VA Disability Rates for 2017

on Monday, 05 December 2016.

The following tables show the 2017 VA compensation rates for veterans with a disability rating 10 percent or higher. (Effective Dec. 1, 2016)

Dependents Allowance:
In addition veterans entitled to compensation whose disability is rated as 30 percent or more, are entitled to additional compensation for dependents as follows (monthly amounts):

Without Children:
Disability Rating: 30% - 60%
Disability Rating: 70% - 100%

With Children:
Disability Rating: 30% - 60%
Disability Rating: 70% - 100%

VA’s Modernization of Claims Process Continues

on Friday, 24 March 2017. Posted in News

More than 300,000 digitalized inactive-claim records removed to improve process service

March 20, 2017
Early this year, the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) began extracting hundreds of thousands of inactive-claim records from regional offices east of the Mississippi for digital conversion. Inactive-claim records are claim files that have been settled and have remained inactive for a number of years. The initiative will help reduce processing time for thousands of new claims associated with inactive records.

Free Bikes for Jobs and Job Interviews

on Wednesday, 16 August 2017.

Lake County Bike ProjectArmy veteran Regina Crump was able to secure new bicycles for her sons, Djion Curry, 14, and Gary Poyser, 8.

When bicycles belonging to the sons of Army veteran Regina Crump were stolen a few months ago, she said she couldn't afford to buy them new ones.

But this month, her sons Djion Curry, 14, and Gary Poyser, 8, were pedaling around their Waukegan neighborhood.

 

The Veterans Employment Program of Lake County, Illinois

on Wednesday, 25 November 2015.

CathChar

The Veterans Employment Program of Lake County (VEP) was created by Catholic Charities with two goals in mind:

  1. Help our local unemployed U.S. Military Veterans (and military spouses) find employment.
  2. Help our business community find qualified people to fill their employment needs.

PTSD in Military Veterans Causes, Symptoms, and Steps to Recovery

on Tuesday, 22 August 2017. Posted in News

Soldier with therapist

For all too many veterans, returning from military service means coping with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You may be having a hard time readjusting to life out of the military. Or you may constantly be feeling on edge, emotionally numb and disconnected, or close to panicking or exploding. But no matter how long the V.A. wait times, or how isolated or emotionally cut off from others you feel, it’s important to know that you’re not alone and there are plenty of things you can do to start feeling better. These steps can help you learn to deal with nightmares and flashbacks, cope with feelings of depression, anxiety or guilt, and regain your sense of control.

What causes PTSD in veterans? Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sometimes known as shell shock or combat stress, occurs after you experience severe trauma or a life-threatening event. It’s normal for your mind and body to be in shock after such an event, but this normal response becomes PTSD when your nervous system gets “stuck.”

Your nervous system has two automatic or reflexive ways of responding to stressful events:
Mobilization, or fight-or-flight, occurs when you need to defend yourself or survive the danger of a combat situation. Your heart pounds faster, your blood pressure rises, and your muscles tighten, increasing your strength and reaction speed. Once the danger has passed, your nervous system calms your body, lowering your heart rate and blood pressure, and winding back down to its normal balance.

Immobilization occurs when you’ve experienced too much stress in a situation and even though the danger has passed, you find yourself “stuck.” Your nervous system is unable to return to its normal state of balance and you’re unable to move on from the event. This is PTSD.

Recovering from PTSD involves transitioning out of the mental and emotional war zone you’re still living in and helping your nervous system become "unstuck."

Healing Our Warriors

on Tuesday, 13 December 2016.

Veterans Anthony Anderson (L) and Tom Voss decided to walk 2,700 miles from Wisconsin to California to try to sort out some of the issues they faced—including PTSD and moral injury—after being in combat situations in Iraq. (Almost Sunrise)

Veterans Anthony Anderson (L) and Tom Voss decided to walk 2,700 miles from Wisconsin to California to try to sort out some of the issues they faced—including PTSD and moral injury—after being in combat situations in Iraq. (Almost Sunrise)

Tom Voss’s unit fired a warning shot, but the truck kept speeding towards them. So they shot to kill. It was Iraq more than 10 years ago, and that’s what they were trained to do.

“I ran up to the passenger’s side and smashed the window open. The guy had two sucking chest wounds,” said Voss, who was a sniper on an 11-month deployment in Iraq in 2004–2005.

Voss said his platoon sergeant slowly walked up while they were frantically trying to save the man’s life and said, “Are we done here?”

On another day, they were alerted to a body on the roadside. “This man was tortured: He had his nose cut off, all his fingers were cut off, his toes were cut off while he was still alive,” Voss said. “He was involved with helping us. That’s what he was killed for.”

Connect Your Health Records Now

on Thursday, 22 June 2017.

Make your health records work for you. "Connect Your Docs" with VHIE Health. Get started now.

Would you like to make your doctor visit easier and faster?

Dear Veteran,

Connecting your docs with the Veterans Health Information Exchange (VHIE), also known as the Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record (VLER) Health program shares important parts of your Veteran health record between the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and your community health care providers who participate in this program.

This allows your health care providers to access important information about your health and provide you the best possible care. This exchange occurs over a secure and private network known as the eHealth Exchange.

Watch the video to learn more:

A Veteran talking with medical staff.

Ready to get started?

This program is free and voluntary for Veterans, but VA needs your consent to share your health records (VA Form 10-0485). If you have technical difficulties, please call 1-800-983-0937 for assistance. If you have not already joined, you must first sign up on the eBenefits website (it's free)!

Get started now

Thank you for agreeing to share your VA health data with your providers and, as always, we thank you for your service!

Sincerely,

The VLER Health National Program Office

Free Legal Resources Available for Veterans

on Wednesday, 06 September 2017.

 

In the summer of 2016, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published a study that answered a troubling question: what was the major reason vets were losing their homes, and become homeless?

Legal aid. A lawyer. They can’t afford it.

The research covered more than 6,000 veterans either living in the streets or in a shelter, many the victims of yet another unfortunate fact: five out of 10 programs leading to homelessness cannot be solved without legal help. They cited fighting evictions, upgrading military discharge statuses as well as restoring a driver’s license as issues that most often led to losing that essential thing that every human should have, every night — a roof over your head.

Thankfully, there are resources and centers that can find veterans free legal aid. Here’s a list of them:

Bill to Extend Veterans Choice Program Approved

on Sunday, 23 April 2017.

A presidential order extended the Veterans Choice Act on Wednesday to set the stage for a push in Congress to expand the program and allow more access to private care for veterans.

Signed in an Oval Office ceremony, the bill continues the Choice program, which was to expire on Aug. 7, and allows for the expenditure of the remaining $950 million in the program.

The Choice Card program allowed Vets facing lengthy wait times at Veterans Administration facilities or living more than 40 miles from the nearest VA to seek care in the private sector. Those already in the program will not need to re-apply under the bill signed by Trump, VA officials said.