The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proposes to amend the regulation defining “member’s stillborn child” for purposes of the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) program. The current definition of a “member’s stillborn child” is that a fetus must weigh at least 350 grams or, if the fetal weight is unknown, duration in utero is at least 20 completed weeks of gestation. VA proposes to amend the definition to allow reliance upon the fetus’ gestational age even if the fetus’ weight is known. As a result, a fetus whose duration in utero is 20 completed weeks of gestation but who weighs less than 350 grams would qualify as a “member’s stillborn child.”
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) amends its claims adjudication, appeals, and Rules of Practice of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board) regulations. In addition, this rule revises VA’s regulations with respect to accreditation of attorneys, agents, and Veterans Service Organization (VSO) representatives; the standards of conduct for persons practicing before VA; and the rules governing fees for representation. This rulemaking implements the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 (AMA), which amended the procedures applicable to administrative review and appeal of VA decisions on claims for benefits, creating a new, modernized review system. Unless otherwise specified in this final rule, VA amends its regulations applicable to all claims processed under the new review system, which generally applies where an initial VA decision on a claim is provided on or after the effective date or where a claimant has elected to opt into the new review system under established procedures. For the reasons set forth in the proposed rule and in this final rule, VA is adopting the proposed rule as final, with minor changes, as explained below.
Current statutory provisions provide Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI) insureds under the age of 60 with the opportunity to increase their VGLI coverage by $25,000 not more than once in each five-year period beginning on the one-year anniversary of the date a person becomes insured under VGLI. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is finalizing the amendment of its VGLI regulations to establish a permanent regulatory framework for such elections of increased coverage. The final rule clarifies that coverage increases in an amount less than $25,000 are available only when existing VGLI coverage is within $25,000 of the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance maximum of $400,000, and any increases of less than $25,000 must be only in an amount that would bring the insurance coverage up to the statutory maximum.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is proposing to amend its claims adjudication, appeals, and Rules of Practice of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board) regulations. In addition, VA proposes to revise its regulations with respect to accreditation of attorneys, agents, and Veterans Service Organization (VSO) representatives; the standards of conduct for persons practicing before VA; and the rules governing fees for representation. This rulemaking is needed to implement the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act. That law amended the procedures applicable to administrative review and appeal of VA decisions denying claims for benefits, creating a new, modernized review system. Unless otherwise specified, VA intends to make the proposed regulatory changes applicable to claims processed under the new review system, which generally applies where an initial VA decision on a claim is provided on or after the effective date or where a claimant has elected to opt into the new review system under established procedures.
Suicide prevention is a top priority of The American Legion.
Deeply concerned about the number of military veterans who take their own lives at rates higher than that of the general population, the nation’s largest organization of wartime veterans established a Suicide Prevention Program under the supervision of its TBI/PTSD standing committee, which reports to the national Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation Commission.
The TBI/PTSD Committee reviews methods, programs and strategies that can be used to treat traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In order to reduce veteran suicide, this committee seeks to influence legislation and operational policies that can improve treatment and reduce suicide among veterans, regardless of their service eras.
This white paper report examines recent trends in veteran suicide and their potential causes and recommends steps to address this public health crisis.
Since 2001, the U.S. military has been actively engaged in combat operations on multiple continents in the Global War on Terror.More than 3 million Americans have served in Iraq or Afghanistan through the first 17 years of the war. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have become known as the “signature wounds” of the war, and in recent years, countless studies, articles and reports have documented an inordinately high suicide rate among those who have come home from the war, those of previous war eras and among active-duty personnel.
The American Legion is deeply concerned by the high suicide rate among service- members and veterans, which has increased substantially since 2001.1 The suicide rate among 18-24-year-old male Iraq and Afghanistan veterans is particularly troubling, having risen nearly fivefold to an all-time high of 124 per 100,000, 10 times the national average. A spike has also occurred in the suicide rate of 18-29-year-old female veterans, doubling from 5.7 per 100,000 to 11 per 100,000.2 These increases are startling when compared to rates of other demographics of veterans, whose suicide rates have stayed constant during the same time period.
