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New Screening Tool Helps VA Diagnose COVID Faster

New York, along with many other states, is in the middle of reopening their states after a lengthy quarantine. However, the coronavirus remains a serious public health threat, particularly to people with long-term medical issues like disabled veterans. To help protect these vulnerable individuals, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has introduced a new digital screening tool to help isolate potential COVID infections before they enter a VA medical facility. Continue reading “New Screening Tool Helps VA Diagnose COVID Faster”

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”

Social Security, COLA and You

People who count on benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) for survival, including people on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), tend to pay close attention to how their benefits change from year to year. And yet, many SSDI and SSI recipients are unaware of the Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA), and how it affects their benefits. So, what is the COLA, and how does it impact you? Continue reading “Social Security, COLA and You”

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 Emphasizes Importance of Mental Health in May

May is Mental Health Month, and at a time of great distress for many Americans, it is more important than ever to emphasize the importance of mental health. In recognition of the Month, and the strain caused by the coronavirus on veterans across the country, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has created the “Now is the Time” program to address the mental health needs of veterans. The program promises to help veterans get help for their issues from family and friends, through professional counseling. Continue reading “VA Emphasizes Importance of Mental Health in May”

Recipients of VA Benefits to Automatically Receive Coronavirus Check

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced that recipients of benefits through the VA, including everyone receiving disability benefits, will automatically receive coronavirus checks without needing to file a tax return. This will help VA beneficiaries to survive in this difficult time, as unemployment soars and people struggle to make ends meet. The timing on when the checks will be issued has yet to be announced, however. Continue reading “Recipients of VA Benefits to Automatically Receive Coronavirus Check”

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 Recruits Retired Healthcare Workers for COVID Care

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has approved a request from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) to waive a regulation that would normally disincentivize retired healthcare workers from employment at VA medical facilities. This regulation restricts the amount of money that retirees can receive, to reflect the added income from their retirement benefits. By waiving the regulation, they hope to attract medical professionals to come work at VA facilities to address the coronavirus crisis. Continue reading “VA Recruits Retired Healthcare Workers for COVID Care”

SSA Offices Closed to Public During Coronavirus Outbreak

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced that it is closing its offices to the public in response to the coronavirus outbreak. While it will still have online and phone assistance available, it will not be possible to have in-person communications with staff for the duration of the closures. These measures, while important, will nevertheless likely cause a delay for anyone waiting for an evaluation for disability benefits. Continue reading “SSA Offices Closed to Public During Coronavirus Outbreak”