04/02/2019 - (This article first appeared in the March/April 2019 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine)
Last month, the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 finally went into effect after having been signed into law on Aug. 23, 2017. It is said to represent one of the most significant statutory changes expected to benefit veterans in decades.
Reform has been a long-time goal of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and its stakeholders; so much so that the VA sponsored an Appeals Summit three years ago, in Mar. 2016. The VA, Congress, veteran service organizations and advocates worked together during the event to design a new appeals system. The law is intended to deliver reform to veterans on the legacy appeals system.
Thanks to the collaborative efforts of many, veterans now have a choice in how unfavorable decisions will be reviewed. Veterans should also realize more timely resolutions of appealed decisions through the new streamlined process.
01/17/2019 - (This article first appeared in the January/February 2019 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine)
The Veterans Administration Maintaining Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks Act was signed into law on June 6, 2018. Dubbed the VA MISSION Act, the “reform” was touted to improve veteran access to VA health care and pave the way for a major overhaul of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which has long been plagued with problems that negatively impact our veterans.
Critics, however, see the act as an effort to privatize the VA. If you look at the fine print, they just might be right.
Today we join in honoring our veterans, including the tens of thousands of APWU members, both active and retired, who are currently or have proudly served. One important way to honor our them is to ensure they have access to the good jobs, opportunities and services they need
11/05/2018 - (This article first appeared in the November/December 2018 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine)
The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans recently ruled that pain alone, without an underlying disability, may entitle veterans to compensation benefits. This decision could affect both veterans seeking service connection and those seeking increased ratings for conditions that are already considered service connected. Prior to this decision, the federal circuit held veterans had to have a diagnosed disability that rationalized the source of their pain in order to receive Veterans Administration (VA) disability benefits.
07/24/2018 - Twenty percent of Americans report some degree of hearing loss but those who serve are far more impacted by auditory disorders than the general public due to their exposure to artillery gunfire, battlefield explosives, loud machinery, aircraft noise and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Hearing loss and tinnitus, a perceived ringing in the ear that often accompanies it, are the top two service-connected disabilities afflicting service members and generations of veterans. These maladies are often overshadowed by other challenges our service men and women face.
In 2016, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) reported, more than 1.6 million veterans received disability compensation benefits for tinnitus, and another 1.1 million received monthly payments for hearing loss. A staggering 60 percent of the troops who returned home from Iraq and Afghanistan sustained some degree of hearing loss, causing the military to take preemptive measures to curtail hearing loss.
03/01/2018 - (This article first appeared in the March-April 2018 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)
Record numbers of women are serving in the military and this means more female veterans. More than two million women currently account for 10 percent of our country’s veteran population and that number is steadily growing. Women are entitled to the same beneﬁts as men, but our system of care is designed for men and not equipped to meet many of the unique challenges our women veterans face.
01/01/2018 - (This article first appeared in the January-February 2018 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)
My Health eVet (MHV) is an award winning, comprehensive website provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). It offers veterans, active duty service members, their dependents and caregivers 24-hour, secure internet access to portions of their personal medical records. Authorized users can manage their VA benefits through the site, obtain trusted health information, and take advantage of an array of services and dashboard tools that empowers them to become active partners in their health care and wellness needs.
11/01/2017 - (This article first appeared in the November-December 2017 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)
This Veterans’ Day the Military Exchange will open its virtual doors to more than 13 million veterans. All honorably-discharged veterans will receive a lifelong benefit to online exchange shopping – a long overdue welcome home.
07/01/2017 - (This article first appeared in the July-August 2017 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine)
President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget plan levies an attack against our veterans who are elderly and disabled. His cuts aim to terminate Individual Unemployability (IU) benefits for veterans who are eligible for Social Security retirement benefits, under the mistaken notion that a duplication of benefits exists.
03/01/2017 - (This article first appeared in the March-April 2017 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)
By Human Relations Director Sue Carney
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published new regulations establishing a presumptive service-connection for eight diseases associated with the once contaminated water supply at Camp Lejeune, NC. The amendment applies to all veterans, including former reservists and National Guard members, who served 30 or more days (cumulative) of active duty between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987 at the marine base or the USMC Air Station New River. Qualifying veterans are entitled to disability compensation benefits.