Ahead of Memorial Day the US House passed the following

The House passed the following bills:
 
H.R. 1972, VA Billing Accountability Act, as amended: H.R. 1972 authorizes VA to waive copayment requirements when the veteran is not billed in a timely manner.

H.R. 3642 , Military SAVE Act, as amended: H.R. 3642 would require VA to carry out a pilot program to furnish community care to veterans who have experienced military sexual trauma.

H.R. 3832, Veterans Opioid Abuse Prevention Act, as amended: H.R. 3832 would allow for the greater sharing of information between VA and State-based prescription drug monitoring programs.

H.R. 3946, To name the Department of Veterans Affairs community-based outpatient clinic in Statesboro, Georgia, the “Ray Hendrix VeteransClinic”

H.R. 4245, Veterans’ Electronic Health Record Modernization Oversight Act of 2017: H.R. 4245 would strengthen Congressional oversight of VA’s electronic health record modernization program.

H.R. 4830, SIT-REP Act, as amended: H.R. 4830 would require that in order for a school or training program to be approved for GI Bill benefits they must adopt a policy that disallows the school or training program from imposing a late fee, denial of access to facilities or other penalty against the veteran or eligible dependent due to a late payment from VA. This would only apply if the payments have not been received within 90 days of the beginning of the term and the Secretary would have the authority to waive this requirement.

H.R. 4958, Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2018: H.R. 4958 would provide a cost-of-living adjustment for veterans disability, additional compensation for dependents, dependency and indemnity, and clothing allowance for certain disabled veterans.

H.R. 5044, Service-Disabled Veterans Small Business Continuation Act: H.R. 5044 would address a technical issue that has arisen from legislation that was passed last Congress related to rules for surviving spouses’ ability to claim service disabled veteran owned small business (SDVOSB) status for the Vets First contracting program.

H.R. 5215, Veterans Affairs Purchase Card Misuse Mitigation Act: H.R. 5215 would strengthen controls over government purchase card misuse.

H.R. 5418, Veterans Affairs Medical-Surgical Purchasing Stabilization Act, as amended:H.R. 5418 would reform the VA Medical Surgical Prime Vendor (MSPV) purchase program.

S. 1282, To redesignate certain clinics of the Department of Veterans Affairs located in Montana

H.R. 4334, Improving Oversight of Women Veterans’ Care Act of 2017: H.R. 4334 would require VA to submit reports on access to gender-specific care in the community and environment of care standards for women veterans.

H.R. 3663, To designate the medical center of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Huntington, West Virginia, as the Hershel “Woody” Williams VA Medical Center

H.R. 4451, Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Programs Reauthorization Act of 2018, as amended: H.R. 4451 would reauthorize the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP) as well as the Homeless Women Veterans and Homeless Veterans With Children Reintegration Grant Program (HVRP-W) for five years. The bill would also clarify eligibility for both programs to include incarcerated veterans and veterans using a HUD-VASH voucher.

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• Homeless vets update – H.R. 4898; Keeping Our Commitment to End Vet Homelessness

This legislation, H.R. 4898, focused on ending homelessness among our nation’s veterans, would extend current authorities that assist veterans and their families with preventing or overcoming issues that may lead to homelessness. Specifically, the bill would extend existing provisions to ensure: • Homeless veterans’ reintegration programs provided by the Department of Labor are available, including child care services that allow veterans responsible for caring for minor dependents to participate. • Referral and counseling services for certain veterans at risk of homelessness; • Treatment and rehabilitation services for seriously mentally ill and homeless veterans; • Housing assistance for homeless veterans; • Financial assistance for supportive services for very low-income veteran families in permanent housing; • Continuation of the grant program for homeless veterans with special needs; and • Continued authority for the Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans.

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• Vet farmers – Farmer Veteran Opportunity Act of 2018

The Farmer Veteran Opportunity Act of 2018 expands support for veterans in agriculture. Introduced by leaders of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow and Chairman Pat Roberts, the legislation ensures all new veterans are eligible for support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture The bill also makes risk management tools like crop insurance more affordable, expands access to land and capital, and prioritizes training and education opportunities for veterans. Specifically, this legislation:
• Streamlines eligibility requirements to allow all new veterans to n benefit from support.
• Makes risk management tools more affordable and accessible for farmer veterans.
• Improves access to loans and land for veterans starting and expanding their farms.
• Prioritizes veteran farmers in training and education programs to help them start and expand their business

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• VA Vet Choice update – House VAC approves plan to prevent shutdown:

A House committee approved a wide-ranging plan 8 MAY to give veterans more freedom to see doctors outside the Veterans Affairs health system and fix a budget crisis in its troubled Choice private-sector program, a major step toward fulfilling President Donald Trump’s promise to expand private care options. The $51 billion plan includes $5.2 billion to avert a catastrophic shutdown of Choice.
The plan, passed 20-2 by the House Veterans Affairs Committee, would mean that veterans could see private doctors at taxpayer expense when VA medical centers are unable to provide timely treatment or the care is deemed inadequate. Still, it may take years to assess the full impact on veterans who turn to private doctors over governmentrun VA care, due to uncertainty in how the rules will be interpreted and how VA determines what “quality” care is. Separately, the House Appropriations Committee chaired by Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) passed a $194.5 billion funding plan for the VA in the next budget year beginning 1 OCT, an increase of $9 billion from the previous year. The proposal, which includes money for mental health services and a revamp of the VA’s electronic health records, will need to be approved by the full House and Senate.

