Blog Archives

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA)

The Department of Labor, through the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS), provides assistance to all persons having claims under USERRA. The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), clarifies and strengthens the Veterans' Reemployment Rights (VRR) Statute. USERRA protects civilian job rights and benefits for veterans and members of Reserve components. USERRA also makes major improvements in protecting service member rights and benefits by clarifying the law, improving enforcement mechanisms,...

Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program 101

Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program Eligibility: Active duty personnel could participate in the Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program (VEAP) if they entered active duty for the first time after Dec. 31, 1976, and before July 1, 1985, and made a contribution prior to April 1, 1987. The maximum contribution is $2,700. Active duty participants may make a lump-sum contribution to their VEAP account. For more information, visit the GI Bill web site. Service members who participated in VEAP are eligible to receive...

VA Bereavement Counseling

VA Vet Centers provide bereavement counseling to all family members including spouses, children, parents, and siblings of Servicemembers who die while on active duty. This includes federally activated members of the National Guard and reserve components. Bereavement services may be accessed by calling (202) 461-6530. Bereavement Counseling related to Veterans: Bereavement counseling is available through any Veterans Health Administration medical center to immediate family members of Veterans who die unexpectedly or while...

Financial Assessment to Receive VA Disability Benefits

Most veterans not receiving VA disability compensation or pension payments must provide information on their gross annual household income and net worth to determine whether they are below the annually adjusted financial thresholds. VA is currently not enrolling new applicants who decline to provide financial information unless they have a special eligibility factor exempting them from disclosure. VA's income thresholds are located on its website.  This financial assessment includes all household income and net worth,...

Veterans Benefits for National Guard and Reserve Servicemembers

Reserve and National Guard Eligibility  Reservists who served on active duty establish veteran status and may be eligible for the full-range of VA benefits, depending on the length of active military service and a discharge or release from active duty under conditions other than dishonorable. In addition, Reservists not activated may qualify for some VA benefits. National Guard members can establish eligibility for VA benefits if activated for federal service during a period of war or domestic emergency. Activation for other...

Congress Favors Unionized Gov’t Workers Over Funding Disabled Vets and Education Benefits

While the well-connected public employees union workers got a nice, fat payoff Friday, America’s disabled veterans and those looking to attend school on promised GI Bill benefits still have to wait on pins and needles. The House voted overwhelmingly to award unearned back pay to government workers furloughed due to the government shutdown. Both the President and the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D – NV) have expressed support. But the Democratic-controlled Senate still refuses to consider a House bill that funds key veterans’...

Compensation for Atomic Veterans

Q: I have a friend who was in the USAF in the 1950′s and participated in nuclear tests in the desert near Las Vegas, NV. Since that time he has had over 30 skin surgeries. He believes the skin surgeries are related to the nuclear tests, but he has not made any inquiries. He has civilian insurance and has used it for his medical bills. Can anyone tell me if he should report this to the VA or any other government agency? Should he need medical help, would the VA provide it?   A: Monthly VA payments of up to $2,673 are...

Military to Civilian Transition Services

Joint Transition Assistance The Departments of Veterans Affairs, Defense, and Labor re-launched a new and improved Website for wounded warriors – the National Resource Directory (NRD). This directory (www.nationalresourcedirectory.gov) provides access to thousands of services and resources at the national, state and local levels to support recovery, rehabilitation and community reintegration. The NRD is a comprehensive online tool available nationwide for wounded, ill and injured Servicemembers, Veterans and their families. The...

Veterans Group Provides Free Legal Representation to Fight VA Denials

If you have had a benefits claim appeal wrongly rejected by the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA), the highest administrative review authority within the VA, the next step gets much trickier. That’s because in order to appeal a BVA decision, you have to exit the VA and take it to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. If you didn’t have legal representation so far in your dealings with the VA, that might be a reason why you lost. But of course, not everyone can afford an attorney. The less able you are to afford...

In Fight Against Backlog, VA Shows Signs of Progress

The Department of Veterans Affairs is finally starting to show signs of progress in reducing the stubborn backlog of claims pending for 125 days or more. At the beginning of July, the VA was reporting a backlog of 536,400 cases. That is still much higher than it was when Eric Shinseki took the Secretary of Veterans Affairs job in 2009. But at least the number is beginning to decline: The VA reported a backlog of 608,000 claims in March. The Secretary has established an ambitious goal of eliminating the backlog by 2015. That...

Readjustment Counseling Services with the VA

VA provides outreach and readjustment counseling services through 300 community-based Vet Centers located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and America Samoa.   Eligibility: Veterans are eligible if they served on active duty in a combat theater during World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, or the campaigns in Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and the Global War on Terror. Veterans, who served in the active military during the Vietnam-era,...

Veteran Health Registries

Certain veterans can participate in a VA health registry and receive free medical examinations, including laboratory and other diagnostic tests deemed necessary by an examining clinician. VA maintains health registries to provide special health examinations and health-related information. To participate, contact the nearest VA health care facility or visit: http://www.va.gov/environagents/.   Gulf War Registry: For Veterans who served on active military duty in Southwest Asia during the Gulf War, which began in 1990 and continues...

Labor Department Website Features Women Vets’ Issues

WASHINGTON, June 20, 2013 – Labor Department officials have launched a new website devoted to issues and challenges affecting women veterans. The site is a collaborative effort between the Labor Department, the Veterans’ Employment Training Service and the Women’s Bureau. The new website highlights potential challenges that may affect the economic security of women veterans, including: Disability. Women veterans are more likely than their male peers to have a significant service related disability. Thirty-five percent...

The Veterans’ Opportunity to Work Act and the certified federal job search training program

The Veterans’ Opportunity to Work (VOW) Act is a bipartisan, bicameral, comprehensive legislation that seeks to lower the unemployment rate among veterans. In light of the Act’s provisions and associated goals, the Certified Federal Job Search Trainer (CFJST) Program is more critical than ever: through teaching Ten Steps to a Federal Job® at your Veterans’ Employment Center, you will be able to provide key knowledge and insights about landing quality federal jobs, which are highly sought after by veterans seeking to continue...

Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP): How Unemployed Veterans Can Get $1,473 Per Month For Education (Even If You Don’t Qualify for the G.I. Bill)

One of Ronald Reagan’s most famous quips was “the most feared words in the English language are 'we’re from the government and we’re here to help.'” Well, if you were from the government and wore a uniform, and you’re unemployed and meet certain other criteria, the government would like to help you once again: Beginning on July 1, the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) commences, helping certain veterans who have been having a hard time finding gainful employment back into the work force. Veterans Retraining...

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