• Cell phone discounts:

Most major cell phone providers — including AT&T, Boost Mobile, Sprint, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon — offer military discounts on wireless plans to current and former servicemembers. To find the best deal for your family, do some shopping and focus on the plan that is right for you

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• Tricare retiree dental program:

Do you have Tricare Retiree Dental Program coverage now? If so, then you need to know that this program will end on December 31st, 2018. Anyone who’s enrolled this year or who’s eligible for the plan can choose a dental plan from among 10 dental carriers in the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program or FEDVIP. You can begin reviewing program options now at opm.gov/fedvip. And you’ll be able to enroll in FEDVIP during the 2018 Federal Benefits Open Season, which runs from November 12th to December 10th. Coverage begins on January 1st, 2019.

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 House committee advances protections for veterans’ credit scores:

An effort gained momentum in Congress on Wednesday to protect veterans’ credit scores when the Department of Veterans Affairs is slow to reimburse private-sector doctors for their medical care. The House Financial Services Committee advanced legislation that would provide a one-year grace period before veterans’ credit reports could be negatively affected because of slow VA payments

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 Shulkin says he would, if he could, expand Agent Orange-related health care:

VA Secretary David Shulkin suggests he favors expansion of Agent Orange-related health care and disability compensation to new categories of ailing veterans but that factors like cost, medical science and politics still stand in the way.
Shulkin told the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee on Wednesday that he made recommendations to White House budget officials last year on whether to add up to four more conditions — bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, Parkinson-like tremors and hypertension (high blood pressure) — to the VA list of 14 illnesses presumed caused by exposure to herbicides used during the Vietnam War.

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 Vets Choice, Caregiver Programs left out of final spending bill

excerpts from an artivce by Richard Sisk
The $1.3 trillion spending bill signed Friday by President Donald Trump left the Veterans Choice Program in limbo and rejected a major expansion of the caregivers program that provides stipends to family members of severely disabled vets.
“Everyone in Congress constantly brags that taking care of veterans is a nonpartisan issue, so I have to ask why Congress wouldn’t support improving the VA Choice Program, or allow more family caregivers to access VA support programs,” Veterans of Foreign Wars National Commander Keith Harman said in a statement.
We need to let our elected officials know of our opinion and you cannot say, “Ill do it later”.

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 VA Compensation & Pensions update ► CBO ‘Think Tank’ report:

Recently, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) completed a “think tank” report on veterans’ disability compensation. The ranking member on the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs asked for this study, which looks in detail at trends and policy options in regard to future veterans’ compensation. Though the study looked at many areas, the report was primarily focused on potential ways to save future budget dollars (2018 through 2024) in regard to compensation by modifying current compensation to all veterans. Listed below are the areas they reviewed:
• Limit the time in which a veteran can file an initial claim for service-connection after leaving the military. The CBO looked at 5-, 10- and 20-year time frames. As expected, the less time afforded to file a claim resulted in the greatest budgetary savings.
• Increase VA reexaminations on veterans already service-connected.
• Reexamine the standards for declaring something a presumptive condition.
• Change the rules about individual unemployability (IU) in that only those veterans younger than the full social security retirement age will be able to receive this benefit.
• Reexamine the rules as to how compensation payments are determined for veterans with serviceconnected mental disorders.
• Change cost-of-living adjustments.
• Eliminate concurrent receipt for military retirees. This results in the greatest savings in regard tofuture VA budget dollars.
• Tax VA compensation disability payments.

REMEMBER – THIS IS JUST A THINK TANK REPORT

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 The Veterans Appeals Improvement & Modernization Act of 2017 :

Did you know this Act was signed into law August 23, 2017. However, the new law does not take effect until February 2019. The law creates a new claims and appeals process, which features three separate avenues; (1) Higher-Level Review, which consists of an entirely new review of the claim by an experienced adjudicator; (2) Supplemental Claim, which provides an opportunity to submit additional evidence and (3) Appeal, which provides an opportunity to appeal directly to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.

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 Non-Deployable Troops ► Pentagon new retention policy released:

The Pentagon on February 12, 2018 released its new policy on military lethality, which will begin separation procedures for service members who have been non-deployable for the last 12 months or more. “This new policy is a 12-month deploy or be removed policy,” Robert Wilkie, the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, told a Senate panel Wednesday. “However, there are exceptions. As was previously reported, there will be exceptions, such as pregnancy. Medical boards will review wounded personnel, and the services will retain the ability to grant exceptions to wounded warriors.

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 Hilton Offering Jobs And Free Hotel Stays:

Hilton has a long legacy of supporting the military, dating back to its founder, Conrad Hilton, a U.S. Army veteran who served in World War I. In August 2013, Hilton launched Operation: Opportunity, with a commitment to hire 10,000 veterans and military spouses by 2018. The company accomplished that goal two years ahead of schedule and is now committing to hire an additional 20,000 military hires by the end of 2020. Veterans and their spouses are a natural fit at Hilton because of the company’s shared values with the military, like leadership, integrity and teamwork. Hilton is also offering a unique benefit to veterans; free hotel stays for job related travel. you will be required to have a copy of your DD-214 with you as evidence that you served in the military.

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 VA Sec describes Camp Lejuene health and disability benefits

If you were stationed at Camp LeJuene, N.C. for at least 30 consecutive days between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987 you may be eligible for certain benefits. You may be eligible for VA health care or certain cost reimbursements for you and your dependent faily members. There are also certain presumptives that may allow you to receive disability compensation.

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