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• Shoulder-fired weapon use impact

Military personnel who have trained with heavy weaponry may have been exposed to blasts that cause traumatic brain injury, a newly published study claims. Emerging evidence presented in a May Center for New American Security report suggests that extensive use of shoulder-fired weapons like the Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle, the M72 LAW or the AT4 exposes service members to “overpressure” of the brain, the effect when a blast wave traveling faster than thespeed of sound causes a ripple of the skull, generating additional pressure on the brain.

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• Arlington National Cemetery – m burial rules changing

The first glimpse of the FY 2019 National Defense Authorization Act includes a directive that the Secretary of the Army, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, to take steps to extend the life of Arlington as an active cemetery by revising interment criteria. The new criteria for in-ground burials must be established by Sept. 30, 2019. The issue is gaining steam because of the limited remaining years for new burials.
For those who want to take a deeper dive into the statutes defining eligibility, check out the following articles:
• Eligibility for interment in Arlington National Cemetery
• Eligibility for inurnment in Arlington National Cemetery
• Eligibility for interment of cremated remains in the Arlington National Cemetery Unmarked Area

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Veterans Employment and Child Care Access Act of 2018

Multiple studies and surveys reveal that a significant barrier for veterans seeking VA services is lack of child care.  The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is not authorized to provide child care assistance or services, with the exception of a limited number of pilot programs and many veterans with children find it difficult to access to VA health care, mental health services, benefits, training and educational services.

S. 2565- the Veteran Employment and Child Care Access Act of 2018 introduced by Senator Tammy Duckworth (IL), would require the VA Secretary to provide child care assistance to an eligible veteran for any period that the veteran receives training or rehabilitation services under the following VA programs:  job counseling, training, and placement services; therapeutic and rehabilitative activities; homeless veterans reintegration programs; and homeless veterans with children reintegration programs.

In accordance with DAV Resolution No. 001, we support S. 2565 which would provide child care assistance to many service-disabled veterans-vastly improving their ability to successfully complete training, rehabilitative, and education programs.

Please use the prepared electronic letter or draft your own to urge your Senators to support and cosponsor S. 2565-the Veteran Employment and Child Care Access Act of 2018.

Your commitment and advocacy helps make DAV a highly influential and effective organization in Washington.  Thank you for all you do for America’s veterans and their families.

Take Action

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Decision Ready Claims

Please check out these documents to find out if Decision Ready Claims are right for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information please contact your local OKDAV service officer, a complete list of Oklahoma Service Officers can be found @
http://okdav.org/service-officers/

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VA privatization update – What does privatization really mean?

When confirmation hearings for the next Veterans Affairs secretary begin in a few weeks, privatization of the department will be the main focus of most lawmakers’ questions. Nearly everyone in the veterans community and on Capitol Hill is against privatizing VA — and nearly everyone has a different definition of what privatization is. Last week, VA officials released a statement titled “Debunking the VA Privatization Myth,” which insists “there is no effort underway to privatize VA,” and “to suggest otherwise is completely false and a red herring designed to distract and avoid honest debate on the real issues surrounding veterans’ health care.” The move came in response to comments from former VA Secretary David Shulkin, fired by President Donald Trump. In an op-ed just hours after his dismissal, Shulkin warned of individuals within the White House who “seek to privatize veteran health care as an alternative to government-run VA care.” But the definition of what privatizing the nearly $200 billion department would mean depends largely on who is making the argument. The VA “debunking” statement notes that the department budget has gone up five times in the last 20 years, and the VA workforce has increased about 60 percent since then (to around 385,000 workers). The argument is that adding more resources to the bureaucracy can’t be considered privatizing VA. But veterans groups have noted that increase is a function of inflation and increased demands on the department, and has little to do with future plans to shift more resources into community care programs.

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VA presumptive disabilities – Top 10 claimed and Agent Orange:

Agent Orange Related
1. Acute & Subacute Peripheral Neuropathy 2. Adult Fibrosarcoma 3. Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma 4. Angiosarcoma 5. B-Cell Leukemias 6. Bone Pain 7. Chloracne 8. Clear Cell Sarcoma of Aponeuroses 9. Clear Cell Sarcoma of Tendons & Aponeuroses 10. Congenital Fibrosarcoma 11. Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans 12. Ectomesenchymoma 13. Epithelioid Malignant Leiomyosarcoma 14. Epithelioid & Grandular Mailignant Schwannomas 15. Epitheliod Sarcoma 16. Extraskeletal Ewing’s Sarcoma 17. Hemangiosarcoma 18. Hodgklin’s Disease 19. Infantile Fibrosarcoma 20. Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD) 21. Leiomyosarcoma 22. Liposarcoma 23. Lymphangiosarcoma 24. Malignant Fibrous Histiocytoma 25. Malignant Ganglioneuroma 26. Malignant Giant Cell Tumor of the Tendon Sheath 27. Malignant Glandular Schwannoma 28. Malignant Granular Cell Tumor 29. Malignant Hemangiopericytoma 30. Malignant Leiomyoblastoma 31. Malignant Mesenchymoma 32. Malignant Schwannoma with Rhabdomyoblastic Differentiation 33. Malignant Synovioma 34. Multiple Myeloma 35. Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma 36. Parkinson’s Disease 37. Porphyria Cutanea Tarda 38. Proliferating Angiendothliomatosis 39. Prostate Cancer 40. Respiratory Cancer 41. Rhabdomyosarcoma 42. Synovial Sarcoma 43. Type II Diabetes Mellitus
[Source: http://www.veteranprograms.com/pd-full-list.html | April 2018 ++]

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