Read the full report below:[pdf-embedder url=”https://hadit.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/American-Legion-White-Paper-on-Veteran-Suicide-by-Jared-Keller.pdf” title=”American Legion White Paper on Veteran Suicide by Jared Keller”]
Current statutory provisions provide Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI) insureds under the age of 60 with the opportunity to increase their VGLI coverage by $25,000 not more than once in each 5- year period beginning on the 1-year anniversary of the date a person becomes insured under VGLI. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proposes to amend its VGLI regulations to establish a permanent regulatory framework for such elections of increased coverage. The proposed rule would also clarify that coverage increases in an amount less than $25,000 are available only when existing VGLI coverage is within $25,000 of the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance current maximum of $400,000, and any increases of less than $25,000 must be only in an amount that would bring the insurance coverage up to the statutory maximum.
Giving veterans choices about their care is something we can all get behind. Dismantling VA in lieu of private care will hurt todays veterans and tomorrows veterans.
Lots of veterans have good solid reasons for hating the VA for medical care, and there are tons more that love their care.
For years they have talked about the great debt we are owed and the state of the art care we receive. It’s time for them to pay that debt and provide us the care they say we deserve.
Farming us out to private care may not be the best thing for veterans in the long term, though short term it may seem like a great solution.
“Our view is that Congress and the administration must fix what is wrong with the VA health care system — improve hiring authorities, expand and fix its aging infrastructure, improve access, customer service — and not just simply turn to the private sector when VA facilities are having problems,” said Carlos Fuentes, director of the National Legislative Service at Veterans of Foreign Wars.
“Community care is part of the solution, but not the only answer.”
Vets groups and lawmakers say they’re against it – but what does ‘privatization’ of Veterans Affairs really mean?
WASHINGTON – 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.
HadIt.com Veteran to Veteran 21st Anniversary. Tbird, founder of HadIt.com will be the guest and talk about the history of HadIt.com and will take calls from veterans.
A little history …
HadIt.com Veteran to Veteran the website domain registered Jan 20, 1997. The domain is registered and paid for thru Jan 21, 2023 at which time I plan to register it for another 15 years, Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.
I guess the best place to start is Jan 1991; I had gotten out of the navy Dec 1990. At my separation seminar, there was a DAV rep Jim Milton who told us to bring our medical records in and he would look through them for us and let us know if we should file a claim with Veterans Affairs.
Well, bless his heart, he opened my medical file, read the first insert, looked me straight in the eye, and said, “You will be 50% for the rest of your life” and that he would file the claim for me. 50% was for surgery I had in the service. True to his word, he met with me and talked with me for a long time, filled out my paper work and urged me to file for PTSD. I would not file the PTSD claim, nor even discuss it. I didn’t even understand what PTSD was then.
By Feb 1991 I had moved to the San Francisco bay area and was staying at a friend’s apartment and pretty much was just a puddle. In desperation one night I called the suicide hotline. I had no job, no idea about going to the VA. They talked with me for a long time and explained to me that I could go to the local VA hospital even if I did not have insurance. Now I know what you are thinking, if I was 50% why didn’t I just go to the VA in the first place? Two reasons, 1st, this was Feb 1991 and the 50% didn’t come till May and secondly, even if it had come thru it is unlikely that I would have had the mental acuity at the time to put the two together.
I relay this here because it is where so many of our brothers and sisters are coming from, perhaps where you started. Fuzzy and unsure, in pain and sometimes homeless they come to the VA hospital for help. And that is where I ended up. Up to the pysch ward I went, blah, blah, blah, a few days later I was released with a promise of a call from the out-patient program, which I would soon be entering. Blah, blah, blah, after many miscommunications, and no call backs, I was at the Day Hospital everyday M-F. And this brothers and sisters is where I began to learn and formulate my plan for HadIt.com.
Veterans, veterans everywhere…I spent a year in the day hospital and about another year at a sheltered workshop before I got back on my feet. So I just talked to veterans everyday, waiting for appointments, waiting for prescriptions, waiting for a vet rep and I started to learn about the system.
