Fraud Alert

Fraud Alert

From State Adjutant

There are two gentleman using first names of Stan and Kevin conducting a fundraiser selling small hunting permit stickers for $5.00; who are falsely stating they are representing/raising money for the DAV. THIS IS NOT an authorized fundraiser for the DAV. They are currently operating in the Tulsa and Wagoner County area. Local authorities in Wagoner County have filed/taken reports on these two individuals and appropriate complaints will be filed by the DAV with the State Attorney General’s Office. Should any member be contacted/solicited by these individuals please contact the State Commander or Adjutant immediately.

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 Plans underway to extend post exchange online shopping privileges:

According to an August 16 Military Times article by Karen Jowers, plans are progressing to extend online military exchange shopping privileges to all honorably discharged veterans. The Defense Department’s Executive Resale Board voted unanimously August 9 to recommend the policy change, sources said. Extended shopping privileges would apply only to the exchange system’s online stores, and not the brick-and-mortar facilities located on military installations.
The Defense Department’s Executive Resale Board voted unanimously Aug. 9 to recommend the policy change, sources said. Extended shopping privileges would apply only to the exchange system’s online stores — not brick-and-mortar facilities located on military installations

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 VA provides service dog benefits to veterans with mental health disorders:

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it is piloting a protocol to implement veterinary health benefits for mobility service dogs approved for Veterans with a chronic impairment that substantially limits mobility associated with mental health disorders.
Service dogs are distinguished from pets and comfort animals because they are specially trained to perform tasks or work for a specific individual with a disability who cannot perform the task or accomplish the work independently. To be eligible for the veterinary health benefit, the service dog must be trained by an organization accredited by Assistance Dogs International in accordance with VA regulations.
The VA veterinary service benefit includes comprehensive wellness and sick care (annual visits for preventive care, maintenance care, immunizations, dental cleanings, screenings, etc.), urgent/emergent care, prescription medications, and care for illnesses or disorders when treatment enables the dog to perform its duties in service to the Veteran

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IRS Launches New Website to Help Veterans

The Internal Revenue Service has launched a new site titled “Information for Veterans.” The page is designed to provide timely, federal tax-related information to veterans about tax credits and benefits, free tax preparation, financial education, and asset-building opportunities available to veterans.
IRS and US Department of Veterans Affairs entered into a Memorandum of Understanding in 2015. The primary focus of the MOU is to provide free tax preparation services to Veterans and their families.
Partnering organizations prepare tax returns free for those whose incomes are low to moderate. Also check out the partner Outreach Corner for links to newsletter articles, podcasts, widgets and other electronic products to help reach out to customers with timely tax news they may need. If you represent a Veteran organization that assists other Veterans, why not look further to see how you can become involved?

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• Senate votes to scale back federal job preferences for veterans:

Congress stepped this week into a sensitive issue that’s been quietly roiling the already-challenging hiring system for federal jobs. The Senate version of the vast military policy bill that now heads to conference with the House would knock out one of the advantages veterans enjoy when they apply for federal work. They would continue to get a leg up over non-veterans to get a foot in the door. But once they’re in government and want to be considered for another federal post, they would no longer go to the head of the hiring queue.
The change, approved on Tuesday by the Senate as part of its annual defense policy bill, would apply across government and affect thousands of veterans and their close relatives, who also are able to jump the line over non-veterans.

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• VA’s Gibson cites improvements at Muskogee hospital:

A senior Veterans Affairs official said issues that used to plague veterans’ access to health care are being addressed and improving both here and nationally.
Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan Gibson said his visit Thursday to the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center provided him with a “firsthand sense of what’s going on here at the helm.” Gibson said he liked what he saw.
Gibson said Mark Morgan, the recently appointed director at the center, is “focused on the right stuff.” That “stuff” includes better access to care, improved health-care outcomes, and further development of relationships with stakeholders.
“All indications from everyone is that Mark is visible, open, approachable and receptive,” Gibson said. “But he’s also insisting on performance.”
During his second visit to the facility this year, Gibson praised the medical center for scheduling appointments and providing services within 30 for 95 percent of its veterans. He said 88 percent of veterans were provided health care services within 14 days, and 80 percent had an appointment scheduled within seven days of their initial request for services.
Average wait times for specialty care is seven days, Gibson said, and the wait time for primary care and mental health care has been reduced to an average of five days.

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Oklahoma Fall Hunting and Fishing Show

August 27 – 28, 2016
Chapter 44 will be at the Claremore Expo Center selling raffle tickets for an AR-15 as well as hats.

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Majority of veteran suicides are 50 and older – We still don’t know why:

On July 7, the Veterans Health Administration released new data about veteran suicides, based upon the examination of over 55 million veteran records from 1979 to 2014, from every state in the nation and U.S. territories. While much of the buzz around veteran suicide has focused on veterans emerging out of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, this new report showed that 65 percent of all veterans who died from suicide in 2014 were 50 years of age or older. In fact, 45 percent of veteran suicides in 2014 were aged 60 and older. These are deeply disturbing statistics, especially for those of us in the Vietnam cohort. As the executive director of the Veterans Health Council at Vietnam Veterans of America, veteran suicide is one of my professional and personal interests ever since losing a team member to suicide while on a mission together in northern I Corps, Vietnam.

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Commission on care to propose new vets healthcare system:

According to a June 7 Military Times article by Patricia Kime, a “blue ribbon panel” studying the future of Veterans Affairs health care is poised to recommend an overhaul to the system that would create a structure similar to the Pentagon’s Tricare program, where veterans could choose to use either the VA for their care or see a network provider.
Under the draft of the commission’s final report, all veterans enrolled in VA care would choose a primary care provider at the VA or from a civilian network. The plan would do away with the 30-day and 40-mile restrictions of the Veterans Choice program and create networks of physicians to care for former troops who prefer to see non-VA doctors.
The report also calls for giving some veterans who received other than honorable discharges access to VA health services. Under the draft, troops who have “substantial honorable service” before they got bad paper discharges would be considered for VA health care eligibility.

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VA Secretary provides relief for Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injuries:

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald has granted equitable relief to more than 24,000 Veterans following a national review of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) medical examinations conducted in connection with disability compensation claims processed between 2007 and 2015.
This action by the Secretary allows the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to offer new TBI examinations to Veterans whose initial examination for TBI was not conducted by one of four designated medical specialists and provides them with the opportunity to have their claims reprocessed. Equitable relief is a unique legal remedy that allows the Secretary to correct an injustice to a claimant where VA is not otherwise authorized to do so within the scope of the law.
“Traumatic Brain Injury is a signature injury in Veterans returning from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and VA is proud to be an organization that sets the bar high for supporting these, and all, Veterans,” said Secretary McDonald. “Providing support for Veterans suffering from a TBI is a priority and a privilege, and we must make certain they receive a just and fair rating for their disabilities.”
To ensure that TBI is properly evaluated for disability compensation purposes, VA developed a policy in 2007 requiring that one of four specialists – a psychiatrist, physiatrist, neurosurgeon or neurologist – complete TBI exams when VA does not have a prior diagnosis.

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