An act relating to criminal procedure; granting courts authority to consider posttraumatic stress disorder as a mitigating factor when sentencing veterans; directing defendants to provide certain evidence; defining term; providing for codeification; and providing an effective date of November 1,
While I feel certain that most veterans receiving disability and/or retirement income are aware of the fact that they will receive an increase in 2017 Military retirees and individuals receiving veterans benefits will see only a 0.3 percent cost-of-living increase in their federal benefits next year and some are wondering how much their increase will be. If you receive $1,200 per month in federal benefits, your increase will be $3.60 per month. So while you will receive $3.60 under the above scenario, the individuals you elected will receive $19.20 using the above monthly compensation of $1,200.
Express Scripts, Inc. (ESI) announced upcoming changes to the retail pharmacy network it manages on behalf of TRICARE. On December 1, 2016, Walgreens pharmacy locations will join the network. CVS pharmacies, including those in Target stores, will leave the network on the same day. If beneficiaries chose to fill a prescription at CVS after December 1, it will be a non-network pharmacy. This means they will have to pay the full cost of the medication upfront, and file for partial reimbursement
H.R.6272 — VA Provider Pay Modernization Act of 2016. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to increase the maximum market pay of physicians and dentists in the Veterans Health Administration who work in health professional shortage areas, and for other purpose.
H.R.6003 — Protecting Our Veterans From School Closures Act. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide veterans affected by school closures certain relief and restoration of educational benefits, and for other purposes.
H.R.6089 — Financial Independence for Disabled Veterans Act of 2016. A bill to authorize members and former members of the uniformed services who are entitled to veterans disability compensation to continue to participate in the Thrift Savings Plan through the deduction and deposit of a percentage of their veterans disability compensation to the Thrift Savings Fund
Veteran Related Bills Recently Introduced in the Senate:
S.3447 — Vietnam Helicopter Crew Memorial Act. A bill to direct the Secretary of the Army to place in Arlington National Cemetery a memorial honoring the helicopter pilots and crew members of the Vietnam era, and for other purposes.
S.3434 — Violence Against Women Veterans Act. A bill to require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to improve the provision of services and benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs for veterans who experience domestic violence or sexual assault and for other purposes,
S.3403 — Serving our Rural Veterans Act of 2016. A bill to authorize payment by the Department of Veterans Affairs for the costs associated with service by medical residents and interns at facilities operated by Indian tribes, tribal organizations, and the Indian Health Service, to require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out a pilot program to expand medical residencies and internships at such facilities, and for other purposes.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain told veterans groups this week that he’ll oppose controversial plans to limit federal hiring preferences for individuals with military experience, an advantage advocates argue is critical in helping them find employment.
Earlier this year, Senate lawmakers approved a draft of the annual defense authorization bill which included limiting veteran’s preference in federal hiring procedures to a one-time use. Veterans who applied for a second federal job or a transfer from their first position would be evaluated by hiring officials as just another civilian federal worker under the plan.
In a letter to the American Legion, McCain — Arizona’s senior Republican senator — said given the opposition from their leadership and other veterans groups, he will work to remove the provision from the final draft of the authorization bill.
applicable federal law, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined One Hundred Dollars
($100.00) One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) or be imprisoned in the county jail for a period of not more than six (6) months or both.
B. If a decoration or medal involved in an offense under subsection A of this section is a Congressional Medal of Honor, the offender shall upon conviction be guilty of a felony and fined an amount not to exceed Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) or be imprisoned in the county jail for a period of not more than one (1) year, or both.
C. If a person presents any falsified or altered document as proof of service or authorization for decoration or medal, such person shall be guilty of a felony and fined an amount not to exceed
Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) or be imprisoned in the county jail for a period of not more than one (1) year.
BILL NO. 398
SUBJECT: Interment assistance for veterans – shall become effective January 1, 2017.
The Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs shall establish a program to provide assistance for the proper interment or cremation of honorably discharged indigent veterans of the United States Armed Forces. The program shall aid in obtaining any available burial benefits from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or through private organizations. The program shall provide for a burial grant for any indigent veteran or any person who qualifies for financial assistance as determined by the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs. Maximum reimbursement shall not exceed Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) per indigent veteran.