While in the navy, I was a data analyst. I had to learn a 5 volume manual and just about anything you were suppose to do was in that manual. So I figured there must be a manual on how to do a VA claim or at the very least, regulations. So I found out about the Code of Federal Regulations, United States Code, Veterans Affairs Manuals and so on and so forth. Of course this was 1991/1992, I was living in a tiny studio apartment in a particularly bad neighborhood, working in a sheltered workshop where I earned a nickel per envelope I stuffed, throw in PTSD and you will see that it was a difficult task for me to get somewhere where they had copies of these, let alone that they would let me look at them. There was so much knowledge around me, it was
like the gold rush in those days. I could just sit on a bench where a veteran would sit down next to me, a little conversation later I had another nugget. I made copious notes. Phone numbers to call, ask for this guy or that guy, he’ll give you the straight scoop and they’d slip me a piece of paper with a number on it. You want to read this regulation or that one and another slip of paper into my hand. I spent a lot of time on those benches watching the squirrels as they gathered their nuts and I gathered mine 🙂
So I’m thinking I could put a little handbook together, print it out and hand it out at the VA. Or perhaps flyers. Still formulating, time goes by, 1994/1995 I am being treated for PTSD regularly and doing and feeling much better. I go to work for a company as a marketing systems analyst and I discover the internet. Well let me tell you, that was perhaps one of the most significant life changing events I have ever experienced. And I might add finally a positive one 🙂 It seemed only natural to me that surely there must be a website that contained all the knowledge I wanted. As it turned out,not so much. Lots of stuff, but I wanted to get straight to the claims information and there was a lot of stuff to wade through to get to it. So taking my lesson from the squirrels earlier I started to gather, gather, gather. I learned html and worked as a marketing systems analyst and worked on my claim. 1996/1997 a major ptsd cork blows and unemployment follows. Working my claim, working the website. January 20th, 1997 I register the HadIt.com domain name right after getting off the phone with the Veterans Affairs and saying, “I’ve had it with this”. As fate would have it, the old DAV board went down just as mine opened up and folks start to wander in.
So HadIt.com has two main components, the website and the the discussion board with links, articles, research resources etc. that support it. The website starts to grow, I can’t tell you how many times I had to switch servers for space and features. Emotionally I continue on a downward trend and in 1998 ended up back home in St Louis living in my sisters basement in therapy and working hard on pulling myself back up. The website continued to do great during this time, I just stayed in the basement, bought new software, new books, and learned how to make things work and I continued to use this knowledge to make HadIt.com better.
My 100% finally came through from the Veterans Affairs. I have a friend Patrick Heavy who is an advocate who helped me thru my SSDI claim. He was literally at my side through the entire process. For him I am grateful. My therapist and sister continued to try to get me to leave the basement, but to no avail. At some point in 1998 or 1999 I put a counter on the website and was shocked to discover how many visitors we were getting. Time goes by, my sister gets married and I move from the basement to the upstairs. There is much celebration that Aunt T is living in the light again. More time goes by and I settle into my life in St Louis and spend more time on the site trying new things and finding more information. 2003 I bought my own home with my VA loan. For years now I have just considered HadIt.com my purpose in life. And so goes the story of the conception and birth of Hadit.com. At 21 years old, she is established and going strong, I couldn’t be more pleased or proud. Thank you to everyone who has supported her growth.
Share Tweet Share I founded HadIt.com on Jan 20, 1997. I entered the VA system early in 1991 after separating from the Navy in Dec 1990. I actually had the idea to create something before I discovered the internet in 1994/1995. With the internet I realized I can do so much more than any […]
Sen. Kaine said, “These findings don’t enable veterans and Congress to have trust in VA’s performance. I will be asking the Veterans Affairs to provide confirmation that no veteran suffered any financial harm from these mistakes.”
I couldn’t agree more with Sen. Kane. I am finding it impossible to believe anything they cite as statistics, their track record on cooking the books is long and scandalous. It brought us the VA CHOICE program, which they cannot seem to manage.
Veterans Affairs Office of the Inspector General for the third time in seven years determined the Roanoke VA Regional Office mishandled veterans’ disability claims.
Auditors found the appeals staff closed case files by claiming veterans with multiple appeals withdrew some of their claims when they had not. Staff then merged all of a veteran’s claims into the oldest case file, which made it more difficult to process each issue, but boosted the Roanoke office’s clearance rate and placed appeals managers in line for bonuses. Read the Full Article
ROANOKE – The Veterans Affairs Office of the Inspector General for the third time in seven years determined the Roanoke VA Regional Office mishandled veterans’ disability claims. Auditors found the appeals staff closed case files by claiming veterans with multiple appeals withdrew some of their claims when they had not.
