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  • Proposal Extends IVF, Adoption Help for Injured Veterans

    Type of content: News

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

    Type of content: News

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

    Type of content: News

    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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  • 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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    Benefits
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  • VA's Choice program running out of money ahead of schedule

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — The Veterans Affairs Choice program, hailed by President Trump as a key lifeline to veterans, is on pace to run out of money later this summer, potentially causing major disruptions in thousands of veterans’ medical care. 

    Congress believed they had solved this problem earlier this year, by passing an extension of the program’s rules to keep it operating until late 2018. 

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  • Congress passes long-awaited Veterans Affairs Accountability Act

    Type of content: News

    Congress approved long-sought legislation Tuesday to make firing employees easier for the Department of Veterans Affairs, part of an effort urged by President Trump to fix a struggling agency serving millions of veterans.

    The bill will make it easier for VA employees, including executives, to be fired by lowering the standard of evidence required to "remove, demote or suspend" someone for poor performance or misconduct. It also gives whistleblowers more protections, including preventing the VA from removing an employee with an open whistleblower case. 

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  • Department of Veterans Affairs ditches performance database

    Type of content: News

    (TNS) -- The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has stopped updating a performance database that charts error rates at local offices — a system vets advocates say was a useful tool to hold the agency accountable, including at the Boston office.

    The system, called ASPIRE, was introduced with fanfare in 2010 as a way to hold the VA up to a higher standard for avoiding the kinds of errors and oversights that cause wounded ex-warriors to get inaccurate disability ratings, denying them vital compensation.

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  • Purdue gets funding for potential groundbreaking study on veterans and service dogs

    Type of content: News

    INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Researchers at Purdue University will soon start a potentially groundbreaking study that could help more veterans suffering from PTSD get service dogs.

    The research could for the first time prove scientifically that service dogs help these veterans. Purdue researchers just received more than a half million dollars to conduct this two year study.

    The potential is sweeping change in Washington, D.C. and another resource for vets.

    Zoe is Nick Hamilton’s service dog. Hamilton served three tours in Iraq and now suffers from PTSD.

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    Mental Health
    VA
  • VA officials say veterans court program is a success

    Type of content: News

    JONESBORO, Ark. — Two years after 2nd Judicial District Veterans Court was instituted, the numbers show that veterans don't seem too keen on finishing the program.
     
    The veterans court program was established in 2015 to help veterans, who have entered the judicial system because of factors related to their military service, assimilate back into civilian life. 
     

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    Legal
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