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WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Veterans Benefits Banking Program (VBBP) reached a new milestone with more than 50,000 Veterans having switched to receiving their monetary benefits through direct deposit.
VBBP was created in partnership with the Association of Military Banks of America (AMBA) and works with the Defense Credit Union Council (DCUC) to leverage their combined consortium of military-friendly, federally insured financial institutions to help Veterans acquire a secure bank account.
Veterans who do not have an account with a financial institution must receive their benefit payments through a paper check or pre-paid debit card, which puts them at an increased risk for fraud and subject to high service fees.
“At any given time, there are more than 175,000 Veterans without a bank or credit union account,” said Acting Under Secretary for Benefits Veterans Benefits Administration Thomas Murphy. “It is VA’s responsibility to ensure Veterans and their families get the benefits they have earned — on time, every time. VBBP is just one way we are working to make that happen.”
Since the program’s inception in December 2019, the number of Veterans who rely on paper checks and pre-paid debit cards for their benefits has steadily decreased. While services available will vary among financial institutions, VBBP makes it easier for Veterans to choose a bank or credit union based on how these services align with their individual banking needs.
VA, AMBA and DCUC do not endorse any bank or credit union and Veterans are not required to use a VBBP bank or direct deposit to receive their monetary benefits.
Learn more about VBBP or find a participating financial institution.
WASHINGTON — Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it has reached an agreement with TriWest Health Care Alliance (TriWest) on a one-year extension of its current coverage of the Patient-Centered Community Care (PC3) and Veterans Choice Program (VCP).
The department also announced that it has reached an agreement with TriWest that will expand TriWest’s services to all regions across the country under this program.
The expansion of TriWest’s role will ensure access to community care where needed until the next generation of community care contracts are awarded and implemented.
“TriWest has worked collaboratively with VA from the start of the Veterans Choice Program to address implementation challenges and to improve the program to better serve Veterans,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “Extending the time and reach of our partnership with TriWest will ensure Veterans get the care they need while the department transitions to delivering care under the MISSION Act next year.”
Separately, the department has reached an agreement with Health Net Federal Services (HNFS) on the PC3 and VCP closeout plan and associated contract modification. Under this modification, VA and HNFS will continue to partner to ensure a seamless transition of care and services, so Veterans continue to get the care they need.
Finally, VA has extended its current dialysis contracts with multiple partners for six months, until March 31, 2019. VA will issue a Request for Proposal for the replacement contracts in October 2018, with ultimate contract awards anticipated in spring 2019.
WASHINGTON — Today the U.S. Department of Veterans (VA) announced that it is prioritizing Veterans benefits appeals claims, effective Nov. 1, for victims in the Northern Mariana Islands who have been impacted by Super Typhoon Yutu.
VA’s Board of Veterans’ Appeals has determined that the significant effects of Super Typhoon Yutu were sufficient cause for the Board to advance the appeals for the Northern Mariana Islands municipalities determined to be disaster areas by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“During this season of intense weather systems, VA is continually assessing how we can best support our Veterans as they recover from natural disasters,” VA Secretary Wilkie said. “Just as it did with hurricanes Florence and Michael, VA’s Board of Veterans’ Appeals is prioritizing the benefits appeals claims process because it is the right thing to do.”
By regulation, the Board may advance appeals on docket (AOD) by a motion of the chairman if sufficient cause is shown. All Veterans and other appellants with an appeal currently pending before the Board whose addresses of record are in one of the affected municipalities will have their appeal automatically advanced on the Board’s docket.
No action from Veterans or appellants are needed if their addresses are current. The AOD for this storm is expected to last until April 30, 2019, and the Board will reassess the situation after that period has ended. For a comprehensive list of all affected AOD areas, visit: https://www.bva.va.gov/Natural_Disasters.asp.
In addition to Super Typhoon Yutu, VA also concluded that the significant effects of hurricanes Florence and Michael were sufficient cause for the Board to advance the appeals for counties in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia found to be disaster areas by FEMA.
The mission of VA’s Board of Veterans’ Appeals is to conduct hearings and decide disability benefits appeals for Veterans in a timely manner. For more information about the Board, visit www.bva.va.gov/.
The U.S. Secretaries of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Defense (DOD) signed a joint statement Sept. 26 pledging that their two departments will align their plans, strategies and structures as they roll out a new electronic health records (EHR) system that will allow VA and DOD to share patient data seamlessly.
Signed by Defense Secretary James N. Mattis and VA Secretary Robert Wilkie, the joint statement reinforces both departments’ commitment to ensuring the successful transition from a legacy patient-data system to a modernized one that will continue to support active-duty service members, Veterans and their families.