Keeping the bills paid, the kids feed and a thousand other things you have to worry about each month, the last thing you need is for your income to disappear and then be saddled by a huge debt. If VA overpaid you they have every right to inform you and work out a repayment plan, but they should not have the right to put a family in a desperate situation because of their errors.
In the story below Daniel faces a huge burden because the Veterans Affairs sent a letter informing him of the overpayment to an address he lived at 35 years ago, he never got that letter, but he did get the demand for repayment.
“The VA’s debt management center sent Daniel a letter in 2016 stating it paid him $18,000 more than what he was “entitled to receive.” “Once I retired, I still had children and a wife, and in 2006 they said you didn’t have them anymore, according to their records,” he said. The Veterans Affairs told Daniel he never updated nor returned a dependent verification form sent to him. “They said they sent it,” he said. “I never received it, never.” When Daniel called the Veterans Affairs to question the debt, he found out the Veterans Affairs sent the dependent verification form to an address he lived at 35 years ago.”
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is sending thousands of overpayment notices telling veterans to pay back their benefits. When Navy veteran Isaac Daniel retired after 22 1/2 years of service, he qualified for disability benefits due to knee issues and near fatal intestinal problems. He started receiving monthly disability payments of $1,100 in 2006.
https://community.hadit.com › … › Eligibility – Veterans Compensation Benefit Claims
Jul 31, 2014 – If the VA prevails in the reduction, it appears the error made by the VA has resulted in the overpayment of thousands of dollars to the veteran. No mention of fraud by the beneficiary in this case. QUESTION: In a situation where the VA determines it has overpaid disability compensation to a veteran as a result …
community.hadit.com › … › Veterans Compensation Benefits Claims Research
Sep 21, 2007 – Terry Higgins said back on July 18, 2006. “Dear veterans & Friends. I had a VA overpayment of over thousand dollars. I went to the VBM and photo copy the letter with the regulatons that say if an overpayment occures by the VA and its not the vets fault. The VA eats it. I did not have to pay. Terry Higgins.”.
I just received my back pay for my disability claim, but I have not received my official decision letter yet. According to ebenefits I recieved 70% disability for my PTSD. The amount I received in back pay was much higher than 70% would have given me. It is the amount that 100% would have given me. I read that it might be …
https://community.hadit.com › … › CUE Clear and Unmistakable Error
Nov 6, 2015 – Could I possibly get a waiver due to the VA not processing the request to remove my daughter and me advising them that I was being overpaid and them paying her for additional months of school despite her asking to not start her pay until August 2014? Does anyone have a sample hardship letter? Please …
https://community.hadit.com › … › Eligibility – Veterans Compensation Benefit Claims
Aug 2, 2011 – The VA is attesting that I was overpaid for my dependents because they never received notification of my divorce. At one time, I did have documentation of the package that I sent to the VA showing that my wife and I divorced, but I no longer have this. I had the postage receipt which of course, probably …
https://community.hadit.com › … › Veterans Compensation Benefits Claims Research
Sep 7, 2011 – MY question then is this: does ANYONE know how to contact the VA by telephone and either. question the provenance of an electronic deposit or alternatively report an overpayment so that. it can be returned to the proper authority/department? I very much appreciate your patience and indulgence with this …
https://community.hadit.com › … › Veterans Compensation Benefits Claims Research
May 22, 2013 – The letter stated I recently received a letter explaining why (I never got any letter), and there has been a change in my benefits thus resulting in an overpayment. I called the VA Collection center to find out why. The have no record of a reason why, they just collect money, I called the 800-827-1000 number, …
https://community.hadit.com › Specialized Claims › VA Pensions
May 25, 2010 – I am concerned here though-as to why you fear an overpayment on your pension ? I see you get 10%-do you mean you get 10% VA compensation? Or do you mean you are 10% service connected but the pension is the greater amount so you receive the pension? Is it possible that the 10% is way too low?
Nov 22, 2013 – That could impact on what I stated above,but in any event I interpret that statement in your letter as so similar to my case that I do believe VA must stop the recoupment and possibly award you retro due to overpayment of the recoupment, since they awarded SC at 100%. Hopefully others will chime in …