpayers. We cannot ignore the problems we face from our $17 trillion national debt. But we should not ask our active duty military or military retirees to face cuts in their personal pay while there is so much obvious waste in the federal system.
“Changes to military retirement should always be the last resort, not the first resort. All areas were not explored to protect military retirees during the budget process, and it is time to correct that right now,” concluded Lankford.
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