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Benefits

  • Almost 70K Veterans Apply for Online Exchange

    Type of content: News

    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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  • VA still planning to round down benefit payouts

    Type of content: News

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

    Type of content: News

    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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  • Post-9/11 GI Bill education guide

    Type of content: News

    What is the Post-9/11 GI Bill? 
      
    The Post-9/11 GI Bill is a generous education benefit for the latest generation of service members and veterans. It includes payment of tuition and fees, a monthly housing allowance and a stipend for textbooks and supplies. 
      

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    Education
  • Tuition assistance education guide

    Type of content: News

    What is tuition assistance? 
      
    Tuition assistance, informally called TA, is a federal benefit that covers the cost of tuition, up to particular limits, for active-duty service members of the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, as well as some National Guardsmen and reservists. 
      
    The funds are paid directly to schools by the service branches. 
      
    Are there limits or specific requirements? 
      

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  • Veterans Groups Agree on Four Proposed GI Bill Changes

    Type of content: News

    After their public disagreement stalled a congressional hearing last month, 35 veterans groups came together Thursday in Washington to reach some consensus on changes to the Post-9/11 GI Bill and restart their activity on Capitol Hill.

    The groups agreed the Post-9/11 GI Bill needed to change, at least to close several loopholes excluding some servicemembers from receiving education benefits.

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  • Latest GI Bill Fight Could Sideline a Host of Planned Reforms

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — Plans for GI Bill reforms this year are all but dead after a high-profile, emotional fight among veterans advocates in recent days over proposed dramatic changes to the popular benefit. 

    The conflict comes after months of behind-the-scenes work testing the idea of charging future active-duty troops for an improved veterans education benefit, a proposal that proved more controversial when it became public sooner than supporters had anticipated.

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  • Army Should Consider PTSD in Gauging How It Discharges Vets, Lawsuit Says

    Type of content: News

    A federal lawsuit alleges the U.S. Army has issued less-than-honorable discharges for potentially thousands of service members without adequately considering the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health conditions.

    Stephen Kennedy and Alicia Carson, two Army veterans from Connecticut who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, said in a lawsuit filed Monday that they were wrongly denied honorable discharges.

    They said a review board set up to give veterans a second chance often doesn't do an adequate job in considering PTSD and related conditions.

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    DoD
    Mental Health
  • Veterans Administration, CVS Test Program to Reduce Wait Times

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — Some ailing veterans can now use their federal health care benefits at CVS “MinuteClinics” to treat minor illnesses and injuries, under a pilot program announced Tuesday by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    The new program, currently limited to the Phoenix area, comes three years after the VA faced allegations of chronically long wait times at its centers, including its Phoenix VA medical center, which treats about 120,000 veterans.

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    VA
  • There's a Plan in Congress to Start Charging Troops For Their GI Bill Benefits

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — A congressional proposal to make service members buy into their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits surprised veterans groups on Tuesday, with advocates divided over whether it amounts to a long-term fix for the benefit or an unfair bill for veterans. 

    “This new tax on troops is absurd,” said Veterans of Foreign Wars National Commander Brian Duffy in a statement. “Ensuring veterans are able to successfully transition back to civilian life after military service is a cost of war, and not a fee that Congress can just pass along to our troops.

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