“The joint statement between DOD and VA represents tangible evidence of our commitment to change how we deliver Veteran-focused, provider-friendly care,” Wilkie said. “The new EHR system will be interoperable with DOD, while also improving VA’s ability to collaborate and share information with community care providers. This will ease the burden on Service members as they transition from military careers and will be supported by multiple medical providers throughout their lives.”
VA signed a contract with Cerner Corp. May 17 to replace VA’s 40-year-old legacy Veterans Integrated System Technology Architecture (VistA) health care records technology over the next 10 years with the new Cerner system, which is in the pilot phase at DOD. Collaborating with DOD will ensure that VA: understands the challenges encountered as DOD deploys its EHR system called Military Health System Genesis (MHS GENESIS); adapts an approach by applying lessons learned to anticipate and mitigate known issues; assesses prospective efficiencies to help deploy faster; and delivers an EHR that is fully interoperable.
"We are committed to partnering with the VA to support the lifetime care of our Service members, Veterans and their families," Mattis said. "This modern electronic health record will ensure those who serve our nation have quality health care as they transition from Service member to Veteran."
“The EHR will give health care providers a full picture of patient medical history, driving better clinical outcomes,” Wilkie said. “It will also help us identify Veterans proactively who are at higher risk for issues, such as opioid addiction and suicide, so health care providers can intervene earlier and save lives.”
When you retire from active duty, your TRICARE plan options will change. Retiring from active duty is a Qualifying Life Event (QLE). A QLE allows you to enroll in a new TRICARE plan or change your coverage options within 90 days of the life event. As a retiree, you’ll need to take action to enroll in a TRICARE plan if you want to continue to receive coverage for civilian care.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is expanding its partnership with Walgreens Boots Alliance to better coordinate medication and immunization histories of the nation’s veterans. The new "VA-Walgreens exchange” enables VA doctors to “easily view medications directly that are prescribed to VA-enrolled patients by community providers and filled at Walgreens pharmacies.”
The Department of Defense announced on 13 Aug, it will extend eligibility for Military OneSource benefits from the current 180 days to 365 days after separation or retirement from military service to ensure all service members and families have access to comprehensive support as they transition to civilian life. This change goes into effect today in accordance with the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2019.
Military OneSource provides information, resources and support for active-duty, National Guard and reserve service members, their families and survivors. Provided at no cost, Military OneSource gives exclusive access to programs, tools, and benefits designed to help ensure service members and their families are mission-ready and able to thrive in both their military and post-military lives.
“Each person is unique, and so is each military-to-civilian transition,” said. A.T. Johnston, deputy assistant secretary of defense for military community and family policy. “We want all of Military OneSource’s resources to be there when someone needs them — whether it is a day, a week or many months after their transition to civilian life.”
As a DOD program, Military OneSource offers a wide range of services designed exclusively for the military community. Services include help with relocation, tax support, financial planning, health and wellness coaching, as well as confidential non-medical counseling and specialty consultations for spouse employment, education, adoption, elder care, special needs and much more.
“Military OneSource is powered by people with extensive knowledge and training in meeting the needs of our military community, many of whom have also served or lived in military families,” explained Lee Kelley, program director of the Non-medical Counseling Program Office within military community and family policy. “We’re dedicated to providing expert, proven, and practical support and information to our service members and their families to help them achieve their goals and live their best military life.”
Military OneSource services are accessible 24/7, service members and family members can call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 or go to www.militaryonesource.mil. To explore additional benefits that may be available through the Department of Veterans Affairs, go to https://explore.va.gov/
The VA Mission Act of 2018, recently signed into law by President Trump,
tackles in-network and non-VA healthcare issues, veterans’ homes, access to
walk-in VA care, prescription drug procedures, and much more. That being said
I thought you might be interested in this interactive presentation which will guide
you through the key process improvements laid out by the VA, as they work to
maintain internal systems and strengthen integrated outside networks.
View the presentation
Inside you’ll find insights on:
The federal bureaucracy moved at an agonizing crawl for the Marine Corps veterans sickened by the contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. Some died waiting for government benefits. But the Department of Veterans Affairs Thursday, after more than a year of work, finalized rules that will allow potentially thousands of veterans stationed at the base — or surviving spouses — to receive automatic benefits if they have been diagnosed with one of eight diseases.
The first time Kit Parker's phone rang, everything seemed fine. It was January 2006, and Parker's old Army buddy Chris Moroski was calling to say hi.
Parker and Moroski had jumped out of airplanes together in the 1990s when they were paratroopers in the National Guard. But after the attacks on Sept. 11, Parker had been deployed to Afghanistan, his friend to Iraq. They'd lost touch.
"Somehow I realized he's asking for help," Parker says. "It's not being verbalized, but that's why he's calling." Click here to find out how this scientist discovered how a blast effects the brain...click
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