Veterans Services

By Adam Mazmanian: The Department of Veterans Affairs is planning big organizational changes under President Donald Trump's executive order on reforming the executive branch, according to a senior official."We were given a gift by the executive order," Scott Blackburn, VA's acting deputy secretary, said at ACT-IAC's April 5 conference on customer experience.

The Department of Veterans Affairs opposes a bill that would extend disability benefits to Navy veterans from the Vietnam War who served at sea and claim they were exposed to Agent Orange because the evidence of exposure is uncertain and the cost could reach nearly $1 billion, a top VA official said Wednesday. /by Duke Omara Read more here: http://www.militarytimes.com/articles/vietnam-agent-

Daily Press:  Rep. Paul Cook, R-Apple Valley, announced Monday that the U.S. Senate has passed his bill, HR 244, the Hire Vets Act of 2017.  This legislation would promote private sector recruiting, hiring and retaining of men and women who served honorably in the U.S. military through a voluntary and effective program, according to Cook's office.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has identified notable inefficiencies in the VA benefits appeals process which have resulted in an average processing wait time of three years.  In its report on the issue, GAO also makes several suggestions for improving the process, including developing pilot programs and using more flexible modeling strategies.  In 2015, more than 427,000 veterans waited three years or longer to complete their benefits appeals process.

Studies have found patients with psychological trauma and PTSD are at greater risk of a variety of chronic physical ailments and that associations with cardiovascular disease are particularly concerning. Read more here: http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/newsletters/research-quarterly/V28N1.pdf 

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