Mental Health Issues Remain a Priority for VA During COVID

During the coronavirus pandemic, people are understandably concerned about their physical health, and want to avoid potential infection as much as possible. However, while the primary focus at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) has been on veterans’ physical well-being, their psychological health has often suffered as a result. The VA, however, has many services available for veterans suffering mental health issues during the coronavirus crisis. Continue reading “Mental Health Issues Remain a Priority for VA During COVID”

VA Begins Reintroducing Healthcare Services at Select Facilities

As with most government offices, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) shut down all but its most essential functions to comply with coronavirus quarantine orders. However, starting May 18, the VA began reopening certain select healthcare facilities to the public, to eventually return to its previous levels of functionality. The goal is to once again provide VA services that have not been available for the past few months, while still protecting veterans from coronavirus infection. Continue reading “VA Begins Reintroducing Healthcare Services at Select Facilities”

Policy Paper Claims Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange on Guam

In a recently published policy paper, two groups claim there is evidence veterans may have been exposed to Agent Orange while serving in Guam during the Vietnam War. The paper says that tens of thousands of veterans who served in Guam during the War may have been exposed to the herbicide and become ill as a result. If confirmed, it could help thousands of Vietnam-era veterans claim disability benefits for ailments believed to have been caused by Agent Orange exposure. Continue reading “Policy Paper Claims Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange on Guam”

VA Health System Faces Rush of Coronavirus Patients

The coronavirus is the largest health crisis facing the country right now.Even under normal circumstances, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) struggles with the burden of helping all the veterans who require medical assistance. However, the strain has become particularly acute with the coronavirus pandemic underway, with other, less urgent care often being pushed to the side to make way for emergency cases. As a result, many veterans, especially disabled veterans, struggle to maintain their health during the crisis. Continue reading “VA Health System Faces Rush of Coronavirus Patients”

VA Prepares to Deal with Coronavirus

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has already taken measures to deal with the spread of the coronavirus, to help protect disabled veterans from the impact of the disease. Of particular concern are those disabled veterans currently residing in VA nursing homes, who are particularly vulnerable to the infection. VA Secretary Robert Wilkie has tried to reassure veterans and their families, saying: “We will get over this and we will make sure everything is done to protect those who have done so much for our country.” Continue reading “VA Prepares to Deal with Coronavirus”

Remote Questionnaires Questioned After Fraud Allegations

The practice of using remote questionnaires for disability determination evaluations by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is being brought into question after leading to an alleged fraud. Remote questionnaires conducted by private physicians have grown in popularity as a way of conducting evaluations without requiring travel to VA offices, which is convenient for veterans in isolated areas or who have mobility issues. However, the allegations of fraud show that the practice has serious flaws, and that the remote questionnaire is not an adequate replacement for evaluations within the VA system. Continue reading “Remote Questionnaires Questioned After Fraud Allegations”

New Diabetes Care Program Introduced by VA

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced a new program that will focus on educating and caring for diabetic veterans. The program is focused on helping veterans with diabetes learn more about the technology they can use to monitor their condition, as well as what their various diabetes numbers mean. With better education, diabetic veterans will be able to better control their diabetes and, hopefully, prevent some of the more severe complications that can arise from the disease. Continue reading “New Diabetes Care Program Introduced by VA”

Blue Water Navy Veterans Can Now Apply for Veterans Disability

For decades, so-called “Blue Water” Navy Veterans who served in the waters around Vietnam have had difficulty getting their disability claims recognized by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA). However, due to a bill signed into law last June, certain veterans, including Blue Water Navy Veterans, will be able to more easily apply for disability benefits. This includes any Navy veteran who served within 12 nautical miles offshore of the Republic of Vietnam between Jan. 6, 1962, and May 7, 1975, as well as veterans who served in the Korean Demilitarized Zone between Jan. 1, 1967, and Aug. 31, 1971. Continue reading “Blue Water Navy Veterans Can Now Apply for Veterans Disability”

Board of Veterans’ Appeals to Introduce Virtual Hearings in 2020

When a veteran applies for disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and gets denied (or else doesn’t receive the level of benefits they think they should be entitled to), they can appeal the decision to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. Traditionally, these hearings are carried out in person and require the veteran to travel to the hearing if they want to participate. However, with the introduction of new virtual hearings, it will be possible to conduct these appeals online, without requiring veterans to travel to the physical site of their hearing. Continue reading “Board of Veterans’ Appeals to Introduce Virtual Hearings in 2020”

Bill Proposes Recognizing Iraq and Afghanistan Service as Health Hazard

Two United States Senators, Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., have teamed up on a bipartisan bill that would classify military service in certain places and times in Iraq and Afghanistan as a health hazard. The “Veterans Burn Pit Exposure Recognition” bill is a response to health concerns over service members’ exposure to “burn pits,” which are places where the military burns waste. In proposing this bill, they hope to make it easier for veterans affected by certain diseases to get disability benefits. Continue reading “Bill Proposes Recognizing Iraq and Afghanistan Service as Health Hazard”