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  • VA's Choice program running out of money ahead of schedule

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — The Veterans Affairs Choice program, hailed by President Trump as a key lifeline to veterans, is on pace to run out of money later this summer, potentially causing major disruptions in thousands of veterans’ medical care. 

    Congress believed they had solved this problem earlier this year, by passing an extension of the program’s rules to keep it operating until late 2018. 

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  • Congress passes long-awaited Veterans Affairs Accountability Act

    Type of content: News

    Congress approved long-sought legislation Tuesday to make firing employees easier for the Department of Veterans Affairs, part of an effort urged by President Trump to fix a struggling agency serving millions of veterans.

    The bill will make it easier for VA employees, including executives, to be fired by lowering the standard of evidence required to "remove, demote or suspend" someone for poor performance or misconduct. It also gives whistleblowers more protections, including preventing the VA from removing an employee with an open whistleblower case. 

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  • California Lawmakers Pass Bill Expanding Job Opportunities for Veterans

    Type of content: News

    Private-sector California employers might soon be able to establish a voluntary preference for hiring military veterans regardless of when the veterans served, thanks to a bill that recently passed the state assembly.

    The veterans' hiring preference currently in use is limited to Vietnam-era veterans and only immunizes employers from gender discrimination claims.

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    Employment
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  • House Passes VA Appeals Bill and 5 Other Veterans Measures

    Type of content: News

    The House unanimously passed legislation Tuesday aiming to shorten the amount of time veterans wait for earned benefits, a process that takes an average of six years when a veteran is forced to appeal a claim with the Board of Veterans' Appeals.

    But thousands of veterans are waiting much longer, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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  • These young Philly veterans are convinced they can help the city

    Type of content: News

    Chris Diaz, Ryan Peters and a handful of veteran friends were at Fogo de Chao enjoying a 50 percent discount last Veterans Day when the casual lunch inevitably turned serious.

    As Peters said, they’re all “alpha personalities” and were sharing details of their accomplishments at work and in graduate school. At some point, Peters recalled, the idea clicked: “Why don’t we do that together?”

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    Peer Support
    Volunteer Service
  • New award for vet-friendly businesses passes with budget bill

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — One congressman’s plans to honor veteran-friendly businesses helped keep the federal government from shutting down last week. 

    California Republican Rep. Paul Cook’s “HIRE Vets Act” was signed into law over the weekend, after lawmakers made it the legislative vehicle for their omnibus budget plan to fund government operations through September. The $1.16 trillion spending plan includes a $15 billion boost in defense spending for the final five months of the budget year. 

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    Employment
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  • Latest GI Bill fight could sideline a host of planned reforms

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — Plans for GI Bill reforms this year are all but dead after a high-profile, emotional fight among veterans advocates in recent days over proposed dramatic changes to the popular benefit. 

    The conflict comes after months of behind-the-scenes work testing the idea of charging future active-duty troops for an improved veterans education benefit, a proposal that proved more controversial when it became public sooner than supporters had anticipated.

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    Education
    Legislation
    VA
  • Latest GI Bill Fight Could Sideline a Host of Planned Reforms

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — Plans for GI Bill reforms this year are all but dead after a high-profile, emotional fight among veterans advocates in recent days over proposed dramatic changes to the popular benefit. 

    The conflict comes after months of behind-the-scenes work testing the idea of charging future active-duty troops for an improved veterans education benefit, a proposal that proved more controversial when it became public sooner than supporters had anticipated.

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    Topics
    Benefits
    Education
    Legislation
  • Trump Extends Vets' Access to Privatized Health Care

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump signed into law an extension of the controversial Veterans Affairs Choice Card program on Wednesday, the precursor to a planned massive overhaul of the initiative later this year. 

    Flanked by officials from veterans groups in a White House signing ceremony, Trump praised the legislation as key to ensuring access to care for veterans and important to his larger promised reform plans. 

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    Legislation
    VA
  • Veterans Administration, CVS Test Program to Reduce Wait Times

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — Some ailing veterans can now use their federal health care benefits at CVS “MinuteClinics” to treat minor illnesses and injuries, under a pilot program announced Tuesday by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    The new program, currently limited to the Phoenix area, comes three years after the VA faced allegations of chronically long wait times at its centers, including its Phoenix VA medical center, which treats about 120,000 veterans.

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    Benefits
    Collaboration
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    Physical Well-Being
    VA

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