Veterans Services

   WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today published a new regulation that expands eligibility for some benefits for a select group of Air Force Veterans and Air Force Reserve personnel who were exposed to the herbicide Agent Orange through regular and repeated contact with contaminated C-123 aircraft that had been used in Vietnam as part of Operation Ranch Hand (ORH).Read Press Release here: 

by GPD, Veterans Today: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is announcing the availability of 1-year renewal funding in fiscal year (FY) 2015 for the 21 currently operational FY 2014 VA Grant and Per Diem (GPD) Special Need Grant Recipients and their collaborative VA Special Need partners (as applicable) to make re-applications for assistance under the Special Need Grant Component of VA’s Homeless Providers GPD Program.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is amending its regulation governing individuals presumed to have been exposed to certain herbicides. Specifically, VA is expanding the regulation to include an additional group consisting of individuals who performed service in the Air Force or Air Force Reserve under circumstances in which they had regular and repeated contact with C-123 aircraft known to have been used to spray an herbicide agent (“Agent Orange”) during the Vietnam era.

by Peggy McCarthy:  Five Vietnam War veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) were granted upgrades by the Pentagon after filing a federal lawsuit in March 2014 against the Armed Forces. The veterans had received Other Than Honorable (OTH) discharges, which they contend were based on behaviors later attributed to PTSD. PTSD was not designated as a medical condition until 1980.

NY Times: By Richard A. Oppel, Jr. :One year after outrage about long waiting lists for health care shook theDepartment of Veterans Affairs, the agency is facing a new crisis: The number of veterans on waiting lists of one month or more is now 50 percent higher than it was during the height of last year’s problems, department officials say. The department is also facing a nearly $3 billion budget shortfall, which could affect care for many veterans.

To the Editor: Re “The Risk of Over-Thanking Our Veterans,” by Ken Harbaugh (Op-Ed, June 1): It is sad that one week after Memorial Day, The New York Times saw fit to run an essay lamenting the cost of compensating veterans for their disabilities.

By Chantell Frazier:  On Monday, the VA reported that the disability compensation claims backlog has increased by about 1,400 claims. This is the first time in three months that the backlog has not decreased from week to week. There are currently about 142,000 veterans in the backlog, meaning they have been waiting more than 125 days for a claim decision.