Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News

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    * From the VA *
    VA’s spending obligations under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 have surpassed $1.1 billion, a tribute to the energy and dedication of contracting officers, facilities management personnel, and directors at every level of the VA. These employees have been pushing to meet aggressive milestones to realize the act’s goal of helping jump-start the economy by creating and saving jobs while improving facilities and programs that serve Veterans. The Recovery Act funds are supporting construction of improvements at 120 VA medical centers in 45 states, projects enhancing the appearance and condition of national cemeteries, renovations and modernizations of state Veterans homes, and the direct creation of 2,300 VA jobs to assist with processing Veterans’ claims for VA benefits, including 500 new staff members hired as permanent VA employees. More than 81 percent of VA’s Recovery Act project funds awarded to companies have gone to Veteran-owned small businesses and almost all contracts were competitively awarded. To learn about the specific VA projects that ARRA is funding go to http://www.homeloans.va.gov/varecovery/

    Top Veterans Stories in Today’s News

  1. Female veterans seek easier access to care Roanoke, NC -Tracey Towes has seen the wonderful and the terrible ways area female veterans are treated when it comes to medical benefits. Towes, an Army veteran who served during Desert Shield and Desert Storm in the 1990s, knows what it’s like to receive treatment at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Salem. “I’ve seen the greatest of things that are happening because I know how to navigate my treatment,” Towes said.
  2. Snyder-Phelps fight has many twists, turns YORK, Pa. — Albert Snyder’s eyes well up with tears when recalling his son’s funeral.More than 1,200 people packed St. John Catholic Church in Westminster, Md., on March 10, 2006, to pay their respects to 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, who died when his Humvee rolled over in Iraq’s Anbar province while he manned the vehicle’s gun turret.
  3. Interchange To Provide Access To Medical Center AURORA, Colo. (AP) ― U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter will join Aurora Mayor Ed Tauer for the groundbreaking of a new highway interchange seen as key to construction of a new Veterans Administration hospital in the Denver area.The groundbreaking will be 1 p.m. Tuesday at Interstate 225 and Colfax Avenue. Perlmutter says the interchange is critical for construction of the hospital and further development of the Anschutz Medical Campus.
  4. “Presumptive Illness” Conditions could mean more disability pay for Vietnam vets ALBANY, NY — Vietnam veterans now have more opportunities to qualify for disability pay, and local agencies want to help them.The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced earlier this year that a new set of diseases would be added to the list of presumptive conditions for those exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam. Labeling an illness “presumptive” means that vets who served in Vietnam and have one of these conditions do not have to prove its association with their service, speeding up and simplifying the application for and processing of benefits.
  5. State hides cri$is by raiding heroes ALBANY NY – Nearly two decades ago, the state Legislature created a special pool of money to address pressing housing demands for the city’s ailing veterans.The fund — replenished with a steady stream of patient fees and federal reimbursements — was supposedly dedicated to building and maintaining the 250-bed St. Albans Veterans Home in Jamaica, Queens. In Albany, however, idle money does not stay safe for long.
  6. Southwest Florida veterans come home jobless Ft. Myers, Fl – Thea Windsor probably couldn’t have picked a more difficult time to enter the job market. But Windsor, 24, had little say in the timing. She was discharged from the Army late last year after serving almost five years, including a tour in Afghanistan. “The economy is tough right now, but I can be tough, too,” Windsor said.
  7. SSA renews computer matching program with VA’s Veteran’s Benefit Administration The Social Security Administration has announced the renewal of a computer matching program between the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Department of Veterans Affairs/Veterans Benefits Administration (Match 1309) that is currently scheduled to expire on April 1, 2010. The purpose of the matching program is to verify an individual’s self-certification of eligibility for prescription drug subsidy assistance under the Social Security Act.
  8. DOL Announces Grant Competition to Train Veterans in Green Jobs WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service has announced a $2 million grant competition under the Veterans’ Workforce Investment Program to assist eligible veterans by providing employment, training, support services, credentialing and networking information in renewable and sustainable energy. “We have an obligation to our service men and women to do everything we can to help them transition smoothly into civilian life,” said Secretary Hilda L. Solis. “These grants will not only help our veterans, they will provide an invaluable service to a burgeoning part of our economy.
  9. VA’s Center for Veterans Enterprise (CVE) described as “critically ineffective” Moberly, Mo – The American Legion characterized VA’s Center for Veterans Enterprise (CVE) as “critically ineffective, understaffed, under funded and marginalized” in a March 11th testimony before the House Subcommittee of Economic Opportunity.Created to help veterans start their own businesses and bid successfully on federal contracts, CVE, according to The American Legion’s National Small Business Task Force lacks the ability to provide comprehensive technical assistance, takes too long to register clients (one month to one year), and does not offer help to veterans with part-time businesses.
  10. Long-Term Care Benefits for Veterans and Surviving Spouses Long-term care costs can add up quickly. For veterans and the surviving spouses of veterans who need in-home care or are in a nursing home, help may be available. The Veterans Administration (VA) has an underused pension benefit called Aid and Attendance that provides money to those who need assistance performing everyday tasks. Even veterans whose income is above the legal limit for a VA pension may qualify for the Aid and Attendance benefit if they have large medical expenses for which they do not receive reimbursement.

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