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  • Lawmakers to take on veterans issues after weeklong recess

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — As they return this week from a July Fourth break, lawmakers are set to discuss Department of Veterans Affairs health care, its 2018 budget, how veterans are affected by the opioid crisis and how the VA handles claims for Gulf War Illness – all while facing a short timeframe to do something about quickly diminishing funds in the VA Choice program.

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  • VA Employee Disciplinary Actions Are Now Public Information

    Type of content: News

    The Department of Veterans Affairs made public July 7 a list of employee terminations, demotions, and suspensions that it will update weekly, which agency officials said is an attempt at transparency following action by Congress to give the VA secretary unprecedented disciplinary power.

    Veterans and anyone else interested can now see a list of disciplinary actions taken against VA employees since President Donald Trump took office Jan. 20. 

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  • NC releases new benefits guide for veterans, active military

    Type of content: News

    RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Veterans and active military in North Carolina will have access to a new benefits guide launching this Independence Day weekend.

    The North Carolina Department of Military and Veteran’s Affairs produced a resource guide with details about programs available to those who served and their families.

    The 140 page booklet has sections on employment, healthcare, education, disability benefits, and much more.

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  • Gov. Wolf Signs Bill Protecting Veterans, Will Sign New Animal Rights Bill Wednesday

    Type of content: News

    Governor Tom Wolf signed the "stolen valor" bill into law Tuesday, a move that lawmakers say will protect benefits for Pennsylvania veterans. The governor has plans to sign another piece of legislation Wednesday protecting animal rights.

    The "stolen valor" bill, introduced by Rep. Rick Saccone (R-Allegheny/Washington), prohibits the fraudulent representation of military service or military decorations to obtain money, property, or other benefits.

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  • Trump signs VA bill to protect whistle blowers, expedite firing of problem worker

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — President Trump signed legislation Friday designed to protect whistleblowers while making it easier to fire problem employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    The "VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017" makes permanent an office created by a Trump executive order earlier this year to look into claims made by whistleblowers and to protect them from retaliation.

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  • VA standardizing caregiver plan before opening to older vets

    Type of content: News

    VA Secretary David Shulkin has told congressional committees in recent weeks he supports a change in law to expand the post-9/11 caregiver program so that its cash stipend and menu of support services can benefit caregivers to severely injured veterans from earlier generations.

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  • Proposal Extends IVF, Adoption Help for Injured Veterans

    Type of content: News

    Veterans with reproductive injuries will be able to access fertility help and have some adoption expenses covered after 2018 if a funding proposal goes forward.

    The funding bill for the Department of Veterans Affairs approved by a House committee last week gives the agency approval to continue funding in-vitro fertilization after the current 2018 expiration. A 2016 law lifted a longtime ban on the coverage but is set to expire at the end of 2018 if Congress takes no further action.

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  • House passes fix to veterans health care tax credit controversy

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON  — House lawmakers on Thursday quietly passed a fix regarding veterans status under the proposed new health care bill that Republican supporters hope will silence one part of the opposition to the measure. 

    The legislation passed by voice vote without opposition. The bill states that veterans who are eligible for medical care through the Department of Veterans Affairs but not using those services are eligible for health insurance tax credits under the American Health Care Act. 

    Republicans billed the measure as nothing more than bookkeeping work.  

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  • As the choice program runs out of money this year, VA reiterates need for a redesign

    Type of content: News

    The Veterans Affairs Department is quickly running out of money in its Choice program account, one of several funding streams VA uses to pay for veterans to receive community health care.

    This development with the Choice program is only the latest of a series of pain points for the department and Congress. Yet VA Secretary David Shulkin said it only emphasizes the urgency of redesigning and simplifying the Choice program in the near future.

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  • VA secretary backs off plan to cut elderly vets' benefits

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — Administration officials are backing away from plans to slash tens of thousands of dollars in unemployment benefits from elderly veterans after an outcry from advocates who warned the move could cause significant financial harm to vulnerable veterans.  

    During a Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on Wednesday, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin said that he wants to avoid any policy changes that “hurt veterans” and is considering other options to the proposed changes. 

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