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  • 5 Things for Veterans to Know About Expanded GI Benefits

    Type of content: News

    Lawmakers this month sent an expanded GI educational benefits bill, known as the "Forever GI Bill" to President Donald Trump's desk to sign.

    The Forever GI Bill, which passed the U.S. Senate unanimously, is estimated to cost more than $3 billion over 10 years.

    "It restores benefits to veterans who were impacted by school closures since 2015 and has special benefits for our reservists, surviving dependents and Purple Heart recipients," said Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin in a statement.

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    Education
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    VA
  • In Norfolk, VA Secretary outlined 5 priorities for overhauling veterans' care

    Type of content: News

    Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin described the VA system much like he might a patient.

    “The VA has a lot of problems right now, and I describe it as being in critical condition,” Shulkin told reporters Wednesday. “That means we need to intensively monitor the progress of the organization, but I believe we’re moving in the right direction.”

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    Benefits
    Mental Health
    Physical Well-Being
    VA
  • Troops at risk for suicide not getting needed care, report finds

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — Pentagon health care providers failed to perform critical follow-up for many troops diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress syndrome who also were at high risk for suicide, according to a new study released Monday by the RAND Corp.

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  • Veterans' health-care gap creates 'greater risk' for opioid abuse

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — The information about the veteran is scant, clinical in tone, yet disturbing.

    "At the time of his death, the patient was a male in his forties with a past medical history significant for PTSD, chronic low back pain, obstructive sleep apnea, obesity, and depression," the Department of Veterans Affairs inspector general reported.

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    VA
  • New tools let vets schedule appointments, meet with doctors through their phones

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — Veterans will be able to schedule medical appointments online and consult with physicians on their mobile phones through an array of new telehealth offerings unveiled by the White House and Department of Veterans Affairs on Thursday.

    The move is part of broader VA reforms promised by President Donald Trump and should expand access to department medical care for tens of thousands of rural and homebound veterans across the country. In some cases, federal money will pay for upgraded mobile phones and tablets to help veterans use the new medical technologies.

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    Mental Health
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    VA
  • Senate Advances VA Choice Fix, Claims Appeals Reform Package

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — Senate lawmakers quietly advanced two major Veterans Affairs reform bills on Tuesday night, sending a funding fix for the Choice program to the White House and queuing up a benefits claim appeals reform package to become law later this year.

    Both measures were passed by voice vote in the waning hours of the Senate’s session, as lawmakers look to leave town for an extended legislative recess. Administration officials have signaled that President Donald Trump will sign both into law.

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  • Former Secretary McDonald: All Americans, not just vets, need VA

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — Bob McDonald spent much of his time as Veterans Affairs Secretary working to remind Americans about the importance of the sprawling health care and benefits system.

    Now he worries that debates over privatization and medical care choices will overshadow those public awareness efforts.

    “Whether a veteran goes to the private sector or to the VA for care is an important discussion to have, but there is a larger discussion to have too,” the former Procter & Gamble CEO told Military Times on Tuesday.

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  • PTSD Disability Claims by Vets Tripled in the Last Decade

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — More than one in five veterans receiving federal disability payouts suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, a figure that has spiked in the last decade.

    Veterans Affairs officials told lawmakers Tuesday that the number of disability cases related to PTSD has nearly tripled in that time, from around 345,000 cases in fiscal 2008 to more than 940,000 cases today.

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    Mental Health
    VA
  • Future Unclear for Veterans Choice Program After House Bill Falters

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — Congressional lawmakers struggled on Tuesday to reach an agreement to prop up a popular multibillion-dollar health care program that allows veterans to see a private doctor at government expense.

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    Legislation
    Physical Well-Being
    VA
  • Trump Promises Huge Increase in Private Sector Care for Veterans

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Tuesday evening promised to triple the number of veterans “seeing the doctor of their choice” in coming months as part of an ongoing, ambitious reform plan at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    The comments, which came at a veterans rally in Ohio, are likely to again stoke concerns among administration critics of large-scale privatization of VA responsibilities.

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    Legislation
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    Physical Well-Being
    VA

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