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Did You Know?

The National Veterans Legal Services Program
The National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) has launched a new program through its Lawyers Serving Warriors project to provide free representation to veterans applying for a new federal disability benefit Combat‐Related Special Compensation (CRSC). CRSC is available to veterans who are medically retired for disability (either because they are on permanent disability retirement or the Temporary Disability Retirement List (TDRL). CRSC can provide a veteran with hundreds of dollars per month in additional tax‐free compensation in Addition to whatever compensation the veteran is receiving from the VA or the military department.

   

Shrapnel Sickness
At the Joint Pathology Center in Maryland, researchers are investigating an important medical issue: whether shrapnel embedded in the bodies of U.S soldiers can cause chronic health problems. Many veterans, after suffering injuries from roadside bombs during their tours of duty, carry these fragments in their bodies for life. Often surgery is risky, or the fragments are too small to remove. Either way, the metallic bits may slowly disintegrate, entering the blood and reaching vital organs.

  

  

   

   

   

   

   

   

  

  

Military doctors first became concerned about embedded shrapnel following the Gulf War in the early 1990s, when they suspected that depleted uranium from tank munitions was causing kidney damage. In 2008 the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs set up a program to monitor adverse health effects from more than a dozen metals -including lead, copper, and cadmium- found in the urine of over 8,000 shrapnel victims. Those veterans will be reanalyzed every five years for high metal concentrations and corresponding health issues, says clinical toxicologist Melissa McDiarmid of the Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center. If a certain metal increases to potentially toxic levels or if X-rays reveal that fragments are dissolving, her group will suggest that the patient consult a surgeon too see if the benefits of removal outweigh the risks.
Source: Fangfei Shen, Discover Magazine

    

Protected Disability Rating

A rating percentage is considered “protected” once it is in place for 20 years. There would be no danger of a decreased disability rating after the 20 year mark. Veterans whose ratings have been in place for less than 20 years may be somewhat assured that there has been no improvement in the disability before requesting a new evaluation or they could risk having their disability rating reduced.

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     

     

HISA Program

Under the Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA) program, veterans with service-connected disabilities or veterans with non-service connected disabilities may receive assistance for any home improvement necessary for the continuation of treatment or for disability access to their home and essential lavatory and sanitary facilities.  See your VSO for more information.

     

Depenency & Indeminity Compensation

Some surviving spouses may be eligible for a monthly payment known as Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) if their spouse died on active duty, died after active duty as a result of a service-connected disability, or died after being rated as permanently and totally disabled by the VA.

  

10 Small Business Loans for Veterans

If you are a veteran with an Honorable Discharge and your're interested in starting a small business,  here are 10 possible financing options for you to move your business along.

     

Parental Compensation

A Veteran whose parent(s) are dependent upon him/her for financial support may be paid additional benefits. Dependency of a parent is based on need. Both the parental relationship and financial dependency of the parent must be established to qualify for this benefit.

  

In order to be eligible, the veteran must be in receipt of compensation with a combined evaluation of at least 30 percent, or the veteran must be in receipt of VA educational benefits based on enrollment of ½ time or more.

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Massachusetts War Bonus

Did you know for those veterans interested in receiving a $200 Vietnam War Veterans Bonus in Massachusetts, veterans must have served on active duty between July 1, 1958, and May 16, 1975?  The one-time bonus is rewarded to those who served for six months or more.  Vietnam veterans who served on duty in Vietnam (in country) will receive a $300 bonus.

     

Ohio War Bonus

Did you know Ohio created a Veterans Bonus Program to thank Ohio veterans who served during periods of conflict?  Eligible veterans serving on active duty (except active duty for training) anywhere in the world during the specified dates may receive $50 a month up to a maximum bonus of $500.  Eligible veterans who served in the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, or Iraq during certain dates may receive a $100 bonus for each month they served in those locations, up to a maximum of $1,000.  An eligible veteran may combine their service bonuses for a maximum payment of $1,500.

        

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

       

Greetings From The White House

Did you know upon request, the President and the First Lady will send special greeting cards recognizing U.S. citizens' special days such as: birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, graduations, retirements, and congratulatory wedding announcements?  Requests should be submitted to the White House via mail at:

      

The White House
Attn: Greetings Office
Washington, D.C. 20502-0039

           

Veteran ID Card

Did you know veterans can benefit from discounted goods and services with the USVCP Veteran ID Card (VIC), even if they are not yet enrolled in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) programs or services?  Veterans only need to carry the wallet-sized Veteran ID Card as proof of their veteran status, rather than other documentation, such as their DD Form 214.   Apply for the Veteran ID Card now! 

     

   

  

  

  

  

  

  

         

Three Surefire Ways To Expedite Your Claim
Did you know that if your VA disability appeal is at the Board of Veterans Appeals in Washington DC, you can request that the appeal be expedited?  To have your claim expedited you must fit into at least one of three categories:

  • You are age 75 years-old or older
  • You are terminally ill (or in hospice care)
  • You are experiencing extreme financial hardship

   

For initial VA disability compensation applications, the claim will be decided much quicker if you submit what the VA refers to as a “Fully Developed Claim (FDC).” This is when you submit all of the necessary documentation with the claim such as service medical records and civilian medical records, and the VA will decide the claim based on the information that was submitted. And, to boost your claim for approval, you can always submit additional evidence at any time before a decision is made.

      

Free Beekeeping Program

Did you know Heroes to Hives is a unique program offered through Michigan State University Extension that seeks to address financial and personal wellness of veterans through professional training and community development centered around beekeeping?  Call 888-678-3464 for more information.