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  • Army scaling back respite care program

    Amanda Dolasinski | The Fayetteville Observer

    SOUTHERN PINES — For nearly the past year, Lorraine Weber has welcomed the calming presence of a respite care provider into her home to help with her son Robbie, who has moderate autism.

    Robbie commands attention, yelling for his mom and tugging on her while he plays with his dinosaurs and Legos. She does her best to split her attention between Robbie, his sister Madeleine and her husband Robert, a major in the Army who is out of the state for training over the next two months.

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    Caregivers
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    Physical Well-Being
  • Survey: Veteran caregivers feel isolated, need more support

    Leo Shane III | Military Times

    WASHINGTON — Most caregivers of injured veterans feel isolated from friends, unsupported by the government and less healthy because of the demands of their responsibilities, according to a new survey released by Disabled American Veterans on Monday. 

    But the vast majority are also overwhelmingly proud of the service they provide to their loved ones. 

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    Caregivers
    Family
  • Proposal Extends IVF, Adoption Help for Injured Veterans

    Amy Bushatz | Military.com

    Veterans with reproductive injuries will be able to access fertility help and have some adoption expenses covered after 2018 if a funding proposal goes forward.

    The funding bill for the Department of Veterans Affairs approved by a House committee last week gives the agency approval to continue funding in-vitro fertilization after the current 2018 expiration. A 2016 law lifted a longtime ban on the coverage but is set to expire at the end of 2018 if Congress takes no further action.

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    Family
    Legislation
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    VA
  • USDA Announces $20 Million For Jobs for Young People, Veterans

    USDA | KTIC Radio

    WASHINGTON, D.C., June 19, 2017 — USDA and partners committed $20 million in 21st Century Conservation Service Corps partnership agreements to provide 4,000 work opportunities for youth, young adults and veterans up to 35 years old, a move that will help the U.S. Forest Service accomplish mission-critical infrastructure and landscape restoration projects on the ground. The U.S. Forest Service is one of seventeen USDA Agencies.

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    Employment
  • Q & A: Veteran suicide hotline now answers 9 of 10 calls in 8 seconds

    Meaghan McDermott | USA Today

    ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A 10-year-old suicide hotline designed to assist veterans at their deepest moments of despair has taken heavy criticism recently following a trio of highly critical government reports that questioned answer times, staff preparedness and quality assurance.

    Earlier this week Acting Director Susan Strickland, acting director of the Veterans Crisis Line, and Julianne Mullane, assistant deputy director of team operations for the Canandaigua, N.Y., veterans hotline, sat down to discuss the government reports and their agency's efforts to improve operations

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    Mental Health
    Physical Well-Being
  • VA still planning to round down benefit payouts

    Leo Shane III | Military Times

    WASHINGTON — White House officials this week backed away from one controversial veterans benefits cut but are sticking with a similar plan to trim other payouts to help balance the budget. 

    On Wednesday, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin told senators that the administration is looking to drop plans to radically overhaul his department’s Individual Unemployability benefit, a move that would save more than $3 billion but strip up to $20,000 from 210,000 elderly disabled veterans. 

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    Benefits
    VA
  • Almost 70K Veterans Apply for Online Exchange

    Amy | Bushatz

    More than 67,000 veterans have applied to shop on the military exchange store websites under a recently released benefit, officials said Thursday.

    The benefit clears the way for honorably discharged veterans from any era to shop at the exchange stores online. In the past, the shopping benefit both online and at brick-and-mortar locations was limited primarily to active-duty troops; National Guardsmen, reservists and their dependents; and retirees and their dependents.

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    Benefits
  • House passes fix to veterans health care tax credit controversy

    Leo Shane III | Military Times

    WASHINGTON  — House lawmakers on Thursday quietly passed a fix regarding veterans status under the proposed new health care bill that Republican supporters hope will silence one part of the opposition to the measure. 

    The legislation passed by voice vote without opposition. The bill states that veterans who are eligible for medical care through the Department of Veterans Affairs but not using those services are eligible for health insurance tax credits under the American Health Care Act. 

    Republicans billed the measure as nothing more than bookkeeping work.  

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    Legislation
    VA
  • As the choice program runs out of money this year, VA reiterates need for a redesign

    Nicole Ogrsko | Federal News Radio

    The Veterans Affairs Department is quickly running out of money in its Choice program account, one of several funding streams VA uses to pay for veterans to receive community health care.

    This development with the Choice program is only the latest of a series of pain points for the department and Congress. Yet VA Secretary David Shulkin said it only emphasizes the urgency of redesigning and simplifying the Choice program in the near future.

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    Legislation
    VA
  • VA secretary backs off plan to cut elderly vets' benefits

    Leo Shane III | Military Times

    WASHINGTON — Administration officials are backing away from plans to slash tens of thousands of dollars in unemployment benefits from elderly veterans after an outcry from advocates who warned the move could cause significant financial harm to vulnerable veterans.  

    During a Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on Wednesday, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin said that he wants to avoid any policy changes that “hurt veterans” and is considering other options to the proposed changes. 

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    Benefits
    Financial Assistance
    Legislation
    VA

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