A service member’s military retired pay can be a valuable asset in a divorce, legal separation or dissolution of marriage. In 1982 Congress passed the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act, which allows state courts to treat disposable retired pay either as property solely of the member, or as property of the member and his spouse in accordance with the laws of the state court. Contrary to popular belief, there is no “magic formula” contained in the act to determine the appropriate division of retired pay. A state court can divide retired pay in any way it chooses (subject to the laws of that state). All 50 states treat military pension as marital or community property
Sometimes the most difficult conversations to have are the most important, like helping your loved ones be prepared for when you die. Talking to your family about this topic beforehand is a way to show that you care, and it will help to ease the financial burdens they may face. Following are 6 things you should brief your beneficiaries on:
First. Make sure you understand what an (AOP) beneficiary is and the nature of the benefit to which they are entitled.
Second. Tell your beneficiaries who they are! Hopefully, you’ve designated your beneficiaries for any (AOP) that may be due. When no beneficiary is named, the payment is made to the highest person in what is known as the “Order of Precedence.” The Order or Precedence is the federally mandated order of inheritance that applies to legacies without a designated beneficiary.
Third. Let your beneficiary know that sometimes money that has already been deposited into your checking account needs to be returned to DFAS. Military retired pay is only payable for as long as you are alive. Entitlement to your military retirement ends when you die.
Fourth. Tell your beneficiaries what documents they will need to send in to make their claim. One copy of the death certificate that includes the manner of death needs to be sent to us. Also, each beneficiary should complete a Claim for Unpaid Compensation (SF 1174).
Fifth. Let your beneficiaries know that sometimes there is no money due. Each situation is different. It depends how up to date the account was kept. You can make sure your account is in good standing by performing a yearly audit.
Sixth. When an arrears payment is made, there is a statement on the check that reads, “Retired Pay Payable only during life of Payee.” Please do not let this statement alarm your beneficiaries. As long as the beneficiary’s name is accurate on the check, the check can be cashed.
Senior executives from a major U.S. defense contractor toured China last month as part of their search for a foreign company to build a dry dock for U.S. Navy ships, with the help of the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. The trip raised eyebrows both inside the Pentagon and among experts who don’t believe a Chinese company should be involved in U.S. military-related projects. The company, Ingalls Shipbuilding, is a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, which advertises itself as “America’s largest military shipbuilding company” and has
built more U.S. Navy ships than any other military shipbuilder. Ingalls is based in Mississippi. The problem is, it needs a new dry dock to build ships there and says there are no American companies that can do it. So Ingalls is looking abroad for help
Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) is pushing legislation to protect the credit ratings of military veterans with unpaid medical bills. Donnelly said 7 SEP that veterans can be “wrongly penalized” when the Department of Veterans Affairs is slow to pay for health care they receive from non-VA physicians. Such delays “can create a financial hardship for some veterans and even damage credit scores,” Donnelly, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told reporters in a conference call. Donnelly is the Senate sponsor of the Protecting Veterans Credit Act, which would impose a 1-year delay on the reporting of medical debt to credit agencies for veterans who access health care through the Veterans Choice Program. The delay would begin when a debt collector contacts the veteran. Under the Veterans Choice Program, VA is to reimburse non-VA physicians to care for veterans who must wait at least 30 days for a VA appointment or who live more than 40 miles from a VA clinic or hospital.
House co-sponsors include Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) , Roscoe Butler, deputy director for health care for the American Legion, said during Wednesday’s conference call that veterans should “not have to worry about whether VA has paid the bill timely.” Veterans’ credit ratings can be “destroyed,” Butler said, “because of VA’s slow payment process. That is wrong.” Donnelly said he does not know how many veterans have been adversely affected by tardy reimbursements from the Veterans Choice Program, although he said “one is too many.” “The VA should take care of this, and it shouldn’t ever even get to the point where this act, that we hope will become law, has to even be needed,” Donnelly told reporters. “It’s clearly something the VA should be handling, and we’re going to stay after them to get it right,” he said.
There are several instances known by me where either a veteran or an active duty individual went to a private doctor at the request of the VA for specific tests and the VA took 6 months to pay the bill